About Mumbai Dhobi Ghat
Located in the heart of Mumbai, Dhobi Ghat is a prominent organization of the region. This is a place near Mahalaxmi ghat where the washerman and women wash clothes of half of the population of Mumbai and deliver it to the right person. There are almost 721 stones where they wash the clothes using the traditional ways. For washing the clothes they use flogging stones, caustic soda, and tons of water.
This was started in the Victorian era that was about 140 years ago and is still the same. As many as 800 families are dependent on this business and ensure to keep up with the traditional method of washing clothes.
People who wash the clothes are called the “Dhobi” and this is the reason it is called the Dhobi Ghat. The working hours of people here from early in the morning at 4:30 am and they keep working till late in the night at 10:00 pm. Each one of them has their own stone where they work and earn their living! If you looking for a place where you can take a look at the life of washermen then this is the right place for you.
History of Dhobi Ghat:
Dhobi Ghat was established on the Mahalaxmi ghat and can be easily seen from the main flyover. This was started by an association of almost 50 washers about 140 years ago in the Victorian Era. This is the only place of the British time whose name is still the same and there is no change in the people.
The people here follow the authentic traditions of washing clothes using flogging stones, caustic soda, and abundance of water from the Mahalaxmi ghat. The washermen wash the clothes and then return it to the people by drying them completely.
From the old times, there are 721 stones that are of individuals or families and they use that only. This is the only source of earning of the people here, and they live in chawls. There are almost 700 families that live here and have taken up this as their business. More than 50% of Mumbai’s population’s clothes are washed here and it is located in its heart “Mahalaxmi”.
The Washer-Men and Women:
-Washermen: With more than 500 washermen’s working at the Dhobi ghat, this place is the hub for washing clothes. They still use the old ways of cleaning clothes like brush caustic soda, flogging stones, and lots of water. Right from washing to drying everything is done at this place.
-Washer-Women: There are almost 300 women working at the Dhobi ghat and washing the clothes of 50% of the population of Mumbai. Some of them are working for their earning while others work only to support their families. There are almost 721 stones and each one is assigned to one family. On a daily basis, they earn almost 300 to 500 rs whereas some of them even earn 800 rs in a day.
How to Reach Mumbai Dhobi Ghat
Reaching out to Dhobi Ghat is quite simple all you need to do is board a train to Mahalaxmi station on the Western line. From there head to Saat rasta that ends at the Dhobi ghat. You can either walk to the ghat or can hire an auto-rickshaw for a few minutes.
Best Time to Visit Mumbai Dhobi Ghat
The best time to take a glimpse of Dhobi ghat is from October to March when the temperature is quite comforting and there is humidity as well. Though in the other months the heat is too much and the hot sunshine makes the climate uncomfortable.
What Not to Miss at Mumbai Dhobi Ghat
1. St Ignatius Church: Run by the Jesus society this Roman Catholic church is a serene place to visit near Dhobi ghat where you can sing hymns and learn about Christianity.
2. Mahalaxmi Racecourse: This a race track oval in shape where the horse racing takes place. The track is approximately 2,400 meters long and sprawls over 225 acres of land.
3. Sai Siddhi Mandir: Revered by the locals and tourists alike, the Sai Siddhi mandir is a prominent place where the deity of Siddhi Vinayak is placed and people flock here to seek his blessings.
4. Royal Western India Turf Club: The Royal Western India Turf Club handles the Mahalaxmi racecourse and is an exclusive Indian sports complex.
5. Mahalaxmi Temple: One of the most tranquil spots of the region is the Mahalaxmi temple and the best time is the evening aarti when the saints whisper the mantras and worship goddess Mahalaxmi.
Other Essential Information About Mumbai Dhobi GhatLocation: Mahalaxmi Ghat, Mumbai
Timings: The work is done from 4:30 am to 10:00 pm but the visiting hours are from 11:00 am to 6:00 pm.
Fee: There is no fees to enter the premises but you will have to hire a guide to know about the ghat who will charge you almost INR 100 to INR 200.
Tips for Visiting Dhobi Ghat:
-Make sure that you visit it in the visiting hours only that is from 11:00 am to 6:00 pm.
-Hiring a local guide is a great choice to know all about the place.
-Ensure that you keep your camera safe as most of the areas are wet.
-Stay alert about your things as there are a few pickpockets in this area.
-Equip yourself with enough cash as there is no ATM here.