Kala Ghoda Art Festival – Mumbai

Kala Ghoda Art Festival is one of the eagerly awaited art festivals in Mumbai. If you have ever been to this festival, you will know the huge crowd it attracts. Standing in long queues is so common. Students, families, tourists, art lovers – everyone find their way to the festival. On weekends, especially, it is quite possible to get a little tired handling the crowd.

The Festival – In Brief

The festival is organized by Kala Ghoda Association which aims to preserve the art and heritage of South Mumbai district. It was in the year 1999 that the festival was first started, soon after the association was formed a year before. Since then, the festival has come a long way and is held annually for nine day in the month of February.

Events of the Kala Ghoda Festival

There are various events that simultaneously take place at different venues. These include Music and Dance Shows, Stand up Comedies, Book launches and Literature talk, Theatre, Cinema, Food, Heritage Bus Tour & Walks and a number of workshops. Actually, there is something for everyone’s age and taste.

Mohiniyattam Dance at Kala Ghoda Art Festival
Mohiniyattam Dance at Kala Ghoda Art Festival
Chhau Dance at Kala Ghoda Art Festival
Chhau Dance at Kala Ghoda Art Festival

Other than these, there are a number of stalls put up by local artisans and entrepreneurs at the Rampart Row. One can visit these stalls and buy whatever one wants to. The area also displays various art installations based on a specific theme.  Here are few images of art installations from this year.

Kalamandal - Kala Ghoda Art Festival
Kalamandal
Bollywood Inspired Theme
Bollywood Inspired Theme
Pearl of Time - Kala Ghoda Art Festival
Pearl of Time
Time Travel Hour Glass
Time Travel Hour Glass

The Venues of Kala Ghoda Art Festival

Rampart Row, David Sassoon Library, Jehangir Art Gallery, Max Mueller Bhavan,  Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya (CSMVS), Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS), Hornbill House, Cross Maidan, Steps of The Asiatic Society Library,  Irish House, Horniman Circle Garden, Fort, National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA)

Things to Keep in Mind

For those who have not visited this festival before, it is worthwhile to keep certain things in mind.

  • Be prepared to walk a lot as the festival is held across various venues. Wear comfortable footwear.
  • There is detailed programme schedule available both online and from the helpdesk at the Rampart Row. Make use of it to figure out the events or performances to attend. That will save a lot of time and energy.
  • The festival attracts a lot of people. So be well in time to grab a seat, or else there are chances of not getting to see the performance at all. Weekends, especially, sees long queues.
  • There are passes for Heritage Walks and Bus Tour. These mostly need to be collected in person a day in advance/same day from the helpdesk. Just check for any different update. Also there are limited numbers of passes, so be quick to collect yours.
  • Weekdays are good to explore the stalls as the crowd is still less compared to weekends when it becomes difficult to even look inside the stalls.