Colour splashed tradition

Ramlila is a dramatic folk re-enactment of the life of Lord Rama's victory after a ten day battle with the ten headed Demon King Ravana, as described in the Hindu religious epic, the Ramayana. A tradition, the play is staged annually often over ten or more successive nights, during the auspicious period of 'Navratri', which marks the commencement of the Autumn festive period, starting with the Dussehra festival. UNESCO proclaimed the tradition of Ramlila a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity in 2005. - Photos by AFP

Indian performer Laxmi Narayan Jha, 77, affectionately known as ?Grandpa?  prepares for a show backstage at the Maharashtra Ramlila Manch in Mumbai.
Indian performer Laxmi Narayan Jha, 77, affectionately known as ?Grandpa? prepares for a show backstage at the Maharashtra Ramlila Manch in Mumbai.
Young Indian artist Ajay Kumar, 15,  prepares for a show backstage at the Maharashtra Ramlila Manch.
Young Indian artist Ajay Kumar, 15, prepares for a show backstage at the Maharashtra Ramlila Manch.
Indian male artists Ram Vilas (L) and Dev Narayan, both portraying female characters  prepare for a show backstage at the Maharashtra Ramlila Manch in Mumbai.
Indian male artists Ram Vilas (L) and Dev Narayan, both portraying female characters prepare for a show backstage at the Maharashtra Ramlila Manch in Mumbai.
Indian junior artists joke with Laxmi Narayan Jha, 77, affectionately known as ?Grandpa? as they prepare for a show backstage at the Maharashtra Ramlila Manch.
Indian junior artists joke with Laxmi Narayan Jha, 77, affectionately known as ?Grandpa? as they prepare for a show backstage at the Maharashtra Ramlila Manch.
Young Indian artist Ajay Kumar, 15,  prepares for a show backstage at the Maharashtra Ramlila Manch.
Young Indian artist Ajay Kumar, 15, prepares for a show backstage at the Maharashtra Ramlila Manch.
Indian male artist Ram Vilas (L), 42, and junior artist Ajay Kumar, 15, prepare for a show backstage at the Maharashtra Ramlila Manch
Indian male artist Ram Vilas (L), 42, and junior artist Ajay Kumar, 15, prepare for a show backstage at the Maharashtra Ramlila Manch
Artists Gaurav Chaturvedi (L) and Sachin Chaurvedi portraying Lord Rama and his brother Laxmana wait backstage before a show at the Sahitya Kala Manch.
Artists Gaurav Chaturvedi (L) and Sachin Chaurvedi portraying Lord Rama and his brother Laxmana wait backstage before a show at the Sahitya Kala Manch.
Indian male artist Laxmi Kant Chaturvedi (C), portraying the female character of ?Kaikeyi? prepares backstage before a show at the Sahitya Kala Manch.
Indian male artist Laxmi Kant Chaturvedi (C), portraying the female character of ?Kaikeyi? prepares backstage before a show at the Sahitya Kala Manch.

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