shantaram real places in mumbai

Reel And Real Locations from Charlie Hunnam Shantaram in Mumbai

About Shantaram

Shantaram is a famous book portrays an Australian fugitive who becomes a smuggler, gun runner and a counterfeiter on the streets of Mumbai. Recently an Tv series was made on this book titled Shantaram. Charlie Hunnam played the lead role of Lin. To know more about Charlie Hunnam, follow our website.

Revelation of Original Location from the Book Shantaram

The video reveals the original location based on which the book was written. In reality the shooting location is not in India because it was not possible to shoot because of covid-19 pandemic. The series was actually shooted in Thailand and Australia. And if you are one who has read the actual book, you must have noticed that the original name of the locations were changed in the Apple TV series. The locations mentioned in the book are real places in Mumbai. The author Gregory David Roberts had lived here.

Hotel Colaba Grand, the Hotel Where Lin Lived Initially

The first day Lin stayed in the India Guest House when he arrived in Mumbai. But now it is renamed as Hotel Colaba Grand. Although the place is no more grand. Lin used to live in a very simple room there. One thing which is a very important point for this hotel is its location, which is just off the Colaba causeway which is a main Moreover this is the place where Karla saved Lin from being hit by a bus and this is where their relationship begins. This place is called Colaba in south Mumbai and is very important because most of the Shantaram took place.

hotel colaba grande

The Infamous Leopold’s Cafe, a Hub for Illegal Activities

On the same road there is the infamous Leopold’s cafe , renamed as Raynold’s cafe in the TV show. This area during Lin’s day was a hotspot for various mafia activities. Back in the eighties, Raynold’s cafe was the place to hold all illegal business like trafficking, drugs, currencies, passports to gold and women. Still now also the restaurant has kept its charm. Back in 2008 Leopold’s was a target in the Mumbai terror attacks. Bullet marks are still present on the wall of the cafe. Now-a-days it has become an overrated place and if people want to have good Iranian food as Lin talked about in the book. If one has to visit Britannia and company in the fort area of classic Parsi cafe experience, people will get the real feelings of Mumbai back during Lin’s day during the eighties.

leopold cafe as a renopold cafe

Colaba Police Station Where Lin was Detained for First Time

Across the roads in Colaba there is Colaba police station where Lin was first detained. This is before Lin went for his brutal stint in captivity in the nearby Arthur Road Prison. He talks about the condition of India jail. The pathetic condition of Indian jail was expressed by the author in the book, Shantaram.The TV show will lose some of the substance as this is a very personal story filled with little musing and those musings will make you stop and think about them. This type of engagement with the reader is really hard to translate through a TV show.

kulaba police station in shaantaram

Other Popular Spots near Colaba In Shantaram

The entire area of Colaba is a popular tourist trail in the city. Basically you can visit Gateway of India and Taj Hotel and these are just behind Leopold’s cafe. Karla and Lin had their first walk together along the long seawalls from the famous gateway of India to the Radio Club hotel. Lin was living in a hotel just near the Radio Club hotel.

shantaram web series scence

Sassoon’s Dock, another Hotspot for Smugglers

As mentioned in the book, Lin used to come here to eat. But his dock was also used as a spot for smuggling activities. But all this come to an end in 2008 when terrorist came to Mumbai through this port.

Who is Karla In Shantaram?

The actual slum where Lin lived and opened his clinic

Now this is the most important location in the entire Tv series and the book. Lin lived in the slum and his clinic also started here. But that house and clinic is no more there. People have now made permanent houses instead of shacks as shown in the Tv series. There are more permanent and concrete houses in present days.
Behind Lun’s house there are twin tall towers. But back in the eighties, the houses were very small.

Importance of Haji Ali, by Gregory David Roberts

Haji Ali is a recognizable and important landmark of Mumbai. Nearby a large yoghurt drink store is present. Lin used to come to this place to drink lassi and hang out during the night. Gregory David Roberts had said some poetic lines in praise of Haji Ali. He said, ” Birds of the fire in approaching sunset wheeled and turned as one in their flocks like diamonds of weaving silk. From a low wall courtyard on the white marble island of Haji Ali Mosque. I watch pilgrims and pious local residents wend and weave, leaving the shrine for the shore along the flagstone path.” For him Haji Ali shrine is a place of peace and solitude. It is a place where people from all over the city come to try to find some sense of forgiveness for wrong things they have done in the past. On the opposite side it was a place in Bombay where gangsters would come, wash and bathe themselves if they knew their confrontation with another gang could end their lives. They would go across Haji Ali to seek blessings. The gangsters along Lin were asked to be prepared for anything that they came across. They would walk along the path thinking only about the future and cut all their ties with the past.

Air India Building where Lin and Karla had Romance

This is the place where Lin and Karla shared some romantic moments on the rooftop. As Roberts told, all the characters were fictional and based on types of people he knew there. He further explains many of his experiences in the story are actually real.

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