Weddings are always special affairs. It is most important moment in life for a boy and a girl. This December I had an exclusive invitation to attend a traditional wedding in Kinnaur district of Himachal Pradesh. One of my friends was getting married in a traditional arranged marriage of the Himalyas. It would take me to Tapri, a small town in kinnaur district. It is about 10-12 hours drive from New Delhi but if you use public transport it takes around 16-17 hours to reach Tapri. I had boarded a bus from New Delhi to shimla. I reached shimla around 7 in the morning and from here I boarded a bus to Tapri and it took me around 6 hours to reach there. It was a little town but bustling with people. The new hydro power projects in the area have brought people and vehicles to once isolated Tapri. One of my friends was at the bus stop to pick me up by foot. What a beautiful place to have your home I was thinking as we trekked up the hills to reach my friends house. On the way I could see beautiful and majestic Himalayas on all sides dotted with apple orchards and river flowed silently down below in the valley.
It was getting dark and cold but once we reached at wedding venue I could notice that celebrations were in full flow. I was garlanded and a welcome tilak was put on my forehead. I met all my friends and was soon part of the celebratory mob. However I was shocked to know that I was late and wedding party has just returned from girl’s house! But no worries I was happy as real wedding fun starts when bridegroom comes back with his bride.
Bridegroom was all decked up in traditional wedding gear with a khukri in his hand and lots of garlands around his neck and bride was looking beautiful in her traditional wedding attire and all those wedding jewels and traditional ornaments complimented her looks. Everyone was wearing kinnauri caps which were specially made for all the guests, I also got one. All the women folk were singing traditional Kinnauri songs to welcome the marriage party and the newly wedded couple. I noticed everyone was wearing garlands made of dry fruits along with flowers so I inquired and found out that those dry fruit
garlands acted as refreshments on the long trekking routes which as you walk a lot in kinnauri weddings! No kinnauri wedding is complete without local liquor and rams meat. Almost 500 liters of liquor and around 25 rams were consumed in the wedding! Everyone was very friendly and soon I was also part of the celebratory mob we all danced to tunes of kinnauri songs. The hills were filled with celebratory tones and loud cries of happiness and joy. We all danced till we dropped. Dinner was served and soon everyone was ready to call it a day. It was a wonderful experience which I would never forget I said to myself and soon got lost in my dreams.
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