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CHOKHI DHANI (Fine Hamlet in English) is a five star ethnic resort that showcases Rajashtani culture and cuisine. It has a lalten restaurant – an excellent place to enjoy Rajashtani food served in traditional mode and is also a very popular place for animal rides, kathpuli (puppet show), traditional dance, snake charmers, magicians etc. Dinner starts at 8PM and the village closes at 11PM-12MN. I opted for the low table buffet to the A/C and seated buffet because I wanted to be as local as possible. The waiters were friendly and I felt so welcome in ways exquisite and traditionally Rajashtani. But that is for another post.

The entrance to Chokhi Dhani at daytime

Chokhi Dhani entrance at night

This boy welcomed me with the beating of the drum. I have to explain my three layered ‘bindi‘. Before coming here, I was given a red bindi at the Lakshmi Narayam or Birla temple by a guy who took my picture. Then along the highway, on my way to Chokhi Dhani I saw a monkey temple with a handful of people worshiping the monkey shrine. I asked my driver to stop. I entered and surveyed the temple. One of the devotees noticed me and painted  on my forehead a yellow bindi/dye on top of the red one. When I went past the entrance of Chokhi Dhani, I was welcomed by teenage girls with another bindi/red dye with sticky rice. I never felt so welcome and so overly ‘local’.

I really do not know what this is. Maybe to tell the time? I saw something similar in Jantar Mantar – Jaipur

One of the attractions in the hamlet. Again I do not know what he was doing. Maybe he’s  a blacksmith?

The magician and snake charmer charmed his audience too

Life size models depicting the daily routine of ethnic Rajashtani way of life

If you miss the elephant ride at Amber Fort, you can always try one here

My second camel ride which I shared with this cute little boy

Ethnic Rajashtani dancers. Their costumes are always a blinding splash of colors

Guess what or who’s making the ferris wheel turn?

BELOW: Teenage girls in ethnic Rajashtani costume welcome the guests. I call them the ‘Welcome’ or ‘Ramramsa’ Girls

B

BELOW: Royal Rajashtani Thali. I would have booked a room in one of these but I was hosted by a most wonderful family that pampered me so much I felt like a rani.

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