Mahalaxmi Dhobi Ghat in B&W

Tripoto
20th Oct 2016

A labour sleeps after a tiring day at work

Photo of Mahalaxmi Dhobi Ghat in B&W by Fasi Ziaee
Photo of Mahalaxmi Dhobi Ghat in B&W 1/15 by Fasi Ziaee
 A labour sleeps peacefully on the cart
Photo of Mahalaxmi Dhobi Ghat in B&W 2/15 by Fasi Ziaee
Gossip time
Photo of Mahalaxmi Dhobi Ghat in B&W 3/15 by Fasi Ziaee
The in charge of cloth drying machine takes a quick nap  
Photo of Mahalaxmi Dhobi Ghat in B&W 4/15 by Fasi Ziaee
As white as it can get
Photo of Mahalaxmi Dhobi Ghat in B&W 5/15 by Fasi Ziaee
 A lady washes the clothes
Photo of Mahalaxmi Dhobi Ghat in B&W 6/15 by Fasi Ziaee
Hitting it hard!
Photo of Mahalaxmi Dhobi Ghat in B&W 7/15 by Fasi Ziaee
Splash
Photo of Mahalaxmi Dhobi Ghat in B&W 8/15 by Fasi Ziaee
A old man in conversion with a friend on his mobile phone
Photo of Mahalaxmi Dhobi Ghat in B&W 9/15 by Fasi Ziaee
Good morning!
Photo of Mahalaxmi Dhobi Ghat in B&W 10/15 by Fasi Ziaee
Lost in thoughts
Photo of Mahalaxmi Dhobi Ghat in B&W 11/15 by Fasi Ziaee
Children play while their parents work
Photo of Mahalaxmi Dhobi Ghat in B&W 12/15 by Fasi Ziaee
Boiler room
Photo of Mahalaxmi Dhobi Ghat in B&W 13/15 by Fasi Ziaee
Packed and ready for dispatch
Photo of Mahalaxmi Dhobi Ghat in B&W 14/15 by Fasi Ziaee
The main ingredient 
Photo of Mahalaxmi Dhobi Ghat in B&W 15/15 by Fasi Ziaee
Tired labour sleeping

Dhobi Ghat (Mahalaxmi Dhobi Ghat) is an open air laundromat (lavoir) in Mumbai, India. The washers, known as dhobis, work in the open to clean clothes and linens from Mumbai's hotels and hospitals. It was constructed in 1890.

Overview

There are rows of open-air concrete wash pens, each fitted with its own flogging stone. Called the world's largest outdoor laundry, Dhobi Ghat is a very popular attraction among foreign tourists.

The word Dhobi Ghat is used all over India to refer to any place where many washers are present.

It is located next to Mahalaxmi railway station on the Western Railway's Saat Rasta roundabout. It can be easily seen from the flyover bridge of Mahalaxmi station.

The Dhobi Kalyan & Audhyogik Vikas Cooperative Society, the apex body that represents washermen, estimates the annual turnover of the Mahalaxmi Dhobi Ghat at around Rs 100 crore. For 18 to 20 hours each day, over 7,000 people flog, scrub, dye and bleach clothes on concrete wash pens, dry them on ropes, neatly press them and transport the garments to different parts of the city. Over one lakh clothes are washed each day. Some of the wealthier dhobis have given up on manual cleaning and have now installed large mechanical washing and drying machines. The dhobis collect clothes from all corners of the city, from Colaba to Virar. Their biggest clients are neighbourhood laundries, garment dealers, wedding decorators and caterers, and mid-sized hotels and clubs.[2]

Dhobi Ghat garnered a Guinness Book of World Records entry under ‘most people hand-washing clothes at a single location’ in 2011. In 2013, World Records India and World Amazing Records honoured World Record Certificate to Dhobi Kalyan & Audhyogik Vikas Co – op. Society Ltd.

The Saat Rasta Project is a proposed Public Space Project along the Bapurao Jagtap Road, connecting Jacob Circle to the Mahalaxmi Railway Station. This public space will connect to Dhobi Ghat, which is also a major tourist attraction.

Home to the dhobis and their families (around 200 families), the Dhobi Ghat has seen this occupation passed down from one generation to the next. Also known as the Mahalaxmi Dhobi Ghat, it can be viewed easily from the Mahalaxmi Railway station. The best time to visit Dhobi Ghat is early morning and early afternoon. While the dhobis are in action in the morning to take care of the washing load, the early afternoons are an ideal time to see the clothes dry.

At first, Dhobi Ghat presents a chaotic scene. However, a closer look brings out the order in the chaos. Lines and lines of washed clothes are hung out to dry in a manner that optimizes both time and space. This is a labor-intensive process, and the washermen, also called dhobis, have a system in place that takes care of washing, sorting, and ironing. A code is written at the back of each garment that allows the correct piece of laundry to get back to its owner. This system is amazingly efficient and one of the main reasons of the ghat’s popularity.

Though one can see some modern machinery lining the washing stations, most of the laundry is still done by hand. The clothes are first sorted and then soaked in soapy water. After this step, dhobis beat the clothes on the flogging stone. The stalls where the dhobis work date back to British Rule.

Home to the dhobis and their families (around 200 families), the Dhobi Ghat has seen this occupation passed down from one generation to the next. Also known as the Mahalaxmi Dhobi Ghat, it can be viewed easily from the Mahalaxmi Railway station. The best time to visit Dhobi Ghat is early morning and early afternoon. While the dhobis are in action in the morning to take care of the washing load, the early afternoons are an ideal time to see the clothes dry.

Dhobi Ghat garnered a Guinness Book of World Records entry under ‘most people hand-washing clothes at a single location’ in 2011. If you’ve ever taken your laundry for granted, a trip to Dhobi Ghat is the perfect way to put things in perspective and admire the effort that goes into this most domestic and often overlooked activity.

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