As the capital city of one of the biggest states in India, Jaipur is simply rich in culture and heritage. With all the majestic forts and pretty palaces to visit, not to mention rugged landscapes to see and vibrant handmade items to shop for, it’s kind of hard to cram everything in a short holiday. So here is the next best thing: pay a visit to Chokhi Dhani, a cultural village that showcases the best of Rajasthani traditions and cuisine!
Al-fresco vegetarian set or multi-cuisine buffet inside air-conditioned lavish dining hall? Your entrance fee here covers a delicious dinner spread, as well as plenty of entertainment and cultural showcases to experience. Our travelling party opted to dine under the clear skies but before we got around to that, we wandered around the 18-acre village, enjoying all that it has to offer.
Like this cool and amusing human-assisted bowling.
We also watched this man putting a fire out with his mouth!
How about donning traditional Rajput attire and pretending that you’re 17th century Indian aristocrats?
Maybe a sip of masala chaas (spiced buttermilk) to surprise your taste buds?
Would you like to know if you’ll meet the great love of your life or receive an unexpected job promotion this year? Get your palm read here.
Does hassle-free shopping sound good to you? Enjoy shopping for shoes, jewellery, bedspreads and even furniture at reasonable fixed prices, no bargaining necessary!
Or maybe, you can just simply join in the aljoga dance and dance like nobody’s watching!
After all that fun and frolic, we were ushered to our dining area, a charming set up of colourful cushions and small wooden tables, with lanterns hanging at every corner adding flair to the cosy ambiance. Best of all was what awaited us on the table itself. Plates and bowls made from leaves as well as clay cups, which essentially means that everything on the table is biodegradable and will not be wasted somewhere in the ocean or left to rot for the next hundred thousand years. Two thumbs up!
Our all-vegetarian traditional Rajasthani spread itself was plentiful and appetising. The waiters kept on piling one thing after another, I didn’t even know where to start eating! Alongside the staple Rajasthani curries and gravies like jodhpuri gatta, jodhpuri kadhi, and panchmel dal, were generous servings of kheechada (pearl millet porridge), achar (pickled vegetables), various bread including naan and roti, paprika-dusted papad (thin crispy crackers), and many more. My favourite would have to be the laapsi, which is whole wheat sweet porridge, as well as the freshly-made sweet snack jalebi, served hot and therefore utterly delicious.
By the end of the night, I left this charming village with a happy tummy and an exciting preview into my first journey in Jaipur. There is still plenty more of Rajasthan to explore but as a sneak peek, Chokhi Dhani has certainly proven to be a good start.
CHOKHI DHANI VILLAGE JAIPUR
Address: Chokhi Dhani Village Resort, 12 Mile, Tonk Road, Jaipur
Opening hours: 5pm-11pm daily
Admission: INR 1100 (multi-cuisine buffet), INR 700 (traditional Thali set)
GETTING THERE: AirAsia X flies to Jaipur from Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok. For low fares and flight info, visit airasia.com.