Monday, November 29, 1999

Day of ceremonies; wedding halls overbooked for auspicious muhurat

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Ashish Abhyankar, one of the hundreds of bridegrooms in the city on Sunday — Akshaya Tritiya day — had started searching for a wedding hall four months ago. He soon realised how late he was, for most of the halls had been booked for the day in December 2009 itself. After trying eight halls in the heart of the city, Abhyankar had to finally settle for a hall on Sinhgad Road, around 10 km from his Sahakarnagar home.It was a day of marriages, engagements and thread ceremonies (maunjibandhans ) in the city on Sunday. Over 700 wedding halls (mangal karyalayas), besides around 125 banquet halls and lawns in Pune, were booked for an estimated 1,000 ceremonies, read marriages, engagements and maunjibandhans."Akshaya Tritiya is one of the three-and-a-half very auspicious muhurats in a year. As it was the first muhurat of the year that came on a Sunday, the rush is understandable," said Pandit Vasantrao Gadgil of Sharada Dnyanpeetham.He said the rush was more significant this year as it was the first muhurat after "Adhik Maas", which comes after every two-and-a-half years. "People avoid arranging ceremonies during Adhik Maas. This year Adhik Maas was from April 15 to May 14. Hardly any wedding or maunjibandhan took place during this period. Also, muhurats were from 11.30 am to 11.45 pm; weddings could be conducted from morning to night."He said most people try to arrange ceremonies in April and May as it is summer vacation time that makes it easier for relatives to attend the functions. "This year, due to "Adhik Maas", the actual season began today."According to Punit Oswal, owner of Yash Lawns at Bibwewadi, his venue was booked six months in advance. "We have two lawns that hosted three weddings today — two in the morning and one in the evening."Vidyadhar Mhalgi, manager of Swapna Shilpa Hall at Kothrud that hosted a thread ceremony on Sunday, said the hall was booked two months ago. "From April 15 to May 14, only one wedding was held at the hall. Now, from today onwards, the hall is virtually booked everyday till June 28, as there are shubh muhurats ahead."Mhalgi said people from outside the city too preferred to conduct their functions here. "The main reason is good food and better facilities."

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