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 in 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-day 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-starrer 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 such as 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.
Believed to have been the birthplace of the Hindu deity, Lord Ram, the Ram Janmabhoomi translates to Ram’s Birthplace. A highly revered site for Hindu devotees, Ayodhya is believed to be the place where Ram, Lord Vishnu’s seventh manifestation, took birth and grew up according to the Indian epic Ramayana.
Dedicated to the Hindu God, Hanuman, Hanuman Garhi is a 10th-century temple. It is customary to visit Hanuman Garhi before visiting the Ram Temple in Ayodhya, which makes it one of the most important temples in Ayodhya. It is said that Lord Hanuman used to live at the temple site to guard Ayodhya.
Constructed in 1891, the Kanak Bhawan was built in the northeastern corner of the Ram Janmabhoomi in Tulsi Nagar. This temple is widely popular by the name of Sone-ka-Ghar. Dedicated to the Hindu deity Lord Rama and Goddess Sita, Kanak Bhawan is one of the holiest sites in Ayodhya.
Located adjacent to the Theri Bazaar in Ayodhya, the Nageshwarnath Temple was established in the name of the local deity, Lord Nageshwarnath. It is said that the temple was built by Lord Rama’s son, Kush.
Situated in Vaidehi Nagar, the Gulab Bari is also known as the Garden of Roses. Gulab Bari is the tomb of Nawab Shuja-ud-Daula, the third Nawab of Faizabad, and his parents. Currently preserved as a part of national heritage, Gulab Bari is listed under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act.
Home to numerous idols including that of Lord Ram, Sita, Lakshman, Hanuman, Bharat, and Sugreev, the Treta Ke Thakur Temple is situated along the Naya Ghat of Ayodhya. These idols are believed to be carved out of a single black sandstone.
Ramnagar Ramlila 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, and 1800km via Srinagar-Kanyakumari highway, from Delhi, Mumbai, 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. 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.
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. 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.
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.
Q. What is Ramnagar Ramlila?
Ans - The Ramnagar Ramlila is a cycle of plays that depicts the life of Lord Rama and the epic of Ramayana. This cultural activity is believed to be more than 200 years old.