Believe it or not, Kala Ghoda – literally, ‘black horse’ – is the heart of Mumbai’s art district. If you notice the large statue of a black horse in the middle of a traffic island, you’ll know you’re in the right place. There is a very interesting story behind how this statue came into being. The area actually got its name after a statue of Prince of Wales atop a horse that stood in this very spot before. This statue, however, was removed to be kept in a museum later. Since the name had stuck, it inspired the Government to commission this new statue that was installed in January 2017. Do take our Colaba to Fountain walk to get to know more about the story.
Young students, art enthusiasts, and tourists throng this place to enjoy the multi-cultural feel of the city that this place represents. A venue for quite a few festivals, this place is teeming with all kinds of people on most holidays. The area is home to the Jehangir Art Gallery, one of the foremost art galleries of Mumbai, as well as other big and small art galleries peppered along the street. The National Gallery of Modern Art or NGMA is also nearby. Our favourite, though, are the street artists and sellers. The area, especially around the Jehangir Art Gallery is usually teeming with artists making caricatures among other things. They also sell art made by struggling artists. In fact, some of them have been here since years and have some interesting tales to tell. Do get a caricature done and listen to their stories if you can.
Art in the area isn’t just restricted to the canvas though because you can see some beautiful buildings from the early 19th Century around here like the Elphinstone College, the David Sassoon Library, the Army and Navy building and the now dilapidated Watson Hotel, called the Esplanade Mansion.
This area is also home to nice cafes and eateries all around, with the cuisine ranging from Indian to North Western as well as continental to south East Asian. The area is worth exploring by foot to see some hidden treasures in the bylanes like boutique stores, an Orthodox Jewish Synagogue, and tucked away cafes.