A Saturday away from hustle bustle of Delhi
It was Friday evening and I had no plans for the weekend! This North Indian summers make you so very lazy. I was scanning some articles online when my phone rang. It was age old school friend from Sonipat.
“Hello, how are u, which mall are you in today?”
“Hain?” – I replied. “Mall! hell no..m not always in malls!”
She – “Unhh..whatever, come to Sonipat tomorrow. We will dine together”
“Nah re, I am not in a mood of any Murthal paranthas this weekend! I was thinking ki kuch different ho jaaye”
“Umm ok, then come to Sonipat again, I will fulfill your wish. See you at 6 tomorrow, give me a call when you cross Kundli border.”
and she hung up! My crazy stupid friend didn’t give me a second to decide on the plan. She always does so and hence the plan was ON!
Saturday morning brought in all the week long laundry and I finished it all since it was going to be a busy evening ahead. I started from my place by 4 and rang her at border. She said “Cross Murthal this time, I am taking you to Chokhi Dhani”
WHAT? CHOKHI DHANI? I headed straight! and within some minutes I was at Chokhi Dhani parking. She was already waiting for me.
O man! So we have a little Jaipur near Delhi now!
As we entered, All of them were dressed in traditional Rajasthani attire. They welcomed us with “Raam raam sethani saa, padharo maare des” translating “Hello Mam, welcome to our country”. The reception was grand. They had all the antiques that our grandparent would have used when they were young like radio, charkha, vessels etc etc. The artistic taste was eminent.
They charged INR 450/- per person as an entry that covered visiting the indoor setup, a traditional Rajasthani lunch and a mehendi/henna that they would apply on our hands. As we entered, I saw everyone was wearing a pagdi sort of, dressed in kurtas, ladies dressed in ghaghras. The view was spectacular and my mind was immediately at peace. I was so away from the hustling city life. The first stall that we went was girls favourite- golgappe/pani-puri stall! They charged INR20 per plate and I swear I hadn’t ever had such golgappes in my lifespan! Then next was the turn of delicious bhelpuri followed by gola (made of ice topped with several sharbats/flavours).
We moved then to witness the dance of amazing dancers. There was a little boy walking on a rope! Then was the puppet show where puppets enacted several characters like magician, Daler Mehendi and we laughed till the bottom of our intestines on their dance.
Next were some games that we had played in fairs when we were kids like bursting baloons with gun etc. All the kids were trying their best to win something or the other at those stalls. Then we headed to a group who played tabla (a musical instrument) and a little boy danced on the beats. Futher we also enjoyed Camel Safari! They also had those big big round swings.
There was also a traditional home setup where a family was staying. The Rajasthani lady cooked for baajra rotis for us on a big tawa and served us with clarified butter, garlic chutney and jaggery. It was 9 by then and a perfect time for dinner. We entered a big hall where we were asked to sit on mattresses on floor. There were some 8-9 people who were serving food. As we sat down, and they started serving, they didnt end. 1,2,3,4..items were not ending. We were served somewhere around 20 dishes- all traditionl Rajasthani – famous names include daal bhaati, jaipuri kadi, gatta jodhpuri. The taste was really authentic. It felt so homely, though I had never had such food before! Packed to the brim of my body, we were done by 10 pm and started back for our respective houses. I had a smile on my face for a beautiful Saturday evening that I just witnessed.
Here is the menu :
I should not really forget to mention the warm hospitality by everyone there. They were cheerful, they were joyful while serving and nothing felt fake or made up! It was a Jaipur, a mini-Jaipur near Delhi!
Also looking at this NH, I would suggest Delhites a full Saturday plan here. Start from your home in morning. Come to QCinemas at Kundli,watch a movie with your family. Next head towards Murthal. Little before Murthal, you would find Jurassic park on the opposite side, head for water activities. Once you are done, head for an evening at Chokhi Dhani (opening hours- 6 pm to 11pm) and I tell you it would be one of the best short picnic for you n your loved ones.
PS : We don’t provide any Chokhi Dhani packages.
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