Dhoby Khana

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Veli Street, Cochin, India
Dhoby Khana - Dhoby wallah
Dhoby Khana - Collecting the dried washing
Dhoby Khana - Dhoby wallah
Dhoby Khana - Dhoby wallah
Dhoby Khana - Traditional iron
Dhoby Khana - Ironing
Dhoby Khana - Drying area

Dhoby Khana Cochin Reviews

Toonsarah Toonsarah
473 reviews
At the Dhoby Khana Feb 15, 2017
Our guide proposed an extra stop to see the dhoby wallahs at Dhoby Khana, still using the traditional washing methods employed here when the Dutch Army established the facility in 1720 and brought in workers from Tamil Nadu and Malabar to wash their uniforms here - although the present-day facility was built in 1976 as compensation for land taken to be used as a public playground.


The clothes and household linens washed here come from both hotels and private homes - our guide told us that many who can afford it like to have their white goods washed traditionally rather than by machine.


The area where they work, the dhoby, is divided into three sections. In one are a serious of small stone cells, each numbered and for use by a specific dhoby wallah. Here they do the washing, the first task of their working day. Beyond these cells is a field where the washed items are hung out to dry, the fabric twisted into the hanging ropes with no need for clothes pegs. The third section is a long open-sided stone room with stone slabs along each side, where the pressing is done, usually in the afternoon after the morning's washing has dried. Many of the dhoby wallahs still use the traditional irons which are very heavy at around eight kilos - we were invited to pick one up to feel the weight for ourselves!


You are allowed to take photos here but please do make a donation to their welfare fund in return, as suggested - there is a box near the entrance for this purpose.
Dhoby wallah
Dhoby wallah
Drying area
Ironing
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photo by: Toonsarah