The Kala Ghoda Arts Festival was first held in 1999. Kala
Ghoda is located in the posh South Mumbai area and has several heritage
buildings. The festival was launched with the aim of drawing attention to the
historic structures that line the streets in the area and to enthuse people to
maintain and conserve them. The festival is organized by a non-profit
organization, the Kala Ghoda Association. Over the years, the festival has
attracted several sponsors and collaborators. The festival dates for the year 2012
are February 4-12. Over the years, the festival has become so successful that
the organizers have been forced to extend the coverage to nearby areas like
Azad Maidan and Horniman Circle and should not be miss on Mumbai tour packages.
Kala Ghoda is a unique part of Mumbai. The area is so called
because long ago, there was a statue of the British monarch King Edward VIII
atop his black horse. The locals named the street after the horse and the area
came to be known as Kala Ghoda. The name has stuck on even though the statue of
the monarch and his horse was removed several years ago. The area has always
been a hub of cultural activities with galleries, outdoor pavement galleries,
lecture halls and exhibition spaces hosting programs and crafts fairs through
the year. The Kala Ghoda Arts Festival pays a unique tribute to this thriving,
vibrant phenomenon. When in Mumbai, tourists should also take up Mahabaleshwar holidays to enjoy a great holiday.
The arts festival is divided into several sections. The main
sub-festivals are the street festival, visual arts, special children’s events,
dance, music, heritage walks, theater, cinema, workshops, seminars and
lectures. The events are held in the various impressive buildings in the Kala
Ghoda area. These include the David Sassoon Library, Max Mueller Bhavan, the
Jehangir Art Gallery, Elphinstone College, National Gallery of Modern Art and
the Cama Institute.
One of the main attractions of the festival is the street
fair. This is organized on Rampart Row. The atmosphere in the street is simply
electric during the nine festival days.
Stalls selling different varieties of
food, artisans with their wares, portrait makers add to the hustle and bustle
here. Folk dancers and musicians from across the country entertain the crowds.
The performances that are held at the Rampart Row street fair include artists
from all over the country.
The workshops and seminars are an integral part of the Kala
Ghoda Arts Festival. The topics vary from the esoteric to the flippant. While
one workshop could entail a serious discussion on art, another one could be
demonstrating the various ways a sari is draped! The workshops are conducted by
top figures from Mumbai’s literary, culture, fashion and social scene. Matheran is a popular holiday destination near to Mumbai and tourists are advised to also enjoy a holiday in Matheran, which is a spectacular place to holiday in Maharashtra.
Every year, the festival makes a special effort for
children. Art and theater workshops for kids are a big draw. There are also
special heritage walks organized for children so that they get to know and love
There is also a Heritage Bus Tour included in the festival.
Visitor to the fest can get on to a open bus and check out some of South
Mumbai’s iconic landmarks, including the Gateway of India, The Taj Mahal hotel,
High Court, Chatrapathi Shivaji station and the Asiatic Society. Numerous package tours from Mumbai are available for the earby located hill station.
Over the years, the Kala Ghoda festival has evolved into one
of the major highlights of India’s cultural and arts calendar. The festival
gives young artists from various fields the chance to display their talent. An
interesting aspect of the festival is that entry to various events is
completely free. The cost of organizing the various events is met by