Dharavi Slum tour: Reality Check
About Mumbai's Dharavi Slum
Dharavi, one of the largest slums in Asia where about a million people live, has been recently very popular for all the good reasons.
Apart from the residential area, Dharavi is a hub of many small scale industries, since the people moving here come from different parts of India, and they bring their skills with them.
Most of the private tours or small group tours are conducted here done with tour guides; they are none other than the local guides who lives in Dharavi.
Poverty tourism or Slum tourism, and witnessing the misery of underprivileged; if this is your idea of visiting Dharavi, then we are happy to inform you that you are severely mistaken. It would be more accurate to consider Dharavi tour as Community Tourism.
Dharavi was used as the base for the blockbuster movie Slumdog Millionaire. After this movie, the slums of Dharavi is now famous in the whole world. Often Dharavi in Mumbai is compared with the world's biggest slums like South Africa's Cape Town slums which host 400,000 people or Rio de Janeiro slums.
We will meet at Mahim or Churchgate Railway Station
Itinerary of this tour
- You will meet your guide at Dharavi or Mahim Railway Station opposite to cafe coffee day or we can speak and fix a convenient point of the meeting.
- During this half-day guided tour, we will start with Recycling area. It would be interesting to see the process of how these guys are sorting metal and plastic comes from across the world and recycling happens. Visiting rooftop will make a impact on your memories on how human lives stretch as far we can see.
- There is a strong sense of community that exists in Slum, you will wind through the slum’s narrow alleyways and be greeted by friendly locals who live in Slum while visiting community centre. This community centre support education in English, computers & life skills to young teenagers and adults.
- Experience the tons of food made here and specially majority is of poppadoms (in hindi its called "Papad") making which is kind of side dish or starter or sometime appetiser with Indian food.
- While you walk through narrow lanes and by-lanes taking in the wafting aromas from local bakeries and sweet shops experience. Exotic smells from soap and cosmetic making units are bound to make some heads turn.
- Our guide will take you via dime sized cyber cafes, locals brushing past, mass-producing tailor shops all make up for an exciting trip. Friendly locals and enthusiastic tiny tots waving from their rooftops and balconies simply add in a touch of regular life being lived here.
- Visiting Kumbbharwada - The pottery making experience is going to be one of the memorable experience for you. Kumbbharwada neighborhood is more than 150 years old and is the oldest part of Dharavi. All over the world consume earthen pottery product made here by local artisans.
- Explore narrow alleys and interact with locals with the help of a guide.Your Dharavi tour will end here after that you can head to your hotel for rest.
Starting time of the Dharavi tour:
- 9:15 am or 1:45 pm from Churchgate Station near Colaba
- 10 am or 12 pm or 2:30 pm or 3:45 pm from Mahim Station
Duration of Dharavi Slum tour
- This tour will take approximately 2.5-hour walking tour
What to expect on the Dharavi Slum walking tour
- Dharavi tour comes under the local tour category where the tour is operated by local experts in the area.
- These local guides are trained students who live in this slum. And earning from this tour goes toward their education and development.
- This is a walking tour and the tour starts from Dharavi while covering inside lanes by walking only.
- Learn about one of the world's most famous slums and its people, food, and work.
What is included in this tour
- A professional English speaking tour guide would be escorting this tour.
- Bottle of Water
What are the tour exclusions
- Any personal nature expenses.
- Lunch or snacks not included in the tour
- Pick up and drop from the hotel.
Price of Dharavi tour
- Price of this tour is based on per person for a small group of 4-5 people
- If you have bigger group of more than 8 people or looking for a private tour please contact us we will customize this tour based on the group preference.
- You can book this tour even a single passenger
Tour details of Dharavi
In this Dharavi Mumbai slum tour package, you will get a chance to walk around the area, you’ll get an intimate glimpse into the daily lives of local residents by this tour. Dharavi tour is meant to showcase the reality and it will be an eye-opener for you. You will find various tours in Mumbai but this will be very different compared to other touristic tours.
Offerings of this Dharavi tour are shown by a tour guide we have selected based on his understanding about the area. The tour guide has been staying in Dharavi and comes from a the middle-class family. He will also help you understand this is not a shanty town and it has its own clean image, he will help you to explore how people live & work in such difficult circumstances.
By the way of tourism, we feel it will help the local community to showcase its reality, art, and products made out of Dharavi slum. Tour Guides who operate this tour are college students live in Dharavi Slum. The earning from these tours will help them with their studies and support for their family. Tour guides are well trained and friendly with locals so they can take you safely across this densely populated residential area and factories inside it.
Things to Note
- This Dharavi slum is a small group tour, a tour can have a minimum number of 2 travelers required & the group can be of a maximum of ten travelers also.
- This tour is operated by reality tours and travel and 80% of the profits go back to Dharavi local community to support through its NGO Reality.
- Slums of Dharavi is huge and wide and this tour of Dharavi we intent to cover the glimpses of local life, the business operated here and gives glimpses of slum life.
- We nowhere promote poverty tourism & these tours should be looked more from knowledge sharing and community support
- Visiting Dharavi can be an underwhelming or overwhelming experience based on your expectations.
- Reality tour is our affiliated tour company & our experts have visited and validated this tour personally.
- You can book this tour as early yesterday and start your tour today. You can also check with the last-minute plan we have arranged as last-minute as 2 hours before a tour start.
- This tour would be operating only on the daily
- This is a day tour and not operating in the night or evening.
- This tour is no way portraying the poverty, we appreciate you avoid taking the pictures, so private life of local residents are happy.
- Please wear comfortable walking shoes as this tour includes walking, try to wear covered shoes as some areas can be dirty, especially in monsoon months mid of June to September end.
- The dress code for the Dharavi tour would be smart casuals. Modest and respectful clothing that covers the shoulders and knees is recommended
- This tour is not wheelchair accessible A minimum of 2 people per booking is required.
- If it’s canceled because the minimum isn’t met, you’ll be offered a different date/experience or a full refund.
10 facts about Dharavi
- Home for more than 1 million people.
- It is India's largest slum which hosts the industry worth more than a billion USD.
- The whole area is spread in a small 2.1 square KM area.
- It is also Asia's one of the largest small scale industry, it hosts more than 5000 plus production units which include over 1100 plus textile, 900 plus pottery making units
- The plastic recycling industry in Dharavi is employing ~250,000 people
- Dharavi has more than 15000 single rooms factories
- The exports of Dharavi are sent across the world
- Monthly rental for a room could be as low as USD 5.
- Dharavi is the supposed to be the most educated slums in India with 69% literacy rate
- Dharavi has gradually transformed into the gigantic urban space now, but in the 18th Century it was an island inhabited by fishermen. However, fishing gradually stopped when the swamp got filled.
This is why it is imperative if you are in Mumbai and you must explore the Dharavi tour with a reliable tour guide and operator. We at theindiantrip have shortlisted this tour guide based on his background where he himself has been staying in this slum, number of trips he has done and reviews of travelers.
Cancellation policy of Tour
- If you cancel the tour before 3 days of the tour start date, a full refund will be given.
- If you cancel within 1-3 days of the tour start date, there is a 30% cancellation fee.
- If you cancel within 1 day of tour start, full cancellation charges would be applied
Other related tours you can take
- You can also explore Gateway of India, Colaba, Nariman Point, and Marine drive tour - Take Mumbai City of Dream tour.
- You can also combine this tour with an interesting offbeat tour Dhobi ghats. It is India's largest open-air laundry system an experience one must-have. It can be done along with the Dharavi tour.
- Mumbai Dabbawala tour the Mumbai's famous authentic experience which is even recognized for its excellent flawless delivery system which exceeds Six sigma benchmarks
- You can also explore The Elephanta Caves, a set of rock-cut caves and Hindu sculptures on an island close to Mumbai.
- The Kanheri Caves is another good option to explore the scenic side of Mumbai metropolitan city and also witness the archaeological marvel of rock-cut Buddhist caves