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Dharavi Slum, Mumbai

Dharavi Slum, Mumbai

Dharavi, located in the center of Mumbai, is one of Asia’s largest slums. It is known for its vibrant community and entrepreneurial spirit. Despite the challenging living conditions, the residents of Dharavi have built a thriving economy. View Below for Dharavi Slum Tour or About Dharavi Slum.

Discover the vibrant culture of Dharavi slum with a Dharavi Slum Tour. Learn about Dharavi's rich history and community spirit. Experience the essence of Dharavi through immersive tours

   Traveller Information

  • Famous For  Culture, Slums, Work, Photography, Sightseeing
  • Fee Visiting Free / Guide Fee Aplicable
  • Visiting Time  Anytime
  • Duration of Visit  As per your convinience

A Glimpse into Dharavi’s History

Dharavi began as a small fishing village in the late 19th century. Over the decades, it transformed into a densely populated urban area. Migrants from different parts of India brought diverse cultures and traditions, creating a unique blend.

The Economic Hub of Dharavi

Small-Scale Industries

Dharavi is famous for its numerous small-scale industries. These include leather tanning, pottery, textiles, and recycling. Collectively, these industries generate a significant annual turnover, showcasing the residents’ entrepreneurial spirit.

Leather Industry

The leather industry is a cornerstone of Dharavi’s economy. Many workshops produce high-quality leather goods, which are sold both locally and internationally. This industry provides employment and sustains many families in the slum.

Recycling Industry

Dharavi plays a crucial role in Mumbai’s recycling efforts. The slum processes a large portion of the city’s plastic waste. This not only helps in waste management but also provides livelihoods for thousands of residents.

Best Time to Visit Dharavi Slum

Slum does not have a closing or opening time. If you are looking to enjoy the cultural life, it is best to visit when everything is up and running. Most of the tour operators provide trips between 9 am and 5 pm.

With regards to climate, monsoon is the worst time to visit the slum. Due to the low raise buildings and improper drainage system, Dharavi is very prone to floods during monsoon season.

Summer is very hot and humid in Maharashtra. Winter is the right time to visit Dharavi. Winter starts in October and ends in March.

How to Reach Dharavi Slum

Dharavi is quite popular among the local transport service providers. You can find autos, cabs and other road transportation to reach Dharavi from any part of Mumbai. If you want to travel via local train, get down at Mahim Junction or Kings Circle.

From these stations, you can walk or hire rickshaw to reach the slum. If you are planning to hire a bus, the nearest bus stands are Mahim Phatak bus station, Matunga Labour camp, Shahu Nagar and others. Top buses that travel to Dharavi are:

  • 476 (Worli to Shivaji Nagar Depot)
  • 164 (Maharana Pratap Chowk – Dharavi Depot)
  • 173 (Rani Laxmibai Chowk – Sion)
  • 175 (Dabar station – Sion)

Community and Social Structure

Cultural Diversity

Dharavi is a melting pot of cultures. Its population includes people from various ethnic, linguistic, and religious backgrounds. This diversity is visible in the numerous temples, mosques, and churches found in the area.

Community Resilience

Despite facing numerous challenges, the residents of Dharavi exhibit strong community resilience. Various NGOs and community groups work to improve living conditions, provide education, and promote health and hygiene.

Living Conditions in Dharavi

Housing and Infrastructure

Housing in Dharavi is densely packed, with many homes lacking basic amenities. However, residents have adapted ingeniously to these conditions, creating functional living spaces.

Health and Education

Health and education are significant concerns in Dharavi. Overcrowding and poor sanitation contribute to health issues, while access to quality education is limited. Nonetheless, efforts by the government and NGOs aim to address these challenges.

Dharavi Slum Tour: A Unique Experience

The Dharavi Slum Tour offers visitors a chance to see the daily lives of its residents. These tours showcase the local industries and the community’s resilience. While controversial, many residents view these tours as an opportunity to highlight their hard work.

Ethical Tourism

Tourism in Dharavi must be conducted ethically. Tours should respect the dignity of residents and contribute positively to the community. Responsible tourism can bring economic benefits and foster a better understanding of Dharavi.

Challenges and Future Prospects

Urban Development

Dharavi faces challenges like inadequate infrastructure and redevelopment pressures. However, these challenges also present opportunities for sustainable urban development. Balancing residents’ needs with urban planning is crucial for Dharavi’s future.

Empowerment Through Education

Education and skills training are vital for empowering Dharavi’s residents. Initiatives focusing on vocational training and digital literacy can help improve livelihoods and contribute to the broader economy.


Dharavi is much more than its reputation as a slum. It is a dynamic community full of resilience, diversity, and entrepreneurial spirit. From thriving industries to rich cultural traditions, Dharavi is the heart of Mumbai. Understanding and supporting this unique community is essential for its future growth.

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