Mamallapuram Dance Festival

25 December 2021 - 15 January 2022

Dance & Music

, Tamil Nadu

24°C / Rain

Since time immemorial, India has been famous for its legacy left behind by the great kings and saints in the form of its culture, beliefs and stunning architecture. And Tamil Nadu being the part of this ancient land is no less charming; sprinkled throughout with temples and several other historic monuments makes TamilNadu worth your time and energy. A sojourn here will leave you craving for more with a sumptuous mix of sweet and joyful memories to look back to and relive. 

One of the highlighting elements of this region is the events and festivals happening annually which are so impressive that it won’t be wrong to give them the status of being cult. One such amazing festival is the Mamallapuram Dance Festival. Celebrated for a period of about twenty days, it is organized at the Arjuna’s Rock Sculpture in Mahabalipuram where a great number of locals and tourists gather to witness the incredible performances pulled-off by the artists. 

Best Time to Visit Mamallapuram

This amazing dance festival is organised in the months of December-January in Mahabalipuram or Mamallapuram, TamilNadu. It is a 20-days long festival that celebrates Indian classical dance forms. The festival is held against the spellbinding backdrop of the Pallava Rock Sculptures. Weather is pleasant during this time and audiences love catching captivating performances by amazing dancers. Cool, sultry breezes enhance the pleasure of attending this festival, making it comfortable for the audiences. 

History of Mamallapuram Dance Festival

This dance festival was first celebrated in 1992. From the beginning, it has been organized by the Tamil Nadu Tourism Department with the support of the Union Ministry of Tourism. Mamallapuram is popular for its ancient 7th century Pallava art and culture. The festival is graced by some of the best established and budding classical dancers, exponents of classical dance forms like Kuchipudi, Bharatnatyam, Mohini Attam, Odissi, Kathak and Kathakali. So, if you consider yourself to be a travel aficionado and a dance lover in any remote way, then the Mamallapuram Dance Festival is something that cannot be missed. Talking about the ticket price for the Mamallapuram Dance Festival, it usually costs you between INR 100-200.

The city is among the most intriguing as far as history is concerned. Ancient Mamallapuram was a flourishing port town belonging to the Pallava rulers of south India. They are responsible for chiseling in stone the spectacular “open-air museum.” Besides this, not much is known about the mysterious place. No one can be sure why the royalty that dwelled in this place disappeared all of a sudden. For those looking for a way to experience the history of the place, Mahabalipuram Resorts is a good option. According to experts, the shores of Mahabalipuram used to have seven pagodas or temples adorning them.

Major Attractions Of Mamallapuram Dance Festival 2020-2021

1. An Ode to the Age-Old Dance Forms

Needless to say that the Mamallapuram Dance Festival is a kind dance festival of Tamil Nadu where you get to witness performances that are a true blend of sophistication, precision, and enriching emotions. To experience the festival in all its glory, people from all across the nation gather here annually and enjoy the rhythmic flow of the artistry poured on stage by the performers. What’s more is that through these performances, the audiences also get to relate to the feeling of ‘unity in diversity’, as it is an amalgamation of several dance forms right from Bharatnatyam, Kuchipudi, Kathak, Kathakali, Odissi, and Mohini Attam.

2. Arjuna’s Penance

A giant rock-cut relief, Arjuna’s Penance is also referred to as the ‘Descent of the Ganges’. It is here that an open stage is set up for all the performances during the occasion of the Mamallapuram Dance Festival. Due to its overall historic significance, this place seems to be of great interest among history lovers. 

Places to Visit While Attending Mamallapuram Dance Festival

Varsha Cave

One of the main attractions of Mahabalipuram is the Varaha Cave, which is a small rock-cut mandapam that has four panels of the renowned Pallava doorkeepers, all wearing an expression of pious rapture.

Mahishamardini Cave

Another place to visit is the Mahishamardini Cave, a place whose panels glitter with feeble sunlight. Its front mandapa with four pillars and triple cells make it look attractive.

Arjuna’s Penance

Another attraction is Arjuna’s Penance, which may be the largest bas-relief in the world.

Tiger Cave

About 5 kilometers from Mahabalipuram are Tiger Caves, which possibly date back to the 7th century.  

How To Reach Mahabalipuram

Mahabalipuram is located at a distance of about 2,270, 1,339, 1,747, 346 km from major Indian cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, and Bengaluru respectively. Here are the details on how you can reach here by the following means of public transportation. 

  • Nearest Famous City. Chennai
  • Nearest Airbase. Chennai Airport
  • Nearest Railhead. Chengalpattu Railway station
  • Distance from Chennai. 52 km

By Air

Deboard at the Chennai International Airport (MAA) which is situated at an approximate distance of about 50-60 km. As you reach the airport, consider booking a cab or some other means of public transport to reach your respective destination. 

  • Distance from Chennai Airport. 56.7 Km

By Train

You can consider deboarding at the Chengalpattu Railway Station or Chennai Central Railway Station. From the station, the overall connectivity via road is quite good, thus, you won’t find any kind of problem continuing your journey further by any public means of transportation.  

  • Distance from Chengalpattu Railway Station. 29.3 Km

By Road

Depending upon your location, you can also consider travelling to Mahabalipuram via road networks. From the nearby regions, you can easily book buses, cabs or if you want to travel at your own pace and convenience then you can also self-drive here. 

  • Distance From Vellore City - 140 km through Vellore-Chennai Road
  • Distance From Madanapalle - 249 km via NH42
  • Distance From Dharmapuri - 300 km via NH48

Frequently Asked Questions Related to Mamallapuram Dance Festival

Ques 1. What makes Mamallapuram famous?

Ans 1. Mamallapuram is famous for its stone carvings, monoliths, vast beach, and temples. 

Ques 2. Where is the Mamallapuram dance festival celebrated?

Ans 2. The Mamallapuram Dance Festival is celebrated in Mamallapuram against the beautiful backdrop of Pallava sculptures. 

You can plan your trip and create your own route to the city with Adotrip’s technically driven circuit planner. Click here. Book your tour package now and participate in the best dance festival in India.

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