Looking for a groom? You’re in luck. For over 700 years, India has held a unique groom market where women and their families can come shop for potential husbands.
Every year, thousands of men gather in the local market area of Madhubani district, in the Indian state of Bihar. There, they wait to be chosen by their prospective brides. The nine-day groom market called Saurath Mela or Sabhagachhi was allegedly started by Raja Hari Singh of the Karnat dynasty over 700 years ago.
The market made it easier for a woman to find the perfect husband for all her needs. Each groom is priced based on their capability and skills, which includes their family background and education.
It seems like a wild concept but several Maithili women pick their husbands this way, as it’s easier for them and their families to see all the options out there. When browsing through the available men, it’s common to ask for proof such as birth certificates and school credentials. If they find someone that’s a match and that they can afford, the two parties start discussing the details.
As expected, engineers, doctors and government employees tend to be the most sought after and the younger the better. Despite dowries being illegal in India, the groom market helps to eliminate the practice even more.
The groom market definitely isn’t nearly as popular as it was only a few decades ago but that’s mainly because more convenient options, like online dating apps, are available. Regardless, it still draws thousands of bachelors, some of who travel from far and wide with high hopes of being chosen.