Bhandari are immigrants from Maharashtra. The word Bhandari means store keepers, i.e. the one who is in charge of food grainsor the treasury. Though the community considers itself at par with other communities in the social hierarchy, it is placed below the Brahmans and Koli Patel, but above artisan castes like Lohar, Darji etc. and also Scheduled castes and Scheduled tribes. Their marriage is a solemn affair and is quite unique comparing to the rituals of their neighboring communities. Just last week I was invited to a Bhandari marriage ceremony by an ex-employee of mine. In the morning we were escorted to the bride's house for the betrothal ceremony. Then a ceremony called Cheranaghatta was performed during which the groom's posse revisited the bride's residence and received dowry.The marriage date was finalized in the month of Mahaphagum or Vaisakh of the Hindu calendar. I was excited to see the bride as I had heard that Bhandari Brides looked very beautiful. Three days prior to the wedding, both bride and groom were anointed with turmeric paste for haldilagane ceremony. On the day of marriage, groom's maternal uncle brought his wedding clothes for him, as per the rules of masalalana ritual. Afterwards, lord Ganesh was worshipped. Marriage rituals were concluded with the bridal couple taking seven rounds of the sacred fire which was followed by a lavish marriage feast. Then the bride went to my friend's house where nuptial ceremony tales place. I took my host's leave the next day. The whole affair was beautifully arranged and I will always cherish these memories.