Kala ghoda association
Kala Ghoda Association, was formed on 30th October 1998 with the object
of maintaining and preserving the heritage and art district of South Mumbai. Every
year, since 1999 the association hosts the Kala Ghoda Arts Festival, the country's
largest multicultural festival, created to draw attention to this unique and beautiful
area in Mumbai. Now in its 17th edition, the Festival draws visitors in large numbers,
not just from the city but from all over the country, and, indeed, the world.
Kala ghoda ART DISTRICT
Ghoda precinct can be roughly defined as the area that stretches from the Regal
Circle at the Southern end of Mahatma Gandhi Road, up to the Mumbai University at
the northern end, flanked by the Oval Maidan to the west and the Lion Gate to the
east. The name Kala Ghoda can be traced to the old equestrian statue of King Edward
VII, which was placed at the centre of the large node on the old Esplanade Road.
The statue, a vestige of the colonial era, has since been removed from the site,
but the colloquially used for the district name persist regardless - an assertive
confirmation of a compelling public memory.
area is a hub of cultural activity and a throbbing urban node with institutions
like the Jehangir Art Gallery, Max Mueller Bhavan, Bombay University, Prince of
Wales Museum, National Gallery of Modern Art, Institute of Science, Bombay Natural
History Society, Elphinstone College, and David Sassoon Library around it, all within
comfortable walking distance of each other. Apart from the entertaining pursuits
of art and education, the area also offers a host of famous city restaurants and
cafes, along with art galleries, designer boutiques, and many culture-related activities
and venues - the most popular one being the annual Kala Ghoda Arts Festival, where
many artistes, performers and craftspersons gather every February.
the overwhelming impact of its myriad functions, the area also has a strong visual
image, reinforced by historic buildings, perhaps the finest concentrated collection
of heritage structures in the city. The Elphinstone College and David Sassoon Library
are in the Victorian Neo-Gothic genre, while the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu
Sangrahlaya (CSMVS) belongs to the Indo-Saracenic style. The Army & Navy Building
reflects the vocabulary of the Renaissance Revival, and the Cowasji Jehangir Hall
(which is now the National Gallery of Modern of Art) that of the Edwardian Neo-Classical
With a combined
total of almost 1,10,000 sq. ft of existing indoor gallery space, the Kala Ghoda
Precinct has an existing critical mass of art galleries, museums, and cultural spaces
unrivalled in all of India, and perhaps comparable to art districts in other parts
of the world. To this could be added an additional mass of outdoor pavement galleries
on Rampart Row and potential exhibition space within the covered arcades to make
the Kala Ghoda area a veritable ‘Urban Museum’. Such a phenomenal ensemble of art
functions within one concentrated zone, offers tremendous avenues for future development
and, added to this the support infrastructure of existing lecture halls, convocation
halls, and conference facilities offered by The Mumbai University, Elphinstone College,
and other neighbouring institutions, gives Kala Ghoda a unique place in the world
of art and culture.
also many locational advantages that contribute to the special character of the
Kala Ghoda Art District. The area occupies a pivotal location within Fort, and is
on the tourist circuit of Taj Mahal Hotel - Gateway of India - Flora Fountain and
The Asiatic Library. It has easy access to rail, water, and road transport and offers
a large number of places of public interest within walking distance of each other.
It is flanked by one of the city’s largest greens – the Oval Maidan to the west
– and is situated in the heart of the city’s business, commercial, and administrative
hub, close to Horniman Circle garden. The Cross Maidan is also in close proximity.
The Kala ghoda association
In order to give full opportunity to this potential as well as to physically improve
the area, cultural institutions and art galleries in this area came together to
form the Kala Ghoda Association in 1998 and have been since working toward the conservation
of this area. This association has prioritized its conservation tasks and organizes
an art festival annually, in February (the first Saturday till the next Sunday,
for nine days) in order to bring attention to the area’s art and architectural heritage.
Institutions located here, the galleries, patrons, and concerned citizens got together
in 1988 to form the Kala Ghoda Association. The Association recognized that the
largest emerging user as well as interest in the area, is art-related.
Furthermore, the Association recognized and anticipated the need to connect this
powerful contemporary use and function to the physical improvement process. That
is, really to use this function and its potential, to generate goodwill as well
as financial support ,and act as the contemporary engine to drive the conservation
and physical improvement of the area. In order to do this the Association decided
to institute an Art Festival as an annual event, to bring attention to this precinct,
to generate funds for sponsoring projects , and also to set an annual target for