Ramlila- The longest running Opera in Human history

by Gargi Harjai November 29, 2021

ramlila- longest running opera in human history

Ramlila- A play on Lord Rama’s life is based on Ramacharitmanas, which was composed by Tulsidas Ji in the 16th century. He translated Ramayana in Hindi, which was originally written in Sanskrit and made this epic accessible to everyone.

For centuries, Ramlila has been staged every year during Navratri. Ramlila is the enactment of Lord Ram’s life, from birth till the victory over Ravana.

Ramlila is an important event in the religious as well as social calendar of not only in small towns and villages but also in many big cities. As a child, it was an annual treat to watch the Ramayana being enacted daily through this month.

The Ramlila engages many amateur and established actors, dancers, set makers, musicians and organisers. It’s that time of the year when the community of art takes over.

Among the more classy versions, the Ramlila by Delhi’s (Shriram) Bharatiya Kala Kendra was the most eagerly-awaited outing during the 1960s and Seventies
One of the best seen in the mid-Seventies in North India, which also travelled all over the country then, was the visiting Russian Ramayana.

Each Soviet actor was chosen for his/her attributes: Ram looked royal and benign; Sita dainty and tender and Lakshmana truly angry. The whole production was in Russian.

Ramlila is celebrated throughout India, but the most recognised Ramlila are done in Varanasi, Ayodhya, Benares, Ramnagar, Vrindavan, and MadhuBani. These places hold out the most elaborated and accurate representation of Ramlila and millions of people, including sages, locals, foreigners who come to watch the Ramlila.

Ramlila is a very old tradition, and even UNESCO declared Ramlila as one of the "Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity”.
Source- Wikipedia, The Hindu
Gargi Harjai
Gargi Harjai


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