Travel: Global Agenda

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Three hundred years ago, in a pivotal event in Sikh history, Guru Gobind Singh created the Khalsa, or Order of the Pure, part of which was the proposal of symbols for its Sikh followers, including uncut hair and the wearing of turbans for men. To coincide with this anniversary, the V&A is mounting "The Arts of the Sikh Kingdoms", a major exhibition celebrating the culture of the Sikh maharajas featuring items drawn from collections around the world. The show features paintings, multi-hued silks and shawls, weaponry and jewels of the Sikh treasury, the vibrant colours and textures reflecting the rich and exciting history which produced them. A centrepiece of the exhibition will be the Golden Throne, which was made for Maharaja Ranjit Singh (1780-1839) and which usually forms part of the Indian and South-East Asian Collection housed at the museum.

Victoria and Albert Museum, South Kensington, SW7 (0171-938 8349). Exhibition runs from 25 March to 25 July, pounds 3-pounds 5

New Orleans

This laid-back city of bars, bourbon-filled nights and Mardi Gras festivities has produced more than its fair share of literary lions. The well-organised 13th annual Tennessee Williams/ New Orleans Literary Festival is an excellent opportunity to acquaint yourself with both the work of its famous sons and daughters, such as Williams, and also to immerse yourself in discussions, master classes and conferences of a more general literary nature.

And when the going becomes a tad too cerebral, relax by entering the Stanley and Stella Shouting Contest - based around the famous scene from A Streetcar Named Desire...

Various venues, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA (00 1 504 566 5011) from Wednesday until Sunday 28 March


A fun adjunct to the grand exhibitions and events in the year that Glasgow is UK City of Architecture and Design is The Animal Construction Company, a smaller but no less learned show which celebrates the builders of the animal world. Through displays of animal ingenuity, such as the carefully constructed nests of weaver birds and the huge termite mounds (which can rise to more than 20 feet), the organisers hope to show how we might learn from their techniques and use of materials.

Hunterian Museum, University of Glasgow, University Avenue, Glasgow (0141- 330 4779) today until 20 August, free