Bharat Milap in Varanasi

Location: Nati Imli

When: Held in the month of October or November.

Highlights

Bharat Milap is an important and historical festival of Varanasi, held in the month of October or November, a day after the festival of Vijayadashami. Bharat Milap is celebrated to commemorate Lord Ram's return to Ayodhya after 14 years of exile and his reunion with his brother, Bharat. People celebrate this festival in the essence of victory of the truth and good over evil. The story of Lord Ram is the main theme of Valmiki's Ramayana and Tulsidas' Ram Charita Manas. Bharat Milap festival is held at Nati Imli, Varanasi is one of the greatest attractions of Varanasi city. The people of Varanasi celebrate Bharat Milap with great fanfare and devotion. The city is richly decorated with lights to welcome thousands of pilgrims forming a significant part and gather in the streets to see the procession of Lord Ram and his reunion with younger brother, Bharat. People pay their respect by putting Tilak on forehead and garlanding Lord Ram and his brothers. As per the tradition, children playing the roles of divine characters are brought to the ground of Nati Imli for public viewing of their reunion. For people, Bharat Milap or Ramlila is not just an act but an embodiment of the religious text. Another interesting part of Bharat Milap celebration is the presence of Kashi Naresh with all his royal belongings and ceremonial dress. According to legends, Megha Bhagat, a disciple of Tulsidas, started the enactment of Ramlila after being told in his dream to dramatize Bharat Milap. Megha Bhagat staged the episode at Nati Imli ground and at the moment of climax, he got fainted and died. Thereafter it became a tradition that the Maharaja of Banaras to attend the Nati Imli performance missing Ramlila in Ramnagar on this day. Kashi Naresh’s presence helps in further elevating the spirit of the festival. People enjoy this festival and purchase a lot of things to eat, toys, Idols of Ram, Lakshman, Sita, Bharat, and many more useful things.