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Viaje a India

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Dhobi Ghat

Dhobi Ghat: It's a fascinating spectacle, looking down on row upon row of open-air concrete wash pens, each fitted with its own flogging stone, while Mumbai's dhobis (around 200 dhobi families work together here) relentlessly pound the dirt from the city's garments in a timeless tradition. Known as the world's largest outdoor laundry, Dhobi Ghat is where Mumbai's traditional washerfolk -- or dhobis -- provide a wonderful service, collecting dirty laundry, washing it, and returning it neatly pressed, all for a very small fee. Stubborn stains are removed by soaking garments in a boiling vat of caustic soda; drying takes place on long, brightly colored lines; and heavy wood-burning irons are used for pressing. At the very least, it's a great photo opportunity, though most locals think it rather amusing that their everyday work arouses such curiosity. (Note that there is another Dhobi Ghat off Capt. Prakash Petha Marg, Colaba, which may be more accessible.)

Inspired from Flora: the Roman Goddess of Flowers, Flora Fountain is a stone fountain in South Mumbai. Located in the Fort business district, the splendid fountain was built in 1864. It was constructed by the Agri-Horticultural society of Western India and was carefully designed by R. Norman Shaw. Crafted out of imported Portland stone, Flora Fountain was erected at a total sum of Rs. 47,000.

Today, this magnificent fountain has been coated with white oil paint. Initially, it was intended to be named after Sir Bartle Frère, who was the governor of Bombay at the time of its construction. Nonetheless, it was decided to change the name just before to its inauguration. Situated almost in the center of South Mumbai, Flora Fountain is sited just at the place where stood the original Churchgate of Bombay Fort.

In 1960, the square where the fountain stands, was formally christened as Hutatma Chowk or Martyr's Square. Flora Fountain has been declared as a heritage structure that continues to soothe the passers-by with its spray of water. Encircled by imperial colonial buildings, the fountain still depicts the royal times. In short and snappy terms, Flora Fountain is city's famous landmark that definitely deserves a visit.