Royal Weddings in Ancient India

Royal Weddings in Ancient India

Indian history is replete with tales on royal weddings. Most of the royal houses married their princes into other royal families. That was the norm in ancient India. As a matter of fact that was the norm of the royalties throughout the world. A member of a royal family marrying a commoner was unheard of in ancient times due to the strict lineage rules that governed the royalties.

The Marriage Alliance

Marriage alliances were not restricted between two kingdoms that shared common borders. There are instances of royal families from different geographical locations and lineage forming marital bonds. Also more common were marriages between royalties of rival kingdoms to avoid conflict.

A Chola princess getting married into a royal clan of present day Maharashtra and the reason why Kolhapur got its name is also talked about, though little evidence can be produced in this regard.

Marriage bonds between royalties also served to solidify the bond of friendship among them. Very notable is the marriage alliance between Cholas and the Eastern Chalukyas. The marriage of Kundavai, the Chola princess, to Vimaladitya, the King of Eastern Chalukya is worth mentioning.

Marriage between royal members of Mushika kingdom (one of the Kingdom of the Tamil country in present day Northern Kerala) and the adjoining royal houses of Cheras, Cholas, Pandyas and Sinhala countries are mentioned extensively in Sangam literatures of Tamil.

The Swayamvaras

Most Indian literature abound with information on Swayamvaras. The most popular is the Swayamvara of Sita, the princess of Mithila where Rama, the princess of Ayodhya took part in the swayamvara and married her.

The concept is modern in its outlook where the princess got to select the husband of her choice. Kings and Princes from other royal houses were invited to the swayamvaras. They displayed their abilities before the royal audience and the princess was given a free hand in selecting her husband.

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