Centuries-old Ram Dal tradition still going strong in Prayagraj
With its unique traditions dating back to several centuries, the city of Prayagraj is immersed in religious fervour on the auspicious occasion of Dussehra.
One of the many distinctive traditions that have been kept alive in the city is the famed 'Ram Dal' processions that depict portions of stories from the Hindu epic of Ramayana.
On Sunday night, the colourful 'Ram Dal' procession jointly organised by Katra and Colonelganj Ramlila Committee illuminated the streets of the city.
The locals who flooded the streets to catch a glimpse of the procession, watched in awe as the actors enacted multiple scenes from Ramayana.
"Our Ram Dal is famous across the country. Others start their Ramlila with the birth of Lord Rama, but here it starts with Ravana's Shobha Yatra. Ravan was related to Bharadwaj lineage and Katra was his maternal home," said Gopal Babu Jaiswal, Secretary of Katra Ramlila Committee.
The march also features instrumental music and colourful light show. In addition, elephants also feature in the procession.
According to one of the locals, Amit Goswami, the city's tradition of Ram Dal is around four centuries old.
"The Ram Dal procession here is said to be almost 400 years old. I have been seeing it since my childhood. It starts from Bharadwaj ashram and concludes at Katra," he said.