Dharavi Slum Mumbai Tour, How to Reach, Population, Facts

Mumbai the city of dreams is the place where people come and live to fulfill their dreams. People say that the city never sleeps and is always struggling and doing things the hard way to reach up to the destination. However is the city all about the glitz and glamour? From the Bollywood industry to big industrialists to businessmen so many people made it big in Mumbai. But there is a different side to the city as well where the people struggle until they can make it big too. Have you heard of the Dharavi Slum Mumbai? The infamous Dharavi Slum in Mumbai is one of the biggest slum areas not just in the country but in the world. It is home to approximately a million people who live in this densely populated area.

If you are truly interested in exploring the city of Mumbai, then you certainly cannot miss out on the Dharavi Slum area in Mumbai. This will give you much richer insights into the struggles of normal regular people, who work hard to earn a living. Also the industries and businesses growing in the Dharavi Slum area are important for the sustenance of the economy in the city as well. If you are not much aware of this area in Mumbai, you don’t need to worry. In this article I will state some Dharavi slum facts and let you all inside the Dharavi slum too. So keep on reading this article on Dharavi Slum Mumbai. This will be a helpful read for you if you are interested to know more about Mumbai and the other side of the glamour.

Dharavi Slum Mumbai

Where is Dharavi Slum located?

The Dharavi Slum is located just in between the two main sub urban railway lines in Mumbai, namely the Central Railway and the Western Railway. In the west of the slum there is Mahim Bandra and in the north there is the Mithi River that flows by to reach the Arabian Sea.

How to reach Dharavi Slum Mumbai?

This is one of the most popular areas in Mumbai so reaching there would not be a hassle at all. You can easily avail the local transport in Mumbai to reach the area. There are autos as well as cabs that you can opt for to reach Dharavi. Mumbai local trains are also great options to reach Dharavi from various locations. If you are opting for a train then you will have to get down at the Mahim Junction or the Kings Circle to reach the slum. From the stations you can either walk or you can also opt for a rickshaw to reach Dharavi.

Alternatively you can also take buses to reach Dharavi Slum. The nearest bus stops to reach the slum are Mahim Phatak bus stop, Shahu Nagar, Matunga Labour Camp etc.

Overview of Dharavi Slum Mumbai

The Dharavi slum is one of the world’s biggest slum areas and the Dharavi Slum area in acres is 520 acres of land. Approximately the Dharavi Slum population is more than 7000,000 and according to some statistical studies it is more than a million. Dharavi area is a versatile land that has residents of all kinds, belonging from different religions, cultures and backgrounds. That itself makes it extremely colorful as an area in terms of culture.

It is one of the liveliest and busiest regions in Mumbai. And if you are wondering if tourists are allowed in the Dharavi slum, then let me tell you, yes. Tourists can very well visit this area and not just that the Dharavi Slum tour is also quite popular.

Dharavi View

Population of Dharavi Slum Mumbai

The population of the Dharavi Slum is something that makes this area even more interesting. It is one of the most densely populated areas in Mumbai and there is no exact figure of the number of people residing here. However, according to statistical studies, more than 800, 000 people reside here per square mile. According to further studies 30 % of the population in Dharavi is Muslim, 63 % is Hindu and 6 % is Christians. Other than that a small percentage of Buddhists and other minority religions also stay here.

Amongst the Hindus staying at Dharavi, 20 % of the population works in large scale operations. These are the leather industry, animal skin production, tanneries and more. Many other people specialize in different small scale productions like retail, trade, textile manufacturing, pottery work etc. If we look at the overall population here you will find a beautiful unity in diversity. People from every corner of the country come and settle here to earn a living. And for that reason you will find people from different cultures and religions here existing harmoniously. Also here you will find temples, churches, mosques all of it and each of the people here practice their own religions and cultures.

Dharavi Leather Market

Out of everything else in Dharavi, the area is especially popular for its leather market. The area is also home to more than 20 thousand small and mid range businesses and manufacturers. Also popular as the leather paradise you will find really good quality leather items in Dharavi that too in very affordable pricing.

You will find leather bags here and the price range starts from Rs. 2500. These are pure leather and you will have bags for all purposes here. Also leather belts are really popular here and you will be spoilt for choices. The price range of belts starts from Rs. 400. Another thing that is extremely popular here are the leather jackets and the price range starts from Rs. 800.

Other than that, leather shoes are also quite popular here. From outdoor wear to boots to sandals you will find a huge variety here. The price starts from Rs. 1500. Leather wallets are also popular here and the prices start from Rs. 400. You can find some non leather varieties here as well which are equally popular here. You will also find items like hats, jewellery boxes, diary, planners etc here. In short it can be extremely interesting to explore the leather markets in Dharavi. So if you are ever coming here make sure you are exploring the market well and grab some deals.

Dharavi Slum Tour

The cost of a tour to the Dharavi Slum would depend on the kind of tour you choose. If you wish to explore the area for about an hour then the cost would be around Rs. 500 to Rs. 1000. And if you are travelling there in a group of up to about 6 people then the cost would be around Rs. 2000 per head. In that case the duration of visit would be 2- 3 hours. Furthermore if you are opting for a solo tour along with a guide then the price would be Rs. 5000 to Rs. 7000. It is possible to take a tour of the slum alone as well. But it would be advisable to take a guide along as that is more convenient.

Dharavi street view
Image Source : Flickr

Best time to visit Dharavi Slum Mumbai

There are no fixed timings to visit here as there is no specific opening or closing time of the slum. But obviously if you are visiting here during the time of the day when everyone is active you would get the essence of the location more. So it would be great if you are visiting here from 9 am in the morning to 5 pm in the evening. Also most of the tour operators here also function within that time period only.

And when it comes to the best time of the year then winters would be a perfect time to explore the whole area in peace. Summers can be too harsh with the scorching sun and the tour would require a lot of walking. So make sure you are keeping that in mind. And the monsoon season is not at all a good time for a visit here. Due to low rise buildings and cluttered space the drainage system here is improper. This is one of the Dharavi Slum problems and the area is prone to floods as well. So avoid visiting here during the monsoon season.

Things to do at Dharavi Slum Mumbai

1.       Enjoy the walking tour as that is what is most interesting here. The tour of the slum would take you through various areas here, mostly the industrial areas. Moreover you will be able to see how the small businesses and industries function here. However you may not be able to go through the residential areas here because of privacy concerns.

2.       Enjoy the recycling area in Dharavi and you will get a lot of insight about the plastic recycling process.

3.       You can spot the various street arts here which are splendid to look at.

4.       The rooftop view of the Dharavi Slum is one of the most interesting things that you can enjoy here. So don’t forget to get the most of the breathtaking view here.

5.       Visit the Kumbharwada Pottery Colony which is a 100 years old neighborhood. It is famous for its skillful artisans and their earthen pots. So you must make a visit there.

house in Dharavi
Image Source : Flickr

Wrapping Up!

The Dharavi Slum Mumbai is like that one location in Mumbai that will give you an insight behind all that glitz and glamour that Mumbai is mostly popular for. Here the people are hardworking and they strive each day to make a living for themselves and their family. This is like a bustling area where so many people reside together and exist harmoniously with different sets of religions and cultures. There had been many actors from Dharavi Slum too who had stayed here during initial days of struggle. Dharavi tourism is popular in Mumbai and on your Mumbai tour you need to explore this area for sure.

So do let me know if you are interested in exploring this colourful section of the city of Mumbai. And let me know when you are planning a visit to the Dharavi Slum Mumbai. Also don’t forget to tell me if this article is helpful for you in knowing everything about the Dharavi Slum area in Mumbai. 

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