Life in Koliwada Village in Worli

MUMBAI, INDIA

Offered by: Shweta Agarwal (Street photographer and curator of @hcsc_street on Instagram)

$180 per person

up to 5 people

approx. 4 hours

Travel Photography

In the heart of Mumbai is a location called Worli, an emerging commercial hub gradually filling up with corporate skylines. One place that hasn’t changed however is the 600 year old Worli village from the times of the adjoining fort built by the British in 1675. The Koli fishing community, with authentic, tribal fishermen and old school fishing techniques has thrived here for centuries. Age old practices start early in the morning with fishing boats going out to sea and coming back late at night via the connected Mahim Creek. Once in the village, you are greeted with the smell of drying fish and other fishing equipment in open air in a small sandy beach. This area is mainly used by the Koli community and is not a frequent tourist stop. Getting deeper inside Worli village, one can get lost in a maze of small but colorful shanties and chawls. Old duplexes with iron stairs on the outside, brightly colorful and patterned clothes drying out under the Mumbai sun, colorful pots nursing Tulsi plants and flowers and a cacophony of wall colors offer you a visual delight. The organic development of the village over decades and centuries around gullies (zig zag lanes) can be disorienting, leaving you confused about where your entrance point was. The village itself is an outstanding place to witness the daily life of these fishermen. Repair and painting of fishing boats, untangling and stitching nets, weaving fishing baskets out of wooden sticks and draining water using age old techniques to keep the fish fresh are common sights. Older women sweeping verandahs and floors, and performing household chores while children playing cricket and soccer in open muddy spots (a luxury in Mumbai’s concrete jungle), offer ample photo opportunities that one is unlikely to experience in a city like Mumbai. For this experience, we will meet at Sea Corner Restaurant located 200 meters from the roundabout where the famous Worli Sea Face ends. We will then walk towards Worli Koliwads village seeing the colorful shacks and chawls, stopping as required for street shots and portraits. Then we will proceed to the area where the fishermen are and spend half an hour shooting them. After that, we will roam around the lanes of this village and shoot everyday life of the Koli community. Our last stop will be the famous Worli fort for some architectural shots, great views of the Mumbai skyline and an aerial view of the entire village.

Additional information

Meeting point
Sea Corner Restaurant, 200 meter ahead of round about where the worli sea face ends

Recommended equipment
28mm/35mm or any wide lens, portrait lens like 50mm or 85mm

Activity level
Medium

Important Notes
 Wear comfortable clothes and footwear and carry water