Edinburgh India Institute

Past events

Some of the exciting events we have hosted or been involved with.

TREASURES ON DISPLAY at the National Library of Scotland

Images of India 

This display showcases images of India with highly visual treasures, some indigenous and some created by Scots in India. These include hand-coloured printed books, early Indian printing and manuscripts in various South Asian languages, especially sacred texts, poetry and histories. The exhibits are all visually stunning; many are unique and rare.

Dates: Open from 6 July - 20 August 


Venue: George IV Bridge, Edinburgh EH1 1EW



These are so many that they can't all be listed separately, but here are a few highlights:


At the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, Teamwork Arts will showcase the Bollywood Musical and possibly the best military band in India today, The Naval Band, whose performances have been enthralled audiences in faraway places such as Rabat, Tokyo, Sydney, Odessa, Istanbul and London.

Theatre includes singer-actress MD Pallavi in her best ever solo performance – a witty, humorous and satirical interrogation of what it is like being a woman in the entertainment industry today, C. Sharp. C. Blunt. Aditya Roy brings his story telling born out of martial arts training in the tale of Gurudakshina. And Kuch Puppet Theatre’s masked production of the eternal story of a child’s thoughts, Pinocchio.

An evening of Sacred Music @ Traquair House brings together filmmaker and folk singer Shabnam Viramani, Mirasi singer and musician Mukhtiyar Ali, British Indian composer and sarod virtuoso Soumik Datta and Neeraj Arya’s Kabir Café, a band dedicated to taking the timeless verses of Kabir to a young and dynamic India.


India Season @ Assembly Room: 


Handicrafts and live demonstrations from across India will be displayed at the Assembly Rooms

SIGMA more details here

Dates: 03 - 28 AUG, 13:30-14:30

Venue: Assembly Hall, New College - Rainy Hall

The iconic Gandinis return with Sigma, celebrating the dialogue between juggling, percussion and dance. The piece showcases exuberant rhythms, patterns and colours, at the heart of which is a unique interpretation of the classical south Indian dance form, Bharatanatyam. Using a mirrored set, this reflective and dynamic show is a cleverly crafted circus and dance production at the heart of which is a mesmerising flirtation between rich and tangible art forms. Performed by a virtuosic cast including the award-winning choreographer Seeta Patel, with the trademark humour Gandini Juggling bring to all their work.


ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM, more details here

Dates: 03 - 26 AUG, 18:25-19:25

Venue: Assembly Rooms, George Street - Front Room

Inspired by the Indian myth of the Elephant God - Ganesha; this is a coming of age story about a boy in search of his head, wandering through a forest where creatures fret over a prophecy of doom, as a motley spider-hunter duo are on a lookout for a big ticket ransom! Winners of the META awards in India for best actor, costumes and light design.


GURUDAKSHINA - The Offering more details here

Dates: August 3-13 & 15-28: 15:45-16:30,

Venue: Royal Society of Edinburgh, George Street

Aditya Roy has spent almost two decades exploring different forms of Martial Arts in search of the ultimate form of self-defence. At each stage, he has been blessed with amazing teachers who have taught  him skills that have helped him evolve to the next level. Along the way he has also worked extensively in the fields of theatre and music. In the process he has confronted many fears and anxieties, and the process of releasing them continues.


Bollywood Love Story

Venue: Castle esplanade; more details here

A larger- than-life experience portraying the opulence of Indian Cinema

Bollywood Love Story premiered in 2008 in Switzerland. Essentially a story of dreams with pulsating dance tracks and foot-tapping music, this timeless tale of romance transports the audience to the fairy-tale and energetic world of Bollywood. An exciting imagery of colours, music, exotic locales, gorgeous costumes and the razzmatazz of fantastic sets, all combine to create the palette that is Bollywood. Due to its immense success, Bollywood Love Story is now touring the world over, including countries like Austria, China, Germany, Egypt, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Russia, Spain, South Africa and Switzerland to sold-out shows.



Telling the tale of Majuli, the world’s largest and stunning river island in Assam’s mighty Brahmaputra river, through an evocative narrative of movement, dance, music, and theatre Shilpika Bordoloi celebrates the spirit of Majuli and the intricate bond between people and their land at Edinburgh’s Dance Base. More details here

Dates: 11 – 20 August (not 14 August), 18.00 -18:50

Venue: Dance Base, Grassmarket


India & Pakistan: 70 Years On at the Book Festival

More details available here


BLIND SPOTS, an Indian Kaleidoscope

This will feature theatre, music and dance and depict the stories, aspirations and challenges of an Indian campus community. The eight-show production is supported by the University of Edinburgh, Delhi University’s flagship international partner. In partnership with Keval Arora, the accomplished theatre-mentor from Kirori Mal College and N. P. Ashley, a faculty-dramaturge from St. Stephen’s College, 21 students from colleges such as Daulat Ram, Sri Venkateswara, Gargi, Kirori Mal, St. Stephen’s, Shivaji, Ramjas, Delhi School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Law Faculty and Arts Faculty were selected after four days of rigorous auditions. “We've decided to evolve something out of student lives in Delhi University. We hope to authentically create a multi-layered experience that communicates aspects of life in an Indian University through freshly created dance, theatre and music texts. Through a splicing of these grammars, we aim to articulate the manner in which “Blind Spots” define and undermine us”, said Keval Arora who heads the conceptualization process. More details here

Dates: August 21st to 28th, 11:00-12:10

Venue: Cow Barn Theatre, Underbelly Med Quad, Teviot Place


INDIA AT THE NATIONAL GALLERIES OF SCOTLAND: From Tipu to the Trenches and Simla to Surrealism

To celebrate 70 Years of Indian Independence, Anne Buddle (National Galleries Scotland) will take a fresh look at a selection of the 1000 or so objects owned by National Galleries of Scotland that have some association with India. Works include Samuel Bourne’s classic photographs, portraits of Maharajas and missionaries and Governors. Artists inspired by India include Edward Lear, Robert Home and Elisha Trapaud, Ann Redpath, Paolozzi, Alan Davie, and Roland Penrose, Picasso’s friend and biographer.

Date: Tuesday 15th August, 12:45-1:30 p.m.

Venue: Modern One Resource Room,  Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, 75 Belford Road, Edinburgh, EH4 3DR


HOME IS NOT THE PLACE, solo show by Annie George 

Dates: 18th - 27th August 2017, 1-2 p.m.

Venue: Storytelling Centre, Fringe, Netherbow Theatre, Royal Mile.  Here’s the link to the programme 


Nritya Sandhya

Scottish Indian Arts Forum  ( SIAF)  in association with the Consulate-General of India presented Kathak performances by the nine-member ANKH  Dance Group, based in London, preceded by Bharatanatyam dances by Edinburgh-based dancers, and Indian dances based on Scottish/Irish fusion music.

Dates: Saturday 24th June, 5-7 p.m

Venue: Royal Botanic Garden -Theatre Hall, Inverleith Row. Further details available here 


A taste for Indian sculpture: India, Moray and Elgin Museum

A talk by Professor Roger Jeffery, University of Edinburgh and Friederike Voigt, Senior Curator, Middle East & South Asia, National Museums Scotland

Part of the Moray Society Lecture Series: Winter 2016/17

7.30 pm, Friday 28th April, 2017

Elgin Museum Hall, 1 High Street, Elgin, IV30 1EQ

More details here


Scotland in India, India in Scotland: 

Legacies of Enlightenment, 1750 to 1918

An Interdisciplinary Conference at the University of Glasgow

May 12-13, 2017

Contact: Mary.Ellis.Gibson@colby.edu

More details here


Meeting of Traditions: an Indian Arts Connection Event

Traditional music from India and Scotland come together to connect as part of UK India Year of Culture 2017. This was a unique event that showcased the talents of young musicians from India and Scotland, to place the foundation of a life time of working together in collaboration.

Assembly Roxy

2 Roxburgh Place, EH8 9SU Edinburgh, United Kingdom

Sunday 23 April, 17:00-20:30

More information available here


An evening of Carnatic Music, with Sanjay Subramanyam

Organised by Indian Arts Connection

Friday 17 February 2017, 19:00-22:00

Venue: Assembly Roxy, 2 Roxburgh Place, EH8 9SU

This well-attended concert was the inaugural event of the UK-India Year of Culture in Edinburgh. Contact details: @indianartsconnection, or via their Facebook page 


Schools’ Day for Scotland – RSAA, SCEN & CIS, October 2015

Working with the Royal Society for Asian Affairs and Scottish China Education Network, the Confucius Institute for Scotland invited senior students from schools across Scotland to attend a day of talks on aspects of Asia on Wednesday 28 October 2015.

This was an inaugural event for RSAA and built on the well established and most successful Schools’ Day in London.

Open to students in the 16-18 age group, the conference both inspired and educated in equal measure. Featuring a number of speakers, including James Brodie of the China Britain Business Council, and explorer and adventurer Jamie Bunchuk there were also career-focused sessions with professionals and language tasters on offer – in Arabic, Chinese, Hindi and Japanese.

There was no charge for  attendance and lunch was provided.

If you require further information please contact Shaun McPhee, of the RSAA by email to shaunmcphee@rsaa.org.uk or by telephone on 0791 334 6611, during normal office hours.


The University of Edinburgh in India, February 2015

The University of Edinburgh is proud of its India partnership - both historic and current - that has evolved and grown rapidly since the establishment of the India Office in 2010.

Edinburgh’s India partnerships now include a prestigious joint research centre in the neurosciences in Bangalore - the Centre for Brain Development and Repair at inStem Bangalore, a joint Master’s in Family Medicine programme with the Christian Medical College Vellore and high impact partnerships in Education, Energy, Engineering, Veterinary Medicine and the Natural Sciences.

Professor Sir Timothy O’Shea, Principal and Vice Chancellor, University of Edinburgh, Professor Charlie Jeffery, Deputy Vice Chancellor and Professor James Smith, Vice Principal International led a delegation of over 30 faculty to India during February 2015, who engaged with their Indian partners at leading institutions via symposia, public lectures and other meetings.

These were designed as platforms for the development of innovative partnerships and opportunities for faculty, students, alumni and the University’s partners in India.


India Day lecture by Gopalkrishna Gandhi: 'India Yesterday, India Today'

Mahatma Gandhi’s grandson, the distinguished scholar and statesman, Gopalkrishna Gandhi was a keynote speaker during the University of Edinburgh's first India and South Asia week, which took place at the University of Edinburgh from 29 September until 5 October 2014.

His India Day lecture, 'India Yesterday, India Today' was held on Thursday 2 October, Mahatma Gandhi’s birthday.

Dr. Gandhi also gave a speech at the the Scottish Parliament on the 30 September, entitled "Independence: Dream and Reality".

Mr Gandhi has held a number of senior posts including High Commissioner of India to South Africa; Director of the Nehru Centre, London, and Governor of West Bengal.


Edinburgh India Institute Inaugural Conference, May 2014

The EII hosted its Inaugural Conference in May, welcoming collaborative colleagues from India to a busy schedule of presentations and events. We were honoured by the presence of APJ Kalam, ex-President of India, who was presented with an Honorary Degree by The Principal, Dr. Tomothy O'Shea.

Edinburgh India Institute Inaugural Conference


Tai Chi - Chai Tea, March 2014

As part of the University's cultural festival Gather, the India Institute collaborated on a new intercultural event, Tai Chi - Chai Tea, with the Confucius Institute and the International Office.

This event for staff and students an introduction to both cultural institutes and to with a presentation about tea in Indian society and Bollywood. Chai and samosa were served to underline these cultural themes.


Namaste Edinburgh, October 2013

A welcome event for new students to Edinburgh, Namaste Edinburgh was jointly held by University of Edinburgh under the Edinburgh India Institute and the International Office along with Edinburgh Napier University, Heriott-Watt University, Queen Margret University.

The event was organised in the City Chambers and the welcome address was given by dignitaries like Baillie Work (from the City Chambers), Jim Eadie (MSP) and Mr. I.P. Lakra (Indian Counsul).

The event was very successful with over 100 attendees. It also paved the way for further collaboration between the four universities of Edinburgh.


College on Wheels, September 2013

Students and staff from University of Edinburgh joined their counterparts from the Delhi University to go on the College on Wheels’ - GYANODAYA III Educational Train Journey 2013.

Edinburgh India Institute, the International office and India office (Mumbai) undertook the responsibility of making this partnership initiative possible.

The journey spanning a week took the train from Delhi into the cultural, economic and agricultural heartland of Punjab, allowing the travellers to better understand the dynamics of the region’s emerging economy, as well as its importance in terms of farming and heritage.

It then went on to Amritsar, the spiritual centre for the Sikh religion; Ludhiana, the industrial hub of North India; and Chandigarh, the first planned city in post-independence India.

The journey not only provided the students from Edinburgh to know India better but also opened up new channels of student interaction and exchange.


Delhi University student visit, July 2013

The EII hosted 11 undergraduate students from the Delhi University and 4 staff members on 4th July 2013.

The students and staff interacted with their counterparts from University of Edinburgh. EII organised Interactive sessions and presentations by members of staff and students for the guests.There was a dinner held afterwards where people were able to interact informally.

The event was yet another milestone in fostering the already deep ongoing collaborative relation the University of Edinburgh has with the Delhi University.