04 February,2023 10:19 AM IST | Mumbai | mid-day online correspondent
Attend Kala Ghoda Arts Festival in Mumbai from February 4-12. Photo Courtesy: iStock
The annual Kala Ghoda Arts Festival is back and it definitely looks like it*s going to be bigger and better than ever before. Spread across the Fort area with events happening from February 4 - February 12 at K Dubash Marg, Rampart Row, YB Chavan Centre, Cross Maidan and Cooperage Bandstand to name a few.
With so much happening, there is a possibility that you may want to take a break and step out of the festival for a while to explore Kala Ghoda around you. Luckily, for those who don*t know, you are in one of the most historic places in the city. There are many interesting sightseeing spots beyond shopping streets like Colaba Causeway and Marine Drive that will pique your interest.
Here are five places you should visit while you are at the Kala Ghoda 2023:
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Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus
If you are in Mumbai for the Kala Ghoda Arts Festival, then commuting by the train is ideal to avoid any vehicle parking fuss. Even if you deboard at Churchgate railway station, visiting Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT), which is close to Kala Ghoda, is a must. Formerly known as Bori Bunder railway station, and the Victoria Terminus (VT), the UNESCO heritage structure is definitely a modern marvel and breathtaking in its own right. To enjoy its true beauty, you don*t only need to enter the railway station but need to stand directly opposite to understand why it is a mark of the city*s beauty. The 134-year-old structure was designed by British born architectural engineer Frederick William Stevens with a design by Alex Haig, in an Italian Gothic architecture style.
The festival gets its name from the iconic Kala Ghoda statue situated near to it. The Kala Ghoda (black horse) is a significant part of the city*s history and inception of the festival. It dates back to the time when the neighbourhood had a statue of King Edward VII mounted on a horse. While the statue was shifted to the Byculla Zoo in 1965, it was replaced with a similar statue of just the black horse. The statue, titled *Spirit of Kala Ghoda* was commissioned by the Kala Ghoda Association. It was designed by architect Alfaz Miller and sculpted by Sreehari Bhosle.
Watch: Kala Ghoda 2023: Mumbaikars throng to south Mumbai*s beloved art district on day 1 of the festival
If you are in the area, it is impossible to miss out on Flora Fountain. The distinct white statue, which is of the Roman Goddess Flora, is at the Hutatma Chowk in Fort. It was built in 1864 in the Neo Classical and Gothic revival architectural style by Richard Norman Shaw. It is situated where the original Church gate stood for St Thomas Cathedral, before it was demolished. While the fountain looks magnificent in daylight, it looks even better during the night. A few feet away is another stone statue, which is a must for history buffs or people who want to know more about Mumbai. Bearing a pair of torch-bearing patriots, it commemorates the people who died in a police firing at Flora Fountain in November 1955.
Horniman Circle Gardens
Walk down from Flora Fountain into Kala Ghoda and you will find Horniman Circle Gardens exactly on the other side of it. More popularly known as Horniman Circle and facing the Asiatic Library, it is an important landmark of Fort and South Mumbai. As big as two-and-a-half acres, it was named to honour Benjamin Horniman, who supported the Indian independence movement and was the editor of the Bombay Chronicle newspaper. Being one of the venues of the Kala Ghoda Arts Festival, it used to also be a place for social gatherings in the past.
Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya
Formerly known as Prince of Wales Museum, the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya is only a hop, skip and jump away from where the festival takes place in Kala Ghoda. Celebrating its centenary only last year, the museum was restored for the first time since its inauguration in 1922 under the supervision of conservation architect Vikas Dilawari. The Grade 1 heritage building is built in the Indo-Saracenic architectural style and has over 70,000 exhibits from all over the world, making it a must-visit in the city.
Being at the centre of the art and literary circle, Kala Ghoda has a lot more to see and would easily require more than a day. If you have time on your hands, then a visit to the Asiatic Library, Jehangir Art Gallery and National Gallery of Modern Art is a must. If you want to grab a bite, then there are many, including iconic Irani restaurant Jimmy Boy. Last but not the least, if you are a fashionista and love shopping, then head on to Colaba Causeway just after CSMVS Museum during these days.
IN PHOTOS: Watch these innovative installation arts from Kala Ghoda 2023 in Mumbai