Dhobi Ghat © Christian Haugen
Known as the 'world's largest laundromat', the Dhobi Ghat provides a scene many travellers might have already seen in movies. Every day, thousands of dhobis (laundry washers) collect dirty laundry and descend upon the concrete washing areas, all fitted with their own flogging stones, to wash the garments. To the dhobis themselves, the washing and drying of clothes is a menial task - but to inquisitive tourists, this practise can be a fascinating insight into India's daily life, as well as a surviving relic of old India. The job is traditionally hereditary, and many of the men at work have families that have been doing the same job, and using the same age-old techniques, for generations. This is not a glamorous attraction but it is a very interesting one and many tourists love to photograph the work and the area and get a taste of the 'real' India. Having a local guide is an advantage because they can explain the history of the area and the job, and because they usually prevent the petty theft and pick-pocketing which sometimes occurs. Generally the people are very friendly and amused by the foreign interest in their menial labour but visitors should watch their belongings carefully. Entrance to the area should be free but there have been reports of locals asking for a small admission price.
Address: Prakash Pathe Marg