The opulent wedding of the son of Bharatiya Janata Party’s Maharashtra chief Raosaheb Danve in Aurangabad on Thursday has set tongues wagging. Santosh, an MLA from Bhokardan of the state, tied the nuptial knot with Renu, daughter of musician Rajesh Sarkate, at the Jabinda Estate lawns of the city with 30,000 guests in attendance. Those present included Maharashtra’s entire council of ministers led by chief minister Devendra Fadnavis.
The wedding was preceded by video invitations that showed the would-be bride and groom romancing to the hit John Newman number ‘Love Me’.
Though rare, the ostentatious wedding was no exception. India has witnessed such big fat ‘band baaja baraat’ ceremonies even in the past.
Here are seven big fat Indian weddings that caught the eye and hit the headlines:
1- J Jayalalithaa’s foster son’s wedding
When: September, 1995
Former Tamil Nadu chief minister, J Jayalalithaa, received flak for the lavish wedding of her foster son Sudhakaran, the nephew of her close aide (now-jailed) Sasikala, in 1995. The ceremony saw a 2-km long route for the baraat, 10 dining halls with a capacity of 25,000 each. Jayalalithaa and Sasikala were reportedly covered in diamonds, and the wedding tent spread over 75,000 sq feet. The expenses included gift packets to the guests worth Rs 16 lakh, according to various reports at that point. The invitation to 1,000 VVIPs comprised a silver plate, a silk saree and dhoti, worth Rs 20,000 each, different reports noted.
2- Sahara Chief Subrata Roy’s sons’ double wedding
When: February, 2004
The wedding of Subrata Roy’s sons - Sushanto with Richa and Seemanto with Chandni - at the sprawling Sahara Estate in Lucknow in 2004 is perhaps the costliest in the list of extravagant weddings in recent times. Designers such as Rohit Bal and Sabyasachi Mukherjee were roped in for the dresses of guests and hosts. More than 100 dishes were served at the wedding attended by tinsel town superstar Amitabh Bachchan, sports stars Kapil Dev and Sachin Tendulkar, top industrialists, and many bigwig politicians including Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
3- Mining baron Gali Janardhan Reddy’s daughter’s wedding
When: November 2016
Bellary mining baron Gali Janardhan Reddy attracted criticism for the wedding which was said to have cost in excess of Rs 500 crore at a time the rest of the country was reeling under a cash crunch following a shock scrapping of high-value currency. The lavish wedding at the sprawling Bengaluru Palace Grounds of his daughter Brahmani with Rajeev Reddy came under tax officials’ scanner. The expenses included invitations to A-list film actors for entertainment and an elaborate set recreating the ruins of Hampi, the erstwhile capital of the Vijaynagar empire . Reddy, a former Karnataka minister jailed in 2011 on graft charges was released on bail in January 2015.
4- Lalit Tanwar, son of Congress leader Kanwar Singh Tanwar, weds Yogita Jaunapuria
When: Mach 2011
Where: New Delhi
The wedding of Congress leader Kanwar Singh Tanwar’s son Lalit Tanwar to Yogita Jaunapuria in 2011 is often referred as mother of all weddings in the national capital region. The lavish display of wealth on the city’s outskirts comprised a chopper (a Bell 429 helicopter) as a gift for the groom, tilak-shagun worth Rs 21 crore for the groom’s family, according to various reports. The main ceremony at Haryana’s Jaunpur village was attended by nearly 15,000 people, all reportedly given a shagun of Rs 11,000 each.
5- Mallika Reddy (granddaughter of GVK Group founders) weds Siddharth Reddy
When: June 2012
The wedding of GVK Group’s GV Krishna Reddy’s granddaughter Mallika Reddy saw jasmines being used for chandeliers. Chartered flights from Delhi and Mumbai were hired to ferry the 500-strong guests from the two cities. Actors Amitabh Bachchan and Shahrukh Khan were among the guests.
6- Hotelier Vikram Chatwal weds Priya Sachdev
When: May 2006.
Where: Mumbai, Udaipur and Delhi
American hotelier and former actor, Vikram Chatwal, tied the knot with model and investment banker Priya Sachdev at an extravagant soiree spanning Mumbai, Delhi and Udaipur. The family had hired jets to ferry guests from different parts of the world. Among those who attended was supermodel Naomi Campbell. According to reports, 50,000 kg of flowers and 3,000 candles were used for decoration at the three venues.
7- Chartered planes ferry guests at Nitin Gadkari’s daughter’s wedding
When: December 5, 2016.
A host of leaders flew in to attend the wedding of Union minister Nitin Gadkari’s daughter Ketaki in Nagpur on December 5 last year. Several chartered planes brought in the guests. Gadkari’s office said only 12 chartered planes ferried VVIPs for the wedding. Nagpur airport authority sources said at least 28 chartered planes from diverse locations landed at the airport till 5 pm on the day of the wedding. Ketaki, the youngest among Gadkari’s three children, tied the knot with Aditya, a Facebook employee from Nagpur, based in the USA.