Among the many rituals of a Hindu marriage, tying Thaali (a sacred thread), also known as Mangalyam, serves as the most important and essential ritual of all.

During the wedding, the groom ties the thaali amidst the melam thaalam, while the attendees bless the couple by showering them with rice and flowers.

The couple will only be regarded as husband and wife once the groom ties the sacred thread around the bride's neck, with exactly three knots. Tying the thaali is known as 'mangalya dhaaram' and the three knots are known as 'moondru mudichi'.

But why three knots and what are the significance of these knots?

The groom only ties the first two knots, while his sister or anyone in similar relation ties the remaining one knot. However, in some instances, the groom ties all the three knots.

During mangalya dhaaram, the priest will recite Vedic chants:

Mangalyam tantunanena mama jeevana hetuna
kanthe bandhami subhaage twam jeeva sarada shatam

Which bring the meaning of:

I am trying this sacred thread around your neck, which is essential for my long life. May we have many auspicious attributes for a long and happy life for a hundred years.

The first two knots tied by the groom signify the commitment of the couple and to assure the well-being of the bride. Meanwhile, the third knot tied by the groom's sister signifies commitment between the two families.

The three knots can also signify three promises by the husband to his beloved wife, which are known as manasa, vaacha and karmena. Which means, believing it, saying it and executing it. But these are not the only significances, as there are many reasons behind the three knots:

Source: Maalaimalar, Aninfinitejourney, CustomsTraditions, Tokillamimingbird, Quora, and IndianMirror
Image credit: Iamproudtobe and MaalaiMalar