Staff Correspondent

MANGALORE: The 37th annual free mass marriage will be held on April 30 at the Sri Kshetra Dharmashtala, near here, during the auspicious Godhuli lagna at 6.36 p.m.

A press release from the Dharmadhikari of the Sri Kshetra D. Veerendra Heggade here on Monday said that the practice of conducting mass marriage was started in 1972, with the idea of sending out a clear message against the evils of the dowry system.

As many as 88 couples entered into the wedlock in the first mass marriage and 10,334 couples have tied the knot in the last 36 years, Mr. Heggade said.

The kshetra management committee would provide a dhoti and a shawl for the groom, and a sari, blouse piece and “mangalsutra” for the bride.

The marriages would be conducted according to rituals followed in the castes to which the couples belong, he said.

Harshwardhan Lodha, Director of Lodha and Company, Kolkata; Jayaraj, Principal Secretary, Rural Development and Panchayati Raj, Government of Karnataka; K.V.R. Tagore, Commissioner, Information Department; Ramesh Aravind, cine actor, producer and director, will participate in the mass marriage function and bless the couples.