BY MEGHA KATIRA
Sun is just setting, the horizon an orange haze. You are
astride a camel, taking in the view, absorbing the sheer
beauty of the delightful mix of ethnic Rajasthan and
urban taste. Welcome to Chowki Dhanni, where disco beats
tango with Rajasthani music, offering you a choice
between rabdi and sarson da saag.
Located 15 km away from Rajkot in Gujarat, the beauty
of Chowki Dhanni lures you away from the hustle-bustle
of city life. In case you are visiting Rajkot, do not
miss an opportunity to visit this resort offering an
array of music, cuisines and other forms of
entertainment in its ethnic backdrop.
Rajasthani dancers greet you the moment you step out;
girls dressed in ghagra-cholis adorned with mirror-work.
The jewellery includes heavy necklaces, chudlas
(armlets), anklets, earrings and rings. Besides, their
instruments are decorated and embellished with beautiful
trappings and ornamental coverings.
If you wish to buy any Rajasthani merchandise, browse
through their wares on display. Choose from mojaris (Rajasthani
style shoes), mirrored handbags, wall hangings, lipstick
cases, etc. Just beside these shops, you will come
across a mehendiwalli, who applies Rajasthani mehendi,
which is different from Arabic mehendi, and has unique
Walk further ahead, and there is a Rajasthani
restaurant, which sports Rajasthani cuisine and ambience
on its menu. It has a traditional a seating arrangement,
where you sit cross-legged and have food on a pat (small
low table). They offer Rajasthani thali, which serves a
combination of dal-batti, rabdi or churma. If you are
keen on experimenting, be sure to book your place,
especially on a Sunday, since its remains crowded.
Not in the mood to try, but have Punjabi decicacies
in mind? Chowki Dhanni won't let you down. The Punjabi
restaurant nearby salutes you. Enjoy dinner in its royal
ambience. The platter consists of the usual Punjabi fare
of naan, rumali roti, vegetable dishes like paneer
mutter, malai kofta etc. Enjoy it with lassi or with
onions and pickles or papad. Indeed a meal fit for a
Visit their discotheque, where everyone unwinds to
the music. The music is a mix of pop remixes, from
Bollywood numbers to some English songs. It may not seem
like your regular discotheque in the city, but it is
definitely a place to let your hair down.
The kids can take to the slides, swings or step on
the ever-popular Laxman jhulla (These are 2 suspended
iron bridges, a replica of the one at Varanasi). Hold on
tightly to the chains at the sides, because as you
proceed, the whole thing swings wildly. One wrong step
and you may land up on the soft sand below. Get
entangled in snakes and ladders, a game which both
adults and kids can play – a game board, drawn on the
ground, with a cushion-like dice that you can throw to
see whether you will be bitten by a snake or are you
still lucky enough to climb the ladder.
On a breezy night, step into the lawn and find
yourself a place to sit, on the grass or a chair with
your friends or loved ones. Or listen to the ghazal
singer who sings popular requests. What better way to
spend an entire evening under the moon and stars, where
Chowki Dhanni's cool breeze whispers sweet nothings in
your ear far away from a busy world.
BY MEGHA KATIRA