Tying of the Knot – Granthi Bandhanam
It is common to associate the phrase “tie the knot” with wedding ceremonies, and marriages in general. During this particular ceremony, the couple is tied together before embarking on the signature Saptapadi ceremony (also known as the seven steps). Granthi Bandhanam quite literally translates from Sanskrit into ‘tying of the sacred knot’. The Bride’s brother ties a white cloth to the Bridal sari and the other end is draped over the Groom’s shoulder. The knot symbolizes the unity between the two families, bonding as one. A garland made of pure cotton, sometimes a string a gold threaded string, known as the ‘Varmala’, is placed around the necks of the couple and contains no knots, signifying no breaks in their union.
Although the knot symbolizes a unification of the two families, it also represents a solid bond between the Bride and Groom. Once the brother of the Bride ties and knots the cloth, the couple is connected – mind, body, and soul. Additionally, it implies that the virtues of the couple become stronger when they are combined.
After the knot is secured and the varmala is placed around their necks, the Bride and Groom begin the Saptapadi or Mangal Fera ceremony, depending on which region they are basing their rituals off of.
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