Nakkatayya in Varanasi

Location: Chetganj

When: Held in the month of October or November


Nakkatayya (slitting of nose) is an episode from the Ramayana, the great Indian epic. Nakkatayya is re-enactment of that episode performed by the actors in front of people to re-memorize the past event. Nakkatayya act is re-enactment of that episode. At Varanasi, the Nakkatayya Leela is held at Chetganj and is attended by large number of people from all parts of Varanasi city and nearby towns. Exile of Lord Ram forms the backdrop of this story. Nakkatayya re-enacts a story from Ramayana in which Surpanakha (sister of Ravana, the devil King), comes to entice Ram and then Lakshman. Lakshman, the younger brother of Ram, gets angry and slits Surpanakha's nose and she goes back crying. On hearing this Ravana vows revenge against the brothers. This incidence in the epic is one of the reasons why Sita was abducted by Ravana and Ram goes to rescue her with his army. This act of nose slitting is re-enacted at stage during October or November in Chetganj locality of Varanasi. On the occasion of Nakkatayya, numerous processions and tableaux are carried out in the streets of Varanasi, symbolizing the victory of truth over evil. People wait for Nakkatayya for the whole year to enjoy the fairs and festivals in Varanasi bringing a lot of happiness in the life of people.