Kruti Garg, Curator


“With a heraldic shield which varies from window to window in CST, one design features an elephant in the upper half and a steam locomotive in the lower, while the other contains roundels with the letters GIPR within them” – ornamentation has been part of architecture in various forms ranging from abstract compositions, human, animal, and bird forms, religious stories, character depictions, symbolic representations and emblematic forms. Architectural heraldry has been part of permanence in Heritage and etched in time and does not limit itself to coat of arms or insignia but also bas reliefs which are emblematic almost like branding a building of a style or a stamp of ownership. As we are set to embrace the iconic “Kala Ghoda” back in its location, symbolic to the Kala Ghoda Arts Festival, let’s ride the wave with “Heraldry” walks.

Heraldic art can be narrowed in description to a decorated shield whose pattern, like a modem logo, signifies a particular person, place or institution. The European heraldic system began as a visual system only in the 12th century and quickly developed a vocabulary of geometric forms and stylized images (mainly of animals, plants and artefacts) still in use today. Heraldry in India although modelled on the British pattern also sees infusion of animals important in Hindu iconography – bull, horse, elephant, lion and tiger. Though number of states/principalities/royalties uses animals as state emblems, use of animals, flora and fauna and figurative compositions also find themselves symbolised outside a shielded context, but heraldic nonetheless.

Highlighting the importance and significance of the structure permanently found its way through adornment and embellishment in a tangible form as a universally accepted stylistic expression which is symbolic and heraldic and finds itself underpinning the essence of Heritage Walks in 2017 under the name “Heraldry”

Highlights of the walk

Inclusion of new walks – All walks will embed the underlying theme of Heraldry

Heraldic Heritage – through the un-authored architecture of Mumbai

Ornamentation has almost been synonymous to heritage and historic structures have been stamped with details varying in significance to leave a mark of ownership or style or even as simple as being associative to a person. This walks focuses on the presence of symbolisms in heritage with the focus on the newly restored pyau’s by the Kala Ghoda Association

Celebrating the Life “LINE” of the city

The coming of the “LINE”, not only transformed the face of the island city but paved the path for the growth and expansion of Bombay, and this walk celebrates the presence of the Railway Heritage of the city through its iconic architectural presence in the form of the western Railway Headquarters and the World Heritage site of CST.

Rock n Roll Heritage ride – A fun way to know your city
Pedal for a cause – to know the heritage of your city, for a Green and Healthier Mumbai, for being fit – this ride is specifically for the kids to sensitise them towards their environment and tap them young for a brighter future

“Poetry In Motion”

When the art of story telling is through poetry and when the poetry is manifested in Architecture

This is the first time, the walks would be conducted in the form of a street play based on the “Kala Ghoda poems” by Arun Kolatkar. See it through the eyes of Ugh -resident pi-dog in chief, Rich man David Sassoon who will give you his whole life story from his perch up there on the Memorial Library, a Jewish groom will recount tales off his wedding at the synagogue, and the Ogress of Rope Walk Lane will tell you stories of the slums that used to crowd up to the mighty walls of Fort. There’ll be other juicy tales too of course but… well, we don’t want to give away too many plot spoilers.. See you at KALA GHODA

“Dramatic Cinematic Operatic” Mumbai

This walk focuses on the advent of theatre in the city as drama and the first opera house to be set up in the city and finally the coming of Cinema. Formerly the crucible of Parsi plays and Marathi tamasha, experience the story of the theatre and drama in 19th Cent Bombay and the evolution of cinema and changing styles and architecture that dot the city even today along with a walk and tour inside the resurrected iconic Opera House and its story of a phoenix rising from the ashes.

Mills and Docks – an affair to remember

As the name speaks, this talk followed by walk highlights the every so strong affair between the two pillars of strength that laid the foundations and led to the formation of a fort town to the first city of India

Hospitality in 19th Century Bombay

From talking about public dining emergence in Bombay, this year we we indulge in a slice of history of entertainment and hospitality in 19th Century Bombay which set the standards of luxury in hospitality and club culture

Acknowledgements: MTDC, Central Railway, Maharashtra State Police Headquarters, Royal Opera House and Royal Bombay Yacht Club.