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   About Worli Koliwada

Day to Day life

The Kolis fisherfolk of Mumbai are a distinct community. In Their dress, their language, their food and their lifestyle they are easily distinguishable. Especially the economically independent Koli women who are aggressive to the point of being quarrelsome.

The Kolin’s entire position in society, her freedom of speech and action it a result of her economic power and independence arising from her kurga (her daily earnings). Dealing, as she has to, with all sorts of customers at the bazaar . She provides tremendous economic stability to the family.In return for her economic power she pays rather heavily by way of hard work. Her day begins at the break of dawn. After cooking for the family she takes off to the wharf to buy her fish and returns home only after the heavy load on her head is sold. At home, innumerous chores like mending fishing nets, fish baskets and drying to fish await her attention.


In the matter of dress too, Kolis possess an individuality. Standing out distinctly, even in the sea of humanity that is Mumbai, is the koli who has not given up his or her traditional attire. The dress of a Koli woman consists of two or three garments namely a lugda(sari), a choli (blouse) and a paanja (a shoulder scarf). The Christian Kolis don’t use a parkhi and wear a typical red-checked saree with a tiny border and use the palla of the saree to cover their shoulders. Lugda is really the lower garment, nine yards in length in bright floral designs. It is worn in a peculiar way so that when draped at the waist it reaches just below the knees and is drawn up tightly between the legs.

female: Choli , Panja , Kashti saree (12 vaar)

ornaments : Gathe (earings), Tushi, Mangal sutra, Ambarya (lion mouth bangles), Paatlya, Kanthi, Gope, waali, Hirva chuda (green bangles) ,

The men generally wear a surkha (a loin cloth). It is a square piece of cloth, thrown diagonally in front on a string tied round the waist.  A waist-coat and close fitting cap complete the attire. When not at sea the modern Koli wears a pair of pants and shirts.

Fond of jewellery, even their men wear armlets, bangles and earnings. The women don’t believe in bank accounts and invest almost all their savings in gold. They wear traditional chunky typically Koli jewellery like the earnings patterned like the Pisces symbol (fish swimming in opposite directions) worn by almost all of them.

Otherwise the Kolis live a very simple life. The ordinary Koli meal consists of curry (ambat), rice, and fried fish. When at sea the men eat dried fish and rice gruel. They make a lot of sweet dishes at the Koli women are extremely fond of them.


About House

Every Koli house comprises an oti (verandah) which is reserved for weaving and repairing nets. Though house patterns differ, every house has a chool (kitchen), vathan (room) and a devghar (the worship room). Even in the poorest of families, living in one room tenements one corner of the house is reserved for the God. Deeply religious, even the Christian converts, follow their original Hindu beliefs as well. The annual pilgrimage to the shrine of Ekvira, at the Karla caves in Pune district in undertaken by both the Hindus and the Christian Kolis. The chief Hindu religious festivals are ‘Gauru Shimga’ and ‘Narial Poornima’. No. Koli whatever his faith, will recommence fishing after the rainy season without offering a coconut to the sea on Narial Poornima day.Songs from an important part of the Kolis culture. Almost every ceremony of restival has its special song without which the ceremony does not commence. At the beginning of every such song a stanza is devoted to the deities. The deities are invoked andinvited to the ceremony.



Most Kolis are adherents of hinduism, India's dominant religion. Kolis from around Mumbai worship there Kul devta the goddess Ekveera, most notably at her shrine in the Karla caves near Lonavla and Khandoba from Jejuri.

The Hindu Kolis worship Mahadev, Hanuman and Khandoba and the Christian Kolis worship these and images of Christ and Virgin Mary. A few worship ancestors (Vir) and are known in the community as Virkar in opposition to the Devkars who worship only God. The oldest members of the family both male and female are also worshipped.



The koli community has its own distinct identity and lively dances. The dance incorporates elements that this community is most familiar with - sea and fishing. The dance is performed by both men and women divided into two groups, where fishers stand in two rows holding oars in their hands. The dancers move in unison, portraying the movement of the rowing of a boat. Fisherwomen are in the opposite rows with their arms linked and advancing towards men folk. The separate formation then break up and they dance together with movements symbolizing the waves, the breakers and rowing from cliff to cliff and casting of nets to catch the fish.

There are many koli songs which are famous all over India. Some known once are as follows. Aga Pori Sambhaal Dariyala Tufaan Ayalay Bhari; Gorya wer Basali ; Me Hai Koli ; Chikna Chikna ; Dang Ding ; Lal lal pagote ; Chandnan Chandnya ; Dirki la bombil; Maza Kombra ; Me Dolker ; Haldin Bharlay ; Dol Doltai ; Nach go Nach ; Galyat Sakali ; Paru go Paru ; Lai Lai Liakarni ; Gomu Tuze Dadan Go; Vadal Wara ; Valav re Nakva ;


Fishing & boats

a)Toni or Paanch - small boats

b) Parde wali boat - Sail Boat

c) Engine Boat ( Sagwan wood/ Fibre Boat)

d) Trawller Boat

Some of Engine brands use to run boats are from Ashok Leyland, Indian Ruston/ Kirloskar

1)Toni Boat - It is use to get fish from big boat because tailors and engine boat cannot come to seashore due to low tide

2) Engine Boat - Engine boat is use to do :-

a) Dolicha Dhanda(Business) { to catch small fish - Jawla, Karandi, Bombil } In evening they put nets to dolichi(plastic drums) during low tide(ooti) to catch fish  they keep nets for 3hrs and collect the fish before the next bharti(high tide), generally fishermaan work for 3-6 hrs.

b) Daldi cha Dhanda { to catch fish like- Gol Masa and Raavas

c) Jalicha dhanda - Net fishing also called Paag Net fishing - o catch fish like Tarli, bangda and running fish

3) Trawller Boat - Big Boats who go deep sea for fishing for long period mostly 8-12days cont. in the sea. some Trawllers go till Goa Gujarat and parts of Maharashtra to catch fees.

In boat Tandel is known as captain of the ship he is the navigator of the ship and decision maker, under him comes Khapnar( workers) there role is to catch fish from sea but from which part of sea to do fishing is decide by Tandel.

Malak or Nakhwa is the owner of the Ship. Whenever a Nakhwa is on the Ship he is head of the boat.

fish where we sell in Mumbai - Sasan Dock, Kasara Market, Bhau cha dhaka, Profet Market

Local neary WorliKoliwada-  Worlikoliwada Market, Agar Bazar, Dadar Market, Bengal Market( Century Bhavan)

The fish that remains can be use as dry fish like Jawla(Kolim) fish is spread on floor( Khalavar) and Bombil on Bamboo

Khopat - A place where all the stuff of fishing is store.

fishing is close once in a year during rainy seasons from 15 june -15 august august till the date of Narali poornima.


Worli History

Mandir And Fort

Development Work

Koli Festivals

Koli Food Festivals

Koli Food Receipes


Film Shooting


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