One hundred and thirty five hutments jut out into the Arabian Sea, bravely defying nature and real estate moguls. Slated for redevelopment for almost a decade, Worli Koliwadi, or Worli fisherman village has, like so many other Mumbai settlements, continued to survive due a mix of legal, bureaucratic and geographical factors. But for us this means that there is one more interesting and unique Mumbai neighbourhood to explore!
The narrow lanes make walking the only practical and most enjoyable way to discover this neighbourhood. Given the geography it is nearly impossible to get lost and guaranteed that you will stumble upon some outstanding coastal views of Mumbai's ever-expanding skyline. Take your time winding through the narrow lanes, taking breaks to pop out to the coast to look at the view.
The winding lanes never allow you to see more than a couple dozen meters in front of you. But as long as you avoid walking into the water you can't help but make your way out to the point. Then, as you make your way around one more soft curve you will see Worli fort coming into view on top of a gentle hill. As you climb to the top of the fort, the honking of the city falls away and you are enveloped by the sound of crashing waves that have just completed their journey across the Arabian Sea. The three hundred and sixty degree panorama view allows you to see Mahim Bay, Mumbai's impressive Sea-Link bridge, the skyline and an overview of the koliwada settlement in one twirl.
The fort was built in the second half of the 17th century by the British when Mumbai was still a network of seven islands. It originally served as a lookout for pirates and other invading forces. But over the years the fort fell into disrepair, became swallowed by illegal settlements and almost completely disappeared. But five years ago, thanks to the help of numerous petitions, the city was reminded of this piece of Mumbai history and swooped in to give it a facelift. Today, the fort is in great condition but at the cost of hardly resembling the original structure.
Koliwada and the Worli Fort is well off the beaten Mumbai tourist trail and a great half day activity that can be easily combined with other central Mumbai stops such as Dhobi Ghat, Worli Sea Face, or Haji Ali Dargah.