Tuesday, November 20, 2018



 ( Mobile Photos .. Autar Mota )

RAMLEELA had been the traditional theatre of jammu. Before 1947 , jammu province had so many Ramleela clubs . Raja of Basholi would personally invest his time and money to the Grand Ramleela in his kingdom. That tradition and standard has been maintained by Ramleela Artists of Basholi. During 1994 - 1995 , I was posted at Basholi as Manager of our Bank's branch and saw this special Ramleela once. Haven't seen such Ramleela performance anywhere in India. You need to see Basholi Ramleela once ; A real lifetime experience .

Like Basholi , Chenani too had an old Ramleela Club patronized by the then Raja of Chenani.
Sri Sanatan Dharam Natak Samaj at Dewan Mandir Jammu (old city) is possibly the oldest Ramleela Club in Jammu province. I learnt it is more than 150 years old. Kundan Lal Saigal and Cinema actor Om Prakash were actually Raml.eela Artists of this Club. Both  the artists spent their childhood and  early youth in Jammu city. K L Saigal's father was a Tehsildar in Jammu during Maharaja's rule.. Saigal played the role of Sita  in Ramleela performed at Dewan Mandir Jammu. Om Prakash  also acted in  Ramleela performed at Dewan Mandir jammu . He  also played  the role of Kamla in a popular  stage play performed   at  Dewan Mandir  Jammu during those days.

 Though Ramleela at this oldest Club was again started in 2017 , too much needs to be done for this Heritage site. Too much to protect further damage to the Complex. The entrance is shabby. The outer walls of the complex need repair and renovation. The gate needs repair and renovation. The main entrance is being used as buffalo shed. Saw a buffalo tied near the entrance. There is no board to display historical importance of the complex. A Visit to the complex will make you believe the apathy and negligence.

Who is supposed to do it ? I don't know.

We need to display the history and past glory of the complex at least . Names of so many actors and Artists associated with the complex need to be displayed. 

I was told by a shopkeeper outside Dewan Mandir :

"This is the only Ramleela where Hindus, Sikhs and even Muslims take part and perform."

.(Avtar Mota )

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