Planning a Wedding for a Traditional Sikh Indian Ceremony

Goa is undoubtedly a popular location to tie the knot. As a wedding planning team we cater to various cultures and traditions for various types of communities, here is a look at the customs and rituals commonly performed at a Sikh marriage. Although these rituals may vary with the community, it is more to provide you with a overview of  the customs.

The Gurdwara or the Sikh Temple is the location for the Sikh Anand Karj (Ceremony of Bliss). The Gurdwara is located at Betim, near Panjim City and the other in Vasco-da-Gama. The ceremony begins with the arrival of the Baraat at the Gurdwara riding on a horseback accompanied with a young member of the family. The Sikh Prayer called Ardaas is performed by the family and friends of the bride and the groom as soon as the Baraat arrives. After this prayer the Milni ceremony commences which is the exchange of greetings by hugs, garlands and wishes by the brides and grooms family.

After this initial greeting guests then proceed towards the main hall of the Gurdwara where guests are served tea and breakfast. Hymns are sung by the Ragis from the Sri Guru Granth Sahib which is the Holy Scripture of the Sikhs. The men and women are seated opposite on each sides facing the Sri Guru Granth Sahib. After everyone takes their seats, the bride enters the hall followed by the members of her family. The bride and groom are then seated facing the Sri Guru Granth Sahib and wait for the ceremony to begin.

The ceremony starts with the Sikh priest called the Granthi calling for the Ardaas, in this ritual the couple along with the parents stand and give their consent publicly to the children to tie the knot. Out of respect to Sri Guru Granth Sahib , the bride and the groom touch their foreheads to the ground every time they asked to stand up or sit down during the rituals.

Following the Granthi, the Palla ceremony begins. Here the scarf that traditionally is worn by the groom on his shoulder is placed in the bride’s hand by her father, this signifies the leaving of his daughter from his care to her husbands.

The Anand hymn that comprises of four stanzas  is read out by the Lavaan. The hymm which is by Guru Amar Das symbolically describes the husband and wife’s love for each other and is depicted as a connection between the soul (wife) and God (that is the husband). After these mantras are recited the bride led by her groom grabs the end of the scarf and walk around Sri Guru Granth Sahib in a clockwise direction, the Lavaan stanza is  recited here by the Ragis. Following each round the couple has to sit and listen to the next stanza recited by the Granthi. After each reading the couple circles around the around Sri Guru Granth Sahib four times to complete this ritual.

After the Lavaan has been completed, the Guru Amar Das is recited that is followed by preaching’s and singing of hymns called as the Kirtan. The ceremony formally concludes after the final Ardaas have been recited that leads to everyone present in the hall to stand. Soon after, a random page of the Sri Guru Granth Sahib is opened and read for the occasion(Hukamnama). To mark the conclusion of the ceremony of sacramental pudding called as the Karah Prashad is served to everyone, following this everybody exits the Gurudwara and heads over for a community meal (Langar).

*Kindly note this is only a brief description, practices and rituals may vary