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In a Bihar village, grooms are on sale for as little as Rs 50,000: Report

Saurath village in Bihar's Madhubani district is known for its annual groom market, where male guardians of women come looking for matches for them.

August 11, 2022 / 02:06 PM IST
(Representational image)

(Representational image)

A village in Bihar still adheres to a 700-year-old tradition of putting men on display at a "groom market", which locals describe as one of the oldest matrimonial sites in the world, according to an Al Jazeera report.

Men undertake hours-long journeys to travel to Saurath village in Madhubani district hoping to find a suitable and rewarding match at an annual groom market. There, they are scrutinised by the male guardians of women.

One participant Nirbhay Chandra Jha, 35, stood at the market with a humble tag of Rs 50,000.  “Had I been younger, I could have easily asked for 2-3 lakh rupees,” he told Al Jazeera.

The organisers of the market say that though dowry is looked down upon in present times, people still gave and receive it in a hushed manner.

“If parents have invested money in making their son an engineer or a doctor, they would want a return on the investment, and dowry is seen as one of the ways to do it," Shekhar Chandra Mishra, one of the organisers, told Al Jazeera.


Thousands of women die every year, tortured for dowry by their husbands and in-laws. It has prompted governments to crack down on the practice.

This crackdown and "love marriages" have led to a decline in popularity of the groom market, organisers rue.

But many still see the market as a place to safely arrange a match for their children.

“When the marriage is done online, there is a risk of divorce and separation, but not when traditions are followed,” Muktinath Pathak, the father of a prospective groom, told Al Jazeera.

Markets for selling grooms and brides are not restricted to India. In Bulgaria, a Roma community has a tradition of putting young girls on display at a bride market.
Moneycontrol News
first published: Aug 11, 2022 02:03 pm
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