The Real Slumdog Millionaires, Dharavi
Home to nearly 1 million residents, Dharavi is the third largest slum dwelling in the world and one of the most densely populated areas on the earth. This slum became famous following the release of the 2008 hit movie Slumdog Millionaire.
During this half-day guided tour you will get to go inside the slum to see how the residents live and work. There is a palpable sense of community that exists in Dharavi, a patchwork of people from all parts of India; marvel at the diversity as you see temples, mosques and churches erected side by side.
Starting at the Mahim Railway Station, you will wind through the slum's narrow alleyways and be greeted by friendly locals. The smells of bakery goods and exotic soaps will entice you as you walk past dime-sized cyber cafes, tailoring shops and various vendors offering a wide range of handmade products including embroidered and leather goods.
Dharavi has a sizable recycling compound and a notable melting and molding industry making plastic toys. Some may call this area an eyesore in the middle of India's financial capital, but the entrepreneurial spirit and creative industries that have been a result of the most diverse of slums is arguably the most diverse neighborhood in Mumbai.
In Kumbharwada, a large settlement set up in the 1930s, you will see beautiful clay pots crafted by traditional potters hailing from Gujarat. This area of narrow, winding roads in Dharavi is probably Mumbai's unique way of holding on to its past. Because modernization is slow here, you will find rows of houses with dozens of hands covered in clay working in unison in an old art form attracting tourists, filmmakers and photographers from all over the city.
Dharavi's hub of innovative entrepreneurs and strong sense of spirit will break stereotypical beliefs about poverty and slum life and will leave you feeling inspired and hopeful for the resourceful people you meet here. Sign up for this popular tour today and you will leave this experience with a new-found appreciation of the human spirit.
Reviewer: Jerome Beuerlein
The tour was on time and provided us with a great deal of knowledge about the slum. Much more then we expected. The guide was friendly and informative.