Sassoon Docks

Top choice waterfront

in Mumbai (Bombay)

No sense is left unaffected at Mumbai's incredibly atmospheric fishing docks, dating to 1875, the oldest and largest wholesale fish market in Mumbai. A scene of intense and pungent activity begins around 5am, when colourfully clad Koli fisherfolk sort the catch unloaded from fishing trawlers at the quay, and carries on throughout the morning.

Gaggles of sari-sheathed women peel pink prawns as theft-determined crows swoop in and out. Fishmongers barrel though discarded piles of shells, drying bombil (fish used for Bombay duck) and discarded fish bits with massive carts of catch, all against a cinematic backdrop of wooden fishing boats. Piles of pomfret, blue crabs, rawas (white salmon), tambusa (Indian red snapper), tuna, cuttlefish and sting rays are hawked – 20 tonnes per day – often in heated exchanges of commerce and camaraderie. Some say photography is prohibited, others disagree (we had no issues shooting away and the whole thing is a photographer's dream).