Iconic Kala-Ghoda statue of Mumbai was restored without the rider King Edward VII

An old image of Kala Ghoda of Mumbai memumbai.com

Above image: Equestrian statue of King Edward VII, Mumbai.. In 1967 it was shifted to the Byculla zoo. Kalaghoda statue was in front of in front of Elphinstone College. Year of creation:1878Rider :Edward VII  (1841 – 1910), King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and Emperor of India from 1901 until his death in 1910.  Sculptor(s): Joseph Edgar Boehm. The 25 foot tall black horse statue was hosted in the parking lot of this area. Sponsored by the Kala Ghoda Association (KGA), the statue will finally give the area the symbol that once defined this busy place.

kala-ghoda-in Mumbai. .hindustantimes.com

Kala Ghoda ('Black Horse') upload.wikimedia.org

The name Kala Ghoda of Mumbai refers to the black stone statue of King Edward VII (then Prince of Wales) mounted on a horse that was commissioned by  Jewish businessman in 18th century and philanthropist Albert Abdullah David Sassoon. He was more involved in the export of Opium to China for the EIC and made a big fortune. Being charitable, he had spent much of his wealthy on philanthropy, etc. 

 For political  reasons, the statue was shifted from the  removed from the precinct in 1965 and kept inside the Byculla Zoo which was not a suitable place for a fine looking equestrian statue of Edward VII who happened to be a good man  and who  reinstituted traditional ceremonies as public displays and broadened the range of people with whom royalty socialized.  Quite furious about the way the British officials treated the Indian natives,  he categorically  stated after visiting India: ‘Because a man has a black face and a different religion from our own, there is no reason why he should be treated as a brute.’

The eldest son of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, he was Prince of Wales and heir apparent to the British throne for almost 60 years. During  her long reign Queen  Victoria never gave him the political power and  the Prince of Wales  was merely carrying out the ceremonial public duties, besides visiting overseas countries. Though his tour of  the Indian subcontinent in 1875  was  a success his play-boy image spoiled his relationship with his mother. He died in 1910   during the  constitutional crisis that was resolved the following year by the Parliament Act 1911. The power of the unelected House of Lords was very much limited. As king, Edward played a crucial role in the reorganization of the British army after the second Boer war in Africa. 

Made by London based famous sculptor Sir Joseph Boehm the statue was  unveiled on 29th June 1879, by Sir Richard Temple, the then Governor of Bombay. The total cost was about  Rs 12,500 rupees. What is special about Kala Ghoda and why is it famous for?  

Kala Ghoda (meaning Black Horse') is a crescent-shaped business and art district in Mumbai  and is home to city's many  heritage buildings including museums, art galleries and educational institutions like the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya, the Jehangir Art Gallery, the National Gallery of Modern Art, and The Arts Trust - Institute of Contemporary Indian Art.

The area hosts the Kala Ghoda Arts Festival annually in February. The area  sandwiched between Mumbai Port's docklands to the east, Regal Cinema to the south, Hutatma Chowk and Flora Fountain to the north, Oval Maidan to the west and close to the Bombay Stock Exchangeto its north east hosts  the Kala Ghoda Arts Festival annually in February.

Kalaghoda, black horse memumbai.com

Above image: A new Statue  was installed in 2017 as symbol of Kalaghoda. Watson Hotel & Rajabhai Tower in background. The colonial statue is gone, but the memory of this iconic statue persists in the generic name.

Kala Ghoda without king Edward VII,Mumbai fort shutterstock.com

Kala Ghoda ('Black Horse') upload.wikimedia.org

According to  the local legend  the statues of King Edward and the one of Shivaji on a horse at the Gateway of India came to life after midnight and battled it out on the streets.  In 2017, a similar looking  'Kala Ghoda' was installed in the same place. The only difference was  the horse was without a rider.  Commissioned by the Kala Ghoda Association, the statue, titled 'Spirit of Kala Ghoda' was designed by architect Alfaz Miller and made  by Shreehari Bhosle.