2,143 couples recently tied the knot during a mass wedding ceremony in Baran, Rajasthan, India, setting a world record for the most couples married in 12 hours.
They also broke the record for the most couples married in 24 hours, which was set by 963 Yemeni couples in 2013.
Both Hindu and Muslim marriages were conducted during the event.
It was organized by Shri Mahaveer Goshala Kalyan Sansthan, a registered trust committed to “serving the marginalized sections of society.” Their goal was to help underprivileged members of the public get married.
The record-breaking couples began gathering at the venue, located on the outskirts of Baran city, on the morning of 26 May. Less than six hours later, they were all married.
The ceremony commenced with each bride and groom exchanging garlands, which were made from yellow, pink and red flowers bunched together on a string.
Each couple also received blessings from state leaders, including the Chief Minister of Rajasthan, Ashok Gehlot, and Cabinet Minister Pramod Jain Bhaya.
Once each couple had garlanded each other they were escorted to the Mandap area, where they would be officially married. The Mandap is a sacred pillared structure which serves as the altar for Indian weddings.
There, the couples performed a ritual known as ‘saptapadi’ whereby they circled a holy fire seven times. This is considered to be the most important rite of a Hindu wedding ceremony.
Each couple had their marriage officiated by a qualified priest or official from their respective communities; the Hindu priests came from Gayatri Parivaar, whilst the Muslim Quazis were invited from nearby areas.
Government officials present at the site issued marriage certificates to each couple upon completion of the rituals.
Each couple was also given an assortment of gifts, including jewellery for the bride; a mattress with bedding; kitchen utensils; and household appliances such as a television, a refrigerator, a cooler, and an induction cooker.
Food was also served to all the newly-wed couples, in addition to the thousands of guests who were in attendance.
Most of the couples were from the Baran district of Rajasthan, which is predominantly agrarian and has been identified by Niti Aayog, the Indian government’s foremost think tank, as a “backward district,” meaning it faces several challenges regarding education, social mobility, and economic development.
Getting married can pose a significant challenge for women in the area due to their financial constraints.
The Shri Mahaveer Goshala Kalyan Sansthan trust has been facilitating marriages for underprivileged women since its establishment in 2002, and they hope that this world record will inspire others to contribute to similarly noble causes in India and beyond.
More mass marriage records
- Most couples married underwater simultaneously: On Valentine’s Day 2001, 34 couples from 22 countries simultaneously exchanged wedding vows 10 metres (32.8 ft) underwater near Kradan Island, Thailand
- Largest mass wedding ceremony in a prison: 120 inmates of Carandiru prison, Sao Paulo, Brazil, married their fiancées in a mass ceremony on 14 June 2000
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