How to Build a Mandap

by Karen Curinga

Items you will need

  • 8 PVC pipes, 1 1/2 inch by 10 feet
  • 4 PVC elbow connectors, 1 1/2 inch
  • 4 matching flowerpots, 24-inch height
  • Floral foam
  • Fabric
  • Scissors
  • Safety pins
  • Flowers
  • Floral garlands
  • String lights

In Hindu tradition, the wedding ritual is performed under a four-poster canopy, called a mandap. The decorating of the mandap varies from region to region in India, but the basic concept remains consistent—to bless the bride and groom. Various rituals are conducted under the mandap during the ceremony, such as an exchange of garlands. Red, gold and silver are traditional canopy colors. Create a mandap frame from PVC pipe to have a portable structure that you can conveniently assemble for indoor or outdoor use.

Step 1

Place a 10-foot PVC pipe in each of two bottom 90-degree openings on one of four PVC elbow connectors, leaving the third elbow connector opening facing up.

Step 2

Attach another elbow connector, top opening facing up, to the free ends of each previously connected pipe.

Step 3

Place another 10-foot pipe in each remaining bottom opening of these two elbow connectors. Create a square by inserting the two remaining free 10-foot pipe ends into the 90-degree openings in one more elbow connector, top opening facing up. You now have a 10-by-10-foot square that serves as the top of the completed mandap.

Step 4

Insert one 10-foot PVC pipe in each of the four elbow connector openings that face up, creating the mandap columns.

Step 5

Set one 24-inch-tall flowerpot at each corner of the 10-by-10-foot area intended for the mandap structure. Fill each pot with floral foam.

Step 6

Invert the 10-by-10-foot PVC structure. Insert one PVC column into each of the four flowerpots, firmly pushing each pole through the floral foam for stability.

Tips

  • All items needed for the mandap are available at home improvement centers, fabric stores and floral supply stores.

    Traditional colors for the mandap fabric include red, deep gold and silver. Generally, rich materials such as silk are used to drape the mandap. However, the colors and fabrics are a personal choice.

    To decorate, you might fill each flowerpot with fresh greenery and flowers; drape fabric over the mandap top and down the back back of the structure, creating a backdrop; and drape fresh or artificial marigold, rose and jasmine garlands to give a traditional look to your mandap. You might also decorate the four columns by winding them with floral garlands and small string lights or by draping fabric from the top of the structure down over the columns, covering the flowerpots, securing the fabric midway up the column with a floral bouquet. Place a couple of decorative chairs in the mandap for the bride and groom.

Photo Credits

  • Creatas/Creatas/Getty Images