Red Light Area In Mumbai Indian Cities ... One of the most notorious red light areas of Maharashtra Address ... Mumbai red light area name list is Kamathipura red light area mumbai.


Kamathipura is Mumbai's oldest and Asia's largest red light area mumbai district. It got its name from the Kamathis (workers) of Andhra PradeshThe history of Mumbai's red light district dates back to 1889 when Britishers encouraged Anglo-Indian sex workers. It was also known as 'safed (white) gulli' and most of the clients were from the garrison.The word 'red light' emerged as all the brothels have red lamps hanging outside the doors. It was an indication that patrons were being solicited.By 1928, licences were issued to the sex workers. Numbers were issued to each brothel and some of them, even to this day, display them on their doors.Around 1950, prostitution was banned in Bombay. The area swarmed with smugglers, who sold items from cheap lighters to Boski textiles.The first HIV case was detected in December 1985. The first full-blown AIDS case was reported three years later and the first camp for sex workers was held on June 26, 1982.

pune red light area images 2Kamathipura — Asia's Red Light Area Mumbai

Our first ever field trip as student reporters was to Kamathipura—(in)famous for being Asia’s largest red-light district, and one of the world’s largest too.

Our task was to find a certain Ramabai Chawl.

Kamathipura is an amalgamation of 16 narrow lanes sandwiched between Grant Road and Byculla-Mazgaon district of Mumbai, and the first thing that hits you when you enter it is claustrophobia.


The lanes are so cramped with illegal encroachments, vehicles, garbage and people that we couldn’t help but get the feeling that we’re in a dirty, dingy maze with no way out. So we were quite amazed to actually see Ganpati pandals being constructed in the middle of the lanes and multi-axle buses making their way through.

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The lanes are bordered by two-three-storeyed houses and buildings—most of which were in a dilapidated condition, but still bustling with activity. Some, or probably many, of these buildings were brothels. The prostitutes could be seeing loitering around on the verandas and on the streets, looking to entice their customers.

As we made our way deeper into the maze looking for a seemingly inexistent Ramabai Chawl, we were amazed by the amount of activity transpiring in front of our eyes.

Small tapris were preparing their iftar menu; hawkers were hawking everything—from condoms to combs; small toddlers were defecating in the middle of the streets, while their elder siblings were harassing the stray dogs; some people had placed themselves down in a corner of the street to gamble, while a lottery waala walked around offering them another means to earn a quick buck.

The activity transpiring in closed doors goes without saying.

As we scoured the lanes one-by-one looking for the chawl (we did not have a lane number), we came to realize the might of the maze engulfing us.

No two people had the same opinion about the whereabouts of the said chawl. Some people tried to flaunt their proficiency in the English language, while others babbled away in Bambaiya Hindi.

There was even a disparity among the residents regarding the number of lanes in the area. The range given to us was from 13-16. Without a lane number, it was like looking for a needle in a haystack.

A witty shopkeeper enlightened us with the fact that the area was also called Hairan Galli-Pareshan Mohulla.

After giving up all hopes of finding dear Ramabai, we made our way into Arab Galli—a predominantly Muslim area on the outskirts of Kamathipura. The galli was even narrower than the lanes of Kamathipura, but the activity was the same.