The Colourful Heritage

Digital Timeline

Our digital timeline charts the history and progress of South Asians and key events in Scotland over the last 100 years or so, from the arrival of Maharajah Duleep Singh in Perthshire to the present day involvement of women in politics.

Starting from 1855 this fascinating timeline takes you through the journey of the evolution of the South Asian and Muslim community in Scotland.

Select a time period or start scrolling through the timeline!















Colourful Heritage Timeline


Maharajah Duleep Singh takes up residence at the Grandtully estate in Perthshire.

Maharajah Duleep Singh, the young ruler of the Kingdom of Lahore, takes up residence at the Grandtully estate in Perthshire after he was deposed by the British. Location: Grandtully Estate,..Read More


South Asian Lascars Arrive in Scotland

Throughout the 1860s, South Asian lascars (seamen) are seen more often in Scotland. By the end of the century there are Lascar-only facilities in Glasgow Docks. Location: Glasgow, Scotland Credits:..Read More


Gopal Chandra Roy becomes the first South Asian student enrolled at Glasgow University

    ‌The first Indian students at University of Glasgow arrived in 1870 and the first graduate was Gopal Chandra Roy from Bengal, who became a Doctor in 1871. Location: Glasgow, Scotland..Read More


    Queen Victoria Employs Abdul Karim

    Queen Victoria employs Abdul Karim (1863-1909) as an attendant. He accompanies her whenever she resides at Balmoral. A holiday cottage is named after him on the estate. Credits: Hills and..Read More


    Merbai Ardesir Vakil – the First Female Graduate from University of Glasgow

    Merbai Ardesir Vakil was the first female Indian graduate of the University of Glasgow, graduating from Medicine in 1897. After graduation she spent two years working as a postgraduate in..Read More


    John (Yahya) Parkinson Converts to Islam

    John Parkinson (1874-1918) from Kilwinning Ayrshire converts to Islam c. 1901. As Yahya Parkinson he becomes a poet and writer and is described as the Muslim Robert Burns. Yahya was..Read More


    The Glasgow Indian Union is Established

      Seamen (Lascars), students and workers living in Glasgow set up the Glasgow Indian Union to protect their rights. Location: Glasgow, Scotland Credits: The Open University


      World War One Begins

      Over 1.5 million Indian soldiers fight with the British forces during World War One. Head over to our British Indo-Pak Army page to learn more of the South Asian contribution..Read More


      South Asian Lascars Noticeably Living in Anderston, Glasgow

      Noor Mohammed Tanda lives in Glasgow, and reports South Asian seamen (Lascars) living in Anderston by 1919 when he leaves. He returns later to run a warehouse in the Gorbals..Read More


      Nathoo Mohammed – the Pioneer of Chain Migration

      A few Indian pedlars base themselves in Glasgow, including Sundhi Din (who had previously worked in Scotland as a valet) and Nathoo Mohammed, who frequently encouraged family and friends to..Read More