Indian police have detained about 100 Tibetans who were protesting outside the Chinese Embassy in New Delhi on the anniversary of a failed 1959 uprising against China's rule in Tibet.

Protesters interlocked their hands and tried to form a chain around the embassy before police stepped in and dragged them away.

Police officer Dhruv Narain said the Tibetans were being held at a nearby police station and would be released later Tuesday.

The protest was to mark the 56th anniversary of the uprising, which led to the flight of the Dalai Lama and the establishment of the Tibetan government-in-exile in a north Indian town.

Tibetan activists said they were dedicating their protest to the memory of the 130 Tibetans who have self-immolated since 2009 to protest Chinese rule in Tibet.