The 71st year Bhagavata Mela Nataka Mahotsav, organised by the Sri Lakshmi Narasimha Jayanthi Bhagavata Mela Natya Nataka Sangam will be held from May 20 to May 29 at Melattur near Thanjavur.

A press release issued here by the Sangam said that Prahaladha Charitham, Bhagavata Mela Natakam will be staged as the inaugural drama at 9.30 p.m. on Friday.

Other Bhagavata Mela Natakams to be staged are Rukmini Kalyanam on May 22, Harischandra part one on May 24, Harischandra part two on May 25, and Seetha Parinayam on May 27.

Bharata Natyam by members of the Association of Bharata Natyam Artistes of India will be held on May 21, Nrityanjali by Bhagavata Mela artistes on May 23, Mohiniyattam will be held on May 26, and Tamil Opera-Valli Thirumanam on May 28.

The great Bhagavata Mela tradition, a rare temple art, in a unique blend of bakthi, music, dance, drama and is in vogue for over four centuries.

It is the only surviving link today in Tamil Nadu that connects us with ancient Sanskrit theatre.