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Ten days of Ramlila

Dusshera is 20 days before Diwali. Ramlila startes 10 days before Dusshera. Ramleela is exactly 1 month before Deepawali.

In Ramlila Lord Rama who is 7th incarnation of Lord Vishnu is depicted. It starts with birth of Shri Ram and end up with the battle between Lord Ram and Ravana. You can consider Ramlila dramatization of the epic-Ramayana.

During Navratri Ramlilas are played in open-air theatre at night from 8 PM to midnight. The dialogues of the Ramlila/play are taken from Tulsidas's Ramcharitramanas. The original Avadhi verses are translated in Khadi Boli in some regions. There are groups of people or local Ramlila committees called mandalis who perform dramatic version of Ramayana.

Traditionally, the actors are amateur which are picked from social groups. A singer narrates the verses from the holy Ramayana related to the forthcoming scene during the transition between two scenes or when tension is building up. The dialog is improvised according to current situations and audience reactions.

UNESCO realized the cultural importance of Ramlila and due its diverse representation across the globe UNESCO declared Ramlila a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity in 2005. Every region has its own distinct format of Ramlila. The cycle of events from the great legend of Ramayan are played for different duration ranging from 7 to 31 days.

Ramlila is staged in Indian cities during month os October in Sharad Navratras. Navratri comes in beginning of the Autumn festive period. Ramleela ends with Dussehra when Ravana, Kumbha karana effigies are burnt. The actors of Ramlila dressed as Ramayan characters are held in procession, go to mela ground where the final battle is depicted. After Ram bhagvan kill Ravana then huge effigies of Ravana, Kumbhakaran and Meghanad Dussehra is celebrated.

Different styles of Ramlila

Ramlilas of Ayodhya, Varanasi, Lucknow,Satna,Madhubani, Almora are very popular.

These popular Ramlilas have sepcial styles. The jhankis is depicted in pantomime style. .

Theatrical style. These uses music a lot to tell story e.g. in Almora or Kumaon style.

The operatic style use folk theatre. Tradition of using dialogues and reciting couplets of Ramcharitmanas in choir remains intact. Ramlila "mandalis" stage melodrama for more and more active participation or involvement of audience.

Special Chitrakoot Ramlila continues for 5 days even in February. The Ramlila starts with Bharat-Milap on Mahashivratri.
3 day celebrations in Agra as Ram Barat is also famous. In this a marriage procession of Lord Rama guise is taken through roads of the city.

another unique example is Ramlila is staged at Bakshi Ka Talab near Lucknow. This start on dusshera and continue for 4 days . In this Ramleela e Muslim youths play the role of hindi God - Rama, Lakshman and Hanuman. .

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