Meet your small group in front of the Regal Cinema in Colaba and set out on your tour of Mumbai — India’s most populous city. Traveling by public transportation with your guide provides an up-close and authentic depiction of the city, including Mumbai's hardest-working laborers.
Start your tour on a bus ride to Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST). Formerly known as Victoria Terminus Station, it’s one of the busiest railway stations in India, especially at rush hour. Designated a UNESCO World Heritage site for its 19th-century Victorian Gothic revival architecture, the historic station was dubbed 'the slumdog station' since the final musical number of the award-winning 2008 hit Slumdog Millionaire was filmed here.
Your guide will then accompany you to the Dadar flower market, where India’s immense flower trade flourishes. In India, flowers are used both religiously and decoratively — in temples, taxis, homes and of course, in women's hair. Here, you will find more flowers in one place than you've ever seen before!
Enjoy the sight and scent of rose petals, jasmine blossoms and garlands of marigolds before re-boarding the train. You'll ride past a few stops to the Mahalaxmi area known as Dhobi Ghat to see the dhobi wallahs, or washermen. Observe this part of India’s working class, which specializes in washing clothes and linens, as they scrub sheets from Mumbai's largest hospitals and hotels at this busy outdoor laundry.
After checking out this unique phenomenon, you'll take a taxi to Chor Bazaar, one of the largest and most bustling flea markets in the entire country. Chor Bazaar, meaning 'Thieves Market,’ sells just about anything! Taste some local sweets, purchase delicious homemade chutneys or shop for a colorful vintage Bollywood film poster. At the nearby Nul Bazaar you'll find a variety of Indian fruits, spices and meats.
Finally, take a taxi to Churchgate, a famous railway station in South Mumbai. Here, you’ll find the Mumbai dabbawalas — people who deliver thousands of freshly made lunches each day to schools, offices and other worksites. This grassroots operation uses an efficient organization and communication system to collect lunch boxes (dabba) prepared in individual homes and deliver them throughout the city.
Your tour concludes at Churchgate station, and you can continue your exploration of Mumbai on your own from here — made easier by your newfound knowledge of the city's vast public transportation network.