When you receive a message from a reader to review a restaurant, You can’t say no.
When you get a message to review a place that you have never visited, it’s tough to say now
And when the place is Unique and does a special meal once a month and it is that special day, you cannot say no.
Bas kuch aisa hi hua. 🙂
I got up up on a Sunday morning and received a message from a reader to review the Food at Govinda’s. Now Govinda’s is not any normal restaurant. It’s a restaurant situated inside the huge Iskcon Temple Complex in Delhi and serves Pure Veg, No Onion No Garlic Food.
I have never been there however always craved to go there atleast once and experience the difference.
Apart from the normal menu, they do a special menu every last Sunday of the Month and that is the Famous CHHAPPAN BHOG, where 56 different Food items are prepared.
Chalo, pehle to samajh lete hai ki CHHAPPAN BHOG hota kya hai and how did it derive this name.
According to the scriptures, people of Braj offered lavish meals to Lord Indra in a hope that Lord Indra would be happy and they shall have a good rain and ultimately a Good Crop. Lord Krishna objected to this & asked the farmers to stop this. Agreeing to Krishna, the villagers stopped their offerings and this act of theirs Angered Lord Indra & he flooded the village.
It kept pouring & village was destroyed under water. People prayed to Lord Krishna to save their lives & then he came to the rescue and lifted the huge Govardhan Mountain on His finger. Villagers took refuge under this mountain and were saved from the wrath of Indra. The rains continued for seven days and Krishna kept on holding the mountain.
It is said that Lord Krishna ate 8 meals a day. So, after the Govardhan incident, the villagers brought 56 types of food to compensate for the seven days while Krishna held the mountain. Thus, the concept of 56 or Chappan Bhog emerged.
Significance of Chhappan Bhog The word ‘Chhappan’ in Hindi means 56. So, the offering consists of 56 different food items. Starting from the sweets made out of milk to rice items, dal, fruits, dry fruits, vegetables, snacks, drinks and cereals. These items have to be placed in a particular order with the milk items placed closest to the idol of Lord Krishna. The significance of this ritual is that people invite Lord to their houses and offer Him all His favourite food items. In return, people seek Krishna’s protection against all odds in their lives. Hence, the ritual of Chhappan Bhog is of great importance to his devotees.
Isn’t this interesting? So, I decided to try this today as the next chance would only be next month and tab pata nahi yaad rahe na rahe.
Around 9 am, I was already on my Dineout App booking my seats for Great Indian Restaurant Festival 2016 and then thought ki Govinda’s ke liye bhi yahi se book kar lete hai.
The app was fired and I saw they were indeed taking booking for Chhappan Bhog for 29th Jan 2017. I booked for 2 of us. However the booking showed in Pending mode and would be confirmed by 11:30.
Nevertheless to be on a safer side I called the number listed on the Dineout site and realised that the number is not valid anymore.
Anyways, 11:45 par I got a confirmation and we were on my way to have the CHHAPPAN BHOG at the best place ever. Inside a temple.
Ab Jab Lunch mein Chhappan Bhog khana tha so we skipped the Breakfast in order to do justice to the Food that shall be laid in front of us in a while 🙂
We reached there on appointed time. On telling about our Booking the manager recalled the name and said yes, “I’m aware”.
Then he added “I saw your booking, Approved it & was thinking to call you to inform that we are not serving Chhappan Bhog Today, However then I got busy and it skipped” Aap samajh to gaye honge humari nirasha L
More so, because we had traveled 20 KM’s just for this and that too on the Precious Sunday morning.
The manager told us that instead of Chhappan Bhog, you can relish the normal Lunch Buffet.
Ab bhook to joro ki lagi thi and Govinda ke SHUDH khane ke bare mein bhi bahut suna tha, so we sat there.
And whatever happened after that was an eye opener and a mood dampener too.
Sabse pehle to Buffet Spread Consisted of normal Shaadi wala Khana…. Dal Makhni, Shahi Paneer, Gatte Ki Subzi, Mixed vegetable, Tandoori Roti and hold your Breath…… GOBHI MANCHURIAN & CHOWMEIN.
Mujhe samajh nahi aaya ki ho kya raha hai…. Either I had great expectation from this place….. Ki mandir ke andar ka khana hai… Should be Pure Homemade food or in real sense the standards of this place have diminished.
The Only Saving Grace was the Sweet dish. Gulab Jamnu and Kheer.
I was still very inquisitive about the CHHAPPAN BHOG and wanted to check if it’s worth a visit next month so asked for the manager to share details. He sought 2 mins and went on to summon the chef.
In 5 Mins, we had the GM on our Table and a Lady who claimed to handle the PR and Marketing for the same.
Now started a new Game.
Self Goal -1 – I informed her I had booked my table through Dineout – She says we are not working with Dineout for past 2 years. I showed her the Booking and also told her that your manager is aware of this as he confirmed the Dineout booking with us
I told her that before coming I had called on the mentioned numbers and she acknowledged that those were old numbers and have not been updated for past 2 years.
They drew a blank again, on asking why they are not serving Chhappan Bhog, when it is supposed to be served every last Sunday of the month.
Sunday morning bekaar gayi and so did the idea of having a great, one of its kind meal.
Message for Govinda’s : You are inside a temple complex, You are part of one of the biggest Religious Sects, Thousand of Devotees visit you every day, You have a reputation to keep. Please do so.
Chhappan Bhog Defination Inspired from http://www.boldsky.com/
Revert from the Restaurant on my Zomato post. Still leaves me disappointed.