Meet your guide at Churchgate railway station and travel together by train, an approximate 30-minute ride at your own expense. Or, make your own way, meeting your guide and small group at Mahim Junction railway station in Mumbai. Alternatively, upgrade to include round-trip transport by air-conditioned vehicle from Colaba; logistical details are outlined in the Itinerary below. All three options can be done in either the morning or afternoon; the choice is yours!
On arrival in Dharavi, set out on your 2.5-hour walking tour that dissects one of India’s largest slums. Follow your guide down a maze of narrow lanes to find a fascinating mix of households and small-scale businesses run by Dharavi’s enterprising residents.
Learn about the working conditions among numerous cottage industries — including textiles, recycling, pottery and leather tanning — in an informal economy that turns over millions of dollars annually. Passing through these small spaces, you will undoubtedly appreciate the sense of community that exists among the innovative residents, whose diversity is reflected in the temples, mosques and churches that stand side by side.
Tour the recycling area, where old computer parts and plastics arrive from all over the world, and step foot inside a bakery where tea biscuits are made fresh daily. Watch artisans create pots from sun-dried clay, and see the women of Dharavi make popaddoms: the essential appetizer of any Indian meal.
Visit a replica resident's house, observe the expansive view from a Dharavi factory rooftop, and see photos on exhibit — taken by children in a local art program. At an NGO-sponsored community center, you’ll witness a vibrant gathering of people learning library, English and computer skills, or engaging in activities such as dancing and yoga.
Finish with a refreshing soft drink at the reception center in Dharavi, and then make your own way back from Mahim Junction or return by train with your guide.
Please note: we are sensitive to the issues and concerns surrounding slums and we understand that this tour may not be suitable for everyone. We strongly believe that the purpose of this tour is for educational reasons alone and allows for a better understanding of Indian life inside Dharavi. Furthermore, the majority of the proceeds from your local tour operator goes back into the local community to support a variety of projects on education, health and livelihood.
Optional Upgrade with Transport by Air-Conditioned Vehicle:
Meet your guide at the tour operator's office in Colaba and travel by air-conditioned vehicle to Dharavi, taking in a few points of interest along the way. During the approximate 1-hour drive, pass through the red-light district of Kamathipura and make a brief stop at Dhobi Ghat, the world's largest open-air laundry.
On the way, hear knowledgeable commentary from your guide about the history of the slums as well as issues affecting the poorer members of Mumbai society, including street children and pavement dwellers. After your 2.5-hour walking tour of Dharavi slum, travel back to the Colaba office by car with your guide.