Tuesday 9 April 2013

Beautiful Aarey Milk Colony

When MaximumCityMadam wanted to test out her new Canon camera, she suggested that we visit Aarey Milk Colony near Powai so that we could take photos together. MaximumCityMadam is now officially another Lady Wot Has a Posh Camera I am severely lagging behind in the camera stakes with my little Sony Nex-5.  It has been great for blogging purposes - it's neat and handy and doesn't need much figuring out - but I feel the need to upgrade to a proper DSLR soon.  Watch this space! (it's my birthday soon Mr Jules, hint hint!)

The Maharashtra state government claims that Aarey Milk Colony was Asia's first dairy, set up by the Municipal Corporation of Mumbai in 1951 to ensure that city folk received fresh pasteurised milk (I have included a full explanation below).  The area, which I had never been to before, is a wonderful and scenic place not far from the heart of Mumbai, made up of numerous cattle farms in a leafy, bucolic setting. When we went, it was early on a Saturday morning - about 8am. The light was glorious - casting interesting shadows and highlighting the early morning mist and dew glistening on scarce city greenery.  There is no need to explain why the Colony attracts so many joggers - what a wonderful place to take exercise and what a paradise for keen photographers.

The numerous farm workers we encountered gladly welcomed us onto their land and into their cattle sheds. Not a word of English was spoken and most of the communications between us was done with hand gestures. It was really like being in very rural India with the usual smiles all around and a willingness to have their photos taken.  And the many buffalo lining the muddy sheds nonchalantly chewed straw whilst we snapped away.

Aarey is the most beautiful place I have visited within the city limits of Mumbai and I would recommend it for a relaxing weekend day trip - especially for those yearning for the countryside.  

Here are the photos (more posted on the BombayJules Facebook page)

Curly Mop Cow
Practicing our Rule of Thirds
One of many fragrant cowsheds

This Aarey dweller is a rickshaw driver
Good friends
Beautiful English style country lanes!

Two women working the land stop to pose for MaximumCityMadam

Man burning poo bricks.

Proud father poses with his son
A group of farm workers posing (note guy on right holding his pet pigeon!)
Hilarious cow peeping over the wall at us
This farmworker wanted to show us his calves.  And the baby cow.
Above and below: Many milk floats to be seen travelling the country lanes of Aarey

Pushing around dirt

Information below taken from http://dairy.maharashtra.gov.in/

During Second World War to prevent of malnutrition pregnant ladies and children due to food shortage, Municipal Corporation of Mumbai started milk distribution system. Each female used to get half litre of milk. This scheme was operational till 1946. After that Civil Supply Department was operating this scheme.

As there were no facilities for boiling the milk, raw milk was supplied to British soldiers, officers, and employees. They were not used to drink raw milk which created health problem for them. The cattle sheds of Mumbai were in unhygienic conditions and rearing/nursing of cattle was done in unscientific ways. Due to this health problems surfaced in the nearby locality. To rehabilitate cattle shed of Mumbai in a more scientific way and to encourage clean milk production, in the year 1949, Aarey Milk Colony was established.

A total of 16,000 buffaloes from Mumbai were shifted in 30 cattle farms at Aarey Milk Colony. To enable the citizens to get the pasteurized milk, in the year 1951 Asia’s first dairy at Aarey was established. 

The head of Dairy Development Department was the Milk Commissioner. To ensure the steady progress of Dairying, the Government established Dairy Development Department in the year 1958. From 1960, milk from rural areas was collected and supplied to the urban areas to process this milk other Worli Dairy established in the year 1961 and Kurla Dairy was established in the year 1975. On the same note, Government Chilling Centres and Government Milk schemes were established in other districts. In the year 1960, about 1 LLPD(lakh ltrs. per day) of milk was procured and today the figure goes up to 35 LLPD.

  1. To develop the skills of dairying in rural people and prepare them to accept this activity as a joint business along with farming.
  2. To develop Co-operative societies at village,taluka and district level.
  3. To encourage dairying in Co-operative sector and to strengthen the Co-operative dairies and unions to be economically strong.
  4. To outline various programmes for efficient working of dairies in Govt. sector.
  5. To ensure even production of milk in flush and lean season.
  6. To supply unadulterated and wholesome milk regularly to the people of urban area at reasonable rates.


  1. Wow, wow, wow is all I can say. Beautiful photos and a great post:)

    1. Thank you good ink...getting closer to a new camera!

  2. And to think I've been coming in to Aarey Colony almost every day for the last 6 years! My office is somewhere around and while I love the greenery, I wouldn't recommend the back-breaking commute. The roads can really test your spine and they get worse over time till a temporary fix is provided.

    Lovely pics, lady!



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