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HILLMAN INDIA ADVENTURE
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South India: Gallery 4
DHOBI KHANA TRADITIONAL LAUNDRY
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CONTENTS
PHOTO GALLERIES and TRAVEL NOTES
01 | 02 | 03 | 04 | 05 |

    We used two methods of transportation this morning: the public bus and tuk-tuks, which took us to the largest laundry facility in India: Dhobi Khana. At first, we thought we had misunderstood "laundry" . . . but yes, it was a manual laundry - first the Dutch Army and later a British influence left over from colonial days. They used to do all the military uniforms and othere assorted laundry here. There were sections used to sort, wash and beat, and and dry on clothes lines. There was no use for clothes pins. The lines were double twisted ropes with clothes stuck between the twisted ropes. The quaint Dhobi Khana is the only place in Kerala and one of the few places in the country where the traditional method of laundry continues for which 42 washing cubicles are provided. The washer stands in ankle-deep water in a cement pit where he beats the clothes on a jutting stone.

    Inside these walled premises are barrack-like rooms to store the laundry, a long, common shed for ironing and drying during the rainy season, two large wells, washing cubicles, an old-style boiler system for heating water, and sun-filled courtyards with symmetrical clotheslines. Rajani fans have covered many of the walls with posters of the legendary Tamil actor in declaration of their love for him.

    The sheds contain heaps of bundled laundry from hospitals, hotels, homestays and cruise ships. There is a delivery van whose services can be used to transport the larger orders. A small park with colourful swing, slide and see-saw is provided inside the premises for the children of the dhobis engaged in work. There are rest rooms, a common room with indoor games and an outdoor badminton court. 

    A few from the community who have bought cars park them here. transport big orders from cruise ships, hotels and hospitals.

    There are two monsoon seasons here - one from May to June when it rains every day, and one in November through December when there isnít much rain but lots of thunder and lightning.
     

Click for larger images

ROADSIDE SCENES FROM THE LAUNDRY BUS
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ARRIVAL AT DHOBI KHANA
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Gallery 04
FORT KOCHI LAUNDRIES & PALACES

1. Dhobi Khana Laundry  ::  2. Mattancherry Dutch Palace


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