The Wedding vows in the Tamil Vanniyar community are taken very seriously. The bride and groom consider these sacred and maintain a sacred relationship for the rest of their lives together. The main ritual in Vanniya kula Sathriyan caste, that gives them the confidence and inspiration to stay committed to their relationship is the Kanganam'.
What is ‘Kanganam’ Ritual in Tamil Vanniyar Kula Kshatriyar Wedding?
During the main wedding ceremony, the bride and groom appear in their wedding finery at the dais. The Brahmin purohit who is responsible for conducting the marriage rituals up to the mark asks them to be seated in front of the Holy Fire. There is continuous chanting of powerful Sanskrit mantras which fills the venue with positivity and purity.
There is a beautifully placed pan that has rice mixed with turmeric. On top of this, a coconut decorated artistically with turmeric and Kumkum is also placed. All these items are considered to be auspicious and are present in most rituals.
The Ritual and its Significance
Once the couple is seated, the Purohit asks the bridegroom to place his right hand over the coconut. A thread, which has been previously dipped in turmeric solution and dried, is tied onto his wrist. Next is the turn of the Bride. She is asked to place her left hand on the coconut. The bridegroom is given the task of tying the thread onto her wrist. The Kangan Dharan as the ritual is called, is believed to be a sign that nothing can come in between the couple and the wedding will be conducted successfully. The couple is not allowed to leave the venue after this ritual.
During the kanganam kattuthal function, the Holy fire is kept alive by feeding it continuously with clarified butter. The scented aroma of ghee together with that of incense sticks, lighted lamps and camphor add to the pious atmosphere of the wedding venue. This simple, yet powerful ritual gives the couple the courage, to be honest, true and steadfast in their relationship towards each other.