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Festivals and Events in Mamallapuram

The annual Mamallapuram Dance Festival is celebrated in the month of January and lasts upto four weeks. The best performers of Bharatnatyam, Kuchipudi, Odissi and Kathakali perform on weekends through the month. The harvest festival of Pongal is also celebrated around then. Pongal, Masi Magam and Mamallapuram Dance Festival are the popular festivals in Mamallapuram. Masi Magam, also called Masi Makam is celebrated in February or March at the Thirukadalmallai Temple. It is one of the most elaborate and colourful festivals celebrated with lots of enthusiasm, pomp and exuberance. Festivities include a grand procession wherein the idol of Lord Perumal and his consort ‘Nilamangai Thaayar’ are carried to the Mahabalipuram beach. Lord Perumal and Goddess Nilamangai Thaayar are given a ceremonial bath in the water; following which, thousands of devotees take a dip in the same water. Devotees gather in huge numbers and enjoy the festival.

The four-day harvest festival of Pongal is celebrated in the month of January. Various rituals are conducted during the four days. During this festival, a special delicacy named ‘Chakkara Pongal’ is made from rice and jaggery. This festival is celebrated with pomp and enthusiasm.

Another prominent festival in Mamallapuram is a four-week long festival of Mamallapuram Dance Festival that is celebrated every year between December and January. Some of the dance forms that you may see at the festival include Odissi, Kucchipudi, Bharatnatyam, Kathakali and Kathak among others. The open-air stage with the backdrop of the Pallava Rock Sculpture offers an experience of a lifetime to the visitors.


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