Top 5 Ramlilas you must not miss this festive season

Ramlila, Delhi, NCR, Mythology, diwali, dusshera, street food, red fort, old delhi, drama, theatre,India
Top 5 Ramlilas you must not miss this festive season

It’s that time of the year when drama, Gods, folklores and mythological stories take over the country. Delhi is no different. Over centuries, we have been smitten by the Ramlila – enacting of the Ramayana, the story of God Ram, Sita, Lakshman and their fight over the evil Ravana. Exotic sets, rehearsals, dialogues from the original manuscript and actors galore form the crux of these theatricals. Evenings over days are surrendered to watching different parts of the story in various grounds and areas.

However, over the years, this age old traditional practice has lost its charm. Technology invasion has taken away the charisma of this social activity. People do not want to come and sit in dusty surroundings to watch a story told to them a hundred times. This is extremely unfortunate. The new generation is getting so westernised that we are forgetting our traditions. Television has taken away the thrill of watching plays and dramas live.

It’s time we bring back life to Ramlilas and give the cast/ crew the encouragement they need to continue practicing this traditional art form – a true reminder of our rich cultural legacy.

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Catch the action at these five popular Delhi Ramlila shows.

  • Shri Ram Lila Committee

Mughal king Bahadur Shah Zafar started this Ramlila for his army and people. It’s the oldest and the most traditional. Before the show starts, there’s a parade of costumed performers through the lanes of Old Delhi (Chandni Chowk, Nai Sarak and Sitaram Bazar) to the Ramlila Grounds, followed by fireworks.

  • Where:Ramlila Maidan (Grounds), Asaf Ali Road (near New Delhi Railway Station).
  • When:The parade starts at 6 p.m.
  • Known for:Parade and performers.

  • Shri Dharmic Leela Committee

This branched off from the Shri Ram Lila Committee in 1923. It’s renowned for hosting eminent politicians including the Indian Prime Minister and President and foreign dignitaries. An all-time favourite especially for its street food and chaat bazaar.

  • Where:Subhash Maidan (Parade Ground), opposite the Old Lajpat Rai Market near the Red Fort.
  • When:The food stalls are open post-midnight. Show starts at 7 p.m.
  • Known for:Traditional actors and street food.


  • Nav Shri Dharmik Leela Committee

They have used technology to appeal to the younger crowd. Hi-tech equipment, sound systems, LED screens and hydraulic lifts are all part of the performances. The effigy of Ravan is one of the tallest in Delhi. Food stalls and rides for children are highlights.

  • Where:Red Fort Lawns.
  • When:30 p.m. onwards.
  • Known for:Use of special effects and technology.

  • Lav Kush Ram Lila Committee

This is a relatively new committee. It’s renowned for inviting celebrities and putting on a lavish show, involving action directors and music composers from Bollywood. The burning of Ravana is exquisite with fireworks and lights, followed by a cultural show.

  • Where:Lal Qila Maidan (Red Fort Ground) at the Red Fort.
  • When: starts at 7 p.m.
  • Known for: glitz and glamour.

  • Shriram Bharatiya Kala Kendra

This is an Indian cultural institution that runs a renowned school for music, dance and performing arts and has been performing a Ramlila dance-drama since 1957. Choreographers ensure that both folk and Indian classical dance are amalgamated in the shows. English translation facility is available. It’s a sophisticated performance and attracts the who’s who of Delhi.

  • Where:Shriram Bharatiya Kala Kendra theatre lawns, 1 Copernicus Marg (off India Gate).
  • When:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.
  • Known for: Choreography.


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