royal wedding rohet alwar

Rajasthan is as known for its culture and cuisine as it is for its concentration of royal families. When we think of the quintessential fairy-tale wedding, it’s the palaces and havelis of the state that one imagines. So, it’s only a given that the coming together of its two royal households is sure to have been a grand affair, steeped in pomp and tradition.

Kunwar Avijit Singh of Rohet and Maharajkumari Manavika Kumari of Alwar | Sanjay Photography

Kunwar Avijit Singh of Rohet and Maharajkumari Manavika Kumari of Alwar | Sanjay Photography

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“We wanted a wedding that was true to our heritage, family traditions and history,” confesses bride Maharajkumari Manavika Kumari of Alwar of her wedding to Kunwar Avijit Singh of Rohet this February. The two were introduced by a family friend during the pandemic. “When we first met, I had a mask on the whole time. He only saw my eyes,” says the bride, who works as an advocate. They continued to meet as friends, and Avjit — who helms the four boutique heritage hotels run by House of Rohet — popped the question after a trek in Mussoorie, with his great grandmother’s ring.

 
 

Her mother designed her poshak for the mehendi, with fabric she purchased in Benaras | Sanjay Studios

 Sanjay Studio

 

Since traditional Rajput weddings are conducted separately in both the bride and groom’s homes, the celebrations were spread across Rohet and Alwar. The pre-wedding ceremonies typically conclude with the baraat travelling to the bride’s home for the pheras. The couple worked with Nanki Chawla Events and Design Sutra to bring their visions to life.

 

Celebrations in swing at the groom’s home | Sanjay Studios

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Haldi decor in Alwar | Sanjay Studios

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Haldi decor in Rohet | Sanjay Studios

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Rituals taking place at the Rohet home | Sanjay Studios

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The bridal haldi | Sanjay Studios

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The pre-wedding festivities for both were a series of poojas and functions like haldi, mehendi and myra, steeped in traditional rituals. The groom’s sister also threw him a Disco Safari party on the terrace of Rohet Garh. One of the evenings saw a performance by Priya Andrews Collective, and some impromptu tunes by renowned musicians Neeti Mohan and Ankur Tewari, who are both friends of the groom.

 
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Neeti Mohan with the groom and a few friends | Sanjay Studios

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The following evening was the nikasi ceremony, which is a celebration of the groom departing to bring his bride home. The baraat of 150 set for Alwar by road, with a lunch pitstop at Phool Mahal Palace in Kishangarh.

 
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The next morning, guests had the option of a safari in Sariska National Park, the former hunting grounds of Alwar’s maharajas. The wedding — a Vedic ceremony performed by nine priests — took place at the bride’s residence, Phool Bagh Palace, with dignitaries like HH Maharaja Gaj Singh Ji of Jodhpur, Tjokorda Raka Kerthyasa (the royal patriarch of Ubud, Bali), Rahul Gandhi, Vasundhara Raje, Usha Raje Scindia and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra in attendance. On the newlyweds’ return to Rohet, the family hosted a lavish reception for 700 guests, and an all-day celebration for the locals.

 
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Much like the ceremonies, the wedding ensembles was steeped in heritage too. The
groom’s entire wardrobe was designed by Raghvendra Rathore, who also hails from
Jodhpur’s royal family. Avijit’s achkan for the nikasi was created using his great great
grandfather’s achkan from the 1910s with gold brocade fabric that his mother bought in
Benaras 25 years ago. His cuffs, collar, cross belt and kamarbandh were family heirlooms,
last worn in 1918. He wore it with a red bandhej safa by Noor Mohammad, and the pocket
square and scarf were from House of Badnore. Avijit’s silver achkan for the reception was
fashioned from a fabric saved by his grandmother over the years. He paired it with a lilac
zari safa that once belonged to his great grandfather.

 
 
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Sanjay Studio
 

The bride’s repertoire was a series of poshaks and family heirlooms. Her mother designed her poshak for the mehendi, with fabric she purchased in Benaras. Manavika wore her great grandmother’s gold and tissue sari for the varmala exchange, with ruby and diamond earrings designed by Cartier for her great grandmother, Rani Anar Devi of Kapurthala. She finished this with a maang tika that had been in the Alwar family for generations, as well as a pigeon blood ruby necklace.

 
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Sanjay Studio
 
 
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For the wedding, she wore a red poshak with pure silver and gold danka work, commissioned by the groom’s grandmother for his future bride several years ago, along with jewellery from the Rohet family.

 
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Sanjay Studio
 
 
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Here are some more sneak peeks from the royal wedding:

 
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