Dharavi Leather Market: Even though, Dharavi is known for its slum area, the leather market here is humongous. Dharavi Market is known for leather goods, from stylish jackets to beautifully crafted bags wallets, and belts. Leather goods, usually luxury items, can be bought at heavily discounted rates at this market.
These are common things people told me when I appraised them of the fact that one of the activities that I would be doing whilst in Mumbai was the Dharavi (name of the slum) Tour. While other people would prefer a Mumbai City Tour or the Mumbai Bus Tour or even an air condition Day Tour of Mumbai, this was my choice.a. The place is safe, people live there. Not savages.b. People go to see the Slum to get a better understanding of the people there as well as how they lead their lives in so called “marginalized” conditions. We realize that is not the case only after you set into the heart of the place.c. Well, maybe. But it is not like we would be toiling around the place or living there for a few days. It is just a couple of hours of passing through so it is not so bad.I had booked my tour with Slumgods, a Mumbai based travel company and Dance Movement. I will do a separate section about them in my upcoming podcast series.“Hello, my name is Dinesh and I will be your guide for today’s tour. I was born and brought up in the Slums and know the workings of the slum well. I’ve been doing this from the last 3 years and have taken around many celebrities including Courtney Love and others who’s names I cannot pronounce.”
Prepare yourself for a short tour of the multi-religious, multi-ethnic, diverse settlement – Dharavi. Popularly known as Asia’s largest slum, there is more to this area than its poverty. Dharavi is the heart of small scale sector in Mumbai with industries that account for crores worth of turnover. This was also the place that inspired the Oscar winning movie ‘Slumdog Millionaire’. You can get in touch with ‘Reality Tours & Travels’ which is run by people of this area & specialize in guided tours that give you a deeper insight. If you are a tea – lover, do care to try a ‘Cutting Chai’ at one of the Tapris (Tea Stalls) during or after the tour. Mumbai’s famous Vada Pav goes well with the Chai. En-route Sightseeing from the cab: Leave Kalbadevi and take the Marine Lines flyover – drive past Marine Drive (Queen’s necklace at night) - later pass Giragaum Chowpatty Beach to your left – Take the Peddar Road Flyover – Cross Haji Ali Mosque on your left (quick stopover for juice at the famous Haji Ali Juice Centre) - cross Mahalaxmi Racecourse, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Stadium & Nehru Science Centre (Planetarium) on your right and get on to the Bandra Worli Sea Link (a beautiful 5.6 km drive that links Mumbai suburbs with South Mumbai & is viewed as an engineering marvel) – reach Dharavi.