We haven’t featured a Coorg wedding on WeddingSutra nor have we attended one, so when photographer Mark Swaroop shared his work we were excited to see the photographs.
Roshni and Narendra who live in the US, decided to host their wedding in their ancestral town. So the destination was chilly Coorg, just before Christmas. A Coorg wedding is perhaps the only Hindu wedding, where the rituals are conducted without a priest and there is no puja; and where alcohol and meat is always served. The groom claims his bride after a member of his clan has killed mock banana trunk soldiers after which the elders bless the newly married couple.
Mark Swaroop tells us more: “I had been to Kodagu weddings in Bangalore, as a guest and as far I remember the bar was open early and stayed open. The food is brilliant non-vegetarian fare, and there is a lot of dancing.” Shooting a Kodava wedding is a different experience altogether, says Mark: “Its a fun and happy ceremony and very regal- the clothes worn by the clan are an expression of the regal status. There was never a person who turned and waited to be photographed. It was so personal. People only wanted to bless the couple.”
The groom wears a white kupya (robe) with a chele (sash) and a churidar. The white brocade turban imparts a majestic look
The bride wears a red silk sari with dots draped in the signature Coorgi style. Teamed with a red long-sleeved blouse and a red veil that covers her head. The sari is handed down as an heirloom
Gold jewellery is worn on the hair, ears, wrists, fingers and neck. Silver jewellery for the feet and a jasmine garland complete the look
They worship their ancestors and therefore there is no priest. After the honour of cutting the banana plant stems, an elder guides the families through some rituals. The rest of the ceremony is family and friends blessing the couple with rice
A land of chivalry and pride, a life of solitary splendour, rich food and spices
If the men are known to be very strong, Coorg women are known for their beauty and confidence