Ramnamis of Chhattisgarh: A Glimpse into Their Everyday Life

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Published on: 28 November 2019

Vishakha Khetrapal

Vishakha Khetrapal is a researcher, former manufacturing professional, avid traveller and blogger with a postgraduate degree in social entrepreneurship from TISS, Mumbai. Her interest lies in exploring new cultures and indigenous traditions, teaching and working with the youth and children. Vishakha has run an experiential tourism project, engaging with the tribal artisans in Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh. She is currently exploring the sustainability sector and how our ancient knowledge and wisdom can be put to use to solve the problems of the future.

The Ramnami community of Chhattisgarh is a Dalit religious group whose followers tattoo their bodies with the name of Ram. The Ramnami Samaj movement started in the 1890s in the villages of Chhattisgarh where Dalits were not allowed entry into Hindu temples. In peaceful protest, the Ramnanis wrapped themselves in the name of Nirgun (unmanifest) Ram from head to toe and made recital of Ramcharitmanas a part of their daily lives. 

The images in this gallery give us a glimpse of the everyday life of the community.