Dharavi Slum, Mumbai

Dharavi slum is the second largest slum in Asia and third largest in the world. It is one of the most densely populated area in the world. More than a million people live in the slum area. A tour through the slum area is an important tourist activity in Mumbai. Those who love photography and those who want to enjoy the real face of Indians below poverty line would love this spot. Every year, thousands of foreign tourists visit Dharavi for a walking tour.

Where Dharavi Slum is Located ?

The slum is located between to major railway line of Mumbai. Mahim railway station is the nearest to the slum. You can walk from the station to the slum. You can find many trains from various parts of Mumbai to Mahim. Once inside the slum, walking is the only option.

Best Time to Visit Dharavi Slum ?

The slum is open throughout the year. The place has the worst sanitary quality and thus, during rainy season, the streets will be flooded with dirty water. Avoid rainy season, at any cost. Since it is people’s residence, it is better to avoid very early morning and late night visits.


Entrance to the slum is free. If you are visiting Dharavi as a part of a tour package, the tour provider might charge you.


Many tour operators provide guide service. The guide will take you to interesting spots in the large slum area.

What is famous in Dharavi Slum ?

  • Open air laundry area
  • Spotting micro industries
  • Pottery works
  • Cheap shopping in the Dharavi markets
  • Soap making
  • Many families sell homemade food and this is the best place to enjoy home cooked Mumbai styled meal at a very low cost.

Photography is an important activity here. You can find many children flying kites here. People will be very happy to pose for you.

History of Dharavi slum

During the end of 19th century, many factories were formed in Mumbai and it attracted poor people from rural regions and faraway places to the slum area. Prior to this, the slum was mildly populated by fishermen. By the 19th century, the population of the slum was higher than the population of London. The residential area was segregated into two regions. One for the European workers and one for Indian. The Indian residency had the worst level of sanitation and quality of life. Due to the outbreak of bubonic plague, the British government pushed polluting industries and Indian residence to the current Dharavi region. After independence, Dharavi gained no growth. The place was still a dumping region. In 1960s, social workers initiated many housing places and 338 flats were built.

Suggested Tour Itinerary: Dharavi Sightseeing In Mumbai.

Shopping and dining places

You can find numerous shops and hotels in and around the slum area. Many houses sell home made food for making an extra income.

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