“Since a century and more now, ‘Dhobi Ghat’, which is Mumbai’s biggest open air the open air laundromat (laundry system) with 200 Dhobi’s (Washer Workers) and Approximate 700 odd Washing pans, still operates and is on list of tourist attractions places of Mumbai. Soon a decades old proposal of redevelopment of Ghat’s slum will take next move with more better and nearer view as the locations will be slum free..”
Dhobi Ghat Location
This Hindi word ‘Dhobi’ refers to a person in washing business, and ‘Ghat’ refers to a location, in this case a place where clothes are washed. Otherwise, This Hindi word ‘Ghat’ refers to a Hilly location (Usually a residential & Tourist location) like
This Open Laundromat is Mumbai’s biggest and is located adjacent to Mahalaxmi Railway Station on Western Railway Route (See Railway Network) in South of Mumbai city. To help you better with the location, Dhobi Ghat is located at just a stone throw distance of Famous Mahalaxmi Racecourse known for Derby Horse Races.
Its a 38 Acres of huge open laundry since more then Half century now and is a known Heritage structure listed on major Mumbai Darshan tourism list. This old clothes washing concept played a vital role for surrounding locations and has limited the business to few selected fixed clients due to Washing Machines now available at every other home.
Major tourists buses stop by the railway station bridge connecting race course in west and east to get pictures of both iconic structures adjacent to each other. So for those who are not visiting Dhobi Ghat via Buses, Mahalaxmi Railway Station is the best land mark location.
Open Air Laundromat
The reason and excitement of this famous tourist attraction ‘Biggest Open Air Laundromat’ is the story and way it operates. The open view from distance have hundreds of similar pictures floating online taken from one since and the only location possible due to slums and unhygienic & non tourist friendly location to get inside. But the good news is the revamp plan which is soon to start with slums being converted to healthy residential which will bring tourists and operators closer and almost inside the laundry area for better view and clicks.
Dhobi Ghat shows the age old style of clothes washing in Mumbai on those semi rectangular and square looking cement slats with small tunnels for washed water to flow and drain away with Soap and other chemical used. Few of those slats are made up of cement and black hard rocks since decades.
They fill those square washing chambers with detergent soap water. Also, adjacent to it are those huge blue drums (containers) for storing stain remover chemical based water effective enough to remove most and every type of stains daily. Surrounded to those laundry slats are those hanging ropes which looks like manually created spider nets connected to bamboo sticks floating in air which is the best possible way to accommodate more clothes for after wash dry. Dhobi’s of all age workers are seen wearing safety plastic bags around hands and legs to stay away from odd effects of strong chemicals used for washing. Due to the working conditions and habits, those Dhobi’s area also seen working just wearing Undergarments for better stretch of muscles and cope with hard working conditions required from washing to drying process of commercially used clothes.
This old style washing open air laundry has also accepted some changes with time and demands, Lately new hi-tech washing machines and dryers are also used for making the washing and drying process work faster with comparatively lesser efforts. Each washer family inside Dhobi Ghat has fixed numbers of customers and no one interrupts or try to competes poke in each others ethical family business of washing.
Few Dhobi’s are specialized in washing and few in drying which automatically takes care of work and labour division and copes with competition problems totally. When Mumbai was Called Bombay, this decades old ghat started and State government gave 38 acres of land to few selected family of washers to serve big hospitals, hotels and other businesses in city with washing and drying services on daily basis. Every Dhobi family gives Rs.400 as kind of monthly rent to government who gave this the land and also provided with free water supply inside this ghat area.
A systematic process is followed for washing and drying taking care of clothes color and separating those white coloured clothes from others which can leak colours and spoil other. Then the process of drying and hanging in a special way on Bamboo ropes takes following final wraps after dry and reaching perfectly to respective clients like hospitals, garment factories and other business in vicinity without making any mistakes.
Best Time To Visit Dhobi Ghat
Other Attraction Places to See Around
If you are visiting Dhobi Ghat, you should also visit Mahalaxmi Race course as detailed above. Next nearest place is Haji Ali Dargah which is actully inside sea area. Hindi holy place of Worship Mahalaxmi temple adjacent to Dargah and at some half hour travel distance are places like Girgaum Chowpatty, The newly renovated is Taraporewala Aquarium and few more.
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