I find Mumbai such a vibrant exciting and inspiring city, there is always something new to see and explore.
This week was no exception. I have spent months travelling across the Sealink bridge, a large expanse that’s the fast route from Bandra (North of Mumbai) down to Worli, kind of mid town in New York terms.
On the left hand side as you look across the expanse of water there lies hundreds of brightly coloured houses shining out where fishermen still use old traditional methods – this is the old fishing village of Worli Koliwada.
Mumbai used to be made up of seven different islands , Worli being one of them. First inhabited by the Kolis in 110 AD. I wanted to see more of this 800 year old community and how they live and work in today’s world.
What’s fascinating is that nothing has changed since the time of the first settlement – be it the way the locals make their nets, catch their fish or do their business. Their belief systems, customs and age-old traditions remain the same.
Koliwada actaully means home that opens up to the sea. Long ago when Mumbai was still Bombay the Kolis helped to develop harbours and coastlines, islands such as Kolbhat, now Colaba, Palva Bunder now Apollo Bunder – which is situated right next to Colaba, Dongri, Mazagaon, Naigaum and Worli were named by the Kolis. The name Mumbai owes its origin to the Mumbadevi temple in Dongri, worshipped by the Kolis.
In March 2018 Mumbai-based Muriel artist Rouble Nagi has been responsible for attempting to revamp some of the city’s lower income neighbourhoods. Although they have had a very colourful facelift the traditions of this tribe still remain the same.
One other fact about this great community is that the government of India has classified them under the list of Scheduled Caste for the states of Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Rajasthan in the 2001 and they also appear under the list of Scheduled Tribes.
This brightly coloured neighbourhood was so friendly and welcoming and despite it not being an obvious tourist spot, I couldn’t have been made to feel more welcome.
Understandably they didn’t want you to photograph where the fish come in and how they trade but they were more than happy to pose for the odd photograph, especially the children as you will see on the post.
I spent an hour and half there taking a circular walk around the village. At the point you’ll find Worli Fort – they don’t let you take photographs inside, not that you’d need to as randomly it’s now home to a state of the art body building gym and a Hanuman temple. Don’t even bother to try to understand this.
On the north side of the village you’ll find the high street, packed with vendors selling fruit and vegetables, pharmacies, doctors, a gold shop selling real and fake jewellery, temples and everything else that you would expect from a thriving community.
Worli village is also home to Slink and Bardot a cool french restaurant serving modern small plates and deliecious cocktails all served up in an old colonial bungalow, this place gets great reviews.
329/A, Thadani House, Opposite Indian Coast Guard, Worli Village, Mumbai. Call 070459 04728
The easiest way if you don’t know where you are going is to take an Uber (The Uber’s here in Mumbai are great and cheap too).If you feel nervous walking around on your own there are organised tours you can take too. I prefer finding things out for myself but if you want guidance try:
I can’t vouch for either of them so I am not sure how good they will be.
How to fly fry from UK to Mumbai
I always fly Jet Airways from London Heathrow Terminal 4 https://www.jetairways.com/ They are consistently the cheapest with return flights starting at around £450 including taxes. The visas are easier now for holiday makers. Just go online and order yourself an e-visa, they usually come through in 24 hours.
If there is somewhere where you’d like me to visit in the city please just leave a comment, we’d love to hear from you. Or if you have any suggestions or advice you need wen visiting India I will be happy to help.
I hope you like the post, let me know what you think.
If you’d like to fish for gems – you can do so here. And as a thank you for reading this post we are giving you 10% off. Use the code fishingforgems10.