Today, I’ve decided to blog about an unusual topic: The Kala Ghoda Arts Festival. What is the Kala Ghoda Arts Festival? Where does it take place? Who started this? And why does it happen? I’ll be answering all those questions here!
The Kala Ghoda precinct stretches from the Regal Circle at the southern end of the Mahatma Gandhi road, up to the Mumbai University at the northern end, with the Oval Main to the west and the Lion’s Gate to the east. The name Kala Ghoda traces back to the old equestrian statue of King Edward VII, placed at the centre of the old Esplanade Road. The statue, a reminder of the colonial era, has since been removed from the site, but the name stayed.
Today, it’s the hub of cultural activity with institutions like the Jehangir Art Gallery, Max Mueller Bhavan, Prince of Wales Museum, David Sassoon Library, etc. All of these are a walkable distance away. The area also hosts famous restaurants and cafes, and many other culture-related activities and venues, the most popular being the Kala Ghoda Arts Festival. It also occupies a pivotal location within Fort and is close to The Taj Mahal Hotel, The Gateway of India, Flora Fountain and the Asiatic Library.
The Kala Ghoda Association, formed on 30th October 1988 with the idea of maintaining and preserving the art district of South Mumbai, prioritised its conservation. The Kala Ghoda Arts Festival successfully has been drawing attention to this quirky district since 1999. This year, in its 17th edition it continues to draw people out not just from around the country, but also around the world.
The Kala Ghoda Arts Festival is an annual 9-day long festival from the first Saturday of February to the second Sunday of February. Organised by the Kala Ghoda Association, its curated by teams handling each of the 12 sections of the festival. They are Visual Arts, Dance, Music, Theatre, Cinema, Literature including children’s literature as a sub-section, Workshops, Heritage Walks, Urban Design and Architecture (2014), Food, a dedicated section for children, and a vibrant street section including stalls selling eco-friendly, handmade arts and crafts. The festival has a different theme every single year, this year Kala Ghoda went green.
Hara Ghoda showed off many amazing installations and had a lot of fascinating stalls and activities surrounding the green theme. I visited this year’s festival with my friends and an amazing blogger, The Blog Of Small Things. To find out what we did, head on over to her blog!
To read about about our day at Kala Ghoda 2018, click here.