Haridwar, literally Gateway to God, is one of the Hindu holy places in India and a center of Hindu religion and mysticism for centuries. Located on the banks of River Ganges (Ganga), at the point where the Ganges descends from the hills to the North Indian plains, Haridwar attracts a large number of Hindu pilgrims from all over the world.
Hari means “Lord Vishnu”. So, Haridwar stands for ” The Gateway to Lord Vishnu”. In order to reach Badrinath, one of the four Char Dhams, with a temple of Lord Vishnu, Haridwar is a typical place to start a pilgrim’s journey. Therefore, the name Haridwar.
A varmala or jaimala is an Indian wedding garland symbolic of the popular marriage ceremony. Following regional traditions, the varmala might be made of rose flowers and/or other ceremonial stuff decorating it. The additives range from Rupee notes to other flowers to other family based traditions.
The Varmala Ceremony takes place after the Baraat and also signifies the start of the wedding rituals.
According to tradition, Varmala’s consist of a variety of colorful flowers that also adorn the Mandap and wedding venue. Roses, carnations, marigolds, and orchids are all used to create the garlands used for the ceremony.
The saat phere (Hindi: सात फेरे sāt phéré “seven circumambulations”) is one of the most important features of the Hindu Wedding, involving seven rounds around a sacred fire lit for the purpose amidst the Vedicmantras.
1. In the first round or phera, the couple prays to God for plenty of nourishing and pure food. They pray to God to let them walk together so that they will get food.
2. In the second round or phera, the couple prays to God for a healthy and prosperous life. They ask for the physical, spiritual and mental health from God.
3. In the third Phera, the couple prays to God for wealth. They ask God for the strength for both of them so that they can share the happiness and pain together. Also, they pray so that they can walk together to get wealth.
4. In the fourth round, the couple prays to God for the increase in love and respect for each other and their respective families.
5. In the fifth round, the bride and groom together pray for the beautiful, heroic and noble children from God.
6. In the sixth round around the fire, the couple asks for the peaceful long life with each other.
7. In the final seventh round, the couple prays to god for companionship, togetherness, loyalty and understanding between themselves. They ask God to make them friends and give the maturity to carry out the friendship for lifetime. The husband says to his new wife that now they have become friends after the Seven Vows/Sat Phere and they will not break their friendship in life.