- Ramlila, literally “Rama’s play”, is a performance of the Ramayana epic in a series of scenes that include song, narration, recital and dialogue.
- It is performed across northern India during the festival of Dussehra, held each year according to the ritual calendar in autumn.
- The most representative Ramlilas are those of Ayodhya, Ramnagar and Benares, Vrindavan, Almora, Sattna and Madhubani.
- This staging of the Ramayana is based on the Ramacharitmanas, one of the most popular storytelling forms in the north of the country.
- Ramlila was inscribed on the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2008.
Why in News?
- As far as traditions of folk theatre go, Ramleela is one of India’s most famous, performed across north India during the autumnal Navratri celebrations.
- Variations aside, it basically is a dramatic re-enactment of Tulsidas’s Ramcharitmanas, telling the story of Lord Ram. Major incidents in the epic are covered in an episodic way, with an interplay between dialogue and musical verses. Performances last days, and culminate on Dussehra with the burning of the effigy of Ravan, representing the victory of good over evil.
- In this broad form, Ramleela has travelled to distant corners of the world with the Indian diaspora.