Dharavi Slums Mumbai

Dharavi Slums Mumbai

Mumbai, the City of Dreams, is a beautiful metropolis in India. Here you will always hear the bustling sounds and noise, a city that never sleeps. It is also known as an island city.

Before the city was built into this beautiful modern township, it was an island inhabited by migrants. The whole city has changed drastically. All, but one area, is still untouched by this progress – Dharavi Slums.

This city has the highest poverty rate. The poorer sections outweigh the rich and powerful manifold. They exist side by side, cheek to jowl. At least 42 % of the total population lives in poorly sanitized, unhygienic places.  But even after being labeled a slum, it has managed to become popular among tourists and people from far and wide.

Must know facts before you visit Dharavi in 2021

Dharavi is one of the largest slums of Asia situated in Mumbai, Maharashtra, India. Its population is estimated to be around 10,00,000. This slum was set up in 1884 during the British Colonial era.

Dharavi was initially an island that had mangrove swamps. It was an area that was a sparsely populated village. There lived Koli fishermen, due to which it was named Village of Koliwada.

Dharavi has its name entered into the List of  “Travelers’ Choice Experiences 2019- India”. It also bagged a position in the List of “10 Travelers’ Choice Experiences 2019 in Asia”. This must get some readers to be a little curious about what is so special about Dharavi Slums. Let’s read some most interesting facts about Mumbai’s Dharavi Slums area.

The area features and presents an art fest which is titled ‘Dharavi Biennale’. The fest runs for 3 weeks. It is organized by SNEHA, a Mumbai based Non-Profit Organization.  The festival is celebrated every year to enhance creativity in local residents.

Must know facts before you visit Dharavi in 2020

Dharavi is a slum area and has cheap rental spaces. You will be shocked to know the rent per house. The rent of one house can be less than Rs. 185 per month, which is about 3 dollars in American currency. This is in contrast to the otherwise sky-rocketing rentals elsewhere in Mumbai.

Dharavi is the area nearby Bandra Kurla Complex. It has many small scale industries popularly known for producing embroidered garments, exporting quality leather goods, plastic and pottery products.

Dharavi Population

The latest statistics of the population of the Dharavi slums area are not known exactly but the estimate reports sum it up to 10,00,000 which is around 1 Million. The area of the slum area is over 200 hectares i.e. 500 acres.

Dharavi Demographics

Dharavi is known for its multi regionalism. It consists of 30% Muslim population, 6% Christian population, Hindus, Buddhists, and others constitute the remaining 63%.

These people have different occupations including animal skin production, tanneries, pottery work, textile goods manufacturing, retail and trade, distilleries, and leather goods. Most of these trades are small scale household operations. These products are sold all across the globe, in both domestic and international markets. The yearly turnover of business generated can be estimated to be around $650 Million, an anomaly considering its origin.

The state government has taken initiative to restructure and redevelop Dharavi into a completely modern town, including sanitized and clean housing facilities, shopping complexes, hospitals, and schools. This project is estimated to cost the government to the tune of $2.1 Billion.

This slum is a place of religious conformity and coexistence. As such it has places of worship for all religions. It also has a mosque named Badi Masjid, the oldest mosque in Dharavi.

Why are Dharavi Slums so popular : Dharavi Slum Facts?

Dharavi’s population exceeds that of Bahrain, Bahamas, Fiji, and Green Land. With an approximate literacy rate of 69%, it is one of the most educated slums in India.

In 2016, Dharavi girls showcased their talent and skills developed mobile applications which include three apps:

Mobile Apps
  1. Paani Hai Jeevan App- This app sends reminders or alerts to registered users of their turn to fetch water from the neighborhood tap.
  2. Women Fight Back App- This app is used for women’s security.
  3. Padhai Hai Mera Haq App- This app is used to help in providing the basic knowledge of Hindi, Maths, and English.

This slum area is extremely popular for its leather, textiles, and pottery products. It also has small scale factories, which produce goods which are sold across the world via e-commerce websites.

It came to everyone’s notice after the area was featured in the British film Slumdog Millionaire. It has also been featured in some films including Deewar, Nayakan, Salaam Bombay, Parinda, Dharavi, Bombay, The Sarkar film series, Footpath, Black Friday, Mumbai Express, No Smoking, Thalaivaa, Bhoothnath Returns, Kaala, and Gully Boy.

It has gained more popularity after featuring in the movie Gully Boy. A Documentary has also been made named Dharavi, Slum For Sale.

Dharavi Slum Hip- Hop Crew

Dharavi Slum Hip- Hop Crew

Dharavi is also famous for its very own hip-hop crew called SlumGods. The famous hip hop crew was found and established by Akash Dhangar. The crew has performed in collaboration with very popular hip-hop artist such as Tokyo based DJ Sarasa, AKA Silverboombox, Prosenjit Guy Kundu, Mc Mandeep Sethi, and other very popular stars. The crew has established its identity across the world now.

Popular Places to visit near Mumbai's Dharavi

Dharavi Slum area has the following places nearby:

1. Maharashtra Nature Park

The famous park Maharashtra Nature Park in Mumbai is popularly called the Green Lung of Mumbai. It is a home for very several species of flora and fauna. Nature lovers frequently visit this park. It is covered with trees of around 200 species. It has a Mangrove evergreen forest and many species of birds, butterflies, insects, and fungi.

2. St. Michael's Church

St. Michael’s Church is the oldest Church in Mumba located in Mahim at L.J Road and Mahim Causeway. It was built in 1534 by the Portuguese. It was initially named San Miguel, the most famous and oldest Portuguese Franciscan church. Later on, it was rebuilt sometime during 1973.

3. Thai Village Spa

This village spa is famous for the best Thai Massages and is located near Dharavi Mumbai.

4. Mount Mary Basilica

Mount Mary Basilica is also known as The Basilica of Our Lady of the Mount. It is a Roman Catholic Basilica. It is situated in Bandra, Mumbai. Every Sunday after 8th September, the church celebrates the birthday of the Virgin Mary. Bandra Fair is also organized here. It is visited by many people and the celebrations go on for a week.

5. Shree Siddhivinayak

The Shree Siddhivinayak Ganapati Mandir is located in Mumbai, India. It is a Hindu temple which is dedicated to Lord Shri Ganesh. It was built by Laxman Vithu and Deubai Patil in the year 1801. The glowing statue of Shri Ganesha is situated under the dome.

6. Bandra-Worli Sea Link

The Bandra-Worli Sea Link is a bridge is popularly and officially known as Rajiv Gandhi Sea Link. The bridge acts as a link between Bandra in the Western suburbs and Worli in South Mumbai.

7. Shivaji Park

Shivaji Park is a popular public park named after Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj situated in Mumbai. It is supposed to be the largest park. The park was initially named  Shivaji Park but later on BMC (Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation) changed its name to Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Park.

Popular Restaurants to visit near Mumbai's Dharavi

Dharavi is a very popular area in Mumbai. It has some very famous restaurants nearby. These restaurants have top ratings for their food. If you are going to visit Dharavi, you must try these restaurants. The list includes the following Restaurants:

  • Cafe Free India
  • National Restaurant
  • Cafe Coffee Day
  • Ashray Bar and Restaurant
  • Foodarto
  • Saffron Restaurant
  • The Boston Butt
  • Bombay Vintage

Your visit to Dharavi will be incomplete if you do not visit some of the above-mentioned places and enjoyed the delicacies on offer.

Bon appetite!