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Shubhyatra>> Maharashtra Yatra >> Slum Tourism


Location : Dharavi across from the Bandra Kurla Complex, Mumbai
Area : 530 acre land and 1,000,000 population
Major Occupations : Potters, Plastic and Metal recyclers, Tailors, Washermen
Contribution to GDP : Goods worth 500 Million Dollars

Tourism in Shanties

Kumbharbada, Dharavi
Kumbharbada, Dharavi

Fascinating Journey to See India

It’s quite amazing to see the shanties amidst the skyscrapers. In India a new tourism venture is emerging, some call it 'Slum Tourism' while a section put it as a 'Poor-ism' for enthusiastic tourists. Whatever, the term may be used, tourists are showing keen interest in roaming through the fetid alleys of the fly infested slum areas to learn about the real India. The Reality Tours and travels made their way easy by providing the packages to know and explore the un-trodden path of struggling life style in Mumbai's Dharavi slum settlement. Don't miss a chance to visit the slum and know what it makes to be happy, definitely - not money!

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Dharavi Asia's Largest Slum Settlement

Dharavi Market
Dharavi Market

When you will go through the lanes of Dharavi, Asia's largest slum settlement in Mumbai you will be surprised to know that it was actually a marshy land turned dumping ground, now turned sub-city. Based on the 530- acre land Dharavi is home to 100,000 people with markets, manufacturing grids, one- room cinemas, public schools and shanties.

The east flank of the Mahim Station is dominated by the plastic and metal recycling catacombs of 13th compound. It is amazing to see the heavy machinery’s melting and molding the plastic pellets for toys and button manufacturers producing Barbi Dolls of India. The delicious aroma from tiny bakeries and sweet shops, the exotic smell of soaps and cosmetics creates new magical incense, one can feel instantaneously. The dime-sized cyber cafes, mass-producing tailors, altar shapers and the children waving from the precipitous balconies is the most happening in slums that qualifies an active show and tell.

Khumbarwada area is the place occupied by the potter’s community from Gujarat, the origin habitat of Dharavi zone, they set up their communal clay pits and kilns in the 1930. where the mud wells and kilns portray the story of struggle and hardships with each round of the potters wheel and unfurls the luster of this region. Come and had a look what you can’t experience at any other place other than the Brazil's Fevalas and India's Dharavi.

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The Sprawling Slum - A Tourist Destination

The slum tourism of Mumbai paves the way for the curious tourists from all over the world to know and explore the life of people living here, that is full of struggle for existence but still make them happy. There are many tours and trips conducted to this slum dwellings, almost catering 50 tourists a month. One can opt for four and a half hour long morning tour and for two and a half-hour afternoon tour to the area. The tourists should be prepared for a long walk in the company of a guide who will have lot of stories to share with. Know and learn the basics of life from these slums that serve as institutions of philosophy for the man with vision.

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Top 5 Highlights of Slum Tourism In Mumbai

Kumbharwada, Dharavi

Mumbai's Shadow City - Dharavi
This city within the city of Mumbai is becoming a source of attractions among the tourist, a home to 100,000 people. Visit one of the Asia's largest slums and interact with the slum dwellers and reveal the hidden treasures.

Place Where Old Turns Gold
Visit the ware houses in Dharavi and you will see how the old turns gold. In the hands of the laborers in steamy wear houses you can find the old cooking oil cans being repaired for the resale. Recycling the plastic and other trash is the specialization of the residents of Dharavi.

A Square Mile - Center of All Things
Within a square mile you will find diversity in all aspects including regional, cultural, social, psychological, spiritual, etc. Being in the heart of city and bisected by 60 feet road, the slum boarders a mangrove swamp and the upscale Bandra neighborhood to the north.

Dharavi's Contribution to GDP
It will not be a boasting to say that Dharavi churns out some 500 million dollars worth of goods. The mostly unregistered and unregulated industries range from tanneries to plastic re-cyclers, garment factories to potters brick kilns every thing is there.

Believe it or Not
The Dharavi slum area of Mumbai is treasuring all the facilities for its inhabitants from Schools, Fire Station, Mosque, Temples, Hospital, Police Station, Church, Tata Receiving Station to separate industrial zone. You will be surprised to see high society living, processing the modern amenities, like television, fridge, telephone, computers etc.

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