Mudaliyar weddings are interesting as there are many rituals which involve the entire family. This is the perfect time to bond with family members and is a great occasion to have fun and excitement.
One special event that marks the beginning of the wedding celebrations in the Mudaliyar families is the ritual called Pandal Kaal. It takes place after the Nitchayathartham and three days before the wedding. The function is carried out in both the groom's as well as the bride's home.
What is Pandal Kaal Ritual in Tamil Mudaliyar Weddings & Why is it Significant?
An auspicious date and time, known as the pandakaal muhurtham, is fixed by an astrologer for this function. A bamboo pole is erected on the ground in the area suggested and it is cleaned with water, milk, turmeric and sandalwood paste. A knot is tied at the end of the pole using a yellow or red cloth. Mango leaves are also tied around the knot as it is a symbol of prosperity. The bride and the groom offer prayers at this place to Lord Ganesha. The significance of this ceremony is to conduct the wedding without any interruption. Moreover, the presence of the Pandal Kaal is a symbol to people that there is a wedding going to happen in that particular family.
The main ritual is carried out by 9 married women in the family. They place 9 varieties of pulses in 9 vessels and leave them to soak. The pulses are kept for germination and turn into sprouts the next day. The new sprouts symbolise new fresh beginnings. This is called Mozhakattuthal and these sprouts are nurtured till the wedding day. The ceremony is ended with an Aarthi and a coconut is broken to denote a happy ending to the event.
Each of the Tamil Mudaliyar wedding rituals carries a special blessing for the new couple as they begin a fresh phase of their journey together.