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Ramleela in Varansi

 

 
 

The rich cultural heritage and age old traditions makes varansi the cultural capital of India. For centuries varansi is center of attraction due to Indian philosophy, education, mysticism and spirituality. Being associated mainly with Hindu religion varansi is a home of numerous temples, ashrams and muths. Almost every month some festival or cultural event is celebrated here. The festive mood never seems to end in Varanasi. Ramlila presents various episodes in Lord Ram’s life, his trials and tribulations and his eventual victory over Ravan, the king of demons. Ramlila has received a considerable global attention, especially where Hinduism has spread over the centuries. UNECO has declared the tradition of Ramlila a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity in the year 2005. The Ramnagar Ram Leela at Varanasi is enacted in the most traditional style. This ramlila was started in the first quarter of nineteenth century by then the Maharaja of Benaras Udit Narayan Singh. From then onwards this age old tradition continues to represent this great epic in a unique style. Hundreds of Sadhus called the 'Ramayanis' come to watch and recite the Ramayana.

Generally Ram Leela is enacted on a single stage but the Ramnagar Ram lila is an exception. Here the whole town is transformed into a vast Ram Leela ground as permanent structures which represents the main locations like Ashok Vatika, Lanka ,Panchvati etc. of  the epic. The audience moves along with the performers with every episode, to the next location. The most amazing thing about the Ram Leela of Ramnagar is no use of electric lights, mikes and loudspeakers in the performances, even when the audience number in thousands. The Ramlila is held over 31 days instead of usual 10 in most part of the country. Many Muslims in Varanasi are giving a distinct meaning to their age-old brotherhood with Hindus here by participating in the annual Ramlila, This represent the secularity of India.

 
 
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