(Last Updated on : 04/03/2016)
Mandap Decoration is an integral part of Indian Weddings
. A mandap is essentially a platform or pavilion, generally raised, temporarily erected on an open ground for the main rituals in Hindu
and Jain weddings
. It is either open or roofed by a decorated canopy or is open, and is supported by adorned pillars at the four corners. The main ceremonies of the wedding are carried out under the mandap
. Therefore, the decoration of a mandap is traditionally significant in weddings. Mandap decorations may vary from one region to another. According to Hindu traditions, the mandap should be erected on an open ground.
Types of Mandap Decorations
The wedding mandap is traditionally made of wood, although nowadays modern materials are used in constructing it. It is a four-pole canopy that is decorated in various styles. It usually comes as a set that includes pillars supporting a frame, royal chairs for the bride and the bridegroom, side chairs for parents and a pedestal for the sacred fire. It is often taken on hire from businesses and agencies that specialise in renting items of décor for an Indian wedding. Its use is very common, even among Indians residing overseas. The use of mandap is an ancient custom and described in the religious texts
like Ramacharitamanas, and various Sanskrit texts. The sacred fire at the mandap depicts illumination of mind, knowledge and happiness.
The bride is often escorted to the mandap by her maternal uncle, and the main rituals take place under the mandap between the bride and the groom. A ritual of jaimala is performed where they exchange decorative garlands.
The mandap can be decorated in bright combinations like red and silver that is believed to be the colour of prosperity. Mandap decorations are also theme based. Either it is embellished with rich traditional colours of golden and red, or eye-catchy colours like yellow, pink and green. In the traditional way, a mandap is adorned with kalash (pots filled with water), garlands of mango leaves, coconuts, banana leaves, natural and artificial flowers
, wall hangings and attractive artefacts. For lighting purposes, lanterns and candles are often used.
In the modern day though, people prefer mandap decorations inspired from western style to the traditional adornments. Colours like mauve, peach, lavender, shades of blue, faded pink and sea green are applied to give out a rich western sort of appeal. More of netted silver drapes are used. The use of fabrics, lights, crystals, fresh flowers like orchids, baby roses
, carnations and lilies, wrought iron unique shapes and other materials insuring all the religious aspects of the mandap, which include the four pillars and the havan
kund (fire pedestal) are nowadays completely modernised in design.