- Unique wedding was planned to save the state’s harvest from ‘natural disaster’ caused by heavy rain
- Thousands of farmers clubbed together to pay for the ceremony in a bid to create some good luck
- Cows are sacred in Hindu culture and wedding sanctioned on advice from special holy men
- Ganga the cow arrived at the ceremony wearing a specially designed custom sari and flower garlands
- Prakash the bull arrived in a fetching orange turban while draped in a multi-coloured sherwani
A cow and a bull have been married off in a lavish Indian wedding – costing £10,000.
More than 5,000 villagers turned up to watch sacred cow Ganga and Prakash get hitched during the Hindu ceremony held near Indore in Madya Pradesh.
The nuptials were organised by Ganga’s guardian, Gopal Patwari, to save the state’s harvest from a ‘natural disaster’.
Most are farmers growing wheat, barley, beans and cotton and so heavily depend on a good harvest to survive.
So it was no surprise when more than 5,000 arrived in droves on Monday, April 14, to witness the no-expense-spared wedding – and few left disappointed.
Ganga, who is considered sacred in the Hindu religion, arrived early dressed in a red custom-made bridal saree, jewels, dyes and a garland.
Prakash looked equally stunning as he arrived in a decorated bugee and draped in a multicoloured sherwani and orange turban.
The ceremony started with Mr Patwari giving Ganga away before a Sadhu performed all the traditional rituals.
This included Haldi, Ganesh Pooja, Mandap and Fera – where the couple are led around a sacred fire to affirm the marriage.
Mr Patwari looked overjoyed as they were finally announced a couple, sparking hours of feasting and dancing to a DJ.
He said: ‘I am happy. People around me are happy. Everyone is happy.’
But like every couple, Ganga and Prakash will have to work at their marriage and they are expected to be faithful and start a family.
Mr Patwari, who was one of 25 co-organisers, added: ‘From here on we hope Ganga and Prakash lead a happy life together, just like a normal man and wife.
‘They will go on and have children who will be happy and prosperous.
‘We expect Hindus of our village not to forget our holy cow and remember their religion. The next generations especially should not forget. We want more weddings like this to take place in the future.’
The wedding took two months to organise and cost Rs 1million (about £10,000) – half the cost of the average British wedding.
Invitations were sent to 10,000 residents of three closely connected villages, encouraging them to donate what they could spare.
The special wedding had all the traditional rituals of a Hindu wedding including Haldi, Ganesh Pooja, Mandap and Fera.
Organisers hope that the nuptials will bring good luck to the farmers who paid £10,000 towards the ceremony after neigbouring regions were hit with monster hailstones and heavy rain.