Entertainment in India

  • Top ChoiceEntertainment in Mumbai (Bombay)

    Royal Opera House

    India's only surviving opera house reopened to suitably dramatic fanfare with a 2016 performance by Mumbai-born British soprano Patricia Rozario, after a meticulous six-year restoration project that saw the regal address returned to full British-rule glory. Architect Abha Narain Lambah combed through old photographs of gilded ceilings, stained-glass windows and a baroque Indo-European foyer to restore the three-level auditorium.

  • Entertainment in Greater Delhi & Gurgaon (Gurugram)

    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 world-class techno-wizardry, as the cast swing, swoop and sing from the rafters. There's a free shuttle from the metro every 15 minutes, but it's only a 500m walk; come out of Gate 2 and take the first right.

  • Entertainment in New Delhi

    Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts

    A hub of cultural and artsy seminars, exhibitions and performances housed in a well-located, landscaped sprawl not far from India Gate. Frequented by culture vultures for a regular fix of classical and vocal recitals, dance performances, film screenings and literary fests. See the website for forthcoming events and activities.

  • Top ChoiceEntertainment in Pune

    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 or reserve a seat at a marble table under hanging Arabian carpets in the elevated main stage area. It's inside a nightlife enclave in Mundhwa called ABC Farms.

  • Entertainment in Kolkata (Calcutta)

    Someplace Else

    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 original music. Most are cover bands who belt out regulation rock and blues hits. The ambience is laid-back, and the crowd gets rather raucous on weekends.

  • Entertainment in Udaipur

    Dharohar

    The beautiful Bagore-ki-Haveli hosts the best (and most convenient) opportunity to see Rajasthani folk dancing, with nightly shows of colourful, energetic Marwari, Bhil and western Rajasthani dances, as well as traditional Rajasthani puppetry.

  • Entertainment in Kolkata (Calcutta)

    ICCR

    This state-run cultural melting pot is a large, multilevel operation that regularly hosts exhibitions, dance shows, recitals and lectures in its many galleries and auditoriums. The programs are often free, and snacks (also free!) are usually offered to guests on inauguration days.

  • Entertainment in Mumbai (Bombay)

    Liberty Cinema

    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 on the rebound and is now hosting films again. It's near Bombay Hospital.

  • Entertainment in Bengaluru (Bangalore)

    Humming Tree

    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 good finger-food menu and happy hour until 7pm.

  • Entertainment in Greater Delhi & Gurgaon (Gurugram)

    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). Check the website for listings.

  • Entertainment in Sunder Nagar, Nizamuddin & Lodi Colony

    Habitat World

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

  • Entertainment in Bengaluru (Bangalore)

    M Chinnaswamy Stadium

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

  • Entertainment in Kochi (Cochin)

    Kerala Kathakali Centre

    In an intimate, wood-lined theatre, this recommended long-running arts centre provides a useful introduction to Kathakali. It also hosts performances of kalarippayat (4pm), classical music (8pm to 9pm Sunday to Friday) and traditional dance (8pm Saturday), plus early-morning yoga (₹400) and meditation (₹250) sessions and a range of short- and long-term courses, including Kathakali (from ₹650 per hour).

  • Top ChoiceEntertainment in Jaipur

    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 auditorium and a circular foyer somewhere between a temple and Disneyland. Bookings can be made one hour to seven days in advance at window 11.

  • Entertainment in Jaipur

    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 restaurants where you can enjoy a tasty Rajasthani thali, plus a bevy of traditional entertainment – dancers, acrobats, snack stalls – and adventure-park-like activities for kids to swing on, slide down and hide in.

  • Entertainment in Mumbai (Bombay)

    National Centre for the Performing Arts

    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 readings, photography exhibitions, a jazz band from Chicago or Indian classical music. Many performances are free. The box office is at the end of NCPA Marg.

  • Entertainment in Kolkata (Calcutta)

    Nandan Complex

    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 programs through the year, the complex also hosts the popular Kolkata International Film Festival. Tourist information offices and pamphlets give extensive listings of events here.

  • Top ChoiceEntertainment in Gangtok

    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 alternative-pop sets from 7.30pm (cover ₹300). Saturday nights there's a DJ party. By day there's a relaxed, jazzy vibe, with decent food and hookahs to smoke on the plush, partly curtained balcony terrace.

  • Entertainment in Mumbai (Bombay)

    Quarter

    The Royal Opera House's signature entertainment venue (besides the Opera House itself, that is), the Quarter counts unique spaces like an airy, glass-fronted cafe and mozzarella bar, a Creole-cuisine-inspired restaurant and, most interestingly, a live-music venue evocative of a 1950s art deco jazz bar.

  • Entertainment in Kolkata (Calcutta)

    Eden Gardens

    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 renovation cut its seating by half, it was billed as the world's largest cricket stadium with an audience capacity of nearly 120,000. Few enthusiasts, however, know the arena by its real name, Ranji Stadium.