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They say the only source of knowledge is experience, but can your life experiences provide you with enough acumen to make you a millionaire? Danny Boyle’s magnum opus, Slumdog Millionaire, tells the tale of Jamal, a man shaped by the experiences his rough upbringing bestowed upon him. When he enters the uber-popular game show Who Wants to Be A Millionaire and answers every single question correctly, he is inevitably accused of cheating. A subsequent investigation uncovers a life of hardships, struggles and loss.  

The movie was a major critical and commercial success, validated by the eight Academy Awards it was feted with, including Best Picture and Best Director. However, the roots of Jamal’s story lie far from the glitz, nestled in the streets and slums of Indian cities like Mumbai and Agra. 

Hop on as Wego takes a journey to the locations that crafted the lore of Slumdog Millionaire.

Slumdog Millionaire (2009) 

The movie was shot across several locations in Mumbai, ranging from high-rise and posh localities like Juhu to the slums of Dharavi, which was where he grew up. The movie also featured some brief sequences in the city of Agra, home to one of the seven wonders of the world, the Taj Mahal.

Disclaimer: If you haven’t watched ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ yet or are currently in the midst of it, this article contains spoilers. Proceed reading at your own discretion.



Dharavi, an area nestled in central Mumbai, is one of the biggest slums in the world. Jamal Malik, the protagonist of the movie, lived in these slums along with his brother Salim. Despite Mumbai being the financial capital of India and arguably its biggest city, many people live in humble dwellings in slums like Dharavi, a stark contrast to the high-end and cosmopolitan culture of the city. The struggle of Jamal to make ends meet in the rush of Mumbai is depicted tactfully in the film.

Slumdog Millionaire shone the spotlight on this unique locale and has driven a number of tourists to explore the area. Every street of Dharavi displays a shade of its own and is definitely worth a visit for those who appreciate Slumdog Millionaire

Mumbai Local Railway 

Mumbai’s local railway system forms the heart of the city. Almost every minute, trains filter in and out of the hundreds of stations built around the city, carrying thousands of passengers on their commute. These stations are depicted in Slumdog Millionaire as well. 

A particular scene featuring them was when seven-year-old Jamal got himself in trouble with the law and was pursued on foot by the police. Accompanied by a friend of his, the two children ran along the tracks of the railways and managed to escape by boarding one of the trains. 

Local trains are ingrained in the fabric of Mumbai, and traveling on one is definitely a worthwhile experience for any tourist in the city. For lovers of the movie, there is the added advantage of being able to reminisce some of the movie’s memorable scenes whilst on the ride.

Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus

While on the subject of trains, the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus serves as the premier hub of train commute in Mumbai, and is one of the oldest and most recognizable landmarks of the city. The Terminus caters to over seven million passengers daily!

This monumental landmark is especially memorable for Slumdog Millionaire fans, as this was where the final scene of the movie was shot. The scene featured a memorable Indian dance sequence performed to the song Jai Ho, which also won an Oscar for Best Original Song.

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Taj Mahal

One of the seven wonders of the world, visiting the Taj Mahal is on every tourist’s bucket list. The pristine monument is deeply entrenched in cultural and historical heritage, and its splendor can be truly revered only in person. 

The Taj Mahal has been featured on celluloid in several films, including Slumdog Millionaire. The city of Agra was where Jamal and Salim ended up after escaping from the gangsters looking for them, and in order to survive in the city, they became tour guides to the myriads of tourists visiting the landmark. Fans of the movie would relish the opportunity to visit the Taj Mahal not just for the visual spectacle, but also to check out the spots Jamal and Salim used to frequent.

While the city of Agra does not have an airport, reaching the Taj Mahal is still convenient. Tourists can land at the IGI Airport in New Delhi, which is the closest international airport. From there, visitors can opt to travel to Agra by train, bus or a private vehicle.

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