Panda Kaal Muhurtham is one of Tamil culture’s most significant pre-wedding rituals. It is a sacred ceremony that takes place before the actual wedding day and marks the beginning of the wedding preparations. It is also referred to as “Panda Kaal Naduthal”.
Informant: AA is a 50-year-old woman born in India and living in London, UK for the last 25 years. She is my aunt. She is a General Physician practicing in London.
Interviewer: What is your understanding of the words “Panda Kaal Naduthal”?
AA: The word “Panda” means auspicious and “Kaal” means time. Therefore, Panda Kaal Naduthal is the auspicious time that is selected for the wedding ritual. It is done usually 3 or 5 days before the wedding day. This is based on the bride and groom’s birth chart, which is known as the “Jathagam” in Tamil.
Interviewer: Can you explain in detail who and how the auspicious time is determined?
AA: The date and time of the Panda Kaal Naduthal is suggested by a professional astrologer who takes into account the position of the stars, planets, and the moon. The astrologer also considers other factors such as the date and time of birth of the bride and groom, their zodiac signs, and the alignment of the planets at the time of the wedding.
Interviewer: Can you elaborate on what happens during this ritual?
AA: During this ceremony, a bamboo stick is first cleaned with water, milk, turmeric, and sandalwood paste. It is then decorated with flowers, mango leaves, and turmeric powder. Typically 7 or 9 married women will hold the bamboo stick and the priest recites mantras and prayers, seeking the blessings of the gods and goddesses for a successful and happy wedding. The bamboo stick is then placed in a pot filled with water and sand, symbolizing the start of a new journey for the couple.
Interviewer: Why do they use the Bamboo Stick?
AA: The bamboo stick is cut from a healthy bamboo plant, which is considered a symbol of strength, resilience, and longevity. The bamboo plant is also known for its ability to grow quickly, which is seen as a sign of prosperity and growth.
Interviewer: How do you know all these?
AA: This ritual was performed during our wedding. Also, over the years, within our friends and family circle, I have attended more than 25 such rituals and learned this from elders, parents, and priests.
In Tamil culture, the Panda Kaal Naduthal is considered very important, as it sets the tone for the entire wedding ceremony. It is believed that if the Panda Kaal Naduthal is not performed at the right time, it could bring bad luck and affect the marriage in a negative way. The bamboo stick is also considered a symbol of the groom, as it is believed that the groom represents the bamboo plant, which is strong, resilient, and able to withstand any challenge. The bamboo stick is therefore used to bless the groom and to ensure that he is successful in his life ahead. It is believed that the bamboo stick will bring good luck and prosperity to the couple and protect them from any obstacles that may come their way. The Panda Kaal Naduthal is a testament to the rich cultural heritage of Tamil Nadu and is an important part of the wedding ceremony.