Ram Leela symbolizes traditional Indian culture and its beauty. The Ram Leela Festival (October- November), is celebrated with great fervor at Varanasi. Watching soul-stirring Ram Leela in Ramnagar, Varanasi, along with enjoying Ganga Aarti at Dashashwamedh Ghat and morning boat-ride in the holy Ganga will definitely be a lifetime experience. ‘Jhankis’ and pageants depicting scenes from the life of Lord Rama are taken out. Some of the episodes of the Varanasi Ram Leela are witnessed with great interest by the devotees. Bharat-Milap-Leela of Nati Imli and the Nakkataiya of ChetganJ are very famous. Ramnagar, 15 kms from Varanasi presents the Ram Leela started by the erstwhile Maharaja of Kashi in the most traditional style. It is being religiously carried out for more than 250 years. The performances lasting for 31 days are marked by detailed dialogues and impressive enactments. The Maharaja of Banaras chooses actors (below 18 years) on the basis of the quality of their voice and acting skills.
Ramnagar Ram Leela is attended by a large number of devotees including thousands of sages. The Ramayanis (saints) enjoy every moment of the enactment of Lord Ram’s story and keep reciting the epic with devotion. Ram was born in Ayodhya but had traversed the routes to Sri Lanka, walking through almost all parts of India. Ram stayed at & passed through several places during his exile. These places are still considered sacred by the Hindus. Permanent structures are built and spaces designated to represent the main locales of the story, like Ashok Vatika, Janakpuri, Panchvati, Lanka etc. transforming the whole township into a vast Ram Leela ground. The audience moves along with the performers with every episode to the next locale of performance. The performance is done in natural lighting as the actors like being old-school. To maintain the austere character of Ram Leela, electric lights, mikes and loudspeakers are not used, though the average audience is rarely less than ten thousand.