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A Look Inside the World's Largest Human-Powered Laundromat

Picture of Sridevi Nambiar
Updated: 9 May 2018
Sprawling across acres in bustling South Mumbai, the iconic Dhobi Ghat is most known for being the world’s largest open-air laundry system. In this historic area, over 7,000 dhobis work a combined 20 hours per day sorting, scrubbing, bleaching, drying and iron pressing clothes from around the city to bring in a revenue of around ₹1 billion (US$16 million) a year.

To most observers, Dhobi Ghat serves as a reminder of the innovative and entrepreneurial spirit that made yesteryear’s Bombay the bustling commercial capital that it is today.

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Shalu Khandelwal / | © Culture Trip
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Shalu Khandelwal / | © Culture Trip
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Shalu Khandelwal / | © Culture Trip
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Shalu Khandelwal / | © Culture Trip
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Shalu Khandelwal / | © Culture Trip

In 2011, Mahalaxmi’s Dhobi Ghat even achieved a place in the Guinness Book of World Records, a plaque from which can be viewed at the entrance. It reads, “The most clothes that people hand-washed simultaneously at a single location were 496. This feat was achieved by the Dhobi Kalyan and Audyogik Vikas Coop Society on March 8, 2011.”

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Shalu Khandelwal / | © Culture Trip
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Shalu Khandelwal / | © Culture Trip
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Shalu Khandelwal / | © Culture Trip
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Shalu Khandelwal / | © Culture Trip