All about the 200-yr-old cultural extravaganza Large number of pepole, including many foreigners, arrive annually to watch the huge processions and performances at Ramnagar Ramlila. The world famous Ramnagar Ramlila – which many consider to be the oldest in the world, being over 200 years old – began in Varanasi on Thursday. Traditionally, it begins on Anant Chaturdashi and continues for 31 days.
From the stage, artistes, sound and light technicians to its sets and decoration, everything is exclusive about this Ramlia. It is known for its lavish sets, dialogues and the visual spectacle. It has been recognised as an intangible world cultural heritage by UNESCO.
The Ramlila is staged in the backdrop of the famous Ramnagar fort, under an open sky and with only traditional lamps (panchlight) being the light source. Young boys play the character of Lord Ram, his brother Laxman, Bharat and Shatrughna. They practice for the Ramlila under the guidance of the priest. Through all the 31 days, the Ramlila draws a large number of people from Varanasi. They walk to the Ramlila venue daily from the ancient city after crossing the Ganga. It is not uncommon to find foreigners in the audience as many visitors come from far off places to watch the enactment..