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While you are in Mumbai, you cannot miss out the Horniman Circle Gardens. Scroll further and read about its history and significance.



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Horniman Circle Gardens

Location: Fort District, South Mumbai
Attractions: Well laid-out walkways

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. In order to obtain more information regarding the history and the significance of this garden, scroll further.

Historical Backdrop
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.

Architecture
Located in South Mumbai, Fort precinct, the Horniman Circle Gardens represent lush greenery amidst grand buildings. The entire garden covers an area of 10,101 square meters, which is surrounded by office complexes along with the leading banks of the country. The design of this garden was done on the lines of London's Park Crescent and comprises a small park with a neo classical porch, well laid rows of trees and a perfect walkway. The initial purpose of laying down the garden was to provide some open space for the locals to sit back and relax. This garden that dates back to the 18th century was called 'Bombay Greens' during that time. There are trees of various seasons planted here and so, whatever time of the year you visit, a good number of trees are always in bloom. This garden is considered to be one of the urban settlements in the city of Mumbai and there are various structures which belong to the British Colonial period. The Horniman Circle Garden Trust and the Horniman Circle Association are responsible for the restoration works of this, once damaged, historic landmark.

For those who wish to sit back and relax from, there is a park accompanied by a Historic Asiatic Society Library in the same complex. The architecture and the design of the entire complex display the essence of the colonial era.



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