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Liz-Arun wedding: Foreign guests to get a taste of Indian royalty

From Vedic mantras to palanquin, the Jodhpur ceremony will have all the ingredients of a royal Indian wedding.
IANS | By HT Correspondent, Jodhpur
UPDATED ON MAR 09, 2007 03:17 PM IST

British-model actress Liz Hurley and her Indian-born businessman husband Arun Nayar are finally set to tie the knot again in royal Indian style Friday, after enjoying a night of campfire and dance in the middle of the desert.

The celebrity couple along with their 250 guests spent Thursday night in luxury tents erected specially for them in the 4th century Nagaur Fort, 140 km north of Jodhpur.

"Over 125 Swiss tents with five-star amenities were put up for the guests and they really enjoyed every minute of their stay in Nagaur," a source in the fort told IANS.

Nayar also took part in the traditional Bandoli ceremony, where the groom sits on a horse a day before the wedding and takes a round of his area.

"He sat on a white, decked up horse and took a round of the fort," the source said.

The guests of the celebrity couple also had a Rajasthani experience, with some going on a camel safari while others watching an impressive horse dance to the tune of the royal Jodhpur band.

The food served included Indian, Continental and Rajasthani, the source said, adding that people danced to jazz, rock and Carnatic music late into the night.

Hurley and Nayar are to marry Friday evening in the Umaid Bhawan Palace where a special marble platform has been set up, replete with flowers and rangoli designs. Over 250 people have been invited.

"Five priests would first blow the conch shell after which the couple would tie the knot amid the chanting of Vedic mantras. The couple would take rounds of the holy fire," the source added.

Some of the priests have also been asked to translate the Sanskrit verses into English for the foreign invitees.

After the ceremony, guests would be taken in luxury coaches to Mehrangarh Fort, where a grand reception, complete with Shenai and Dhol (drums), awaits them.

Perched on a 150-metre-high hill, Mehrangarh is one of Rajasthan's most magnificent forts built by Rao Jodha in 1459. The newly weds are likely to travel in a palanquin to the fort's summit.

Rural melodies by Manganiars and Langas, folk singers of Rajasthan, and traditional dances like Ghoomar and Tehra will enhance the setting at the gala dinner at the Moti Mahal. The cuisine will be a lavish mix of Indian, Continental and Mexican.

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