The young British officers when they joined duty in India as an officer were real pampered, they had scores of Indian servants who did all the normal chores for the lady of the house the Safaiwallah, the Dhobiwallah, the khansama, the doodhwala, this list is long and was an essential part of the life style of the British officers. Bombay a city developed by the English sure adopted the sahib culture. The sahib log of Bombay had their Dhobie walahs who collected their dirty linen, the same was washed and ironed and delivered carefully to the wives of the sahib. Though now a day the culture is gradually on a decline as costs of supporting a servant is also now tremendous in India.
In Mumbai the new name of the bustling metropolis Bombay the old heritage of the Dhobie wallah still runs strong. There is a Dhobie Ghat where the traditional washer men in an area after collecting the soiled linen wash them for their respective guests.
Not much has changed all these years though now in place of the erstwhile Sahibs the customers are the hotels, the marriage halls, the tent shops etc. The dhobi collects the bed sheets and other forms of linen transports them to the old and traditional Dhobi Ghat at Mahalaxmi. The old Dhobi Ghat still retains the old mechanism of washing clothes, the washer men “Dhobies” soak the clothes in water pond and then beat them on the stones thus removing the dirt and grease. This mechanism has been in use since last 200 odd years. On your Mumbai tour entertain yourself by watching these washer man wash clothes in tandem at the Dhobi Ghat of Mahalaxmi.
Location of Dhobi Ghat: - The Dhobi Ghat is situated in the south Mumbai. Traveling on the Western line local train get down at the Mahalaxmi local train station, any local can guide you to reach the Dhobi Ghat; the Dhobi Ghat is visible from the flyover near it.
Best time to visit Dhobi Ghat: - Mumbai climate in summers has a very high humidity so avoid the summers and rainy season, winter sure is best to visit the Dhobi Ghat as you can see the washermen then perspiring in the day time.
Entrance of Dhobi Ghat: - There is no entrance levied on a visit of Dhobi Ghat but it will be better if you hire a guide who can narrate in detail to you the story of the Dhobi wallahs and much more about the Mumbai city.