Mahabalipuram, also known as Mamallapuram is a town in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. It is an ancient historic town and was a bustling seaport during the time of Periplus (1st century CE) and Ptolemy (140 CE).
Ancient Indian traders who went to countries of Southeast Asia sailed from the seaport of Mahabalipuram.
By the 7th century it was a port city of South Indian dynasty of the Pallavas. It has a group of sanctuaries, which was carved out of rock along the Coromandel coast in the 7th and 8th centuries.
Rathas (temples in the form of chariots), Mandapas (cave sanctuaries), giant open-air reliefs such as the famous ‘Descent of the Ganges’, and the Shore Temple, with thousands of sculptures to the glory of Shiva.
The group of monuments at Mahabalipuram has been classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The Indian (or Mamallapuram) Dance Festival is held every year during Dec-Jan in Mamallapuram, Tamil Nadu. This dance festival is organised by Department of Tourism, Govt. of Tamil Nadu.
The dance festival is organised at the Arjuna’s Penance rock sculpture in Mahabalipuram, where a makeshift stage makes for the celebration.
The Shore Temple is the closest temple from the venue and is a much revered destination for the people gathered for the Mamallapuram Dance Festival.
Events & Celebrations at Mamallapuram Dance Festival :
Exponents of Bharatanatyam, Kuchipudi, Kathak, Odissi, Mohini Attam and Kathakali perform against this magnificent backdrop of the Pallava rock sculptures.
Bharata Natyam, also spelled Bharatanatyam, is a form of Indian classical dance that originated in the temples of Tamil Nadu.
This dance form is the product of various 19th- and 20th-century reconstructions of Sadir, the art of temple dancers called Devadasis. It was described in the treatise Natya Shastra by Bharata around the beginning of the common era.
Bharata Natyam is known for its grace, purity, tenderness, expression and sculpturesque poses. Lord Shiva is considered the God of this dance form.
Today, it is one of the most popular and widely performed dance styles and is practiced by male and female dancers all over the world.
Department of Tourism, Tamilnadu
The Tourist Officer,
No.28, Tourist Office, Kovalam Road, Mamallapuram-603 104.