History of Bharat Milap in Varanasi :
Varanasi is the city of festivals as it is also the city with great cultural traditions. Fairs and festivals are inseparable part of city dwellers as well as of Indians.
Varanasi sees variety of fairs and festivals which are as diverse as city and culture of India itself. It is city where at least two festivals are celebrated every month on average forget not, the months which have many festivals in single duration. Everybody waits very eagerly for the coming of new events and next festivals. Celebration of the fairs and festivals goes on all round the year, one after another in this holy city, Varanasi. Bharat Milap is also one such festival, which is celebrated between the month of October and November. Bharat Milap is a most important part of the Ramlila festival and celebrated to commemorate the arrival of the Lord Rama to his kingdom Ayodhya and his embrace to younger brother Bharat who had been waiting for him since these years as Rama was exiled by his Third Mother Kaikeyi to obey his father for 14 years. According to Indian Customs the eldest son was the real heir to the throne. Bharat didn’t want to rule as a reverence to his elder brother and deep rooted moralities and familial ties enshrined in Indian Culture, so he ruled Ayodhya by keeping Khadau or wooden slippers of lord Rama on throne.
People celebrate this festival in the essence of victory of the righteousness over evil power. Sage Valmiki and Tulsidas had written the vast history of the Lord Rama in their creations, the Ramayana and the Ram charita manas respectively. The Bharat Milap celebration is organized with huge pomp and dedication which held at the day next to the Dussehra. This festival is celebrated every year at the NatiImli place in Varanasi and Ramnagar Fort.
Dussehra and Bharat Milap festivals are celebrated yearly and both are of great attractions in Varanasi city. Thousands of pilgrims get together on the lanes to enjoy the pageant of Lord Rama and Bharat Milap. In order to respect them, people put Tilak (Thumb impression that is believed to be auspicious in Hindus) on their forehead and put flower garland in their neck. One of the most attractive events of Bharat Milap is the presence of Kashi Naresh (King of Varanasi) together with his royal belongings in ceremonial dress. Everybody enjoy this festival and fair heartily. They purchase a lot of things to eat including toys, Idols of Rama, Lakshman, Sita, Bharat, and many more useful things.