Lord Rama teaches us many leadership and life skills throughout his 14-year exile. He lost his throne, his wife was kidnapped, and he nearly died during the battle in Lanka. Even in the face of such terrible trials, he never strayed from the road of goodness, honesty, or morals. And in the end, he emerged victoriously.
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The epithet Ramlila ( Lord “Ram; Embodiment of Dharma”, and Sanskrit term “Leela” which means “play.”) is a dramatic folk reenactment of Rama’s life based on the ancient Hindu epic Ramayana or literature based on it, such as the Ramcharitmanas. It is practiced throughout northern India during the Dussehra celebration, which is observed each year in October according to the ceremonial calendar. Ayodhya, Ramnagar, and Benares, as well as Vrindavan, Almora, Satna, and Madhubani, have the most representative Ramlila.
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Ramlila is a communal event. People take part by acting as an audience, playing different roles, and making the arrangements. The key theme of Ramlila is the triumph of good over evil, as depicted by the heroic battle between Sri Ram and Ravana. It is put in place to impart essential social and religious teachings. The spectacular performance of Ramlila concludes with the Dussehra festival, during which the statues of Ravana are burned and fireworks and celebrations take place.
While it is exciting to participate in our own city’s Navratri celebration, it is always more interesting to sneak a peek at other cities that are also enjoying the same festival. We have prepared a list of the top locations in India where spectacular Ramlila performances take place.
Best Places to Watch Ramlila in India
Ramlila at Ramnagar, Varanasi
The legacy of hosting the Ramlila in Ramnagar, Varanasi, which is located across the Ganges river from the Hindu pilgrimage city of Varanasi, was established in 1830 by Maharaja Udit Narayan Singh, Kashi Naresh with the assistance of Pandit Laxmi Narayan Pandey’s family (present Vyas Ji of the Ramlila of Ramnagar). It went mainstream during the reign of his successor, Maharaj Ishwari Prasad Narayan Singh, and received continued patronage from subsequent Maharajas of the Royal House of Benares to create a grand participatory environmental theatre (Site-specific theatre), with attendance ranging from a few thousand to 100,000 for others.
Ramlila at Aishbagh, Lucknow
The city of Nawabs is a dazzling display of culture and diversity. The Aishbagh, built by Asaf-Ud-Dowlah, is a prominent Ramlila celebration location. Shri Ramlila Samiti is known to perform in this area, and people from all over the city gather to watch the Ramlila performances during the Navratri celebration. Last year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited the Aishbagh grounds during the Dussehra celebrations.
The Hilly Ramlila of Almora, Uttrakhand
Almora, away from the autumn breeze, offers a Ram Leela with a chill in the air. This musical spectacle is the purest expression of musical art. Uday Shankar created this form while living in the town of Uttarakhand. Talented actors lend a touch of class to this time-honored art form.
Satna Ramlila, Madhyapradesh
Ramlila was started in the city of Satna in 1897, the history of this place is 122 years old. The history of Ramlila in Satna is 122 years old. It was started in 1897 from Bihari Chowk. Then there were neither local artists nor enough resources. Despite this, the scope gradually increased. Today, more than 100 congregations perform Ramlila at different places across the district. Most of the events take place during Dussehra.
Ramlila at Delhi
- Delhi’s Shriram Bharatiya Kala Kendra: Have you ever wished for a Ram Leela with a touch of classical choreography? If you answered yes, Delhi’s Shriram Bharatiya Kala Kendra, located just close to Mandi House, the national capital’s cultural hub, is your best bet. It is an Indian cultural institution that operates a piece of renowned music, dance, and performing arts school. Special effects, costumes, and sets add to the ambiance of this one-of-a-kind Ram Leela, which also includes English translation. However, this is not a free service.
- Ram Leela Maidan in Delhi: This Ram Leela is likely the oldest in the city, taking place at the Ram Leela Maidan outside Zakir Hussain College. This location is the primary choice for any political agitation. During Navratri, however, the committee takes charge. This Ram Leela was initiated roughly 180 years ago by Mughal monarch Bahadur Shah Zafar.
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These are the Top 5 Best Places to watch Ramlila in India was originally published in BuyUcoin Talks on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.