Ramlila is a dramatic presentation of the whole life of Lord Ram, which starts from the history of the Ram of his young age and ends up with the battle for 10 days between the Lord Ram and Ravan. According to the great Hindu epic Ramayana, Ram Leela is an old religious and cultural tradition that plays on stage every year for the 10 successive nights. A big fair is held during this period and everyone enjoy fair and Ram Lila drama.
Culture and Tradition
Ram Leela at Ramnagar Varanasi is held for one month along with the huge fair at ramllila ground. Dussehra festival starts at the Sharad Navratras. At the day of Vijayadashami, Ram defeat and kill the Ravan and ground become full up of the sounds of crackers and fireworks. Everybody enjoy and dances for the victory of truth over the evil power. Ravana’s brother Kumbhakaran and son Meghanath are also killed by the Lord Ram in the battle. After the long battle Ram come home and then abhisheka of Rama takes place in the Ayodhya Nagari.
Rama avatar is considered as the 7th living form of Lord Vishnu. The whole Ramayana is based on the history of the Lord Ram along with his wife and brother. Lord Ram is known as the Maryada Purushottam means the supreme one among the most dignified. Ram Leela has more importance in the Indian culture. At most places in India, Ramlila held in Avadhi version of the Ramayana, Ramcharitmanas. Ramlila during dusserhra attracts the global attention of the people.
History of Ramlila
It is believed that the ancient Ramlila shows were organized by the Megha Bhagat, the follower of Tulsidas (author of the Ramacharitamanas). At the time of Mughal emperor Akbar, Akbar had watched the performance and was very happy. Today’s Ramlila performs in various styles according to the several regions custom in Uttar Pradesh. Most famous and prominent Ramlila fair is held at the Ramnagar, Varanasi in the fort of King Kashi Naresh. Uniquely, Ramlila staged at Chitrakoot by the eager devotees for five days annually.
Ramlila at Ramnagar Varanasi
The traditional staging the Ramlila fair is held at the Ramnagar, Benares (fort of the Kashi Naresh) located at the banks of the river Ganges. It was started by the Kashi Naresh Maharaja Udit Narayan Singh in the year 1830. It got fame in all the areas of the Ramnagar and Varanasi as well as nearby area of the Varanasi. A large pilgrim crowd come here to see the fair and Ramleela . The Ramnagar Ramlila is apprehended for 31 days and famous for its fulsome sets, conversations and illustrious display.
The whole Ramnagar city serves as a set in order to represent the various scenes for Ashok Vatika, Panchavati, Janakpuri, Lanka etc. Local actors at the Ramnagar play a variety of characters of the Ramayanas. Some of the important roles are the Ram, Ravana, Janaki, Hanuman, Lakshman, Jatayu, Dashrath, and Janaka. Dussehra festival is started by the parade of the Kashi Naresh rides on a colorful elephant. Hundreds of the priests are there to narrate the Ramcharitmanas text.
At the closing stages of each episode daily, an arti is executed by the priest with the chants of Har Har Mahadev or Bolo! Raja Ramchandra ki Jai. The environment becomes full of sounds of the audiences there. After all an attractive jhanki is presented there in front of fort. On the last day of the Ramlila over a million pilgrims arrive there to see how Rama conquers the demon king Ravana.
India is a territory of the numerous festivals which held each year with cycle of the seasons. Fairs and festivals with different mythological interpretation in India make an integral part for the Indian Culture and Heritage.