Horniman Circle Gardens

Situated in the Fort precinct of Mumbai, Horniman Circle Gardens is one among the largest parks in southern Mumbai. This garden is surrounded by various office buildings, mainly comprising the city’s premier banks. The Horniman Circle Gardens covers 12,081 square yards (10,101 m2) and is designed with a huge open space with grand buildings towards the center of the walled city. Complementing its lush greenery, this garden was famously known as ‘Bombay Green’ in the 18th century. After India gained independence in 1947, this garden was renamed ‘Benjamin Horniman’ as a tribute to the editor of the Bombay Chronicle newspaper. The Horniman Circle Gardens has hosted the annual Sufi mystic music festival, known by the name ‘Ruhaniyat’. Also, this garden was the main site for various dance concerts and the famous Kala Ghoda Arts Festival of Mumbai.

Although construction works at the Horniman Circle Gardens started in 1821, it could not be completed for the next 12 years. Later in 1842, the Horniman Circle Gardens was misused as an area to dump coconut shells. Hence, the-then Police Commissioner, Charles Forjett, initiated plans to convert this place into a circle that surrounded several buildings. The governors, Lord Elphinstone and Sir Bartle Frere stood beside him and supported this effort. Thus, trees were planted all over with well-laid walkways and the garden was completed in 1872. The garden attained the name ‘Elphinstone Circle’ after the Governor, Lord John Elphinstone. After India attained freedom from the British Rule in 1947, this garden was rechristened as ‘Horniman Circle Gardens’ after Benjamin Horniman, freedom fighter and the editor of the Bombay Chronicle newspaper. During the pre-independence years, a band performed in this garden every evening and the Parsi community gathered here and this spot was one of their favorite social gathering venues.

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