Dharavi is known around the world for housing one of the biggest slums globally. It’s a tiny area of just over 2.1 square kilometres but its residents are estimated to be over one million, making it one of the most densely populated places in the world.
Dharavi has many booming industries that thrive in its cramped quarters. The most popular is its leather goods industry but textiles and pottery products are also made here. Just around Dharavi you will find popular neighbourhoods, buildings and stores. Mahim lies to the West of Dharavi and here you will find great residential buildings to live in.
If you are looking to stay close to Dharavi or want to learn more about the place, we’ve listed the best housing societies to choose from as well as places to visit and things to do when you are in the neighbourhood.
Things to do in Dharavi, Mumbai
1. Take a tour of the Dharavi slum
Slumgods Tours and Travel will teach you a lot about the community in Dharavi. Here you can witness true Indian spirit where diverse cultures live harmoniously together. You can also see the thriving economy within the slum and the various products that get made.
2. Give back
Dharavi Art Room is an initiative meant to encourage the kids of Dharavi to explore books and art. This place hosts exhibitions and workshops, using art to empower underprivileged children and women. Dharavi Art Room accepts donations in the form of books, stationary, toys and more. They host many fundraising events too so look out for those.
3. Visit Design Dharavi Museum
Design Museum Dharavi is a unique exhibition space located in the heart of Dharavi. This place showcases the talents of Dharavi residents. It displays products made here and gives the makers a platform too to help empower and expand their business.
Places to visit in Dharavi, Mumbai
1. Maharashtra Nature Park
Mahim Nature Park, now known as Maharashtra Nature Park, is spread over 37-acres. It is a wonderful forest park that is home to a wide range of species. There are said to be over 12,000 trees here – types of gulmohar, teak, lasora, brambles and bushes. It is located right outside Dharavi and is a must visit for all nature lovers..
2. Aarey Energee
A nostalgic drink for most who have grown up in Mumbai, Aarey Energee tastes like childhood. At this stall you can still get all your favourite flavours of the sweet milky drink.
Choose from pineapple, pista, butterscotch, orange, vanilla, kesar elaichi, strawberry, chocolate and coffee.
3. Dharavi Market
Go to dharavimarket.com if you want to browse through all the amazing leather and PU products made in this bustling area. Instead of having to go to the stores around the area, you can now shop from the comfort of your home. From gorgeous bags and shoes, to belts and accessories, there are a ton of great quality products to choose from. It’s a great place to buy gifts as well.
4. Mumblu Tours
This walking tour through Dharavi will open your eyes to the lives of its residents. The guides are residents of the area and know everything from the daily struggles and strength of the people to the details about the different industries that operate.
FAQs about Dharavi, Mumbai
The travel distance or driving distance between Dharavi and Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport is 12.7 kilometres via the Western Express Highway.
Dharavi has its own bus depot and a few bus stops. There are many bus stops around Dharavi such as in the Mahim and Bandra areas.
No, there is no metro station in Dharavi.
If you are in Dharavi on the weekend you must go for one of the many guided tours that teaches you about the resilience and entrepreneurial attitudes of the residents.
The quickest way to get from Mumbai International Airport to Dharavi is by taxi or rickshaw which costs ₹250 to ₹500 and takes 30 to 45 minutes depending on traffic.
Dharavi is not a posh area – it is one of the largest slums in the world. However, there are very decent and posh areas surrounding it, such as Mahim and Bandra.
As Dharavi is a slum, there are no proper building structures and homes are usually built illegally. Its neighbouring area of Mahim, however, is very safe and nice to live in, with good residential buildings, stores, schools and places of worship.
The hospitals in and near Dharavi include New Sai Multispeciality Hospital & Research Centre, Lifecare Hospital, AAYUSH HOSPITAL, Si Hospital, Resham Hospital, Mahanagar Palika Hospital, Joshi Nursing Home and Kaya Sudhar Hospital.
Some schools in Dharavi are Municipal School, Sri Sri Ravishankar Vidya Mandir, B. S. I. A. S. School, Kamraj Memorial English High School and Junior College and Chhatrapati Shivaji Vidyalaya.
Parks in Dharavi include Maharashtra Nature Park, W.I.T Park, Shivraj Udyan and Shahu Nagar.
Some of the best gyms and fitness studios in Dharavi are Vishal Fitness, Warang’s Beyond Fitness, BodyZone Unisex Gym, BodyGaraz, SHREE GURUDATTA GYM, Living Fitness, FLEX GYM and AFC GYM 7 GOLD.
The Dharavi Police Station address is police station, 6-Q-7,New, 90 Feet Rd, Sion Dharavi, Transit Camp, Rajiv Gandhi Nagar, Dharavi. The contact number is 022 2407 3988.