Why is it called so?
The Kala Ghoda festival, organised by Kala Ghoda Association (a non-profit organization formed on 30th October 1998 with the objective of maintaining and preserving the heritage and art district of South Mumbai) is named after the blackish equestrian statue of Edward VII.
What is it?
Its a 9 day cultural festival, celebrated in Mumbai around February with much zeal. The entry is free of cost and the main highlight is that the festival is spread across the street mainly with so many exhibitions, lights, art and culture.
The fest has something for everyone from food to movies, art to writing workshops, music, theatre, dance, visual arts, comedy and the list goes on. Such activities takes place at different venues. KGAF also organizes city tours mostly in South Mumbai and which is mainly to get acquainted with the history of city.
Initially the fest was restricted to the Kala Ghoda region but now has extended Azad Maidan and Horniman Circle. The participants of the festival range from urban sellers to village artists, and you can get a great deal out of this fest.
The fest started in 1999 and since then its been growing but somehow I feel its glow has been diminishing. I have been attending it from past 4 years but last 2 were not so great.
What has happened?
Past: There used to be so many activities on street it self from folk dances to katputli show and so on. One could actually enjoy the fest.
Present: The same place has been replaced by selfie takers. Everyone is so much in to selfies that neither they enjoy nor the others who really have come to appreciate the art. To add KGAF has become more of a commercial place then an art hub.
Its kind of saddening that it is losing its charm day by day. Appreciate it if the association take some measures to revive and once again establish its glory.
Though there ain't any less people visiting it; tourists or locals, the crowd is only increasing. I only demand the quality. Nonetheless, it is country's largest multicultural festival and here is a glimpse of the fest from past few years I have attended it.
Hope to see more of fun, art, craft and space to enjoy the fest!
Do share your experience of the fest in comments section.