Dadar, one word and a million adjectives: crowded, noisy, bustling, vibrant and chaotic. At a glimpse, you’d probably want to avoid this spot in Mumbai, but Dadar’s got a poignant charm if you decide to stop and give it a chance.
It’s more than just Shiv Sena Bhavan’s prestige and definitely a whole lot more than dusty streets and persistent hawkers. We get you 12 things that will make you appreciate this pivotal spot in the city, a little more.
1. Stand by and watch the sea of people at Dadar station
One suggestion: Never stop in the middle of the railway bridge at Dadar station. You’ll be swarmed by throngs of people and might not particularly enjoy it. However, stand on the sidelines and watch trains from all three sections of the city pass by: Western, Harbor and Central.
2. Taste the quintessential Vada Pav at Ashok Vada Pav, Dadar West
Are you a potent believer in the power of chutneys? Would you take pride adding leftover fried churra as a finishing touch to your vada pav? Mr. Ashok heard you a while back (1970’s to be precise) and serves authentic vada pavs with teekha and sukha chutneys as the real hero. Oh, also, how can we forget the generous churra he adds right at the end.
3. Visit the Vegetable and Flower Market
There are two things you’ve got to know about Dadar. Firstly, it holds the oldest flower market in the city. From orchids to the plumpest marigolds, it is said to supply flowers to the Ambanis as well! Secondly, the vegetable market here begins as early as 4 a.m. with vendors displaying their wares till 6 p.m. It is also probably the largest vegetable market in Mumbai.
4. Check out the Kabutar Khaana In Dadar East
Not everyday will you get to see an amalgamation of different cultures just around the corner. But Dadar’s Kabutar Khaana is surrounded by a Masjid, a Jain Temple, a Hanuman Mandir and a Church just a few meters away from each other. Housing around 4000-6000 pigeons, you can offer to buy seeds and feed the birds through the caged enclosure.
5. Snack on some Saurashtra Farsan
A wee bit away from Kabutar Khaana lies a placid food stall with people picking up snacks and passing by, casually. It is here that you get to try some of the most authentic Saurashtra farsaan in the city. The Saurashtra Farsan Stall is a 90-year-old venture that has never branched out to any other part of the city but still receives a daily flock of visitors.
6. Indulge in a Maharastrian Thali at the Pashikar Restaurant
Wondering where to head for lunch? You simply cannot miss out the Maharastrain Thali if you’re in Dadar. There’s the infamous Mama Kane right next to Dadar station, but we also applaud the thali served at Pashikar Restaurant. Right from the basic Puri Bhaaji and Kothimbir Vadi, to the Bhajani Thalipeeth, Batata Vada and Motichoor k Ladoo, they also house a special fasting menu of Farali Misal and Sabudana Vada.
7. Bag some goodies at the Dadar market
Infamous for saree shopping, the Dadar market has now expanded to include a lot of Indian and Western clothing with rows upon rows of street shops and malls. It is also a go-to if you’re looking to shop for jewelry, bags and handbags.
8. Sip on some freshly made Lassi at Shree Krishna Stall
Standing proud since the 100 years, Shree Krishna Stall boasts of loyal customers coming all the way from Panvel to drink the lassi. What’s so special about it? The secret lies in the way they use only the freshest malai to make it. The lassi is perfectly balanced, not too sweet and not tethering towards bland either.
9. Take a stroll at the Parsi Colony in Dadar East
Dadar east houses the largest Zorastrain community in Mumbai, with around 10,000 Parsi families in it. Named as Parsi Colony, take a stroll at the five gardens that surround it and enjoy the rare calm this city has to offer.
10. Play a game of cricket at Shivaji Park
None other than our beloved Sachin Tendulkar once trained at the cricket ground in Shivaji Park. Built in 1925 by the British, this space has become synonymous with the birth of Indian Cricket in Mumbai.
11. Enjoy a gorgeous sunset at Dadar Chowpatty
While it may not be the original, Dadar beach or as it is fondly called, Dadar Chowpatty is known to house a stunning view of the sea. Couple it with a fine view of the entire Worli Sea Link and trust me, you might not want to leave, anytime soon.
12. Pay your reverence at the Siddhi Vinayak Temple, Dadar West
One of the most popular temples across the country, the Siddhi Vinayak Temple scores 25,000 visitors daily. It isn’t just popular but also one of the richest temples in the city that’s frequented by a lot of Bollywood celebrities. Devotees of Lord Ganesha orchestrate a special pilgrimage to visit this holy site, once a year.