A Dance Affair On The Shores Of Mahabalipuram

A Dance Affair On The Shores Of Mahabalipuram
An artist performs at the Indian Dance Festival. Credit: Denis Shevyakov /

For one month every year, the historical town of Mahabalipuram transforms into a stage where enthralling performances highlight India's varied dance forms at the Indian Dance Festival

OT Staff
November 01 , 2022
01 Min Read

At a short distance from Chennai is the stunning town of Mamallapuram, also known by its more popular name Mahabalipuram. At the end of every year, this small town reverberates with the sounds of music and dance when it hosts the Mamallapuram Dance Festival or the Indian Dance Festival. Dedicated to celebrating India's remarkable and traditional dances, this unique dance festival spells excitement that lasts for a month as the state ushers in the new year.



This year, the festival is being held from 23 Dec to 23 Jan 2023

Spectacular and inimitable heritage sites mark Tamil Nadu; Mahabalipuram has the lion's share. A culturally-rich city, art lovers can spend days exploring the structures from the 7th and 8th century AD here, which comprise the legacy of the Pallava rulers. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the coastal shores of Mahabalipuram are thronged by tourists in December-January to attend the Mamallapuram Dance Festival, first introduced in 1992 and later rechristened as the Indian Dance Festival. Organised by the Tamil Nadu Tourism department with the support of the Union Ministry of Tourism, this dance festival provides a platform for folk dance forms such as Karagam, Kavadi, Thappattam, and Oyilattam and classical dance forms such as Bharatanatyam, Kuchipudi and Kathak to cast their spell on viewers.

The festival is held against the historic sculpture at the Shore Temple, called the "The Arjuna Penance", a bas-air relief that dates back to the mid-seventh century and is one of the most magnificent monuments in the city. On an ornamented stage that is marked by a mystical ambience, prominent artistes from across the country take to stage every evening, enthralling the viewers. This festival not only provides a fantastic chance to become acquainted with many traditional dance styles of India, but it also serves as a networking opportunity for artists, dancers, musicians, and theatre professionals.

Where: Sea Shore Temple Complex, Mamallapuram
When: 23 Dec 2022 - 23 Jan 2023
Timings: 5:30 PM - 8:30 PM


Related Articles


Here to there

Explore Directions(Routes) and more...
to Go

Our Other Editions

Outlook’ is India’s most vibrant weekly news magazine with critically and globally acclaimed print and digital editions. Now in its 23rd year...

Explore All
  • Check out our Magazine of the month
  • Offbeat destinations
  • In-depth storytelling
  • Stunning pictures
  • Subscribe