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Now, you may say "why have I ended all the way here to look at the picture of a tiger!" You have probably seen hundreds, or thousands, of pictures of a tiger. May even have seen one or two in a zoo! But wait!!

You see, South Bihar is one of the few places on this planet where this highly endangered species lives. The National Forest Service at Hazaribagh conducts a beautiful night tour of the jungle. There are public rest houses in Hazaribagh. This offers you a rare opportunity to catch sight of this majestic animal in the wild. Time is limited. They may completely disappear from this planet in a not too distant future. So hurry!

Patna Museum

[ The Building ] [ Prized Possession ] [ Imperial Statues ]


Chhath Scenes

[ Evening Worship at Home : A ] [ Evening Worship at Home : B ]

[ Morning Worship at the River : A ] [ Morning Worship at the River : B ]

[ Typical Offerings ] [ Festive Street ] [ More Street Scenes ]


Scenes from Bihari Hindu Wedding

A wedding in all communities in Bihar is a very elaborate affair. This is particularly true among the Hindu community. Traditionally, the ceremonies and festivities go on for three to four days. With the vast transition from an agrarian to service-based society in Bihar, the ceremonies have been condensed now to a one-day affair which takes place, not at the bride or groom's house, but very commonly,   in a local hotel. During the wedding season, hotels in every town and city provide large banquet halls and ready-made, highly decorated, colorful wedding mandaps (= altars, canopies) . Hindu weddings are performed only during particular months in a year when the stars are in the right configuration, hence the term - "wedding season". An individual couple's wedding date is set by an astrologer taking into account their horoscopes. The actual moment when holy matrimony is to take place is   determined very precisely by the astrologer. This is the moment when the ritualistic application of vermillion (sindoor) is performed by the groom on the bride's head and forehead, amidst chanting of holy verses (shlokas or mantras) by the priest (s) and also singing of very sentimental folk-songs. To a Hindu woman sindoor remains a very powerful and highly sentimental symbol for the rest of her life.

Key elements of a typical Hindu wedding are: preparation of the bride and the groom at their respective houses for the wedding, arrival of the groom at the bride's house accompanied with friends and relatives in a procession with much fanfare (brass bands, musicians of various other sorts, typical of which is the shehanai - a wind instrument; and much dancing on the street), welcoming ceremony at the bride's doorstep, presentation of ornaments, clothings and gifts to the bride by the groom's elders; giving away of the bride; the actual moment of matrimony, (the previous ceremonies tke place under a thatched canopy, the mandup or marwa); deaparture of the bride from her house to her new residence, namely, the groom's house; and her ceremonial welcome at the groom's place. A lot of feasting is interspersed among these ceremonies. As mentioned earlier, traditionally, all this is spread over three or four days; but nowadays it is all compressed in one day, or a single evening!

Take a look at this beautiful picture of a young Bihari couple as they begin their life's journey togther. Wish I could bring you the sounds as well, besides the sight. But few seconds of a sound clip won't do justice. So try to hear in your mind the lovely and sweet tunes of a shehnai, and the resounding notes of a big brass band as you view this picture.(The small dark smudges on the picture are an artifact. Sorry!)

More Images of Bihari Hindu Wedding

[ Picture 1 ] [ Picture 2 ] [ Picture 3 ] [ Picture 4 ] [ Picture 5 ] [ Picture 6 ] [ Picture 7 ]