After performing the Gauri pooja and taking Goddess Parvati to be her model, the bride is brought to the Mantapa by her maternal uncle for the next ritual. Read on to understand the significance of Antarpata and Varmala Ritual:
Procedure & Significance of Antarpata And Varmala Ritual In Kannada Brahmin Madhwa Weddings
Before the bride enters the Mantap, a white cloth is put as a curtain so that the bride and groom do not see each other. This white cloth is called the ‘Antarapata’. The curtain symbolizes their existence as individuals before marriage. While the Antarpata is placed, the girl holds ‘Jeerige Bella’ (Jeera is cumin seeds and Bella is jaggery) in her hand amidst chanting of mantras she stands opposite to the groom with the Antarpata between them and at an auspicious time after the completion of certain rituals the Antarpata is removed, the bride and the groom keep Jeerige Bella on each other’s heads with their right palm and then garland each other.
The Bride And The Groom Garland Each Other
Traditionally, this moment will be the first time they see each other. The garlanding is also a symbolic way to tell everyone present that they have accepted each other as husband and wife. The garlands are made of Mallige or jasmine and they are not as heavy as in North Indian weddings. The symbolic representation of Jeera (cumin seeds) and Bella (jaggery) is that they both blend well together - just like how a husband and wife need to blend well to form a successful wedding!
There are some fun moments in the Varamala for the wedding ceremony. The maternal uncles of both the bride and groom have to ensure that they help their ward put the garland first. A trivia about the ritual is that whoever garlands first will have the upper hand in marriage and thus both maternal uncles do their best to help garland first! Once the Varmala ceremony is completed the pre-wedding rituals are all done with, and the wedding rituals like the Mangalyadharane, the seven steps rituals, etc. take place.