Duration: 4 week
Time: January – February
Place: Mamallapuram, Tamil Nadu
Organizer(s): Tamil Nadu Tourism Department
Highlight: Performance of exponents of the varied dance forms such as Kuchipudi, Odissi, Bharatanatyam, Kathakali or Kathak
Mamallapuram Dance Festival is celebrated every year in Mamallapuram, Tamil Nadu. This festive occasion is organized under the sponsorship of Department of Tourism, Govt. of Tamil Nadu. Mamallapuram is of enormous historical importance, as once upon a time, it used to be the ancient port of the Pallavas. During the Mamallapuram Dance Festival, the exponents of the varied dance forms then be it Kuchipudi, Odissi, Bharatanatyam, Kathakali or Kathak, come ahead to showcase their skills and talent to the art lovers. Mamallapuram is a four-week long festive occasion, the celebration of which takes place in an open air auditorium in the backdrop of the sculptures of Pallavas. The surroundings add to the visual appeal of this grand cultural event. It is an amazing experience to watch the dancers perform under the open sky.
The open-air auditorium that serves as the venue for the Mamallapuram dance festival was established near about thirteen centuries. It was the port of the great Pallavas and a resort and culture front to rich culture. The dance performances are performed in ‘Arjuna’s penance’, a brass relief structure based on two huge adjoining rocks. When the dancers perform the ambience is such that the rock vibrates with the resonance of the music. . The open theatre style ambience provides the perfect mood for the dancers to give their level best in the festival. The open air stage is magnetically attractive, featuring its monumental rock sculptures that date back to the Pallavas.
Types of Dances
Patrons from Bharatnatyam, Kuchipudi, Kathak, Mohiniattam, Odissi and Kathakali come to perform there. Mamallapuram Dance Festival also showcases the nuances of folk arts like: Karagam, Kavadi, Pokkal Kudirai, Kokkali Attam, Silambattam, Kaniyan Koothu, Paavai Koothu, Thappattam, apart from other state dance forms. The ambience and cultural inputs add to the dance performances, making it once in a lifetime experience show. These dances are held usually during evenings leaving the visitors the whole day to explore the city.
Mamallapuram is a wonderful beach resort and also a place that reminds of the magnificent cultural heritage of the former times. Mamallapuram is a great destination of tourist attraction. There is a huge number of sightseeing places in Mamallapuram such as the ancient monuments, caves, sculptures, monolithic temples and the stunning beaches. The dance festival at Mamallapuram has been drawing more and more crowd year after year. The festivity gives an momentum to the talent of dancers. People excelling in the field of dancing assemble here and deliver their dance performance. There are many hotels and natural resorts built to provide every kind of comfort to the numerous tourists who gather the place during the festival.
Attraction of Festival
Mamallapuram dance festival attracts tourists not only from all overIndia but all across the world. Foreigners visit the small town for a glimpse ofIndia’s rich heritage. The ancient open air theater builds up to the overall effect of classical dance performances. UNESCO has declared Mamallapuram as a world heritage site as it houses ancient scriptures and structures built during the Pallavas reign.
How to Reach
Air: Chennai (58km) is the nearest airport with both domestic and international terminus. Chennai is connected with all the major places inIndia through the numerous domestic flights. International flights operate from various parts of the world to Chennai.
Rail: The nearest railway stations are Chengalpattu (29km) and Chennai (58km). From these stations one has to take road journey to reach Mamallapuram.
Road: Buses are available fromPondicherry, Kanchipuram, Chengalpattu and Chennai to Mamallapuram daily. Tourists can also hire a taxi from Chennai.
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