The name means Black Horse, a reference to the black stone statue of King Edward VII (as the then Prince of Wales) mounted on a horse that was built by Jewish businessman and philanthropist Albert Abdullah David Sassoon, although this statue was removed in 1965 and subsequently placed inside the Byculla Zoo.
The crescent-shaped Kala Ghoda precinct is Mumbai's premier art district. The area is full of museums, art galleries, educational institutions, boutiques, and restaurants. It has a large number of the city's heritage buildings and is home to the Jehangir Art Gallery, the National Gallery of Modern Art, the Prince of Wales Museum and The Arts Trust. Each year, the area hosts the Kala Ghoda Arts Festival. The offices of art publication, Marg, are on the third floor of the historic Army and Navy Building.
The Esplanade Mansion, India's oldest surviving cast iron building, is in Kala Ghoda. Formerly known as Watson's Hotel, it was the site where films were introduced to India with a screening of the Lumiere Brothers Cinematograph in 1896.
Prominent landmarks include:
- Esplanade Mansion, once Mumbai's premier and pioneering Watson's Hotel
- Bajaj Art Gallery
- Bombay Natural History Society
- Jehangir Art Gallery and the Pavement Gallery
- Prince of Wales Museum, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya; (छत्रपती शिवाजी महाराज वस्तुसंग्रहालय), the main museum in Mumbai
- National Gallery of Modern Art
- Elphinstone College
- Rhythm House
- Max Müeller Bhavan – Indo-German cultural centre
- Army & Navy Building, housing the Westside shopping store
- David Sassoon Library
- Ropewalk Street
- Knesseth Eliyahoo Synagogue
- St. Andrew and Columba's Church
- Lions Gate
- K. R. Cama Oriental Institute, Asia's oldest library and research archive exclusively devoted to Indo-Iranian and Zoroastrian studies
- Mumbai University
- Civil and Sessions Court
- The Great Western Building, formerly Admiralty House.
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