Purvai 2018 gets underway this month in An Lanntair Arts Centre with a host of internationally acclaimed artists, including Deepa Nair Rasiya, Gupreet Singh Notta, Kaviraj Singh Dhadyalla and Dalbir Singh Rattan and Kathak dancer, Kanchan Maradan.

The festival brings South Asian dance, music, writing, textiles and food to the Outer Hebrides celebrating Scotland’s diversity of connections with India.

The headline event will be a ‘Summer Evening of Indian Raag’ on Friday 17th August, featuring one of the most highly acclaimed female Indian vocalists in the UK today, Deepa Nair Rasiya.

This year a new initiative for the festival, the Purvai Summer School – Yatra Òigridh – will be a chance for children aged 8 to 13 years to experience a vast range of art forms, kathak dance, singing, drumming, puppet making and more. All leading to a multimedia performance on Saturday 18th August.

The children will take inspiration from the Yatra performance of last year’s festival, and tell the story through dance, music and puppetry, of the world-famous collector extraordinaire, Colin Mackenzie, who was born in Stornoway in 1754 and lived and travelled in India for most of his life, amassing the largest ever collection of Indian art and artefacts.

The exhibitions programme will include ‘Cry Calcutta’ by notable photographer, Thomas Patrick Kiernan, and ‘Document’ by Fòcas, which brings together three Scottish artists with three Indian artists in a stunning new collaborative photography show.

Purvai 2018 will also bring a new literary event ‘New Passages’ to An Lanntair on 21st August, presented in partnership with Edinburgh International Book Festival and the British Council. This exciting event will celebrate and present new writing from collaborations between Scottish writers, Nalini Paul and Abir Mukherjee, and Indian writers, Sandip Roy and Sampurna Chattarji.

Alongside all this, the festival will offer a vast array of new opportunities for local people and visitors to take part and get involved, with workshops on Indian drumming, yoga, Indian folk and Kathak dance, even Indian kite and puppet making.

Pictured is Deepa Nair Rasiya, Indian Classical Vocalist and headline act for Purvai 2018, who said: "This will be my first ever visit to Stornoway and I am thrilled at the prospect of performing vocal Indian Music at this year's Purvai Festival. I can already sense the magic and enchantment of the whole event and look forward to it with much anticipation.”

Major funder for Purvai 2018, Heritage Lottery Fund said:” HLF is pleased to support An Lanntair in its planned activities to celebrate the shared heritage of South Asia and the Hebrides and, thanks to National Lottery players, enable people to enjoy this shared history on their own doorstep.”