Payer (puja) plate
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Tamil Nadu is a state at the southern tip of India. The bordering states/territories are Pondicherry, Kerala, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. The island nation of Sri Lanka, which has a significant Tamil minority, lies off the southeast coast.

Tamil Nadu has the Largest urban agglomeration nationwide and is the second most industrialized state in India. Unlike most other parts of the country, Tamil Nadu gets its rainfall largely from the "North-East monsoon" in the months of October-December. There is a long standing dispute with Karnataka over the matter of water from the Kaveri River. The river flows south from Karnataka to Tamil Nadu, and both regions draw on water from the river, prompting concerns over whether the upper riparian Karnataka has released its fair share of river water to the lower riparian Tamil Nadu. (Wikipedia)

Festivals of Tamil Nadu

Mahabalipuram Dance festival in Tamil Nadu


Time: January-February

Duration: Four Weeks

Location: Mahabalipuram, Orissa


Mamallapuram (Mahabalipuram) during the reign of Pallavas, was a port town and is renowned for its Rathas or temples in the form of chariots, Mandapas or cave sanctuaries built by the Pallava rulers. Mamallapuram is one of the World Heritage Sites declared by the UNESCO. It also has a wonderful beach and makes for an ideal tourist destination.

Mamallapuram Dance Festival is organized every year from early January to first week of February for a period of four weeks. Exponents of classical dances like Bharatnatyam, Kuchipudi, Kathak, and Kathakali gather and perform in an open-air stage against the backdrop of the Pallava rock sculptures. Folk dancers add local touch to the festival. The renowned festival is organized by the Department of Tourism, Government of Tamilnadu.

Natyanjali Dance festival in Tamil Nadu


Time: February

Duration: Five Days

Location: Chidambaram, Orissa


The Natyanjali festival, which brings all the prominent dancers of India, together on the same platform, opens on the auspicious occasion of Mahasivaratri, in the month of February. Lord Nataraja, according to the Hindu mythology is a cosmic dancer. He is called the Lord of dances. This is an opportunity for all dancers, from all India, to perform and to pay their tribute to Lord Nataraja. It is performed at the 'Prakara' of the temple, and the dancers, full of intense bliss and devotion, with their evocative performance, offer their dance to the great divinity, Lord Nataraja. Natyanjali festival is jointly organised by The Department of Tourism, Government of Tamil Nadu, The Ministry Of Tourism, Government of India and The Natyanjali Trust, Chidambaram. It is designed to promote a universal message of 'Unity in Diversity' conveyed in the universal language of music and dance.

Pongal festival in Tamil Nadu


Time: January

Duration: Four Days

Location: Tamil Nadu


As a major segment of the population in India depends on agriculture. As a result, most of the festivals are also related to the agricultural activities of the people. These festivals are celebrated with different names and rituals in almost all the parts of India. Pongal is one of such highly revered festivals celebrated in Tamil Nadu to mark the harvesting of crops by farmers. This festival is held in the middle of January.It is the time when the people get ready to thank God, Earth and their Cattle for the wonderful harvest and celebrate the occasion with joyous festivities and rituals. This Harvest festival is celebrated for four days The festival begins on the last day of the Tamil month with Bhogi Pongal followed by Surya Pongal on the next day. It is on this day that Chakkara Pongal, a delicacy of harvest rice cooked with jaggery, ghee and cashew nuts is offered to the Sun God. On this day, women create elaborate kolum on the grounds in front of their doorway or home. Kolums are created with colored rice flour placed on the ground carefully by using one's hand. The third day, Mattu Pongal is dedicated to the Cattle when cows are bathed and adored with colorful beads and flowers. Jallikattu, the bullfight is held on the last day known as Kannum Pongal.On this day, people also travel to see other family members.

Jallikatu Bull Fight in Tamil Nadu


Time: January

Duration: One Day

Location: Madhurai, Tamil Nadu


'Jallikattu' is kind of bull-fight, held in Madhurai, Tiruchirapalli and Tanjore in Tamil Nadu. Bundles containing money are tied to the horns of ferocious bulls, and unarmed villagers try to wrest the bundles from them. Bullock cart races and cock-fights are also held. Ballads, folk dances, dramas and songs have rich cultural heritages. Myths and legends, festivals and ceremonials have helped to fashion an exquisitely charming type of handicrafts. The products of Tamilnadu workmen cater to as much beauty as to utility, which include metal-ware, wood carving, pottery, leather goods, carpets, pith work, palam left products, etc. handloom textiles both cotton and silk have won global appreciation. Cattle are decorated with garlands, their horns colored, and mango leves hung round their necks. Then they are led about in procession exempted from all labor, and virtually, if not actually, worshipped.

Chennai Dance and Music festival in Tamil Nadu


Time: Mid December-Mid January

Duration: One Month

Location: Chennai, Tamil Nadu


The Chennai Dance and Music Festival is held every year in Chennai from mid December to mid January. The month long musical extravaganza is a celebration of classical music and dances of South India and features performances by various artistes from different parts of India. The festival is held at various venues around the city. These include auditoriums, well-known temple premises and heritage bungalows. The festival is popularly known as the `Margazhi Festival of Dance and Music'. The Tamil month of `Marghazi' is considered a sacred month by the Hindus and South Indian classical music, which is devotional in nature, has been a traditional form of worship from time immemorial.

The festival attracts Indians from all over the world and gives a glimpse of our rich cultural heritage. Performances include Vocal and Instrumental music, Dance - solo and group. The festival provides wonderful opportunity for upcoming artistes to display their talent. The city becomes alive with the festival which has now developed into a cultural extravaganza with more than 2000 participants. The music includes songs in various South Indian languages like Tamil, Telugu and Kannada and instruments like Flute, 'Veena' (a large string instrument) 'Goottuvadyam' (similar to Veena but without frets), 'Nagaswaram' (pipe), 'Thavil' (percussion instrument), 'Mridangam' (drum), and even 'Ghatam' (a mud pot).