Swayamvara (Sanskrit: स्वयंवर), in ancient India, was a practice of choosing a life partner, among a list of suitors by a girl of marriageable age. Swayam in Sanskrit means Self and Vara means choosing or wanting.
In this practice, the girl's father decides to conduct the Swayamvara of the daughter at an auspicious time and venue, and broadcasts the news of this to the outside world. Kings, typically used to send messengers to outside lands whereas commoners arranged to spread the news within the local community.
On the appointed day and venue, a list of suitors arrive at the girl's home and ask for her hand. The girl and her family get to choose among the suitors, sometimes through evaluating the completion of various tasks assigned. When the girl identifies the husband of her choice, she garlands him and a marriage ceremony is held immediately.
The concept of Swayamvaram is still continued today but with a difference. In the Swayamvaram of olden days many princes from neighbouring places used to assemble at the brides place and the fittest and most intelligent of them all finally won the bride's/princess hand in marriage.
Swayamvara is now happening online too. Chennai based Swayamwara.com - is one finest website that offers online swayamvara interface. Thousands of Indian families particularly south Indian Tamils are using this online swayamvara and successfully finding their ideal life partners with ease. The modern day Swayamvaram however has a twist to it. Several young eligible singles both men and women meet at a common place, interact and sometimes choose a partner. Lately an Internet Matrimonial Company called BharatMatrimony.com conducted one such event called the Mega Swayamvaram 2007 in Chennai, India. It was a huge success and over 10,000 singles from various castes of the Tamil speaking community attended.
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