Take a walking tour of the Dharavi slum on this unique exploration in Mumbai. Follow a guide through Dharavi's narrow alleyways, where you're introduced to local residents and their small-scale industries ' recycling, ceramics, embroidery, soap making and more ' all manufactured by innovative means. Travel on your own or by rail with a guide, or upgrade to include round-trip transport by air-conditioned vehicle and see points of interest along the way. Numbers are limited to six people, ensuring an informative experience with a small group. Proceeds from your local tour operator goes back into the local community to support a variety of projects on education, health, and livelihood.
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.
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 that comprise a mix of households and small-scale businesses run by Dharavi's 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'll learn about the sense of community that exists among the 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 see a vibrant gathering of people learning library, English, and computer skills, or engaging in activities such as dancing and yoga.
Finish with a 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: Your tour guide is sensitive to the issues and concerns surrounding slums and understands that this tour may not be suitable for everyone. Guides 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.