Horniman Circle Gardens

Location: Fort District, South Mumbai
Attractions: Well laid-out walkways
How to Reach: One can easily reach Horniman Circle Gardens by boarding buses or trains, or by hiring autos or taxis from the city.
In South Mumbai, Horniman Circle Gardens represent a green territory amidst the soaring buildings. This large park sprawls in an area of 10,101 sq m, in the Fort district. It is encircled by the office complexes lodging the leading banks of India. Horniman Circle Garden overlooks the prominent landmark of the city, the Asiatic Society of Bombay. Designed on the lines of London’s Park Crescent, the garden has a neoclassical porch, with a small park, well planned walkways and rows of trees.

This area was called Bombay Greens till the 18th century. Intended to be a large town square, with impressive structures, in the heart of the walled city, Bombay Greens was renamed Elphinstone Circle after Lord Elphinstone, the Governor in those times. As per the chronological accounts, the region became a landfill of coconut shells and garbage by the year 1842. Thanks to Charles Forjett, a Police Commissioner, he thought of renovating the greens into a circle bounded by buildings.

Lord Elphinstone and Sir Bartle Frère, the Governors, supported the idea of Charles. In 1869, the restoration work was started and it was completed in 1872. The garden was festooned by an ornamental fountain that was located in its heart. Later, deco iron pipes design, a piece of modern art replaced the fountain. After country’s independence in 1947, the area was christened Horniman Circle Gardens after Benjamin Horniman, who was a pro-freedom editor of the ‘Bombay Chronicle’.

In the pre-independence era, the garden was a preferred hangout of the Parsi community. Every evening, a band used to perform there. One of the most dynamic urban design settlements in Mumbai, Horniman Circle gardens has numerous novel structures from the British Colonial period. Nowadays, the laudable works of restoration by Horniman Circle Garden Trust and Horniman Circle Association are maintaining this vestige of the former times.

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