Marriage is one of the most important moments in anyone's life. When it comes to Tamil Brahmin Iyengar weddings in India, there are so many customs and rituals associated with it right from finalising the Tamil muhurtham dates for the wedding to the post wedding celebrations. There are quite a few pre-wedding rituals conducted for the well-being of the bride and groom out of which Pandal Kaal Muhurtham takes a significant place in most Hindu weddings.
Pandal Kaal Muhurtham is a pre-wedding ritual that is usually held three days before marriage. It is also one of the first rituals that kick starts the marriage celebrations. Pre-wedding prayers are offered at an auspicious time to ensure that the wedding takes place without any hindrance and is also a way to let others know that the family is hosting a wedding.
A tall wooden or bamboo pole is erected in a corner, outside the house. The pole is decorated with banana stem and leaves, flowers and auspicious items such as turmeric and vermilion portraying fertility. Sumangalis (Married women whose husbands are still alive are called Sumangalis) are invited for this ritual as they are considered to be a representation of the Goddess of Luck, Wealth and Prosperity . The elders in the family then bless the groom and bride for a happy future together.
It is believed that the familial lord resides in the pole and hence they seek its blessings for a smooth-sailing marriage and marital happiness. This ceremony is also believed to help protect the bride and groom from any evil spells.