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Back to Mumbai to visit the famous Dobi Ghats in Mumbai, where local washermen wash clothes. The washers, locally known as Dhobis work in open to wash the clothes from Mumbai’s hotels and hospitals. There are row upon row of open-air concrete wash pens, each fitted with its own flogging stone. Termed the world’s largest outdoor laundry, the 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. The Ghats are located next to Mahalaxmi Station on Western Railway on the Saat Rasta roundabout. It can be easily seen from the flyover bridge of Mahalaxmi station. It is estimated that each day half a million pieces of clothing are sent there from hotels, hospitals, and homes.  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 optimises both time and space. This is a labour-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, allowing the correct piece of laundry to return to its owner. This system is amazingly efficient and one of the main reasons for the ghat’s popularity.


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