Friday, 19 December 2014

Marriages are made in Heaven & Sawantwadi!



Sawantwadi is just a few kms from Goa and is the most unlikely destination to get married. But getting married in this quiet town is a simple and convenient ritual. And it is perfectly legal for young and not-so-young couples to marry the person they love and wish to spend rest of their lives. The ceremony is solemnized speedily. The small town has become a favourite paradise for couples who wish to get married peacefully and live happily thereafter. Sawantwadi happens to be the former capital of the erstwhile kingdom of Sawantwadi. The town was the seat of the royal family of Sawant Bhonsales and still retains some of the erstwhile stately grandeur. It is at the foot of the hill called Narendra dongar. Sawantwadi has been declared a heritage town and attracts good number of tourists throughout the year.

New Domains

Every year, when I travel towards Sawantwadi and further on towards Goa, with a couple of days halt in Sawantwadi at a relative’s house; during my routine walks towards the market area, I noticed many Mangal Karyalays and would often wonder why a small place like this is dotted with Mangal Karyalays. On delving deeper, I learnt that apart from handicrafts, traditional Konkan food and fish, Sawantwadi is also known for arranging and performing quick marriages legally, without much interference or hassle. Recently a Sunday edition of a prominent newspaper revealed this other social and colourful side of Sawantwadi. If you wish to get married without any hassle, and that too legally; visit any Mangal Karyalay in Sawantwadi and they will do the needful.

One can tie the knot quickly without any fuss. The marriages are conducted under the Hindu Marriage Act, in an Arya Samaj-type ceremony, taking care of the essential rituals and give you the certificate the next day. This picturesque town on Maharastra’s coast in Konkan is a haven for matrimonial alliances. Get married and walk out as man and wife.

Though everything else happens slow, just has any small sleepy town on the west coast of India, but marriages are possibly one thing that happens quickly. And bring couples together in matrimony.


Moti Talav 
Several Goan couples hop over to Sawantwadi to avoid red tape and just tie the knot here in peace, to legally go around Goa’s Civil Code, which applies to all Goans irrespective of religion and covers birth and death, property and marriage. Interfaith marriages are complicated under the code, and they involve joint ownership of property, inheritance and assets; quick marriages are difficult, especially if one has to do it urgently for going abroad, visa, job, etc. So the answer is to hop over to Sawantwadi to avoid all these formalities, convert if need be and get married in peace. The Mangal Karyalay does it for you at a reasonable cost.

Most of the Mangal Karyalays in the town operate from a front yard, backyard or a porch. Colourful and faded plastic chairs on a makeshift platform, is the stage for the bridal couple. The faded decoration and festoons permanently hanging make the decorations for the quick marriage. Though they don’t conduct fairy tale or dream weddings; for harried young couples facing family or other barriers, it is a paradise. The Mangal Karyalay’s proprietor or priest solemnize the Saptapati (7 Pheras in Hindu tradition) on the premises and get the holy union registered from Gram Sevaks (with power to register) in nearby villages.

Sawantwadi Railway Sation
These Mangal Karyalays draw couples from Goa, Karnataka, Maharastra and even Rajasthan, UP and other places. The Karyalays operate in a traditional way, they have no modern promotional methods, no websites nor do they advertise, it is just through word of mouth. The local people are friendly, no one asks questions here and the best part is the whole town opens to lovers and couples in need. Most Karyalays are scattered in the street and bylanes on one side of the lake with prominent signboards. Sawantwadi is a small town which can be covered on foot and people help you with directions.

Rajwada - Palace
I am told, at least one marriage happens every day in Sawantwadi, it could be inter-caste or inter-religion too. Sometimes even mixed-race marriages are performed here. The express service comes at a price – Rs 5,000 to Rs10,000 depending upon your urgency and bargaining power. The best part, it’s a single-window route to marriage with paperwork ready the next day. It is said – marriages are made in heaven, but it is also made in Sawantwadi!

At first look, Sawantwadi seems like the unlikely town to offer solace to couples. There are no big or luxury hotels or cafes. It appears to be a conservative place. Yet you find some couples getting cosy on the lake wall or a temple nearby, sharing private moments. Getting married is easy and the Mangal Karyalays do everything for you, the rituals and the paperwork. And the couples lives happily thereafter!







MyPost:



Manifestation of Shiva


Khandoba, Martanda Bhairav or Malhari, is the Maratha manifestation of Shiva mainly in the Deccan plateau, though he is identified with Kartikeya and with Vishnu and also with sun. In Andhra, he is called Mallikarjuna and in Karnataka, he is Mallanna. Jains have identified him with Mallinath. Muslims who have a long history in Deccan region, identify him as Mallu Khan.

 

He is visualized as riding a white horse brandishing a sword. He wears a Maratha turban, has a magnificent moustache and beard. Accompanying him on his horse is his main wife, Mhalsa.


Jejuri is a town close to Pune in Maharastra. It is famous for the main temple devoted to Lord Khandoba


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Picture Post:
Vellore Fort, Tamilnadu in India
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