Mumbai's Dharavi, the largest slum in Asia was chosen over the iconic Taj Mahal as the favourite tourist experience of 2019 in India on June 20, as per a report.
While Dharavi bagged the topmost position on the list for foreigners to tour in India, it was followed by the 'bike tour of Old Delhi' and a 'private day tour of Taj Mahal and Agra Fort by a superfast train' on the second and third position respectively, However Dharavi also made it to the '10 Travellers’ Choice Experiences 2019 in Asia' list.
The Dharavi slum is characterized as a place for residence for millions of people coexisting amidst dilapidated infrastructure mostly under extreme financial crisis. The narrow alleyways of the slum flaunt authentic pottery and leather shops which are not only a spectacle but are a world unto themselves.
Often portrayed in Hollywood and Bollywood movies, Dharavi is the abode of many talents which due to their voicelessness are never brought to the limelight. From rap to hip hop to B-boying it nurtures talents of all degrees.
Dharavi often plays host to tourists who want a whiff of what life is like for slum-dwellers in India. These are mostly small-group tours that walk you through the narrow lanes of the slum and include ‘attractions’ that showcase the area as the hot business hub that it is, with pottery craftsmen and leather shops making it as a must-visit spot.
While the Taj Mahal has an undying beauty about itself, every street every corner of Dharavi has a story to tell. Such humanity overrides the natural beauty that the mighty Taj Mahal inspires which might also be the reason why tourists found travelling in the streets of Dharavi more endearing than the sight of the magnificent Taj Mahal.
In the Asia list, while the 'Ubud tour with Jungle Swing in Indonesia' bagged the top position, the 'faster than the skip-the-line experience at the Vatican, Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Basilica Tour in Rome, Italy' topped the World category.