April 30, 2012

India : Mumbai - the Dhobi Ghats

Continuation from here ...

There are a lot of unique photo opportunity along the suburban railway.

If you ride the train from Churchgate, get off at Mahalakshmi station and there, you can watch the world's largest outdoor laundry. Popularly known as the Dhobi Ghat, it is an old system of washing clothes by hand, done by the dhobis (the Indian term for laundry men).

I didn't tour right through the middle of the washing operations as I wasn't sure whether or not you can go in and tour the place on your own. But it is clearly visible from the bridge atop the railway station.

Washing from all over the city, mostly hospitals and hotels, are brought here every morning.


Everywhere, there are ghats (small concrete washing stall) where the dhobis wash clothes that were brought to them. The clothes are soaked in the ghats, washed and thumped by the dhobis, and then hung to dry.

The idea of ogling at Mumbai's dirty washing sounds ... ermm... weird. Like meh! You come from afar visiting this country and watch people wash dirty clothes instead of going sightseeing? But trust me, it was indeed unique and quite an experience. 
Man vs Machine.


Rayyan Haries said...


that's a HUGE laundry area! I wonder how it smell like..hehehe...

p/s: Now i know how dhobi ghout in singapore got its name..

rara said...

Rayyan: I guess the area smelled detergent? hehe..

Dan Arif said...

Last time I was also not sure whether we can enter it or not but when I went down to the entrance.. Some guy approach us telling us that he could bring us inside for 100 rupees each.. He said that it was for their workers association blablabla which I clearly doubt it. But still we paid the amount to get inside and it was indeed a great experience watching how the people in Dhobi Ghatt did their work :)

rara said...

Dan: ruginya i didn't know we can go inside there. should've go to the entrance and asked.