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.
Known to many as ‘one of the largest slums in Asia’, we prefer to think of Dharavi as Mumbai’s beating heart. It houses about one million of Mumbai’s inhabitants and its industries have an annual turnover of approximately US$ 665 million.
Through our educational walking tours, visitors experience a wide range of these business activities: recycling, pottery-making, embroidery, bakery, soap factory, leather tanning, poppadom-making and many more.
We’ll 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.
Our three community centres that are funded through the profits from the tours are also located in the residential area. We will visit one of them and you will learn about the programs that our NGO, Reality Gives, offers the community.
Our 2.5 hour introduction to Dharavi aims to give visitors a much more nuanced understanding of life and work in Mumbai slums.
Have extra space in your suitcase? We are proud members of Pack for a Purpose, an initiative that allows travelers like you to make a lasting impact in the community at your travel destination. If you save just a few kilos of space in your suitcase for the projects supported by Reality Gives, you’ll make a priceless impact in the lives of our local children and families. Please click here to see what supplies are needed for our project/projects.
As we travel to Dharavi by car, we’ll stop and see the world’s largest outdoor laundry. We’ll see the dhobiwallahs, or washermen, scrubbing sheets from Mumbai’s largest hospitals and hotels at this busy open air laundry area!
Metal and plastic comes from all over the world to Dharavi to be recycled. See the entire recycling process from sorting to the finished plastic pellets.
The tin hutments that house so many human lives stretch on as far as you can see. You will never forget this view!
Two tons of food is produced every day in Dharavi and a large part of that is popaddoms, the essential appetizer or side dish of many Indian meals. They are typically made by women in Dharavi in the residential areas.
Our Community Centre, supported by funds from the tour, provides education in English, computers and life skills to the teenagers and young adults of Dharavi. Other activities such as sports, dancing, and yoga are also hosted at our community centres.
Outside of our office in Colaba.
Private tours start from your hotel or residence.
Outside Leopold Café in Colaba
Private tours end at your hotel or residence.
8:30am – 1pm or
2pm – 6:30pm
Our office is located on Nowroji Fardonji Road which is the street next to Leopold’s Cafe. You will see our signboard attached to a light pole. Our office is located in the building behind SSS Corner Store. We meet in front of the large, blue SSS Corner Store sign. (Photo: One, Two)
Warning: Be wary that there are other tour operators on the street that may claim to be Reality Tours. You will recognize our guide by the light blue button down shirt with our logo on it.
Loved the tour and was very informative and enlightening. We understand no not taking of photos but also felt it was a pity as we would have liked to have shared what we saw and experienced as it is very inspirational
Do yourself a favor and go off the tourist sites and see the Dharavi slums with this operator. Not only will you see the human side of this city but how this organization gives back to it.