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Things to do in Dharavi

Our most recommended things to do in Dharavi

Mumbai: Slumdog Millionaire Tour of Dharavi Slum

1. Mumbai: Slumdog Millionaire Tour of Dharavi Slum

Explore the Dharavi Slum, the largest slum located in a megacity in Asia. The slum is now famous thanks to the Oscar-winning film "Slumdog Millionaire". The tour will open your eyes to this bustling area of small businesses and a thriving community. Start the journey by meeting your guide at Dharavi, and experiencing the everyday happenings of this unique area. Numerous small businesses are thriving in every corner, making anything from exotic soaps and handmade cosmetics, to pottery and textiles. Throughout the walking tour, benefit from being a small group. Stroll easily through the narrow alleys and see how locals live their life here. You'll have a chance to interact with many people in the community. You'll also learn how the local recycling industry works.  You'll also be amazed at how diverse Dharavi is, with many different traditions and beliefs gathered in the same place. Your 2-hour tour will end at a pottery factory, where you can ask the guide to get you a taxi. You can also add on a vegetarian meal in a local family's home if you would like to stay in the slum a bit longer.

Mumbai: Ethical Dharavi Walking Tour with Options

2. Mumbai: Ethical Dharavi Walking Tour with Options

Known to many as one of the largest slums in Asia, Dharavi is Mumbai’s beating heart. Home to about one million of Mumbai’s inhabitants, its industries have an annual turnover of approximately $ 1 Billion. Learn the challenges of migrants as they settled into this community, their entrepreneurial stories and how to debunk the negative stereotypes of slums. For more insight, opt to have lunch as a family opens their home to you or go on a street walk tour to explore art. This walking tour takes care to be non-intrusive and community centric. Contrary to sensationalist media and films, Dharavi is an area of entrepreneurship, an estimated 20,000 businesses thrive here. Observe recycling, pottery-making, embroidery, bakery, soap making, leather tanning, poppadom-making and many more. Climb to a rooftop to get a view of the entire settlement. Navigate through the maze-like alleys and stop to talk to friendly locals. The tour will also visit the residential areas of Dharavi. People from all over India have come to live in Dharavi, making it a microcosm of India. This diversity is apparent in the temples, mosques, churches and pagodas that stand side by side. 80% of the profits from this tour are re-invested in educational community initiatives.

Mumbai: Full-Day Private Customized Tour

3. Mumbai: Full-Day Private Customized Tour

Experience Mumbai according to your own interests with this full-day customized tour. Design your very own itinerary to spend 8 hours touring around the city to see Mumbai's top tourist attractions and areas.  Get picked up from your hotel and travel in comfort in a private air-conditioned vehicle. Choose to see major city attractions such as the Gateway of India, an arch-shaped monument built in the early 20th century, or the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus Train Station, which has been made into a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  Other places to visit could be the Crawford Market, a British-era market with an array of spices, or the Dhobi Ghat, a large open-air laundry. At the end of your tour you will be dropped back to your hotel. If you would like to gain some insider knowledge, choose the option with a local guide.

Dharavi Walking Tour with Options (Private)

4. Dharavi Walking Tour with Options (Private)

Engage in an award-winning ethical tour through the slums of Dharavi. With an annual turnover of approximately $665 million, Asia's largest slum is home to more than one million people. Book a private walking tour with a convenient hotel pickup and drop-off facility. The first portion of the tour is by car as way we make our way north from Colaba to Dharavi. On the way you’ll receive some information on the history of Mumbai. As we drive past the historical textile mill area, for example, we’ll learn about this once crucial Mumbai industry and how it helped make the city what it is today. We’ll also discuss some of the city’s ongoing social issues as we pass by areas like the red light area of Kamathipura. This added information will help you better understand the historical and social context of Dharavi. We’ll also stop off at Dhobi Ghat, the largest open air laundry in the world. Your friendly local guide will help you navigate the narrow maze-like alleys of Dharavi as they recount the stories of entrepreneurship and community that define its inhabitants. Profits from this tour are re-invested in community initiatives such as education, skills development, and healthcare projects. The guide takes great care to ensure the walking tour is non-intrusive to local residents and safe for visitors. The area is home to more to more than 20,000 businesses. Observe recycling, pottery-making, embroidery, bakery, soap making, leather tanning, poppadom-making among other ways of living is done here. Climb on a rooftop to get a view of the entire settlement. Navigate through the maze-like alleys and stop to talk to friendly locals. The tour will also visit the residential areas of Dharavi. People from all over India have come to live in Dharavi, making it a microcosm of India. This diversity is apparent in the temples, mosques, churches, and pagodas that stand side by side. This private tour is ideal if you want a more personal interaction with your guide and the locals.

Best Combo of City, Dhobighat, Slum & Dabbawala

5. Best Combo of City, Dhobighat, Slum & Dabbawala

Your guide will meet you at your hotel then take you on a city tour. Highlights of the tour include Marine Drive, Victoria terminus, the Gateway of India, Colaba Market, and Mani Bhavan. You will also get to go on a ferry tour at Colaba, cruising along Mumbai's city coast line. Next, learn about the Dabbawala - the people whose job it is to carry and deliver freshly made food from home in lunch boxes to office workers in the city. See Dabbawala in action and hear how the success of the system depends on teamwork and time management. Next, you will learn about the Dhobighat. A dhobi is a traditional laundryman, who will collect your dirty linen, wash it, and return it neatly pressed to your doorstep. The laundries where clothes are taken are called ghats. Stop for a lunch break at a local restaurant. Finally, go on a 2-hour Slum Tour with your guide. The Khumbarwada area is the place occupied by the potter’s community from Gujarat, and you will be able to see pottery being made here.

Dharavi: Street Art Walking Tour

6. Dharavi: Street Art Walking Tour

Join this walking tour and explore the different facets of entrepreneurship and innovation that drives the community of Dharavi, one of the most densely populated areas in the world located in the heart of Mumbai. Additionally, discover the larger than life murals and street art painted by international artists and locals, celebrating the spirit of Dharavi. People from all over India have come to live in Dharavi, making it a microcosm of India. This diversity is apparent in the murals, temples, mosques, churches, and pagodas that stand side by side. On this walking tour, visitors experience a wide range of these business activities: recycling, pottery-making, embroidery, bakery, soap factory, leather tanning, poppadom-making and many more. The tour will also visit the residential areas and get a glimpse of street art in Dharavi. This educational tour aims to give visitors a much more nuanced understanding of life and work in Mumbai slums. Engage with your local guide and residents to gain a new perspective of this area. Proceeds from this walking tour are reinvested in community development for education, youth empowerment and well-being projects of Dharavi residents.

Mumbai: Private Bollywood and Dharavi Slum Tour

7. Mumbai: Private Bollywood and Dharavi Slum Tour

Discover the true colors of Mumbai on a tour of Bollywood City and the Dharavi slum. Learn Bollywood dancing during a dance performance, and go beyond stereotypical slum beliefs on a slum tour that will inspire you in your own daily life. After pickup from your accommodation in Mumbai, set off to explore the city by air-conditioned vehicle with your English-speaking guide. Hear about Mumbai’s place as India's largest city and home of the Bollywood movie industry, and receive thorough explanations about special effects in Bollywood City. See Bollywood cafés, a Bollywood costume gallery, and the Bollywood Museum. Enjoy a Move for Dance Show based on the film, music, and dances of Bollywood films, a combination of formal and folk Indian traditional music and dance traditions fused with Middle Eastern techniques. Admire the unique energetic style of the groups of dancers as they perform 5 Bollywood dances, and get a chance to learn alongside them by having a dance yourself. After the Bollywood part of your tour, continue to Dharavi slum and explore the real Slumdog Millionaires. Feel a sense of adventure as you pass through the narrow alleys in the second biggest slum in Asia and the third biggest in the world. Feel, also, the strong sense of community and the special spirit that exists here. Don't expect to find extreme poverty on your walk through Dharavi. In fact, discover a wide range of activities in the legendary mini-city, including a plastic recycling center, leather works, pottery workshops, and places where poppadums are baked. See the schools and churches used by the residents and the places where soap is made, before concluding your tour with drop-off back at your accommodation in Mumbai.

Highlights of Mumbai Private City Tour with Dharavi Slum

8. Highlights of Mumbai Private City Tour with Dharavi Slum

Your journey will start with a dedicated hotel pickup, before visiting the Gateway of India and the iconic Taj Mahal Palace Hotel. Following this, you will head to the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus Train Station, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Then you will head to the Crawford Market, a British-era market that has been standing for over a century and is a great place to see an array of spices. Following this, you will enjoy an insider's tour of the Dhobi Ghat, a colorful open-air laundry.  Next will be a 2-hour exploration of the Dharavi Slum, the largest slum located in a megacity in Asia, now well-known thanks to the Oscar-winning film "Slumdog Millionaire".  Visit Mahatma Gandhi's residence, where the famous "Non-Cooperation" started. Just off the coast of Mumbai, you'll also visit the iconic Haji Ali Dargah mosque. You will then head to Malabar Hill, before seeing the Banganga water tank and having a stop at Marine Drive, where you'll see a spectacular panorama of Mumbai. The guide will also take you for a short train ride on the Mumbai Local to experience the so-called "lifeline of Mumbai". You'll also be visiting the cow shelter or "Panjrapole". Finally, take a look at the famous Mumbai dabbawallas, who drive around the city delivering lunches from homes to workplaces. The guide will take you to the assembly point of the dabbawalas, where you can take photos and learn about their interesting business model. You'll be amazed at how much they can carry by themselves. After a day of exploring Mumbai, you will be dropped back to your hotel.

Combo Tour: Mumbai, Dabbawala, Dhobhi Ghat & Dharavi Slum

9. Combo Tour: Mumbai, Dabbawala, Dhobhi Ghat & Dharavi Slum

After a convenient pick up service, travel with your driver/guide to Churchgate Railway Station, where the days adventure begins. Start by getting a sneak peak into the world of a Dabbawalla, the famous lunch box carriers. Watch as they transfer food on wooden carts into the train and hear a brief introduction from a Dabbawalla about their role and how they code and distribute food.  Continue on your tour by taking a trip through the city center with your guide, covering some of the greatest and most popular landmarks along the way. This portion of the tour will cover some of the most popular landmarks such as the Gateway of India, Taj Mahal Palace, Dhobi Ghat, the Town Hall, Victoria Terminus, the Municipal Building, Marine Drive, Nariman point, Chowpatty Beach, Hanging Garden, and Mani Bhavan. This tour puts you in a fantastic position to learn about the history and culture of Mumbai and introduce yourself to its customs.  The third phase of your tour offers a pleasant contrast, as you and your guide take a 1.5-hour walk through the Dharavi slums. On this portion of the tour, discover why the Dharavi slum is at the heart of the small scale industries in Mumbai. You will see a wide range of industrial and craft practices such as recycling, the making of clay pots, embroidery, bakery, a soap factory, leather tanning, papad (poppadom) making and many others, most of which take place in very small spaces. You will also pass by the residential areas, where you will get a glimpse at how many different people, co-exist together in this community.

Mumbai: Sightseeing and Dharavi Slum Tour

10. Mumbai: Sightseeing and Dharavi Slum Tour

Explore both sides of Mumbai on a combination tour of the city's most famous landmarks and the Dharavi slums. Visit all the top places on any traveler's itinerary, and walk through the Dharavi slums to get a feel for the people, industry, and diversity of the area. On the first part of your tour, see the highlights of Mumbai, including the Gateway of India, Taj Mahal Palace, Dhobi Ghat, the Town Hall, Victoria Terminus, and Mani Bhavan. Learn about the history and culture of the city with your local guide, and introduce yourself to this wonderful city. Next, prepare for a 1.5-hour walk inside the Dharavi slums. Find out why Dharavi is the is the heart of small-scale industries in Mumbai, with an annual turnover of approximately $665 million. Experience the frenetic activity of the area and marvel at the small spaces in which recycling, clay pot making, embroidery, baking, soap manufacturing, leather tanning, papad (poppadum) making, and many other activities take place. As well as discovering the industry of the Dharavi slums, pass by residential areas to get a feel of how people live. Sense the community spirit and diversity in an area where people from all over India and from all religions live. See Hindu temples, mosques, and churches, and lose your sense of direction as you venture through the narrow alleys.

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What people are saying about Dharavi

Overall rating

4.8 / 5

based on 77 reviews

In case you are (like I was) still considering if it’s ethical to join a slum tour and which one, stop looking. This is the one. We’ve seen how they support the community and got first hand insights about the production sites and daily live in the neighborhood. It changed my mind. Highly recommend Reality Tours. Thanks a lot!!

The guide was excellent really informative and interesting. This tour divides opinion but we decided to do it and don't regret it at all. Certainly an education!

Guides were great! they give you the option of extending the tour at the end, and most people took it. Really educational and eye opening! Highly recommended!

Highly recommend this tour company (and our guide, Swathi). Thoughtful, informative, engaging and well-paced. We will be following Reality Tours in future.

Rameez was fantastic. Really insightful and caring. Made sure I got back to my hotel. Contact number of Rameez 9029200980