The Bhavan in London was inaugurated in 1972 in a small office near Oxford Street. After a few years, the Bhavan moved to a new property in the Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham. This building is a beautiful former church.
The Bhavan provides courses in music, dance, languages, drama, art and archaeology and yoga. Some nine hundred students attend our courses during the year. Courses are taught at different leverls – open, diploma (5 years) and master. Individual training is available in order to advance students to the highest levels.
Some 100 performances
are given each year on our premises. We have presented concerts by artistes of the highest calibre – Bharat Ratna Pandit Ravi Shankar and Padma Vibhushan Dr. M. Balamurali Krishna to name just two. Each year we present a major lecture – The M.P. Birla Memorial Lecture. Recent speakers have included Mark Tully, Lord Dholakia and most recently Arun Jaithley.
The Bhavan has a 20 strong Executive Committee, chaired by Mr Joginder Sanger with Mr Shantoo Ruparell MBE as Joint Chairman. There are sub-committees which include those for Building, Marketing and Publicity, Education and Visual Arts, Membership, Programme and Drama.
There are approximately 1500 members
who support the Bhavan’s activities and who receive various benefits including a monthly newsletter and discounts on books and entrance fees.
Recent developments have included the building of a two-floor extension costing £1.2million. This was opened by the Rt. Hon. Tessa Jowell, the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport. This extension includes a modern art gallery
, lift, guestrooms, extra classrooms and an archive
. The financing of this has been through our fund raising efforts and a grant of £522,537 from the Millenium Commission.
The most recent project has involved a facelift for our main performing space - The Mountbatten Auditorium. This entailed the complete renovation of the hall - new seats, better access, new dressing rooms, a new seating gallery, as well as the provision of state-of-the-art sound and lighting facilities.
The new auditorium was inaugurated by HRH The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall in 2005. We were again grateful to the Millennium Commission and The Arts Council for their help with the project.