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.
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’.
Life size models depicting the daily routine of ethnic Rajashtani way of life
Ethnic Rajashtani dancers. Their costumes are always a blinding splash of colors
BELOW: Teenage girls in ethnic Rajashtani costume welcome the guests. I call them the ‘Welcome’ or ‘Ramramsa’ Girls
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.