The Slum Tour: An Insight of Dharavi

Duration: 2h
Languages: English
Guru: Balaji
Registered on February 12, 2023

Balaji's journey as a tour guide in Dharavi began in 2011, fueled by his passion for meeting new people and sharing his community with them. Despite his initial lack of experience and proficiency in English, he embraced the opportunity to connect with travelers from around the world. Over the span of more than a decade and with over 28,000 visitors, Balaji's confidence grew as he led countless tours through Dharavi, his beloved home. The Dharavi slum tour, in particular, held a special place in his heart, allowing him to showcase the vibrant spirit and resilience of his community. At each stop along the tour, Balaji wove together countless stories, offering glimpses into the daily lives, struggles, and triumphs of the people of Dharavi. These anecdotes not only captivated his audience but also inspired them, fostering a deeper understanding and appreciation for the community they were exploring. Amidst the tour, a pause for tea provided not only a moment of refreshment but also an opportunity for Balaji to further enrich his stories, infusing them with warmth and hospitality that left a lasting impression on his guests. Balaji's invitation to join him on his journey through Dharavi wasn't just an invitation to see the sights but an invitation to see through the eyes of someone who knows and loves the place deeply. Through his eyes, visitors were invited to form their own impressions and discover the beauty and resilience of Dharavi for themselves.

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  • No minimum number of attendees
    No minimum number of attendees is required for the tour
  • Free booking and cancellation
    Free payment tour, no set price, booking and cancellation are free

Tour description

Welcome to the Dharavi slum tour, a journey through one of Mumbai's most vibrant and dynamic neighborhoods. Despite its humble appearance, Dharavi is a place teeming with life, energy, and a strong sense of community.

As we embark on our tour, you'll have the opportunity to explore the heart of Dharavi and gain a deeper understanding of its unique culture, economy, and way of life. Here's a glimpse of what you can expect to experience during our time together:

1. **Introduction to Dharavi**: We'll start by delving into the history and significance of Dharavi, learning about its origins and growth into one of the largest slums in Asia. You'll gain insights into the challenges and opportunities faced by its residents and the resilience that defines their daily lives.

2. **Community Spirit**: One of the most remarkable aspects of Dharavi is its strong sense of community. As we wander through its bustling streets, you'll witness firsthand the camaraderie and cooperation that binds its residents together. From shared spaces like temples and mosques to informal gatherings in narrow alleyways, you'll see how community ties run deep in Dharavi.

3. **Entrepreneurship and Innovation**: Despite its economic challenges, Dharavi is a hub of entrepreneurial activity. We'll visit local businesses and workshops, where skilled artisans and craftsmen produce everything from leather goods to pottery. You'll learn about the ingenuity and resourcefulness that drives these enterprises and fuels the local economy.

4. **Street Markets**: No visit to Dharavi is complete without experiencing its vibrant street markets. Here, you'll encounter a kaleidoscope of sights, sounds, and smells as vendors sell fresh produce, textiles, and other goods. You'll have the opportunity to interact with local merchants, sample traditional snacks, and immerse yourself in the hustle and bustle of daily life.

5. **Recycling Industry**: Dharavi is home to a thriving recycling industry, where scrap materials are repurposed and transformed into new products. We'll visit recycling factories and workshops, where you'll see the recycling process in action and learn about the environmental and social impact of this important industry.

6. **Pottery Workshops**: Finally, we'll explore Dharavi's rich artistic heritage at its pottery workshops. Here, skilled artisans practice centuries-old techniques to create beautiful pottery and clay sculptures. You'll have the opportunity to try your hand at pottery-making and learn about the cultural significance of these traditional crafts.

Throughout our tour, you'll have the chance to engage with local residents, hear their stories, and gain a deeper appreciation for the resilience, creativity, and humanity that define life in Dharavi. So come join us as we journey through this vibrant and dynamic community, where every alleyway tells a story and every encounter leaves a lasting impression. Welcome to Dharavi.

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What will we visit on this tour?

  • Meeting point:
    Tip Road,Unit no.58, Ground floor Ram...
    Tip Road,Unit no.58, Ground floor Ram Mahal Building, Senapathi, Senapati Bapat Marg, Marinagar Colony, Station, Mahim, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400016, India
    View on map

    you can meet us at the third wave cafe opposite the Mahim junction station ( west )

  • 1
    Free admission
    Dharavi Slums

    Introduction to Dharavi, Recycling Industry, Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Community Spirit, Street Markets, Pottery Workshops.

How much does this tour cost?

Free tours do not have a set price, instead, each person gives the guru at the end of the tour the amount that he or she considers appropriate (these usually range from €10 to $50 depending on satisfaction with the tour).

Tour opinions

(80 ratings)
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Chiara 10 Jun 2024

Verified booking
Travelled in couple - Jun 2024
We had a great time with our tour guide Abhishek, he explained interesting things happening in the slum with a lot of passion. I highly recommend this tour if you want to see what is the real life there without filters.
susan 28 Apr 2024
Chapel Hill

Verified booking
Travelled alone - Apr 2024
This tour is so REAL - no sugar coating- and eye opening for westerners. I kept wondering if sociologists have studied dharavi and how one million people can come together and create communities and businesses under 18th century working conditions. Fascinating and sad all at the same time…
Yered 27 Apr 2024

Verified booking
Travelled in couple - Apr 2024
Stimulating tour with deep culture and behind the scene stories, it was hard to process and reflect during this precious 2 hours in such a huge community. There are so many hidden industries in the area and felt that what we experienced was only just a glimpse of the reality. I would absolutely revisit again!
Rodrigo 26 Apr 2024

Verified booking
Travelled in couple - Apr 2024
The Dharavi slum tour was absolutely incredible! A must-do when visiting Mumbai. Balaji's expertise and willingness to answer any questions made the experience unforgettable. Exploring the diverse neighborhoods and businesses was truly eye-opening. My only critique is that the tour wasn't long enough; I could have spent the entire day there. It's definitely one of the highlights of my three-week trip to India. I highly recommend Balaji and the Dharavi slum tour!
Amber 21 Apr 2024

Verified booking
Travelled alone - Apr 2024
This was genuinely one of the best tours I’ve ever done. Balaji is extremely knowledgeable and enthusiastic about what he’s sharing / showing. It was very informative as well as fascinating to see the inner workings of the slum and the people that live and work there. I 100% recommend. Thanks.
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Who is this tour for?

Non suitable for people with reduced mobility.
Does not accept large group reservations.
Not suitable for pets.

What should you know?

Minimum of attendees
There is no minimum number of people required for the tour.
Additional costs:
The tour does not require the payment of entrance fees or additional expenses.
Free cancellation
If you will not be able to attend the tour, please cancel your booking, otherwise the guide will be waiting for you.
Payment methods
Only cash payment is accepted.
When do you want to go?
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