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Kala Ghoda Festival

The Kala Ghoda Festival is acclaimed as the biggest cultural show of Mumbai. The popular festival is generally held on the first Saturday of February every year and ends next Sunday. Novice as well as accomplished artists use of this august platform to showcase their talents and specialization in front of a well-informed and enthusiastic crowd.

History of Kala Ghoda Festival

The Kala Ghoda is a well-known area in Mumbai that covers the region from Regal Circle on M.G Road to the Mumbai University and extends up to the Oval Maidan and Lion Gate on the west and east side respectively. The name Kala Ghoda refers to an old equestrian statue of King Edward VII, which was placed on the old Esplanade Road. The statue has since been removed from the site, but the name has stuck.

The Kala Ghoda festival is organized by the Kala Ghoda Association which was founded in 1988. The festival in now in its 15th year and is open to all visitors free of cost. Traditionally, the festival offers a bouquet of programs that depict arts and culture in various forms. These include visual arts, street acts, music in diverse forms, literature, heritage walks, various types of cultural workshops and more. The festival raises substantial funds which are used for maintenance and restoration of the various institutions and heritage buildings present in the Kala Ghoda area.

What the Festival Means to Mumbai Citizens

The Kala Ghoda Festival is an event that the culturally affiliated awaits with great enthusiasm and interest. The festival now hosts approximately 350 events spread over nine days and draws over 150,000 people from all over the city and suburbs. Arts and crafts enthusiasts from all over the globe also schedule their visit to coincide with the Kala Ghoda festival. There are many events where renowned international artists also present their program and give a glimpse of their expertise and talent.

Projects Managed by the Kala Ghoda Association

The association has been making the best use of pavements, parking areas, alleys of buildings, and other interstitial spaces so that the best of art and culture is available for public consumption. The management remains in constant liaison with the city authorities to ensure that the public areas in the Kala Ghoda area have better lighting and infrastructure facilities. In the past the association has been instrumental in improving various buildings in the areas such as the Elphinstone Building, The David Sassoon Building, Cama Hill exteriors and the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahlaya (aka The Prince of Wales Museum). They have also utilized funds raised from the festival to build an amphitheater, retiling of the Rampart Row pay-and-park facility and upgrading of the garden of Horniman Circle by providing new fencing, garden benches and constructing a new shed for the staff.

Key Attraction of the Kala Ghoda Festival

The nine-day festival includes arts, music, painting, stage shows, drama, stand-up comedy, lectures, literary events, workshops and seminars. The event also includes poetry reading sessions, book launches, dance performances, and food festivals with innovative forms of food art presented by top chefs from across the country. Traditional Parsi breakfast is another highlight of the Kala Ghoda Festival. The festival begins at 10 AM and winds up at 9 PM every day.

How to Reach

There are number of Government and private buses plying through Kala Ghoda from all parts of Mumbai. The CST Railway station on the Central Line and Churchgate Station on the Western Line are the nearest railway stations.

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