Creative Thoughts

Creative Thoughts

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Kala Ghoda Fair 2013

We are well into celebrating the annual Kala Ghoda Arts Festival.  It lasts for a week and this year began on 2nd February.  It is held in the Kala Ghoda area of South Mumbai.

Kala Ghoda takes its name from a black equestrian statue of King Edward the VII that was erected there in the 1870s. Though the statue has been long removed and relocated at Byculla, the name stayed on. The area where the statue once stood is now a parking lot, but one can see a large mural, a modern painting depicting a black horse, commemorating the original statue and also indicating the central point of Mumbai’s most popular art district. Kala Ghoda stands testimony to Bombay’s Colonial past, and is a place where the old world greets the new world through the Gothic structures and heritage buildings that house all the art galleries, libraries and museums that Kala Ghoda is famous for.

Around the square you will find The Prince of Wales Museum, The National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA), the Jehangir Art Gallery, The David Sasoon Library (1847) as also the Artists’s Centre at Ador House and The Art Entrance located in the Army & Navy Building directly opposite the Kala Ghoda Square. There’s also the Church of St. Andrew & St. Columba (1818) near the Lion Gate of the Naval Dockyard.
Since 1999, the festival has grown in size and popularity and this year I saw the most massive crowd ever.  I’ve faithfully (and joyfully) being visiting it every year since its inception.  Living nearby is a boon.

The Festival is organised by the Kala Ghoda Association (a non-profit organisation whose objective is to upgrade the Kala Ghoda quarter and make it the Art District of Mumbai.

Some of the features of the festival are the visual arts, dance, music, theatre, cinema, literature, lectures, seminars and workshops, heritage walks, special events for children, and a vibrant street festival. Entry to all events is free and costs are met through corporate sponsorship. The street area of Rampart Row is closed off to vehicular traffic for the duration of the festival, with the entire area wearing a festive look, with food stalls, artisans selling their creations, artists who sketch instant portraits, street art installations and the like. In recent years, the Festival has expanded beyond the Kala Ghoda crescent, with events being held in neighbouring Cross Maidan and Horniman Circle as well.

Here are the pictures I took on the very first morning of the festival and some by night.  Come take a look….

 Khushi came along as well and so did Joe.

 by day and...
 by night !

Celebrating 100 years of Indian Cinema

 The Vespa

 The old autorickshaw meters

 I liked this one best !

This year's theme "CHANGE"

Message to people using cell phones whilst driving

 Feed the sparrows.  They've come back to the city !

 The amphitheater in the square

 The famous dhabawallas of Mumbai (tiffin carriers)

 those are some of the well known skyscrapers of Mumbai

 and this can be made with empty cans !

 to remind us that the Egyptian artifacts exhibition is on at the Prince of Wales Museum.

The artists' gallery

 Wondering what these are?  Read below...

 auspicious door hangings

many more of these fabulous stalls but the hordes of people thronging the venue in the evenings, made it impossible to photograph any more


  1. Lena this is absolutely fabulous. I just wish I could have been there.

    1. Marie-Louise, I too wish you could be here. The fair is on till 10th February. It's not just about everything Indian. A Scottish band complete with bagpipes is playing tomorrow.