Dharavi and Sightseeing Tour
On this tour, visitors will see why Dharavi is the heart of small scale industry in Mumbai. Many people know Dharavi as the 'largest slum in Asia,' but there is much more to this historic area of Mumbai than poverty. Dharavi's industries have an annual turnover of approximately US$ 665 million. Through our tour, visitors experience a wide range of these activities: recycling, pottery-making, embroidery, bakery, soap factory, leather tanning, poppadom-making and many more. Most of these things are created in innovative ways and in very small spaces!
- TRAVEL TYPE: Air conditioned car and walking.
- MEETING POINTS: Your hotel or residence.
- END POINT: Your hotel or residence.
- ATTIRE: Please wear modest clothing (for women: no sleeveless shirts, short shorts, or low tops) and closed-toed shoes.
- DHOBI GHAT AT MAHALAXMI: See the dhobiwallahs, or washermen, scrubbing sheets from Mumbai's largest hospitals and hotels at this busy outdoor laundry area!
- KAMATHIPURA (RED LIGHT AREA): Talked about only in hushed tones, the Kamathipura district has been the subject of countless films, literary projects and art pieces. A visit to this area (while staying inside the vehicle) speaks for itself.
- COMMUNITY CENTRE: The Community Centre, supported by funds from the tour, provides education in English, computers and other soft skills to the teenagers and young adults of Dharavi. Other activities take place here such as a library, dancing, yoga, and indoor games. Visitors experience what matters most to Reality Tours... the men, women and children that make this dynamic community one of the most vibrant places in Mumbai.
- RECYCLING AREA: Old computers, parts and plastics come from all over the world to Dharavi to be recycled. See the recycling plants in which separation and melting of plastics takes place.
- ROOFTOP VISIT: There is nothing like the view from a Dharavi factory rooftop. The tin hutments that house so many human lives stretch on as far as you can see. You will never forget this view!
- BISCUIT BAKERY: See the tea biscuits eaten all over Mumbai being made hot and fresh at the source! (Note: sometimes the bakery is closed.)
- POPADDOM MAKING: Watch the women of Dharavi make popaddoms, the essential appetizer of any Indian meal, by drying them in the sun on wooden baskets that are turned upside-down.
- RESIDENT’S HOUSE: Gain an understanding of how the incredible people of Dharavi live while visiting our model resident's house. Furthermore we exhibit photographs here which are taken by kids from Dharavi participating in our art program.
- KUMBHARWADA POTTERY COLONY: Watch artisans create all types of pots out of unfired, sundried clay.
- AFTERNOON SIGHTSEEING: Your choice where to go! For a list of what sights we generally see in the afternoon, see our Sightseeing by Car page.
When passing through the residential spaces, you will undoubtedly feel the sense of community and spirit that exists in the area. People from all over India live in Dharavi, and this diversity is apparent in the temples, mosques and churches that stand side by side. A tour through Dharavi's narrow alleys is quite an adventure, and you will leave with an enlightened sense of the purpose and determination that exists in the area.
On the way to Dharavi, we pass areas of interest such as Kamathipura (red light area) and Dhobi Ghat (big open air laundry). The guide will also explain to you issues facing some of less fortunate people in Mumbai- such as the pavement dwellers and the street children.
In the afternoon we will show you other, more traditional sights that Mumbai has to offer. For a list of what sights we generally see in the afternoon, see our Sightseeing by Car page.
- A soft drink at our Reception Centre in Dharavi.
- Clean squat and Western toilets at various points throughout the tour.
NO CAMERA POLICY: Photos not allowed in the Dharavi slum. Photos can be taken elsewhere.