Bathing everyday, I think is a recent phenomena. If one types 'bathing' and searches for information, Wikipedia tells us how bathing began to be seen differently in the early 19th century when it was felt that frequent bathing might lead to better health. I also remember studying about the common baths of yore where bathing was a community affair which was more for coming together and enjoying some good time in the water and also cleansing and washing the body. But taking a look at today's scenario, it seems that bathing has become something of a mandatory ritual without which one becomes a social out-caste. But this bathing I am talking about is relevant in the context of only a certain section of the mainstream society and is not homogenous for everyone.
Talking of bathing, many tourists (not a sweeping general statement, please) I have known and observed don't bathe when they are travelling. They do it only in extreme conditions where they know they are filthy and stink. I think that is a better way of going about life. In summers, I know that even bathing two times does not suffice but in winters one can refrain from the conditioning of routine. But for most of us bathing is a psychological factor rather than a real one. The mind refuses to believe that the body is clean without the simple act of water over our bodies. But one can save water and precious time when one decided to go without bathing in winter.
Clean clothes always can make up for the no bathing days. As for hygiene matters, one can definitely get by without the myth of having to bathe daily. But for those who sweat excessively and have body-odour, bathing becomes a necessity rather than an aesthetic mandatory necessity.
So, the verdict is "If you can stand it socially, you can probably get by hygienically," according to Science magazine.
I've gone for about three days without bathing. I don't smell and I feel well. What about you? Still hung-up on feeling clean and good only with a bath/shower. Well, . . .
Postscript: The Indian bathing is the Western showering. Please don't confuse that bathing refers to bathing in large egg-shaped tubs with scented jasmine oil. Many houses in India have a simple bathroom which has a shower and taps and of course, buckets and mugs :) Whatever the size of the bathrooms, whether showering or bathing, the point is about bathing everyday.
Image 1: Internet