Ramlila is a dramatic folk re-enactment of the life of Lord Ram, ending up in ten-day battle between Lord Ram and Ravana, as described in The Ramayana. The play is staged annually at this time and sometimes stretches over the full ten days culminating in Rama firing a burning arrow at the giant effigies ofRavana,his brother Kumbhakaran and son Meghanath This effigy is very often made of straw with crackers inside, so is a spectacular sight. The coronation of Rama at Ayodhya takes place, marking the end of festivities.
Fifteen days before the place meant for Ramleela celebration is worshipped which is generally known as ‘BhoomiPujan’. Thereafter a pandal is erected with Gates of decorated facades. A Mela is organized within the venue premises where foodstuffs, eatables, snacks & drinks etc are available for the public.
Ram Lila at Delhi
Ramleela began to be celebrated in old Delhi under the patronage of Mughal emperor Shah Jahan after he moved his capital from Agra in the mid-17th Century. The main Ramleela celebrations from the 17th to 19th centuries used to be held behind the Red Fort on the Yamuna bank, with the Moghul Emperor watching from the balcony infront of the ShahiHamams of the fort.The effigies of Ravana and his kinsmen first began to be burnt during the reign of last Mughal emperor (1837-1857). The tradition continues till today and although, Ramlila is enacted in hundreds of places in Delhi but the most elaborately costumed professional enactment is done at two places, Ramlila Grounds and Red Fort Grounds.
Even today large crowd gathers every year to witness the spectacle of the ten- headed Ravana being burnt with much fanfare in Delhi.
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