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Walking the Black Horse with My ActionSampler

Discovering Mumbai's art district - Kala Ghoda (it literally means black horse!) with my Lomography ActionSampler.

Kala Ghoda is a precinct in South Mumbai (Bombay). The words Kala Ghoda literally means ‘Black Horse’. The name is derived from a black stone statue of King Edward VII mounted on a horse. The statue has since been shifted to the zoo, but the name persists.

Kala Ghoda is Mumbai’s premier art district. Every tourist who comes to Bombay has to check out the stuff in Kala Ghoda. There are so many things to see there, it has a few art colleges, a museum and a whole lot of art galleries, a synagogue, and a few libraries. It’s a great area with good sidewalks so you can easily walk around when sightseeing in the area.

What you see above is the entrance to the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sanghralaya (formerly Prince of Wales museum), largest museum. It’s government run so the entry fee is very reasonable, and they allow photography too, after you buy a camera pass. Nothing annoys me more than museums that ban photography!

What I love in the area is all the street vendors. They’re actually illegal, but they sell some fun stuff! This guy was just outside the museum gates selling lots of key chains at 10 Rupees each (approximately $0.25). Another vendor sold figurines made entirely out of twisted wire.

Many struggling artists sell their wares off the sidewalk. This guy was selling beautiful miniature mountain landscapes.

And you also get to see some novel stuff. What you see above is ‘ticket art’. Simple paintings all with a ticket incorporated into the art work (it was super fun to spot the bus & train tickets in the paintings. They cost 250 Rupees (Approximately $6)

I had a little chat with the artist too! He was absolutely intrigued to see the ActionSampler, he had never seen a camera that looked like that! He asked me about it & then snapped up a picture of it with his smartphone.

If you walk some more you will reach Jehangir Art Gallery, arguably India’s most famous art gallery. It houses a lot, of art, a cafe, and our country’s oldest licensed liquor dealers. It’s a popular tourist attraction & entrance is free.

And if you just look across the road you will see the David Sassoon Library & Reading Room, founded in 1867!

I decided to have some fun with stamps! A lady was sitting on the sidewalk with a whole lot of wooden stamping blocks & Indian Ink, she will cover one side of your hand with stamps that look a lot like mehendi for 20 Rupees (approximately $0.50) (the main difference is that this uses wooden block, mehendi is a freehand art. Also, mehendi uses henna, this does not). It’s really pretty and it lasts quite a while. Make sure you don’t handle anything light colored, though. The color really bleeds!

That’s all I saw of Kala Ghoda for that day, as I was in a hurry to see some other places too. But I hope to go back soon & explore the area more.

written by magali

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