Ramlila, one of the eminent Performing Arts of Uttar Pradesh, is a stage representation of Epic Ramayana. People from far away lands come to watch the fascinating proceedings of Uttar Pradesh Ramlila.
Ramlila, the performance based on the story of Lord Rama, is believed to have been initiated by great Saint Tulsidas. The Ramcharitmanas penned by him forms the foundation of Ramlila performances till today. However, in some places, Ramlila is linked with Vijayadashmi celebrations held in late September or early October as well as with Rama Navami, Lord Rama's birthday.
Ramlila in Uttar Pradesh is presented as a cycle-play. The story generally varies from 7 to 31 days. Uttar Pradesh Ramlila performance stirs up a festive ambiance and enables observance of religious rituals. At this event, you can also catch a glimpse of the varied crafts such as masks, headgear, costume jewelry, make-up as well as decoration.
The four chief Ramlila styles are - the pantomimic manner with a dominance of tableaux pageants, called jhankis in common parlance; the dialogue - based approach with multi-local staging; the operative method which derives its musical constituents from the folk operas of the area; lastly, the stage Ramlila performed by the professional troupes who are better known as "mandalis".
In Uttar Pradesh, Ayodhya, considered the birth place of Lord Rama, is admired for mandali Ramlila. The performance is based on dialogues and is performed on a stage. High standards of performance are aptly complemented by songs, kathak dances and attention-grabbing decor.