Note: This is Conducted before the Nichayathartham
What it is
Janavasam is the South Indian ritual that is similar to the Baraat performed by North Indians. It is the ritual that signifies the arrival of the groom. Initially, the groom’s family along with his relatives as well as the bride’s family (except the bride) would assemble at a temple near the kalyana mandapam(wedding hall). The groom is offered a new dress by the bride’s family and is taken in a procession in an open car to the kalyana mandapam. The tune of nadaswaram(a wind instrument) penetrates the air invoking the festive spirits in all who participate in this ritual.
Welcoming the Bridegroom
At the entrance of the Kalyana Mandapam, the Bridegroom is received by the bride’s family with flowers, coconuts, thamboolam(consists of vethalai i.e. beetle leaf), paaku(beetlenut), pazham(fruits))along with two cone-like structures called ‘paruppu thengai kutti’ or ‘paruppu thengai koodu’ which is traditionally made out of pulses, coconut and jaggery. Arathi is taken for the groom by the relatives of the bride and he is welcomed into the kalyana mandapam. The coconut used in arathi is broken to ward off any effect of evil eyes or negative vibrations. Once the groom is settled down and the rituals are complete, the guests enjoy the evening tiffin with family & friends.
Evolution of Janavasam
In earlier days, the janavasam was the first occasion in which the bride will see the bridegroom and hence he was brought to the kalyana mandapam in an open car. Nowadays, this travel from temple to kalyana mandapam in an open janavasam car is rare due to security and traffic reasons still the temple visit is retained. Some do it for fun and novelty by adding a horse ride or a chariot procession for the groom even if it’s a short trip from the parking area till the mandapam!