South India is the area including the five southern Indian states of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Telangana, as well as the three union territories of Andaman and Nicobar islands, Lakshadweep and Puducherry, occupying 19% of India’s area (635,780 km2 or 245,480 sq mi). Covering the southern part of the peninsular Deccan Plateau, South India is bounded by the Bay of Bengal in the east, the Arabian Sea in the west and the Indian Ocean in the south. The geography of the region is diverse with two mountain ranges–the Western and Eastern Ghats, bordering the plateau heartland. Godavari, Krishna, Kaveri, Tungabhadra, Periyar , Vaigai , Palar River, Ponnaiyar, Thamiraparani rivers are important non-perennial sources of water. Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad, Coimbatore, Kochi, Trivandrum, Visakhapatnam, Vijayawada-Guntur, Rajamahendravaram-Kakinada, Vellore, Tiruchirapalli, Madurai, Mysuru, Mangalore and Kozhikode are the largest urban areas.
The Saptapadi (Sanskrit “seven steps”/“seven feet”; sometimes called Saat Phere: “seven rounds” ) is the most important ritual of Vedic Hindu weddings, and represents the legal element of the Hindu marriage ceremony. The couple conduct seven circuits of the Holy Fire (Agni), which is considered a witness to the vows they make to each other. In some regions, a piece of clothing or sashes worn by the bride and groom are tied together for this ritual. Elsewhere, the groom holds the bride’s right hand in his own right hand. Each circuit of the consecrated fire is led by either the bride or the groom, varying by community and region. Usually, the bride leads the groom in the first circuit. In North India, the first six circuits are led by the bride, and the final one by the groom. In Central India and Suriname, the bride leads the first three or four circuits. With each circuit, the couple makes a specific vow[clarification needed] to establish some aspect of a happy relationship and household for each other.