The city celebrates its links with India throughout the Open Cambridge weekend.

Cambridge and India have interacted over the years... through ground-breaking research but also through very personal stories.

Malavika Anderson

As Cambridge opens its doors for a special weekend on 8 and 9 September, we invite you to join us on a journey of discovery through the hidden histories, spaces, objects, ideas and people that connect Cambridge and India.

This year is the UK-India Year of Culture and to mark this India Unboxed has been created in Cambridge to examine 150 years of the fascinating and complex shared history of the university-city and India.

From stories of some of the earliest Indian students in Cambridge and of local revolutionaries, through to intriguing items from the archives and museums in Cambridge, and Mill Road’s memories of India, the India Unboxed series in Open Cambridge will highlight the city from new perspectives.

Malavika Anderson, who leads on the India Unboxed programme, said: “We wanted to look at the ways Cambridge and India have interacted over the years. This could be through ground-breaking research but also through very personal stories of Indian students and residents finding their way in Cambridge.

“India Unboxed is a programme of exhibitions, events, digital engagement, discussions, installations and more within the museums and the city of Cambridge. Rooted in the museum collections, the programme will use innovative platforms and formats to explore themes of identity and connectivity for diverse audiences in the UK and India.”

The free events include a walking tour of Cambridge that will explore 150 Years of Indian History in Cambridge. Guided by a historian, this tour allows attendees to understand the contexts within which some of the early students from India arrived in Cambridge. It offers glimpses into their personal tales of challenge and success, including the story of Srinivasa Ramanujan, the Indian mathematician whose life was celebrated in the 2015 film The Man Who Knew Infinity.

Mill Road Celebrates India is a day of events and activities presented by the Mill Road History Society in association with residents and local businesses of Mill Road - including dance, poetry, music, storytelling, talks and more.

The University of Cambridge Museums offer a series of highlights alongside their India-themed exhibitions including: Behind the Scenes at Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, offering access to some of the museum’s collections from India that are not currently on display. The series also includes: an Exhibition Tour of Another India by curator Mark Elliott; a Family Film Screening of The Jungle Book (1967) in the lawns of the Fitzwilliam Museum; and one of the last chances to catch Imagining India at the Museum of Classical Archaeology.

A special public opening of Freedom and Fragmentation at the Alison Richard Building will display some of the highlights from the University’s Centre of South Asian Studies collections. From photographs of the freedom movement to ephemera revealing various aspects of British rule over the sub-continent.

College libraries including Downing College and Trinity College’s Wren Library are showcasing their archival material related to India in specially curated displays. An Open Day at the Ancient India and Iran Trust welcomes visitors into the beautiful Brookland’s Avenue library.

India Unboxed is supported by Arts Council England.

These India Unboxed events are part of the Open Cambridge weekend, now celebrating its tenth year. The weekend showcases a diverse range of hidden architectural gems and stunning spaces that are normally closed to the public or charge entry fees. This year’s programme features 97 events, ranging from a Jane Austen manuscript on view at King's College to an art tour of Parker's Piece and the Cambridge Mosque open day. Open Cambridge is a busy weekend and many of the events require pre-booking.


Bookings open on Monday 14 August. Book online at or call 01223 766 766. The phone- lines are open between 11am – 3pm, Monday to Friday. There are also plenty of drop-in events for people to enjoy.

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