Lunch in Mumbai

Mumbai has a unique lunch service enabled by one of its greatest assets – Its extensive railway system.

In the morning the dabbawala (one who carries a box) collects the dabba or  tiffin boxes from houses in the middle class suburbs of Mumbai and takes them to the nearest railway station. Then they are sorted according to the route they need to take .  The tiffins travel in wooden crates loaded into the luggage compartment. At the correct station a dabbawala puts the crate on his head and takes it outside the station to be sorted. Then they are put on to  trolleys and delivered to the office workers between twelve and one  pm.

Every working day  5,000  mostly illiterate dabbawalas correctly deliver 130,000 lunches using a system of numbers, letters and colours.


If you are outside the station you can see them put into piles.

Then the process is reversed, the empty tiffin boxes are all collected and returned home ready for the next day.

A marvel of hard work and organisation.


We had an excellent and authentic  lunch in the park provided as part of a tour we did with Reality Tours in Mumbai