Artists from Kerala, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, and Chhattisgarh showcase Lord Shri Ram’s stories in their distinctive styles. Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel carried out the Maha-aarti of Kelo Maiyya in Raigarh and prayed for the happiness and prosperity of the state’s people. He also symbolised Godhan’s prosperity by feeding fodder to a cow.
Raipur, 3 June 2023: The Ramayana Mandali from Kerala, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, and the Dantewada district of Chhattisgarh enthralled the audience with soulful performances on the Aranya Kand of the epic Ramayana. The competition was held at Ramleela Maidan in Raigarh on the third day of the National Ramayana Festival. Each Ramayana Mandali performed a musical drama depicting Lord Shri Ram’s stories in traditional costumes representing their region and their own distinctive style, showcasing heart-touching performances.
The Ramayana Mandali from Kerala captivated the audience with a mesmerising performance based on Lord Shri Ram’s stories in traditional folk costumes. They showcased a soulful performance, depicting events ranging from the Surpanakha episode to the slaying of Ravana, accompanied by captivating background music. Adorned in vibrant traditional costumes, the artists beautifully showcased Lord Shri Ram’s glory in Kerala style, blending devotion and emotion. The eye-catching colourful attire of the group members, along with the classical dance style of Kathakali, added charm to their performances.
The Ramayana Mandali from Uttar Pradesh showcased emotional performances in Aranya Kand, where each character spoke their own dialogues, accompanied by background music. The influence of Chhattisgarh’s Ram Leela was evident in their performance.
The exquisite rendition of the Ramayana by West Bengal was originally based on Kritivas’ Ramayana version. Kritivas’ imagination, in addition to Valmiki’s original text, added remarkable depth to the Ramayana staging. Kritivas beautifully portrayed Lord Shri Ram’s tender aspects, emphasising his emotional nature. Tragic episodes, such as Sita Haran in Aranya Kand, were portrayed with palpable emotion in this poignant story, narrated in the melodious Bengali language. This highlights India’s remarkable cultural unity, as the spirit of creation remains the same from Kritivas in Bengal to Kamban in Tamil Nadu.
The Ramayana Mandali from Bacheli, a remote region in the Dantewada district, won devotees’ admiration with their captivating performance. The chanting of ‘Stuti’ at the beginning was led by this female group. They showcased women’s empowerment through their performances. The dance performance by the women artists was truly remarkable, leaving the audience in awe.
Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel carried out the Maha-aarti of Kelo Maiyya in Raigarh and prayed for the happiness and prosperity of the state’s people. He also symbolised Godhan’s prosperity by feeding fodder to a cow. Additionally, CM Baghel also carried out a ‘deepdan’ using a diya (lamp) made from cow dung. The Maha-aarti of Kelo Maiyya showcased grandeur reminiscent of the Ganga Ghat in Banaras. Kelo Maiyya’s chants echoed through the entire Ghat, creating a deeply spiritual atmosphere.