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Dhobi Ghat at Mahalaxmi – Mumbai’s Biggest Open Air Manual Laundromat

“From more than a century now, Dhobi Ghat the open laundry system operates and stays on list of tourist attractions places of Mumbai. Dhobi Ghat, Mumbai’s biggest open air manual laundromat run by about 200 Dhobi’s (The Washers) as a family business now. A glance at this laundry adjacent to Mahalaxmi station and one cannot believe it has about hndreds of washing platforms (Rectangular shaped cement and rocky slats). A single point location for tourists to take photographs and the same view in most of the pictures, Still on the list of attractions visiting south Mumbai. Lets explore this open laundry system which is also listed on heritage figures of city in details..”

Jump to : [ Dhobi Ghat Location ], [ Open Air Laundromat Washing ], [ Best Time Visiting Ghat and Best Places Near ], [ Pictures ], [ Updates ]

Dhobi Ghat Location

As i said the name ‘Dhobi’ mean a professional who washes these clothes and ‘Ghat’ is actually referring the washing place / location. In other way when obe uses word ‘Ghat’ which is a hindi word, it refers to a hilly mountain location like Malshej Ghat. Talking about this attraction location, Its on Western Railway Route of Mumbai Railway Network at Mahalaxmi Railway Station, which is the 5th station starting from South Mumbai’s Churchgate as first. Hardly takes 15 minutes in local train ride and can be a comfortable travel by road via taxi or radio cabs also. Exactly above the railway station is the east west flyover road bridge from where this 38 acres of vast location, a biggest clothes washing business can be seen. This attraction is listed almost in every other Mumbai Darshan books and online because of its unique washing concept since many decades now when today people even can’t think without washing machines. Once reached Mahalaxmi flyover, the only location from where tourist get the view of this laundromat is visible. At any given time in a day one can see tourists groups visiting and taking snaps of this location. Actually even me being in Mumbai have never seen such a open cloth washing laundry and was amazed seeing something like this between the tall skylines location.

Open Air Laundromat Washing

The excitement of going to open air Laundromat or it being a tourist attraction is the the view of old style washing and the looks of those semi rectangular and square looking hundreds of cement slats with small tunnels flowing between from where the after wash waste of soap and other chemicals gets drained away. Few of those slats made of cement and hard old rocks are filled with detergent soap water and adjacent are kept the blue drums (containers) for storing water and that special strong chemical stain removers, which these dhobi’s uses for cleaning clothes daily. Surrounded to those laundry slats are the spider net kind looking hanging ropes and bamboo sticks in air, adjusted in best possible way to accommodate more of the clothes for after wash dry. At a glance if you see the pictures on this page you will find the V shaped famous washing place of city with shanties around where these dhobi (Washers) stays. These dhobi’s can be seen of all ages, Young and Old wearing plastic bags wrapped around themselves to save self from water and strong chemicals. Also few seen just in their comfortable undergarments to make self comfortable to stretch those muscles and get the force required to hit hard the clothes on the stones to remove the stain and water before it goes for the final dry process.

The old style washing is not 100% same as it was seen decades before as lately new hi-tech washing machines and dryers are also seen to make washing and drying work faster with lesser efforts. Each washer family has fixed numbers of customers and no one interrupts or competes and try grabbing others business of these ethical family business. Few are specialized in washing and few in drying and in such a way the labour has been divided that the age old family business never competes to vanish others. When ghat started, state government gave this 38 acres land to those selected family of washers when the city was called ‘Bombay’, so that these people can serve big hospitals, hotels and other businesses in city with washing and drying services daily. Every dhobi family gives Rs.400 monthly to government for the land given and also for the free water supply at the ghat. Since 100 of years now, every day one can see those dhobi’s washing clothes being knee deep inside those slats filled with detergent & chemical water, brushing with hand, deeping clothes inside drums filled with starch water and few with chemicals which are powerful stain removers, then hitting those clothes hard on the upper level stones, an finally leaving it to open air for dry up on those hanging ropes and bamboos. Every process of washing here has a system, which clothes to hang where, Whites clothes separately so that the leaking color do not mix up with other. Thousands of clothes comes at this ghat daily, But not one gets to the wrong address back without properly ironed. As said, hospitals, garment factories and other business around location are fixed customers of this dhobi ghat laundry business.

Best Time Visiting Ghat and Best Places Near
You can visits this place anytime as it is open 24 x 7. The only thing one needs to take care of is to visit before evening and dark as this is not a museum and no ticket cost or fix timings and no set of rules to be followed to capture those ancient laundry moments of Mumbai. If you are visiting this place, you should also visit other tourists places near ghat which are Mahalaxmi Racecource at stone throw distance from this attraction, Next Go to Haji Ali Dargah and Mahalaxmi temple at few kilometer distance via Mahalaxmi itself which also connects Worli science center / Planetarium and Girgaum Chowpatty and getting renovated is Taraporewala Aquarium on other side of this temple and mosque.

Pictures

These snaps have been taken few years back, But take it today of few years later, The view is going to be the same.

Dhobi Ghat Thumb Picture 1Dhobi Ghat Thumb Picture 2Dhobi Ghat Thumb Picture 2Dhobi Ghat Thumb Picture 2

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