Enthusiastic residents made their way to various Ramlilas in large numbers as the 10-day Ramlila ended with effigies of Ravan, Kumbhkarana and Meghnath set alight to celebrate Dussehra on Thursday.
In Noida, the Sanatan Dharam Ramlila Samiti burnt an 80-foot Ravan effigy at Sector 33 Ramlila ground on Thursday night. “The ground saw a footfall of close to 60,000,” said Sanjay Bali, committee secretary.
However, the most footfall was seen at the Ramlila at Noida Stadium that saw an estimated 1 lakh people coming to see the 75-foot tall effigies being burnt.
“We had made special security arrangements and deployed 50 security guards along with 100 volunteers to manage the crowd,” said Raghavendra Dubey, media coordinator, Shri Ram Mitra Mandal.
In Ghaziabad, thousands of residents chanted ‘Jai Sri Ram’ as various Ramlilas across the city ended with Lord Rama slaying Ravan and the three effigies being burnt.
People started arriving at various venues as early as 2 pm. The organising committees of the Ramlilas at Ghanta Ghar and Kavi Nagar estimated a presence of nearly 50,000-70,000 people at each venue.
“We already had a digital Ramlila to attract people who came in large numbers on Thursday. Our effigies were among the tallest in the city. The entire ground was filled up and we had to make elaborate arrangements to ensure that the celebrations went off without any hassle,” said Lalit Jaiswal from Kavi Nagar Ramlila committee.
Organisers of various Ramlilas had roped in special craftsmen to construct effigies ranging from 50-feet to 70-feet in height.
“We had put in around 2,000 firecrackers inside each of the three effigies,” said Asif Ali, effigy contractor for the Ghanta Ghar Ramlila.
The administration also made elaborate arrangements for the day as lakhs of visitors were expected. Several major roads leading to Ramlilas were closed for vehicular traffic. Other arrangements like security, fire tenders, solid waste management and barricading were done comprehensively at each venue.