The month of September/October corresponding to the month of ‘Ashwin” according to Hindu calendar holds significant importance in Indian culture as almost all major festivals are observed in this period.
During this in north India navrartis’ are celebrated with great fervor in the east it’s the Durga Puja and how you can forget the dandiya and garba dance associated with the festivities in west. Well, this time we are focusing on the other aspect of this period which is mostly prevalent in northern India preceding the Dussehra that is staging of Ramlila’s.
Well it’s hard to say that how and when the staging of Ramlila started but according to popular belief it was Goswami Tulsidas who started the staging of Ramlila to preserve the Indian cutlture and moral values. According to popular belief the first Ramlila was staged during the reign of mughal emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar.
The staging of the Ramayana is based on the Ramacharitmanas, the sacred text to the glory of Rama, the hero of the Ramayana, was composed by Tulsidas in the sixteenth century. Ramlila, meaning “Rama’s play”, is a performance of the epic Ramayana in the form of a series of scenes that include song, narration, recital and dialogue. It originated in Kashi modern day Benaras. The most representative Ramlilas are those of Ayodhya, Ramnagar, Benares, Vrindavan, Almora, Sattna and Madhubani.
In the capital city of Delhi Ramlila is staged with much fanfare and aplomb in almost all corners of the city. But the most famous Ramlila’s of the capital are those staged by the Shree Ramlila Committee at Ramlila ground and is patronized by many eminent personalities including the likes of ministers and prime ministers and is believed to be the oldest running Ramlila of Delhi. Other important Ramlilas are the once staged by the Luv Kush committee at red fort grounds and Dharmik Leela Committee, which stages Ramlila at Subhash Maidan opposite Red Fort.On the tenth day, the effigy of Ravana is burned, symbolizing the victory of good over evil. The Ramlila brings the whole population together, without distinction of caste, religion or age.