Ramlila means Rama’s lila or play is the dramatic folk re-enactment of the life of Rama according to the Ramayana, the Hindu epic. It refers to the thousands of Hindu God Rama and related with dramatic plays and dance shows that are played during the annual autumn festival of Navaratri. The enactment portrays the legendary war between good and evil. After the enactment, the ramlila celebrations climax in the Dusshera (Dasara, vijayadashami) night festivities.
The Ramlila festivities are called one of the intangible cultural heritages of humanity and it was declared by UNESCO. Hindu cities of Ayodhya, Varanasi, Vrindhavan, Almora, Satna and Madhubani- the cities of Uttarpradesh, Uttarakhand, Bihar and Madhya Pradesh the festival takes place in these places which plays the hosting role .
Ramnagar ki Ramlila is a festival held in Varanasi which lasts for 31 days. On the festival days the entire town turns into one big stage and the story of Ram unfolds. There were plenty of Ramlilas occurring around India. But this has been called the world’s oldest Ramlila performance which has been performing from the last 200 years in Varanasi.
Moreover, the artist performs various scenes in different parts of Varanasi which is named after the places in the epic such as Ayodhya, Lanka, Ashoka Vatika and more.the artist who performs it follows the so-old school way, they do not use microphones and there are no loudspeakers in place. The scenes were performed under natural lighting and all the actors are of age below 18 and are chosen on the basis of their voices and acting skills by the maharajas of Banaras.
The traveller who want to gain offbeat experiences, who is fascinated by history and doesn’t mind navigating his/her way through huge crowds would defineitly love this great experience at the Ramnagar ki Ramlila festival.
The reason behind why should go for the festival then it is a way of paying devotion with hymns, theatrical performances and grad ritual including processions with elephants and the Ramacharithamanas chanting. The festival itself is the festival which upholds India’s rich heritage and culture and its core.The UNESCO had acknowledged it though it is a raw, local and cultural gem.
There will be stalls which will be having the popular Banarasi delicacy like paan, puri bhaji, jalebis and all the delish grub you can have while enjoying the play.
There will be 12 wise seated in concentric circles on the stage who will be reciting the verses from Ramacharithamanas. The festival is not only getting an insight into the soul of India, also you get to rub shoulders with Indian of all classes.
All the characters were played by boys and men only. There are no ladies in the cast. The main cast of Rama, Lakshman, Sita, and Bharat are played by boys under age of 16. These boys are Brahmins with knowledge in Sanskrit. For the next one month these children are considered divine by the spectators.
The storyline about Ramlila is composed by Saint Valmiki which has been taken from the great Indian epic Ramayana.