BUILDINGS OF THE KALA GHODA ART DISTRICT
“Buildings of the Kala Ghoda Art District” is available for reference at UDRI Resource Centre.
The Kala Ghoda precinct can be roughly defined as the area that stretches from the Regal Circle at the Southern end of Mahatma Gandhi Road, up to the Bombay University on the northern end, flanked by the Oval Maidan to the west and the Lion Gate to the east. The name Kala Ghoda can be traced to the old equestrian statue of king Edward Vll, which was placed at the centre of the large node on the old Esplanade Road. The statue, a vestige of the colonial era, has since been removed from the site but the name persists regardless an assertive confirmation of a compelling public memory.
Today, the area is a hub of cultural activity and a throbbing urban node with institutions like the Jehanagir Art gallery, Max Mueller Bhavan Bombay, Bombay University, Prince of Wales Museum, National Gallery Of Modern Art, Institute of Science, Elphinstone College , and David Sassoon Library around it, within comfortable walking distance of each other. Apart from the more serious pursuits of art and education, the area also offers a host of famous city restaurants and cafes, along with smaller art galleries, designer boutiques, and many culture-related activities. This area is also host to the Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC) annual Kala Ghoda Fair, where many artists and craftspersons from around the state gather on Sundays in December and January to perform as well as demonstrate their craft.
Besides the overwhelming impacts of its myriad functions, the area also has a strong visual image, reinforced by historic buildings, perhaps the finest concentrated collection of heritage structures in the city. The Elphinstone college and David Sassoon Library are in the Victorian Neo-Gothic genre, while the Prince of Wales Museum belongs to the lndo-Saracenic style. The Army & Navy Building reflects the vocabulary of the Renaissance Revival, and the Cowasji Jehangir Hall that of the Edwardian Neo-Classical in Mumbai.
The intention of this exhibition and catalogue is to highlight the qualities of this urban ensemble and its many architectural features as well as its unique positioning as a centre of cultural and artistic activities in the heart of Mumbai. The aim of the exhibition and catalogue is to raise awareness about the importance of this area and its buildings and focus on its emerging role as an Art District, both at the level of the city as well as in the national context.