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Start: Regal Circle Mumbai
Mumbai's renowned Kala Ghoda Art Precinct stretches from Regal Circle (also known as SP Mukherjee Chowk) at the southern end of Mahatma Gandhi (MG) Road, north to Mumbai University on the same road. Its curious name, meaning Black Horse, can be traced back to a bronze equestrian statue of King Edward VII which existed there during the colonial era. These days, the area has become a compelling cultural hub offering art, history, education, and some of the city's most popular restaurants.
Where to Start
You'll find Regal Circle at the end of Colaba Causeway, opposite the Regal Cinema. It's readily recognizable by the large fountain in the middle. If you stand with your back towards Colaba Causeway, the imposing Maharashtra Police Headquarters will be on your right, and the beginning of MG Road is opposite it, near the bus stop.Continue to 2 of 8 below.
02 of 08
National Gallery of Modern Art
If you set out from Regal Circle, on your left, the first building of interest that you'll come across in the Kala Ghoda Art Precinct is the Mumbai National Gallery of Modern Art. It's one of a string of national art galleries in India. The other two are in Delhi and Bangalore.
The Gallery started out as the popular Sir Cowasji Jehangir Public Hall. However, it fell into disuse and disrepair after the Jehangir Art Gallery was built. Later, 12 years of renovation works transformed it into the current bright and modern space, with semicircular galleries at different levels. Changing exhibitions by both Indian and international artists are showcased.
What you Need to Know
The Mumbai National Gallery of Modern Art is open from Tuesday to Sunday, 11 a.m. until 6 p.m. It's closed on national holidays. The admission price is 20 rupees for Indians and a whopping 500 rupees for foreigners. Phone: (022) 22881971.
Find out more information on the Mumbai National Gallery of Modern Art website.Continue to 3 of 8 below.
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Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya
From the National Gallery of Modern Art, cross the road and keep walking north. On your right, you'll find the Mumbai Prince of Wales Museum (now called the mouthful Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya). Its astonishing architecture makes it unmissable.
Designed especially as a museum, construction commenced in 1905 with the laying of the first stone by the then Prince of Wales. The architectural style is known as Indo-Saracenic -- a mishmash of Moorish Spain, Islamic domes, and Victorian towers. The Museum was opened to the public in 1922. Its collection has grown to include ancient items excavated from the Indus valley, Hindu and Buddhist sculpture, miniature paintings, weaponry, and natural history (including a variety of stuffed animals).
The Museum Shop is a great place to buy handicrafts in Mumbai.
What you Need to Know
The Mumbai Prince of Wales Museum is open from Tuesday to Sunday, 10.15 a.m. until 6 p.m. It's closed on national holidays. The admission price is 70 rupees for Indians and 500 rupees for foreigners. Concessions are available for children and students. There's also a photography charge of 50-100 rupees. Phone: (022) 2844484.
Find out more information on the Museum's website.Continue to 4 of 8 below.
04 of 08
Kala Ghoda Pavement Galley
Further up from the Prince of Wales Museum on MG Road, you'll encounter the Kala Ghoda Pavement Gallery. Located on the pavement on either side of the Jehangir Art Gallery in the Kala Ghoda Arts Precinct, it's lined with the artwork of promising young artists who gather there to exhibit and sell their works.
What You Need to Know
You can interact with the artists, ask them questions about their works, and sometimes even watch them paint.
More information: Photo Tour of the Kala Ghoda Pavement Gallery.Continue to 5 of 8 below.
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Jehangir Art Gallery
On the corner after the Prince of Wales Museum, the Jehangir Art Gallery is where Kala Ghoda's Pavement Gallery artists aspire to exhibit their works. It's the most well known art gallery in Mumbai. As a result, space is highly sought after and upcoming artists may have to wait four to five years to get a place.
Founded in 1952, the Jehangir Art Gallery is managed by the Bombay Art Society. Inside, there are two main wings with separate specialist gallery areas. Different shows by contemporary Indian artists are hosted every week. Unfortunately, the gallery's iconic Cafe Samovar closed in early 2015.
What you Need to Know
The Jehangir Art Gallery is open daily from 11 a.m. until 7 p.m. Admission is free. Phone: (022) 22833640.
Find out more information on the Jehangir Art Gallery website.Continue to 6 of 8 below.
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The Museum Gallery, located next door to the Jehangir Art Gallery in the Kala Ghoda Art Precinct, is a modern space that's hired out by the Prince of Wales Museum for exhibitions. If you like unusual works of arts, don't miss paying this gallery a visit. The pieces there tend to be rather unconventional and displays are changed every week. The Kala Ghoda Pavement Gallery runs along the front of the Gallery as well.
What you Need to Know
The Museum Gallery is open daily from 11 a.m. until 7 p.m. Admission is free. Phone: (022) 22844484.Continue to 7 of 8 below.
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Rampart Row, located opposite the Museum Gallery and Jehangir Art Gallery, is a restored heritage building that's a relatively new addition Mumbai's Kala Ghoda Art Precinct. Opened in 2005, its 12,000 feet of space houses a variety of specialty stores and banqueting facilities.
Book lovers should step inside the Chetana Book Centre for a wide variety of books on philosophy, religion, arts, natural health, and Indian thought. Next door, the Chetana Craft Centre sells beautiful handwoven Indian textiles. Actually, Chetana quite dominates the area. There's also a Chetana vegetarian restaurant. As an organization, Chetana has a long established history of promoting Indian culture. Anyone with an interest in India will find a visit to Chetana's stores worthwhile.
Unfortunately, the iconic Rhythm House music store at Rampart Row closed in early 2016.Continue to 8 of 8 below.
08 of 08
Kala Ghoda Restaurants and Bars
If you're hungry from walking and browsing, you'll be happy to know that some of Mumbai's best restaurants can be found in the Kala Ghoda Art Precinct just opposite the Jehangir Art Gallery.
Khyber is a treat for meat lovers. It serves up reliably good Punjabi/north Indian cuisine in its Afghan inspired interior. The restaurant isn't very well marked, so you'll probably miss it if you're not looking hard.
Copper Chimney is another popular Kala Ghoda restaurant that serves north Indian food. It's one in a highly regarded chain of many around Mumbai and other parts of India. The kebabs in particular are recommended.
If you want a break from Indian food, Bombay Blue neighboring Copper Chimney offers an eclectic range of cuisine including pasta, sizzlers, Chinese, and Thai. There's a gelato shop next to it as well.
For a drink, try the Irish House or trendy 145 KalaGhoda (which replaces Cheval).