To appease the rain gods due to heatwave and water crisis, residents of Udupi in Karnataka arranged the marriage of two frogs on Saturday, June 8. The marriage ceremony, which was called 'Manduka Kalyanotsava', was conducted to get the much-needed rain in the region as the south-west monsoon made its way to Kerala after a delay of 10 days.
The frogs, named Varsha and Varuna, got married in a grand marriage ceremony, which was organised by the Udupi Zilla Nagarika Samiti Trust and Pancharatna Trust. This was conducted after the procession of the two frogs from the Maruthi Veethika ended at Hotel Kidiyoor.
In a video that has gone viral in social media, shows Varsha and Varuna with small garlands around them, and a woman tying a mangalsutra around Varsha's neck amid a lot of fanfare and celebration. Both were married at an auspicious time of Simha Lagna, as per Hindu traditions, and the two frogs were returned to their cage.
They will be sent to Mannapalla Lake near Manipal for their honeymoon.
"Four frogs were brought in, and a zoologist's help was sought to pick 'Varuna' and 'Varsha', a male and a female. We organised this ritual because Udupi is facing acute drinking water shortage and hope it ends soon," Nagarika Samiti, the general secretary of Nithyananda Olakadu was quoted as saying to Times of India.
"This kalyanotsava was organised as per Hindu rituals. Despite criticism, we are doing this for betterment of society and for rain," Tharanath Mestha, a social worker said.
According to The Hindu, the wedding invitation read, "Chi. Varun, son of Kalsank, with Chi. Sou. Varsha, daughter of Kolalgiri Kilinje. The wedding party will come in a procession from Maruthi Veethika, pass through KEB Office, Mitra Hospital, Old Diana Circle, and culminate at Kediyoor Hotel here."
It added, "To solve the massive water scarcity in Udupi district, prayers would be offered to the rain god, Sri Varuna, along with wedding of frogs ('manduka kalyanotsava'). This episode will take place at Hotel Kediyoor in Udupi."