Kashi Yatra ritual is a traditional event where the groom pretends to leave for Kashi to gain more knowledge and become a saint instead of entering the Grihastha Ashrama (married life) but is lured back by the bride's family to get married. It is a fun custom which starts when the groom’s party arrives at the wedding venue or on the wedding day. The groom pretends to leave for Kashi to become a scholar. At that time the bride’s father stops him and offers the groom his daughter.
Items needed: The items needed for this event are an umbrella for protection from heat and rain, coconuts as a snack, rice, walking stick and a dhoti for change.
The Drama Unfolds in Tamil Brahmin Iyer Weddings - The Kashi Yatra
- The groom takes a bamboo umbrella, walking stick and pretends to leave for pilgrimage
- The bride’s father stops him by holding the groom's hand and enlightens him about grihastha ashram
- The bride's father convinces him that the path to salvation and Moksha is taking up the second stage of life which is the Grihasthashram
- He talks of how the daughter will make a great partner for his Vedic rituals and soul mate who will help in his spiritual journey
- He gives gifts to sweeten the deal for the groom
- The groom accepts the offer and returns to complete the wedding ceremony
- The groom keeps the umbrella with him which will remind him of the duties towards the bride
Though in modern days this event looks irrelevant it still talks of the meaning of marriage and the need for partners to stay together through good and bad times. Nowadays Kasi yatra details in Tamil are also available as books and online resources like TamilBrahmins.com and LoveVivah.com.