- Wembley (Gujarat)
- East Ham (South India)
- Southall (Punjab)
Take a holiday in India in just a few hours. You will visit a breathtaking temples and be shown around largely unvisited suburbs of London by a local guide.
We have three separate tours of different 'regions' of India in London: Gujarat (Wembley), South India (East Ham) and Punjab (Southall). Check the booking links for the availability of each tour.
Each of the three tours feel distinctively Indian - but in different ways. Gujarati culture is typically Hindu, with simple vegetarian food and flavours; South Indian cuisine is vegetarian and reflects the warmer tropical climate with more coconut, rice and banana leaves; wheres Punjabi community is Sikh and meat from the 'tandoor oven' is more typical.
Each area bustles with colour and aromas and the temples or gurdwaras we visit stand out as exquisite vibrant monuments in London's grey streets.
Explore the many saree, gold, jewellery and spice shops and sample typical street food. Your guide will tell you her personal story and share the history and customs of the community, its continuing traditions and religious beliefs.
Your guides are Nidhi (who was born in India and moved to London as a child) and Manju (who's parents came to London from Kerala).
The ticket price includes sampling delicious chaat (typical street snacks) and a sit down simple meal in a popular local cafe.
History of Indian London
The arrival of people from the Indian subcontinent has been on-going since the eighteenth century when trade routes were first established to the east. Merchants and sailors brought cotton, tea and spice to the UK and some ended up establishing small communities around this time.
Strong links between the government of the Punjab (predominantly Sikh) region and the Victorians nineteenth century meant that people from this area were the first to settle in the UK. Although there was a community much earlier, the first Sikh Gudwara (temple) was established in 1914 in West London.
Sailors from Mirpur in Pakistan and Sylhet in Bangladesh were employed on British ships and in various roles in the spice & tea industry. However more significant migration really occurred after India was partitioned in 1947 many people left to avoid the chaos and to set up new lives in the UK. The civil wars in Bangladesh in the 1970s and in Sri Lanka in the 1980s led to large scale migration.
Many Gujarati Indians moved to East Africa after partition and established successful businesses there. But dramatic political changes under new African leaders meant that their communities were expelled and in the 1970s they fled to the UK in large numbers.
Shortages in the NHS in the 1960s and 70s meant that Indian and Sri Lankan medical professionals were invited to work here.
So you can see the patterns of migration are quite complicated over centuries of ecomomic and political change.