8 Unknown Things About Mahalaxmi Dhobi Ghat

1. Mahalaxmi Dhobi Ghat is over 140 years old, a famous open-air laundromat in Mumbai. The washers, known as dhobi, work in the open to clean clothes and linens from hotels and hospitals in Mumbai.

2. In the open air are rows of concrete wash pens, each fitted with its own fogging stone. It is the largest outdoor laundry in the world. It is a very popular attraction among foreign tourists.

3. Dhobi Kalyan & Audhyogik Vikas Cooperative Society is the apex body representing the washermen community. They estimate that the annual turnover of Mahalaxmi Dhobi Ghat is around Rs. 100 crores.

4. It earned an entry in the Guinness Book of World Records in 2011 for ‘Most people hand washing clothes in one place’.

5. For 18 to 20 hours each day, more than 7,000 people wash, scrub, dye, and bleach clothes in concrete wash pens, dry them on lines, press them thoroughly, and take the clothes to various shops in the city.

6. More than one lakh clothes are washed every day. Some wealthy washermen have given up cleaning by hand and have now installed large mechanical washing and drying machines.

7. Dhobi collects clothes from all corners of the city, from Colaba to Virar. Their biggest customers are neighborhood laundries, apparel vendors, wedding decorators and caterers, medium-sized hotels and clubs.

8. Dhobi Ghat also attracts Bollywood producers for many years. There are many Hindi and Marathi movies that have featured Dhobi Ghat, like Munna Bhai MBBS, Shootout at Wadala being the most recognized.

(Source: Display Board at Mahalaxmi Dhobi Ghat)

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