A taste of the exotic in Stornoway

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The Purvai Festival 2017 marks a historic event in Stornoway - the first ever exhibition of Colin Mackenzie’s India Collections - ‘Collector Extraordinaire’.

Colin Mackenzie, one of Scotland’s most famous 19th century explorers, was born in Stornoway in 1753.

He went on to lead a life of travel, discovery and exploration in India as a solider, engineer, cartographer, polymath and collector.

Purvai 2017, with the Colin Mackenzie exhibition, will bring back to life a forgotten part of Hebridean heritage, which reaches far beyond our island shores.

The Collection comprises a remarkable range of material, including beautiful figures intricately carved in stone, thousands of drawings and sketches from across India and Java depicting ancient monuments, people and customs, maps, coins, and incredibly old and precious palm leaf manuscripts.

Items from the Collection will be on loan from the British Museum, The British Library and the V&A, and exhibited at Museum nan Eilean at Lews.

To find out more about this year’s Festival, which includes an inspirational line up of concerts, talks, workshops and visual arts, and to book tickets go to: website