Close up of head of Kali

enlightenment to revolution

Exhibition / -

24 September 2020 – 24 January 2021

The Museum is closed.

Room 35

The Joseph Hotung Great Court Gallery


Booking has now closed.

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Due to the national lockdown and closure of the Museum, Tantra: enlightenment to revolution will unfortunately be unable to reopen. We’ll be in contact with exhibition ticket holders as soon as possible. You can still take a tour of the exhibition online.


Explore the radical force that transformed the religious, cultural and political landscape of India and beyond in this landmark exhibition. 

A philosophy originating in medieval India, Tantra has been linked to successive waves of revolutionary thought, from its sixth-century transformation of Hinduism and Buddhism, to the Indian fight for independence and the rise of 1960s counterculture.

Centering on the power of divine feminine energy, Tantra inspired the dramatic rise of goddess worship in medieval India and continues to influence contemporary feminist thought and artistic practice. From its inception to the present day, Tantra has challenged societal conventions around the world.

Aspects of Tantric philosophy can be found across Asia's diverse cultures, but it remains largely unknown – or misrepresented – in the West. The exhibition showcases extraordinary objects from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Tibet, Japan, the UK and USA, from the seventh century AD to the present, and includes masterpieces of sculpture, painting, prints and ritual objects.


Curator's tour of 'Tantra: enlightenment to revolution'

Curator's tour of 'Tantra: enlightenment to revolution' exhibition at the British Museum.

Ticket information


Hard copies of our large print guide aren't available. Please download the large print guide before or during your visit.

This exhibition contains some audio content. You can listen to this, or read the audio transcript, on your own device by scanning the QR codes in the gallery. A hearing loop is installed for the film Kichu Din Mone Mone, sung by Parvathy Baul.

There are a few benches where you can sit down. A limited number of folding stools are available at the Main entrance on Great Russell Street. Please drop these off at the Montague Place exit as as you leave the Museum.

Exhibition supporter

Bagri Foundation logo

The Bagri Foundation is pleased to be lead supporter of Tantra: enlightenment to revolution, an exhibition which explores the wider, lesser-known philosophies of this belief system and its impact throughout history.

With a keen interest in Tantric Art and its principles – its ability to inspire spiritual awakening and its quest for universal truth – the Foundation believes that traditional ideas of Tantra are wholly relevant to a contemporary world.

A key tenet of the Bagri Foundation is to contribute to global discourse by sharing knowledge and expertise about cultures across Asia. We are pleased to partner with the British Museum for the first time, especially on a major exhibition which brings Tantra to a wider community.