A cow and a bull have been married off in a lavish Indian wedding – costing £10,000.
More than 5,000 villagers turned up to watch sacred cow Ganga and Prakash get hitched during the 1 million rupee Hindu ceremony held near Indore in Madya Pradesh.
The nuptials were organised by Ganga’s guardian, Gopal Patwari, to save the region’s harvest from a ‘natural disaster’.
He said:: “Natural calamities like hailstorms and heavy rain occurred in nearby areas, destroying their crops.
“To prevent this from happening to our villages we organised this wedding on the advice of Sadhus and holy men.
“We have been told this will maintain peace in our village.”
The wedding took two months to organise and invitations were sent to 10,000 residents of three closely connected villages, encouraging them to donate what they could spare.
Most are farmers growing wheat, barley, beans and cotton and so heavily depend on a good harvest to survive.
CowGanga, who is considered sacred in the Hindu religion, arrived early dressed in a red custom-made bridal saree, jewels, dyes and a garland.
The bull Prakash arrived in a decorated bugee and draped in a multicoloured sherwani and orange turban.
The ceremony started with Mr Patwari giving Ganga away before a Sadhu performed all the traditional rituals.
This included Haldi, Ganesh Pooja, Mandap and Fera – where the couple are led around a sacred fire to affirm the marriage.
Mr Patwari looked overjoyed as they were finally announced a couple, sparking hours of feasting and dancing to a DJ.
He said: “I am happy. People around me are happy. Everyone is happy.”