Kolkata: Bengal has always been popular for its rich culture and art and literature that prevail here. Bengali weddings are a huge affair and the people leave no stone unturned to make it a memorable one as well. The distinct style of Bengali weddings is not unknown to anyone and that is why people are keenly interested in knowing about the interesting customs that form a traditional Bengali wedding.
With time, the grace and tradition of a Bengali wedding is as it is and people still abide by the customs of their community. The attire plays a significant role in Bengali wedding, hence Bengali’s are quite fussy about that.
The dress of both bride and groom is purely traditional for a Bengali wedding and has an individualistic charm which has for centuries been mystical and exquisite.
The Bengali brides usually dons a Benarasi silk saree which is draped in a typical Bengali manner. The Bengali groom is equally excited on his wedding day and dresses up in traditional Bengali attire. The groom wears a silk dhoti which is teamed up with a Punjabi, and he wears a topor on his head.
The ‘Topor’ is the conventional headgear of the Bengali groom that is worn in Bengali weddings. It is usually white in colour, and is made from sholapith, which is the sponge wood plant or the cork tree. Since it is made from a tree, it is quite fragile and can be easily burnt.
The topor is known as a mukut in Hindu cultures. These are crafted by artisans who are called Malakars. Sometimes, the Topor is made of natural Shola while in some shops you will find it to be of an artificial material. The artisans use a kath or a specialised knife to craft designs on the Topor.
Historical Significance Of ‘Topor’
According to a legend, the Topor was created because lord Shiva wanted a special crown for his wedding ceremony. He commissioned his artiste Vishvakarma to create a headgear especially for him. Visvakarma was used to handling only hard materials so was unable to complete the job. The Lord summoned a young handsome man named Malakar to made the gear using shola ( Thermocol). Since then, the Topor is used extensively in Hindu weddings.
Importance Of The ‘Topor’
Topors made of Shola have a significant importance in Bengali matrimonials as they are known to bring good luck. As per tradition, the groom must receive the topor from the bride’s side, usually from the father-in-law and it is worn before the wedding takes place.
Conventionally, it is said that if the topor of any other accessory made of Shola breaks, it must be cast in water. According to tradition, the topor and accessories are emerged in a pond so that no one can destroy them. If a topor accidently catches fire, it is considered bad luck for the couple.
This beautiful and symbolic topor is a must for every Bengali groom and it enhances the look and the attire of the groom.