Ramlila is a play based on the classic Indian mythological epic Ramayana that narrates the chronicles of Lord Rama. Fondly known as Ramleela, this play is performed at every nook and corner of the country, especially in northern India, during Shardiya Navratri, which culminates into the Dussehra celebration. Ramnagar Ramlila is the most popular amongst all because it is known to be nearly 200 years old!
The local artists and children perform at this 31 days long play, and the preparations for costumes, stage set-up, and rehearsals begin months before the Dussehra. The entire ambiance feels like a colossal multi-starer concert that is attended and cheered not only by the local people but also by the devotees and tourists from across the globe.
Ramnagar Ramlila is organized at the Ramnagar Fort every year. According to the locals, the legends, and the archival documents, the first Ramlila was performed here in 1830, and since then, the royal family started organizing the play annually, which involves a grand budget and lavish preparations. The Dussehra celebration on the 10th day of Shardiya Navratri, also known as Vijayadashami, is the day when Ramlila ends. On this day, Lord Rama defeated Ravana, which marks the victory of good over evil.
The venue for this extravagant cultural affair is the Ramnagar Fort, which was built in the 1750s by Kashi Naresh Raja Balwant Singh. Ramlila is performed under the stars on a wide stage that is supported by an elaborate stage set up of light, sound, and backdrops. Besides the fort, various other locations, for instance, Lanka, Ayodhya, and Ashoka Vatika in Ramnagar, are used for the enactment of the popular scenes.
Ramlila that is organized at Ramnagar is also honored by UNESCO with the title of intangible world cultural heritage. Every year Ramlila begins on Anant Chaturdashi and goes on for about 31 days. Besides the lavish setup, priests also take part in Ramlila and recite verses from the holy book, which enhances divinity in the ambiance and enthusiasm among the crowd.
Ramleela celebrations 2021 have been scheduled to be performed from September 29th to October 08th (date may vary). Ramlila is one of the most popular festivals in India that is celebrated with equal zest and zeal by elders and children. Every year people arrive at Ramnagar to witness the oldest Ramleela in the country.
However, this year, keeping the COVID situation in mind, the celebrations for the same have been curtailed. But that isn't any reason to be sad. Yes, as this year for the very first time, the episodes of Ramlila will be uploaded digitally on @ghatwalk. This digital version of the Ramlila is the brainchild of IMS-BHU neurologist, Vijaynath Mishra.
Ramnagar Ramleela in Varanasi has made a mark on the world map by preserving our mythological heritage and promoting it by putting up a spectacular show every year. Ramnagar is approximately 875km via Agra-Lucknow expressway, 1400km via NH 52, 668km via AH 1, and 1800km via Srinagar-Kanyakumari highway, from Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, and Bengaluru, respectively. You can arrive at Ramnagar via roadways, airways, and railways. Some of the best travel options have been listed below for your reference.
Lal Bahadur Shastri International Airport in Babatpur is the nearest to Ramnagar. The airport is approximately 32km away, and it takes around 1 hour 30 minutes to cover this distance under normal traffic. We have listed the names of airlines that run non-stop flights from the major cities of the country along with the airfare estimate.
Delhi - Board Vistara or IndiGo flight from Delhi. The airfare starts from INR 1,600
Mumbai - Board GoAir or SpiceJet flight from Mumbai. The airfare starts from INR 4,000
Kolkata - Board IndiGo flight from Kolkata. The airfare starts from INR 3,000
Bengaluru - Board GoAir or IndiGo flight from Bengaluru. The airfare starts from INR 4,000
Varanasi Junction railway station is the nearest to reach Ramnagar. After deboarding the train, you may get on a taxi or local bus to reach Ramnagar, which is 13km away. This will take you 30 to 40 minutes depending on the traffic via Mirzapur - Varanasi Road and NH 44. Trains from across the country arrive here, hence you can opt for a train journey without worrying about the availability of trains.
Delhi - Board Poorva Exp Spl or Swatantrata S Spl from New Delhi and deboard at Varanasi Jn
Mumbai - Board Festival Spl from Lokmanyatilak Terminus and deboard at Varanasi Jn
Kolkata - Board HWH NDLS Spl from Howrah Jn and deboard at Varanasi Jn
Bengaluru - Board MYS BSB FEST Spl from KSR Bengaluru and deboard at Varanasi Jn
Another comfortable and economical option is to travel by road, wherein you may either opt to travel via interstate or intrastate tourist buses or may drive to Ramnagar in your/rented vehicle. Listed below is the estimate of distance and the best route to take if you are arriving from adjoining states or nearby cities.
Kanpur - 340km via AH 1 and NH 19
Lucknow - 315km via NH 31
Patna - 838km via NH 27
Ranchi - 412km via NH 20 and NH 19
Prayagraj - 130km via NH 19
You can plan your trip and create your own route to the city with Adotrip’s technically driven circuit planner. Click here.