Ramlila celebrations have started in the city with residents visiting the Ramlila grounds in their vicinity to watch the 10-day theatrical retelling of Ramayana and enjoying the various joyrides and food stalls set up.
The Ramlila Samiti, trans Hindon (Indirapuram), organised a ‘Shobha Yatra’ on Saturday to draw large crowds to the Ramlila organised at Shakti Khand 2, Indirapuram, which is performed by artistes from Surabhi Kala Kendra.
“The Shobha Yatra had various jhankis (tableaux) depicting different aspects of Lord Ram’s life and included camels and horses. The jhankis were not the regular ones; they were digital, with LED displays, so that they could be spotted from a distance as well,” said Rahul Sharma, the samiti’s media coordinator. He added that more than 2,000 people participated in the yatra.
“The Shobha Yatra was joined by Muslims, Christians and Sikhs as well. We want to spread the message of unity in diversity and hence all residents, regardless of their faith, were welcomed at the event,” said Narender Sharma, the samiti’s general secretary.
In Brij Vihar, where residents have been holding the Ramlila since 1994, local school and college students enact the roles.
“The students have been taking time out from their studies and practising for the Ramlila for the past one month. Some of the elders offer them guidance, but largely the whole show is put up by students aged between 15 and 22 years,” said Sanjay Bhardwaj, president of the organising committee.
He added that various other attractions have also been set up.
“We have close to 50 joyrides for children at the Ramlila premises. The most popular is the giant wheel that can also be enjoyed by adults. We have also organised the famous ‘maut ka kuan’ (well of death) to thrill the audience,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Ramlila committee in Vijay Nagar continues to hold one of the oldest Ramlilas in the city.
“Our committee has been organising Ramlila for the past 40 years at Sector 9 Ramlila ground in Vijay Nagar. Every year, more than 20,000 people visit our Ramlila, enacted by Shri Laxmi Narayan Kala Manch,” said Virendra Kumar Gupta, president of the Shri Sanatan Dharm Ramlila Committee, Vijay Nagar