In South Africa today lives approximately one million Indians with Durban having the highest number of Indian inhabitants. Their ancestors were contracted around the year 1860 as workers for the sugarcane fields of Natal. The Indian population consists of Hindus – 70%, Muslims – 25% and Buddhists – 5%. They have largely kept their cultural identity and contribute to the special multicultural atmosphere of the city.
Particularly the Hindus hold spectacular, colourful celebrations of their most important annual holidays like the Diwali festival in November or the Kavadi festival in January. The dominant building in Grey Street is the Juma Mosque with its two golden minarets. This mosque is the largest in the southern hemisphere (built in 1927) and has space for some 4500 worshippers. In the adjacent Ajimery and Madressa Arcades you find an extensive Oriental market with a wide variety of goods on offer.