The Kala Ghoda precinct is Mumbai’s premier art district. It has large number of city’s heritage buildings and art galleries like Jehangir Art Gallery, National Gallery of Modern Art etc. Also the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalyaya is located in here. The area is sandwiched between the Lion Gate to the east, Regal Cinema to the south, Fountain to the north and Oval Maidan to the west.
The name Kala Ghoda means Black Horse, a reference to the presence of a black equestrian statue of king Edward VII placed in the area. Even though the statue was removed from the precinct in 1965 and subsequently placed inside the Byculla Zoo, the area was continued to be called as Kala Ghoda (but alas without the black horse).
The Kala Ghoda Association was formed on 30th October 1998 with the object of maintaining and preserving this art district of south Mumbai. Every year, since 1999 the association hosts the Kala Ghoda Arts Festival. The nine days long festival commences on the first Saturday of February and closing on the second Sunday of February. Over the years, the festival has grown in stature and popularity attracting visitors and participants from other parts of the country and the world. The festival sections are visual arts, dance, music, theatre, cinema, literature, workshops, heritage walks, urban etc. Entry to all the events is free to all, as the costs are met through corporate sponsorship.
The Rampart Raw being the centre of the Festival is closed off to vehicular traffic for the duration of the festival, with the entire area becoming a street mela, with interactive art installations and stalls of artisans selling their creations. In the recent years, the festival has expanded beyond Kala Ghoda area with many events being held in Cross Maidan and Horniman circle as well.
Kala Ghoda Art Festival-2016 was held during 6th February to 14th February 2016. Some pictures from the Festival…