The groom is the most important male of on the wedding day. He is dressed unmatched and is followed by the wedding party – the barat. Then, he proceeds for the marriage venue along with the barat. The mode of conveyance can be different from place to place or locality to locality. While the members of barat party may travel in a general vehicle, the groom necessarily travels in a special vehicle. The vehicle for the groom is specially decorated in a manner that it can be recognised from a distant place. These are gadgets of modern days, in olden times the grooms used to travel on horse. This tradition is still followed with modifications in various cultures.
Horse: A Necessary Conveyance for Groom
There is also a culture at some places that the groom goes to the place of bride with marriage procession on horse only. You might have seen this in various films depicting the marriages of Indian cultures. First of all, there is a wedding band playing local or folk music of wedding. This is followed by the groom on the horse and rest of the members of the barat party follows them. This leaves no room for any doubt identification of the groom. The well-dressed in wedding outfits having face covered in sehra the groom needs no identification.
A Special Ritual of Riding and Getting Down from the Horse
When the barat along with groom is ready for leaving for the marriage venue, there is a ceremonial riding of the groom on the horse. Till this time, the groom is escorted by his mother who keeps on throwing yellow rice and coins over the head of groom. For departure, when the groom reaches near the specially prepared horse, he receives blessings and well wishes from his mother. The person caring of horse asks prizes or gifts from father, mother, elder brother etc. of the groom and then only he allows the groom to ride the horse. The horse-riding of the groom is adopted from the custom, when the prince-warriors used to go for the wars with neighbouring states and when they could win; they used to take the daughter of defeated king as their wife.
The horse-man plays the same tricks when the groom reaches the marriage venue. He does not let the groom dismount the horse till he is presented some gifts or prizes by the father, elder brother or some other person from the bride’s party. After getting down from the horse, the groom is lifted by the bride’s brothers to the place, where the dwar-puja is performed for the groom.
Decorations for the Groom-Horse
The horse on which the groom rides on the marriage day is not the simple one, but is specially decorated by the care-taker. The decorations are starting from is eyes, head and available to his legs and back too. The most important is the back, where the groom sits. It consists of cushions that are placed nicely and tied so that it does not fall inadvertently. It forms an inevitable part of wedding.