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Learn about the realities of working-class life as you discover Mumbai through its local transport.
Ride the famous suburban train, hop on a classic red bus, cruise around town in a typical black and yellow taxi and look on as millions of Mumbai’s working class head out in the morning. We will discover Mumbai beyond the typical tourist sites; we will see a number of different markets and the world famous Dabbawallahs (the workers of India’s intricate lunch delivery system). This view of the Maximum City will give you an idea of the struggles and challenges felt by the working class, as well as their unconquerable spirit.
At the end of the tour we’ll have a special tiffin (lunchbox) lunch delivered to us by a dabbawallah, picnicking at a nearby park.
See one of the busiest railway stations in the country at rush hour! CST is Mumbai’s only UNESCO World Heritage Site and it was featured in the final song from the award-winning movie, Slumdog Millionaire.
In India, flowers are used everywhere – in temples, in taxis, at home, in women’s hair, and for all kinds of worship. Here, you will see more flowers in one place than you’ve ever seen before!
The world’s largest outdoor laundry! See the dhobiwallahs, or washermen, scrubbing sheets from Mumbai’s largest hospitals and hotels at this busy outdoor laundry area.
The “Thieves Market” is one of the largest and busiest flea markets in the whole country and sells almost anything. Taste some local sweets, take home delicious home-made pickles and chutneys, or shop for a colourful vintage Bollywood film poster!
Witness an extraordinary feat of organization in which hundreds of thousands of lunches are collected from homes and delivered to work-sites using an unwritten system. At the end of the tour we’ll have a tiffin (lunchbox) delivered to us for a picnic lunch!
Public transport tour was fantastic-can’t reccomend this company, Reality Tours, highly enough. Really well planned and delivered; a knowledgeable and friendly guide with a wealth of local experience and a great sense of humour. Also went to Elefanta caves, an interesting trip off-shore, with over 200 steps up to a wonderful array of man-made temples and statues, which were really worthwhile. Great organisation and delivery of tours generally. Well done!
Wow what a trip! This tour was much more than we expected in a positive way! Our guide Raj was absolutely stupendous!! we met at a well known theater that all the taxi drivers knew! We traveled to places like the local non tourist fish markets, flower markets, fruit and vegetable markets. All the while moving by taxi, walking and on the trains- In a place that moves millions of people everyday it was really fun to see places, people and sites in a small group, that was interactive and very informative. You have to be ready to walk and experience! If you are bothered by crowds and are not comfortable around cultural differences – maybe not the best for you. Bring a small camera and be aware of local customs. When in doubt – Ask. If you want to see Mumbai from a non tourist non large group bus approach- this was an amazing tour! Raj our guide made all the difference. Chelloh (phonetic spelling) – Means Lets GO!!
I took three tours with this company while in Mumbai in January 2019.
The first tour was the Dharavi Slum Tour with Arjun as our guide. Arjun did a wonderful job showing us around Dharavi. We walked around where people were working in four of the many industries that take place in Dharavi – recycling, cloth dyeing, leather, and pottery. We also walked through a couple of neighborhoods, one mostly Hindu and the other mostly Muslim, seeing how people lived, and we walked through the market area. Towards the end of the tour we visited the Community Center and school that Reality Tours sponsors. It was a very different experience and one I will not forget.
Since the Dharavi tour was so interesting and the tour guide was so good, the next day we took Reality Tour’s Public Transport Tour with Janna as our guide. Janna was funny and informative, and we really enjoyed our time together. During this tour we took a taxi to the train station (normally they go by bus, but the buses were on strike), took a train and then walked to the flower market, walked back to the train station and took another train to the outdoor laundry, took a taxi to the Thieves’ Market, and finally took a taxi to Churchgate Station to see the Dabbawallas prepare to deliver their many lunch boxes. We ended the tour with a delicious home-made lunch in the park.
The next day we hired a private guide, Bipin, from Reality Tours along with a driver to go to some temples and to the Haji Ali Dargah shrine. Bipin was another very personable tour guide from Reality Tours! We visited Mahalakshmi Temple, Haji Ali Dargah shrine, Shree Siddhivinayak Temple, and finally Sri Sri Radha Gopinath Temple. We could have gotten to these places on our own, but we wouldn’t have known what to do when we got there. Bipin gave us background information about the temples, explained what people were doing, and answered our many questions. We caught the end of a service at the Sri Sri Radha Gopinanth Temple and were mesmerized by the chanting, singing, and energy of the participants.
I highly recommend Reality Tours. I wish we had known about them when we were in Delhi because we would have arranged some tours with them there too. I’d like to go back to India one day in the not too distant future, and when I do, I’ll remember to contact Reality Tours to help enhance the trip.
My husband and I took two tours with Reality: a walking tour of south Mumbai and Colaba and the public transportation tour. They were both fantastic. The young people who are employed as guides are every bit as interesting as the tour itself. Each had an interesting life and goals for the future. It was a pleasure to talk to them. We especially enjoyed the train trip. Our guide, Sunny, told us so much about the importance and the dangers of train travel. We would never have understood public transportation without his information.
It is a complete delight to not only get to see parts of the city we’d never get to but to do it with such outstanding young people.
Great trip round Mumbai seeing many of the tourist things but using public transport along with the locals going about their business. Knowledgeable guide took us through the city as if we lived there but explaining everything as we went. The best way to see Mumbai.