Ramlila is nothing but a stage representation of Epic Ramayana. Epic Ramayana is based on the life and times of Lord Rama, the Maryada Purushottam or the 'The best among the dignified'. The story of Lord Rama and his entourage is so popular in India that it has become a part and parcel of Indian psyche. The story of Ramayana injects ethics to the Indian mainstream.
Ramlila or Ram Lila as it is written some times, is the stage
adaptation of that very Ramayana. This play is generally staged during
the annual Dussehra festival in Uttar Pradesh that culminates to
Vijayadashmi; the day Rama became victorious by annihilating Ravana, the
symbol of evil. The play is staged in 10 segments where one segment is
staged everyday. Most of the times, all the actors are mare even the one
representing female protagonist.
Ramlila of Uttar Pradesh has a charm of its own. There are as many as 4
different schools of Ramlila in Uttar Pradesh only. The first one is the
pantomimic style with a predominance of jhankis - tableaux pageants. The
second one is the dialogue - based style with multi - local staging. The
third and the fourth one are the operatic style that draws its musical
elements from the folk operas of the region and the stage - Ramlila of
the professional troupes called "mandalis", respectively.
Though Ramlila is staged all over the UP but the ones that are staged
in cities like Varanasi, Ram Nagar and Chitrakoot have charms of their