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Ganesh Chaturthi Tour


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  • Trusted and experienced local guides
  • Hassle-free booking and attentive customer service
  • 80% profit goes back to our sister NGO Reality Gives

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4 hrs
Availability : Sep 2024 date not yet set

Get an inside look at one of Maharashtra’s most popular religious festivals!

Ganesh Chaturthi is a 10 day Hindu festival in honour of the elephant headed god Ganesh, the remover of obstacles and god of wisdom.

Families and communities install a clay statue of the god in their home or a communal space and honour the god each day, at times led by a priest, with a variety of rituals. At the end they lead a procession with the statue to a body of water and immerse him. The immersion represents sending the god home along with the troubles of man and everyone prays that he will come again early the following year.

We’re going to look at this festival from all angles. We’ll start by understanding the different ways the festival is celebrated in Dharavi by visiting the homes of families from various regions of India. Next, we’ll learn the history of the festival’s modern form by a visit to the community that started it. Finally we’ll witness the immersion at the most famous location: Chowpatty Beach.

Tour Types

Shared Tour

Enjoy with other people!
From INR1950
  • 1ps: INR 2,300pp
    2ps: INR 2,300pp
    3ps: INR 2,050pp
    4ps+: INR 1,950pp
  • Starting point either Churchgate or Mahim Railway station
  • 4 hrs duration from Mahim Railway station
  • Complimentary cold drink
  • 2.45pm or 3.30pm start time

Community Visit

We’ll start by visiting a public pandal (temporary shrine) in Khumbharwada, the pottery colony in Dharavi.

Family Visits

Next, we’ll visit multiple families in Dharavi from different regions and see the variations in the celebrations across different regions of India.

The First Ganesh Festival

After catching a train to Charni Road, we’ll better understand Ganesh Chaturthi by visiting the society that started it. A local activist, Bal Gangadhar Tilak, devised the communal celebration of the festival as a way to circumvent the curfew imposed by the British.

Chowpatty Snacks

We’ll stop for some food at our favourite Chowpatty street food stalls. Sev Puri, Pav Bhaji and Kulfi are a must!


The grand finale. After several days of offerings and prayers, families and communities bring their Ganesh to Chowpatty for a final pooja (prayer) and immersion into the sea

Meeting Points / Map

The tour starts in Dharavi, to the East of Mahim Railway Station. You can either join the guide at Churchgate Railway station and travel by train to Mahim Station or you can meet him/her directly there.

Meeting Points 

For Shared / Private Tours:

Churchgate Railway Station (See “A” in Map below)

  • Meeting Time: 2.45pm 
  • There are four entrances to Churchgate Station, including two subways. The first photo shows the station as you approach from Colaba and where the entrance is. Once inside the station, go to “Wheeler” Convenience Store, about 30 metres before the platforms (Photos: OneTwoThree)


Mahim Railway Station (See “B” in Map below)

  • Meeting Time: 3.30pm
  • We meet at the main entrance and ticket office on the West side of the station (photo 1). To check if you are in the right spot, verify that V-Jai Restaurant and Bakery is opposite and Third Wave Coffee is diagonally opposite. (Photos: OneTwoThree)

End Points

For Shared / Private Tours:

Chowpatty Beach (See “C” in Map below)

  • End Time: 7.30pm
  • Afterwards your tour guide will help you with transport, such as a taxi, to wherever you want to go. If you want to return back to Churchgate or catch a local train to another part of Mumbai, he/she will escort you to the nearest train station (Charni Road) and put you on the train



What will I see in Dharavi?

We focus on the small scale industries in Dharavi, such as recycling, the making of clay pots, embroidery, bakery, soap factory, leather tanning, papad (poppadom) making and many others, most of which take place in very small spaces.We also pass by the residential areas, where you really get a feel of how the people live and the sense of community that exists in the area.

People from all over India and from all religions live in Dharavi, and you will see this diversity. On the tour you will pass Hindu temples, mosques and churches in the area. When open, we visit the social projects run by our sister organisation and NGO Reality Gives, such as the community centre. It is quite an adventure to pass through the narrow alleys and you will almost certainly lose your sense of direction!.

Is Dharavi safe?

Although we cannot take responsibility should anything happen, we believe that the places that we visit are very safe. There are a lot of people in Dharavi (one million approximately in an area of 0.7 square miles) and there is a strong police presence in the area. Dharavi is generally full of hard-working, honest people, although for security purposes we ask you not to take valuables with you on the tour.

In the small alleys you have to be careful of low hanging roofs, open drains, and occasionally exposed electric wires. Also, in some of the factories that we visit there are fumes that can be hazardous.

Is Dharavi hygienic?

With the very high density of population and the limited infrastructure and sanitation facilities, there are areas which are quite dirty and smelly. We ask you to wear covered shoes.

What clothing should be worn on the slum tours?

We recommend that you wear covered shoes as some areas can be dirty, especially during the monsoon months from June to mid September. We request that you do not wear clothes that might offend the residents such as low cut shirts, short shorts/pants etc.

Why can we not bring cameras on the slum tours?

We have a strict no camera policy in order to respect the privacy of the local residents. Dharavi has received a lot of attention from the media and the residents are very wary of being exploited. The policy may be considered strict but our relationship with the Dharavi community has been built over a number of years based on mutual respect. We do not wish for even the occasional photo as it could be incorrectly perceived as our starting to permit general photography on our tours. We can, however, send you a link to Dharavi photos which can be downloaded. There is also the opportunity to buy postcards at the end of the tour, all profits going to our sister NGO Reality Gives.

Can I buy anything on the tour?

We don’t sell or ask you to buy any products made by the residents of Dharavi on the tour. We don’t want you to feel obliged to buy anything. If there is anything in particular that you find interesting on the tour, then by all means you can speak to the guide and he can help you buy it. There is also the opportunity to buy postcards and other merchandise at the end of the tour, all profits going to our sister NGO Reality Gives.

Is it appropriate to bring small children on the tour?

There are health hazards highlighted above which children need to be very aware of. Otherwise we see no problem with bringing children of any age on the tour. Indians are very welcoming and receptive to young people.

I don't like going on organised tours. Is it possible to visit Dharavi on my own?

Yes it is possible to visit Dharavi on your own, and in our opinion it is safe to do so. However you will not know the best places to go, the area is like a maze and you will not gain the same insight as with one of our guides.

I hear that Dharavi is going to be redeveloped. Will I still be able to see the area?

The redevelopment plan has been stalled many times and now it looks like the original plan has been scrapped and a new one is being suggested. Due to the value of the land in Dharavi now, some say that redevelopment in some form is inevitable but there are still a lot of issues to be resolved and the developers have still not been announced. It should be possible to visit Dharavi even while the development (which would take several years) takes place.

Where is Dharavi?

Dharavi is situated between Mahim and Sion – two areas at the northern tip of South Mumbai, just before the suburbs commence (Bandra and Kurla). It is sandwiched between the Western and Central Railway lines. It is about 10km south of the International Airport and 18km north of Colaba, the main tourist area.

I want to do a Dharavi Tour and another tour on the same day. Is this advisable?

Absolutely! Our tour timings were decided with this in mind. Have a look at the timings for the tours and let us know!

I am staying in Colaba. Where should I meet for the Dharavi Tour?

The easiest place to meet the guide is at Churchgate station; this is a 15 – 20 minute walk from Colaba.

I am meeting you at Mahim Station at Dharavi. How long does it take to get there?


By train: it is a 15-20 minute walk to Churchgate station and then it takes approximately 45 minutes to buy the ticket and catch a “slow train” to Dharavi (Mahim Station).

By taxi: By taxi it takes about 50 minutes to an hour

By taxi: it takes about 40 minutes in the afternoon, and 50 minutes in the morning. Please note that it’s not possible to get an auto-rickshaw to Mahim Station

By train: you need to go to Vile Parle or Santa Cruz Station and catch a “slow train” to Mahim Junction. Total time approx 40 mins.

By taxi: it takes about 35 minutes in the afternoon, and 50 minutes in the morning. Please note that it’s not possible to get an auto-rickshaw to Mahim Station