Must-see entertainment in India

  • Royal Opera House

    Mumbai (Bombay)

    India's only surviving opera house reopened to suitably dramatic fanfare with a 2016 performance by Mumbai-born British soprano Patricia Rozario, after a…

  • Shisha Cafe


    It's a magical atmosphere anytime, but live jazz Thursday nights at alfresco Shisha are a Pune institution. Snuggle up on Iranian-style lounges downstairs…

  • Raj Mandir Cinema


    Just off MI Rd, Raj Mandir is the place to go to see a Hindi film in India. This opulent cinema looks like a huge pink cream cake, with a meringue…

  • Cafe Live & Loud


    Gangtok's most happening music bar bathes its drinkers in a tsunami of sound Wednesday to Friday evenings, when live bands typically crank out rock or…

  • Kingdom of Dreams


    An entertainment extravaganza, Kingdom of Dreams offers live Bollywood-style shows that are out-and-out sensory assaults. Performances are supported by…

  • Someplace Else

    Kolkata (Calcutta)

    This nightclub has been steadily promoting live music in Kolkata since the mid-1990s. Acts perform nightly, although you'll have to be lucky to catch some…

  • Dharohar


    The beautiful Bagore-ki-Haveli hosts the best (and most convenient) opportunity to see Rajasthani folk dancing, with nightly shows of colourful, energetic…

  • ICCR

    Kolkata (Calcutta)

    This state-run cultural melting pot is a large, multilevel operation that regularly hosts exhibitions, dance shows, recitals and lectures in its many…

  • Liberty Cinema

    Mumbai (Bombay)

    The stunning art deco Liberty was once the queen of Hindi film – think red-carpet openings with Dev Anand. It fell on hard times in recent years, but is…

  • Humming Tree

    Bengaluru (Bangalore)

    This popular warehouse-style venue has bands (starting around 9pm), DJs and a rooftop terrace. The cover charge is anything from zero to ₹300. There's a…

  • People & Co


    A restaurant and bar with comedy nights every evening, usually from around 7.30pm. Some nights are free. Bigger names bring a cover charge (from ₹500)…

  • Habitat World


    This is an important Delhi cultural address, with art exhibitions, performances and concerts, mostly free. Check the website for events.

  • M Chinnaswamy Stadium

    Bengaluru (Bangalore)

    A mecca for cricket-lovers, hosting many matches per year. Check online for the schedule of tests, one-dayers and Twenty20s.

  • Portrait of Kathakali dancer in full costume

    Kerala Kathakali Centre

    Kochi (Cochin)

    In an intimate, wood-lined theatre, this recommended long-running arts centre provides a useful introduction to Kathakali. It also hosts performances of…

  • Chokhi Dhani


    Chokhi Dhani, meaning ‘special village', is a mock Rajasthani village 20km south of Jaipur, and is a fun place to take kids. There are open-air…

  • National Centre for the Performing Arts

    Mumbai (Bombay)

    This vast cultural centre is the hub of Mumbai’s highbrow music, theatre and dance scene. In any given week, it might host experimental plays, poetry…

  • Nandan Complex

    Kolkata (Calcutta)

    This complex is made up of the auditoriums and theatre halls at Rabindra Sadan, Sisir Mancha and the central Nandan Cinema. Apart from sundry cultural…

  • Quarter

    Mumbai (Bombay)

    The Royal Opera House's signature entertainment venue (besides the Opera House itself, that is), the Quarter counts unique spaces like an airy, glass…

  • Eden Gardens

    Kolkata (Calcutta)

    The vast Eden Gardens hosts international cricket matches, and is the home ground of the Kolkata Knight Riders IPL team. Until some years ago, when a…

  • Seagull Arts & Media Resource Centre

    Kolkata (Calcutta)

    Owned by the same management that operates Seagull Bookstore, this acclaimed institution regularly organises art and media exhibitions, film screenings,…

  • Maidan Racecourse

    Kolkata (Calcutta)

    The Victoria Memorial provides a beautiful backdrop to this colonial-era racecourse, from whose 19th-century grandstands you can watch some of India’s…

  • GD Birla Sabaghar

    Kolkata (Calcutta)

    This state-of-the-art auditorium and performance venue is located within the Birla Mandir complex, although access is from a side road. It hosts a number…

  • Prithvi Theatre

    Mumbai (Bombay)

    A Juhu institution that’s a great place to see both Hindi- and English-language theatre or an art-house film, with the Prithvi Cafe for drinks. Its…

  • Deltin JAQK


    Deltin JAQK has three floors with 50 tables. Admission includes gaming chips to the value of ₹2000, or ₹4000 with the premium ticket. There’s a lavish…

  • Kala Academy


    On the west side of the city, in Campal, is Goa’s premier cultural centre, which features a program of dance, theatre, music and art exhibitions…

  • Mudra Cultural Centre

    Periyar Tiger Reserve

    Kathakali shows at this cultural centre are highly entertaining. Make-up and costume starts 30 minutes before each show. Arrive early for a good seat; use…

  • Open-Air Theatre


    Next door to the extravagant, more well known Kingdom of Dreams, this modest open-air theatre puts on free traditional-music performances every Saturday…

  • 'Ancient Futures' Film Screenings


    The still-relevant 1993 documentary Ancient Futures: Learning from Ladakh or the similarly thought-provoking film The Economics of Happiness are screened…

  • Canvas Laugh

    Mumbai (Bombay)

    A popular comedy club that hosts around 50 shows per month, with twice-nightly programs on weekends (most comedians use English). It’s 900m west of Lower…

  • Wankhede Stadium

    Mumbai (Bombay)

    Test matches and one-day internationals are played a few times a year here in season (October to April). Contact the Cricket Association for ticket…

  • Deltin Royale


    Goa’s biggest and best luxury floating casino, Deltin Royal has 123 tables, the Vegas Restaurant, a Whisky Bar and a creche. Entry includes gaming chips…

  • India International Centre


    The IIC is a key location for a sector of Delhi society, usually elderly intellectuals. Although the club is for members only, the public is welcome to…

  • Punarjani Traditional Village


    Entertaining (though aimed at tourists) daily performances of Kathakali and kalarippayat, 7km southwest of Munnar. Same-day tickets are usually available…

  • Indigo XP

    Bengaluru (Bangalore)

    Always buzzing, this huge venue hosts bands, DJs, acoustic musicians and stand-up comedy. On the upper floor there's a large terrace for dining and…

  • Ranga Shankara

    Bengaluru (Bangalore)

    All kinds of interesting theatre (in a variety of languages and spanning various genres) and dance are staged at this cultural centre. Hosts an annual…

  • NCPA Box Office

    Mumbai (Bombay)

    Box office for Mumbai's National Centre for the Performing Arts. You can also book online at Book My Show (

  • Inox (South City Mall)

    Kolkata (Calcutta)

    This branch of the popular Inox multiplex chain is located on the top floor of South City Mall, and screens brand-new titles from Hollywood, Bollywood and…

  • Regal Cinema

    Mumbai (Bombay)

    A faded art deco masterpiece – Mumbai's oldest – that’s good for Hollywood and Indian blockbusters.

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