The festive season has kicked off in style in India. Navratri 2017 has started in India from 21st September and Ramlila shows have begun. The auspicious festival of nine days will end on 29th September. People across the country observe fast to mark this nine-day festival. In several places like West Bengal, Gujarat, Maharashtra, etc Pandals are set up and feasts are served. Ramlila used to be very popular during the 90s. Our parents used to hold our hands and take us to the place where stories from Ramayana were being enacted. The decorated stage, actors wearing colourful costumes, street foods - all are still so fresh in our minds. Though, the tradition of Ramlila is still alive in rural areas, in cities there are handful of performances. If you are missing those childhood days, here are the top five places in Delhi where you can watch Ramlila.
Shri Ramlila Committee
This Ramlila is the oldest and the most traditional in the entire Delhi. It began 180 years ago, when the team performed in front of Mughal king Bahadur Shah Zafar and his army and since then it has continued undisrupted. During the festival, everyday at 6 pm there is a parade from Esplanade Road in Chandni Chowk to the Ramlila Maidan. Actors in their costumes walk through the lanes of Old Delhi and it is a delight to watch. The committee still resorts to the traditional method of fireworks on Dussehra. Entry is free.
Address: Ramlila Maidan, Asaf Ali Road, Near New Delhi Railway Station
Lu Kush Ram Lila Committee
This Ramlila is known for its starry performances by Bollywood celebrities. The Committee established in 1979 organises star-studded Ramlila with professional music and stunts. However, this year the stage will be graced by politicians.Vijay Sampla, Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment will portray the character of Nishad Raj whereas Delhi BJP President Manoj Tiwari will play Angad. The main attraction of the function is Dussehra when Ravan is burnt with special effects. John Abraham is the chief guest of the event this year.
Address: Lal Qila Maidan (Red Fort Ground) at the Red Fort
Shriram Bharatiya Kala Kendra
The Indian cultural institution that is know for its school of arts has been organising Ramlila dance-drama since 1957. Their Ramila is a combination of classical and folk dance, special effects, etc. This is the only Ramlila in Delhi which can be enjoyed by people who do not know Hindi as there is an English translation of the dialogues. The accessories of actors are made of jute mats. The entry fee is Rs 100.
Address: Shriram Bharatiya Kala Kendra theater lawns, 1 Copernicus Marg (off India Gate)
Nav Shri Dharmik Leela Committee
The committee which separated from Shri Dharmic Leela Committee in 1958 cater to the interests of new generation. The performance is enhanced by hi-tech sound sytems and equipments, LED screen, hydraulic lifts, etc. However, the artists are all traditional actors from Muradabad. Notably, it has Delhi's tallest effigy of Ravan, also, huge fair is held with rides and lip smacking food stalls.
Address: 5 August Park, opposite Shri Digambar Jain Lal Mandir near the Red Fort
Shri Dharmic Leela Committee
Branched off from Shri Ram Lila Committee is 1923, this Ramlila is known for hosting national dignitaries like Prime Minister and President. Other major attractions of this place is chaat bazaar and stand-up comedy performance. The actors basically belong to Muradabad and Bareilly of Uttar Pradesh
Address: Bagichi Madho Das Maidan, Chandni Chowk