India

Indian man holds 'wedding' for monkey couple

Monkey wedding in Bihar
Image caption The "couple" were taken in a procession atop a flower-bedecked SUV

More than 200 villagers in northern India have attended an elaborate Hindu wedding ceremony for two monkeys.

The wedding was organised by the owner of the monkeys, who said the male was "like an adopted son" to him.

The ceremony took place on Monday evening in Bettiah district in Bihar state, with the "bride" dressed in an orange frock and the "groom" wearing a yellow T-shirt.

Monkeys are revered idols in Hindu mythology.

The 13-year-old male monkey named Ramu and his bride, a female monkey called Ramdulari, were taken in a procession on top of a flower-bedecked SUV, accompanied by music and dancing. Hundreds of villagers lined the route to greet the "couple".

Udesh Mahto, a daily wage worker who has three sons, said Ramu was "like my eldest son".

"I wanted to marry him off first," he told BBC Hindi.

Mr Mahto brought Ramu from Nepal about seven years ago, and later bought Ramdulari from a village fair.

"Initially they didn't get along well. But later they began liking each other, so I decided to marry them off," he said.

Image copyright Ashok bhatt
Image caption Hundreds of people turned up at the wedding procession - the monkeys were changed into new outfits for the ceremony

A local Hindu priest Sunil Shastri "solemnised" the wedding.

"Initially I was wary of performing a monkey wedding, but I later relented after seeing that Mr Mahto was serious about it," he said. "We picked an auspicious day and time for the ceremony."

Wedding cards were printed and a band was hired to play at the wedding. Guests were served a feast.

Many people from neighbouring villages turned up to see the procession and take pictures which they posted on social networking sites.

In 2008, some 3,000 people turned up for a similar "wedding" of two monkeys in eastern Orissa state.

The two monkeys, who were kept in chains, were released by their owners after the marriage.

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