If you are planning a trip to Pondicherry during Shivaratri festival season, reserve few days to watch the Natyanjali Dance Festival at Chidambaram, just 60 km from Pondicherry. Natyanjali dance festival, dedicated to Lord Siva, is held annually at the premises of the Nataraja Temple Chidambaram in a grand scale. Apart from dancers from different parts of India, artists from Sri Lanka, Australia, Canada and Singapore would also participate in this dance festival that commences on the Mahashivaratri day. Classical dances like Bharatanatyam, Mohini Attam, Kathak, Kuchipudi, Odissi, Manipuri, Pung Cholam, Jugal Bandhi, etc., will be performed by renowned artists during this five-day event. The festival also gives a unique opportunity for the new dancers to perform their ‘Arangettam’ (the first stage performance) which is considered to be a blessing from the Dancing God, Lord Nataraja. Chidambaram Natyanjali Trust has been organizing this event for past 37 years jointly with the Tourism Department of the State and Central Governments.