Horniman Circle Gardens is a sprawling public park in the posh south Mumbai area of Maharashtra state. The garden is spread out across approximately 10,100 square metres (12,000 sqaure yards) and provides a much-needed breath of fresh air to office-goers of the busy financial area surrounding it. The garden is encircled by British-era buildings that have a Victorian architecture, which now house major banks of the country. What was once a dump in the early 1800s was converted in a majestic and well-planned garden by the year 1872 by the foresight and planning of Charles Forjett, the then Police Commissioner of the city. Initially called Elphinstone Circle, it was renamed after a Bristish newspaper editor and supporter of India’s independence movement, Benjamin Horniman. The circular garden consists of seasonal trees and plants lining well laid out walking paths and grassy areas that are perfect for walking, afternoon siestas or people-watching! The garden also hosts a range of cultural events that can be enjoyed in the open air environment. Come and take a look at our guide to Horniman Circle Gardens, Mumbai.
Things to do / Highlights
Admire the architecture and layout of the garden
Completed in 1872 after much planning and design reviews, Horniman Circle Gardens is one of the most well laid out gardens in the city. The man behind the vision of the garden, Charles Forjett, is said to have designed these gardens after Park Crescent of London that comprises regal terraced houses coated in stucco. Horniman Circle Gardens is a circular park consisting of neatly laid out paths, rows of seasonal blossoming trees and a porch designed in the Neo-Classical style of architecture. Surrounding the garden is a range of British-era buildings like the famous Asiatic Library, Garden Cathedral, Elphinstone Building and more. Additionally, the trees in the garden were planted keeping in mind the various seasons of the area. Thus, you are guaranteed to see a few trees in bloom at any time of the year. The garden was created in order to serve as an open relaxing and unwinding place for locals and it serves that purpose to this day.
Attend a cultural festival
The wide open space of the garden serves as a perfect backdrop for hosting various cultural events of the city. It was once a popular socialising spot for the local Parsi community. It is said that a live music band would hold daily evening performances at the park in the years before 1947. Horniman Circle Gardens hosts several interesting and varied events throughout the year, even now. The garden comes alive in the winter months as it is one of the venues of Ruhaniyat, an all-India annual Sufi and mystic music festival. The neighbouring Kala Ghoda Arts Festival also puts up art installations at the garden for public viewing and enjoyments. A range of other music events like Mumbai Sanskruti and dance concerts also take place at the park.
Time your visit
Weather and season should always be kept in mind when visiting any attraction in Mumbai, especially an open-air one like Horniman Circle Gardens. It is best to visit the garden in the winter months, not only for the pleasant, cool and dry weather but also for access to various music and arts events that place between November and March each year. If you are visiting in the summer months, try to go to the garden in the early mornings or late evenings to avoid the hot day sun and excessive humidity.
Get your festival tickets in advance
For those keen on attending one of the many cultural events held at Horniman Circle Gardens should certainly buy their festival tickets in advance. Entry to most events is generally not free and visitors are required to get their tickets beforehand either online or at specific venues in the city.
How to get there
Using public transport is the easiest and fastest way to reach Horniman Circle Gardens from anywhere in the city. The city has an excellent local train network and the closest railhead to the garden is Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus Railway Station, commonly known as ‘CST Station’ or 'VT Station’. From the station, you can either take a brisk 15-minute walk, board a local bus or take a taxi to reach the garden. You can also take one of the several local BEST buses that ferry passengers on a daily basis and get off at the 'Reserve Bank’ bus stop close to the garden.
Taxis or ride-hailing apps
Local taxis can be hailed from anywhere in the city to take you to the garden. Alternatively, you can even get a ride on Uber or Ola ride-sharing apps.
Since the garden is located in the well-known Kala Ghoda area of south Mumbai, Horniman Circle Gardens is easily accessible by private vehicles too. You can either drive your own car or motorbike or a rental vehicle to the garden. If you are arriving from outside Mumbai, the city is well-connected to various national and state highways too.
The garden is located in a very busy part of south Mumbai and finding a free parking spot can be quite difficult. Some parking spaces are available around the garden, but they can get occupied pretty quickly and you may have to resort to parking it at distance. A pay-and-park facility is available at a short walking distance, near Hutatma Chowk.
Horniman Circle Gardens information
Horniman Circle Gardens
Address: 11, Homji St, Kala Ghoda, Fort, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400001, India
Opening hours: 10am - 7:30pm (daily)
Department of tourism: Maharashtra Tourism
Get Trip101 in your inbox
You can buy and claim online, even after you've left home. Travel insurance from WorldNomads.com is available to people from 140 countries. It’s designed for adventurous travellers with cover for overseas medical, evacuation, baggage and a range of adventure sports and activities.
*5% off when you book with our promo code: TRIP101
*For our Canadian and US travellers, unfortunately due to financial services laws, we cannot provide a discount. This promotional code cannot be used with any other discount offer, including World Nomads Members’ discount for travel insurance policy holders.