Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Where to Eat in Rameshwaram? Hotel Guru, Gujarati Bhojanalya and more!

Reached #Rameshwaram!! 
Any suggestions for good pure veg restaurant yummy food?

I checked into my budget hotel in Rameshwaram Brindavan residency sometime in the afternoon around 12, dead tired from an overnight train journey. By the time I and my family freshened up, 2 more hours passed away, and now I heard butterflies prancing around in my stomach. Weary as I was, I was dead hungry too. Realizing that we were well past lunch time already and neither of us had any time nor the energy to go scouting for a good pure vegetarian restaurant, I decided to approach the ever - helpful twitter experts for their recommendations on good pure vegetarian hotels in Rameshwaram (see the tweet above) and within a matter of minutes, I had from 2 highly esteemed Indian travel bloggers, what I would say, really the crux of the foodie scenario of what one can expect during their jaunt in the town!

Where to eat in Rameshwaram? What did the bloggers say:

Anu Shankar @anushankarn: Yummiest would be at the priests house! But there is a pure veg Gujarati hotel on road leading from the temple to beach. There are some small south Indian hotels on the same road. And on the one along the temple. Messes too. But don't remember names. Ask at the temple about messes.

Shrinidhi Hande ‏@enidhiHotel Tamil Nadu is one option, There are more around the main temple. Not super high class, but just okay. Hotel Guru is where we went... but they don't have any rice item in the evening.

Anu Shankar ‏@anushankarn: Many of these places don't offer rice in the night. Esp those near temples.

Shrinidhi Hande ‏@enidhi: Hotel MCM towers near temple also has good restaurant - haven't tried though.

Coconut in Rameshwaram, Tamil Nadu
When in Rameshwaram, don't forget to keep yourself well hydrated with one of these!
If you are planning a trip to this sleepy little town, I am sure these points will come in handy. And so will my food guide for Rameshwaram presented below. Read on!


Located in the lane adjacent to the main temple, hotel Guru is a typical eatery that will serve you hot and fresh south Indian meals – breakfast / lunch and dinner at descent prices.

Exteriors of the Hotel Guru, Rameshwaram, Tamil Nadu

If you keep aside any expectations of fancy cooking, cultured hygiene or a quiet relaxed ambiance, then you are just about good to go. It’s a good place to have tasty delicious freshly made chutneys, sambhar, idlis and dosas that address the needs of the hungry soul as well as the belly.

Interiors of Hotel Guru in Rameshwaram, Tamil Nadu

Service is quick and prompt but be alert on what’s on the menu (applies in the case of a full meal) and if you are rightly being served all the items in the fare.

What to eat?

For all the time I was in Rameshwaram, Guru was my go-to eating joint. Though they have a long way to go in hygiene, the food was still flavorful and mostly fresh which is why I loved the food here. During breakfast times, order their Idlis, Wadas or Dosas (Rs. 40/- per plate) that come with hot piping sambhar, and 2 types of red and white chutneys.

Idli at hotel Guru in Rameshwaram, Tamil Nadu
Masala Dosa at Hotel Guru Rameshwaram, Tamil Nadu

For lunchtimes, opt for their meals (Rs. 80/- per head) served on a banana leaf with a generous helping of rice in the centre topped with hot lentil curry and surrounded by an assortment of vegetable curry and papad. Don’t forget to ask for your sweet buutermilk or chaas towards the end of the meal!

Lunch meal in Hotel Guru in Rameshwaram, Tamil Nadu

Complement your meal with a glass of South Indian style filter coffee, served hot and frothy, a must have as it tastes like heaven especially after a weary hot day of wandering in the town!

Filter Coffee at Hotel Guru in Rameshwaram, Tamil Nadu

How to get there?

When walking up from Agni Teertham towards the main Ramanathaswamy Shivlingam temple entrance, take a right. A few meters away is the hotel.

Remember: Rice/meals are generally not served in the evenings.
Address: E Car St, Rameswaram, Tamil Nadu 623526.
Timings: Open throughout the day / Items on availability.


Another joint situated close to the temple is Anand Bhavan. It is a similar eatery to Hotel Guru in many ways and one can expect the regular South Indian fare of dosas and idlis.

A crowded Hotel Anand Bhavan in Rameshwaram, Tamil Nadu
A crowded Hotel Anand Bhavan in Rameshwaram
We walked in this eatery one evening and found it was crowded with a good amount of people. A good place for families, friends, everyone!

What to eat?

Masala Dosa in Hotel Anand Bhavan in Rameshwaram, Tamil Nadu

We ordered a plate of idlis and dosas which came with a bowl of sambhar and 2 types of chutneys. The dosa was crisp and overall the food was pretty descent. It’s a It’s a good place to satisfy your food cravings in Rameshwaram but if given a choice, I would still go for Guru.

How to get there?

This hotel is situated in the lane diagonally opposite the temple's back entrance. To get to the back door entrance, you can take an autorickshaw from the Agni Teertham for a minimum fare.


If having south Indian food tires you while you are enjoying your jaunt in Rameshwaram, this is the place to go for tantalizing your taste buds with north Indian cuisine. Gujarati Bhavan is situated in the lane leading to the main temple from the beach area of Agni Teertham and is one of the rare places in this southern town that boasts of food from northern India.

Entrance Gujarati Bhojanalaya Rameshwaram, Tamil Nadu
Gujarati Bhojanalya in Rameshwaram, Tamil Nadu

It’s a seated area and caters to family dining; the atmosphere is local and homelike. You have to take a coupon at the counter before you take a seat inside the room, the food is pretty satisfactory.

What to eat?

Typical Indian Vegetarian Thali is what is served here for lunch and dinner and that’s what you will eat! We were here on the New Years eve and the thali cost us Rs. 100 per person.

North Indian thali at Gujarati Bhojanalaya in Rameshwaram, Tamil Nadu

We had a couple of puris, mixed vegetable curry, dal, rice, bondas and papad which I wouldn't call a lavish affair but fairly descent in taste and quality. The meal was topped up with a rasagulla (sweetdish) and the buttermilk finally was a cool and refreshing way to wash down all the extra calories.

How to get there?

Gujarati Bhojanalaya is tucked within a pale yellow coloured building in the lane leading from the beach area to the main temple. A few paces from the Rameshwaram beach, Gujarati Bhojanalaya will be towards the left hand side. Keep an eye out for a board at the entrance gate acting as an indicator.

Address: 15/16, Sanadhi Street, Rameshwaram, Tamil Nadu 623526.
Phone: 04573 221 301
Timings: Breakfast (7 AM – 10 PM); Lunch (12 – 2 or 3 PM depends on availability); Dinner (6 to 9 PM).

Rameshwaram is a small town but due to the touristy rush, there are a lot of messes and hotels that you can find to satisfy your taste buds. Basically, there is a lot to choose from! Just be a tad bit careful on the hygiene and you are good to go. And as always, remember the golden rule: Where there is a crowd, the food can generally be trusted!

Have you been to Rameshwaram?
Are there any pure vegetarian restaurants that you would like to recommend?
Please do so in the comments section!

Previous Posts from the trip:

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

What to do in Rameshwaram? Walk the Shores of Agni Teertham!

The sea is where I belong.
Meet me that place -
where the music meets the ocean.

---------------------------------- **** ----------------------------------

When in Rameshwaram, take the sea side on a balmy day. Maybe...  not necessarily to pray. Or bathe. Or perform any rituals. But, just to wander. And question curiously...

... will this cacophony awaken my senses?

... will the stories inspire my devotion?

Shivlingam at Sacred sea - Agni Teertham, Rameshwaram, Tamil Nadu

Dear Divine Soul,

Remove your slippers and step onto the sacred pilgrim shores of Agni Teertham. Feel the blanket of the slivery coarse sand particles beneath your tender feet. That’s nature’s very own red brown carpet for you!

Sacred sea shore - Agni Teertham at Rameshwaram, Tamil Nadu

Walk the carpet, wading your way through the waste strewn around carelessly and enter her heavenly realm. Let the wavelets sigh and quiver in a lacy froth around your toes. Let the wavelets sing and croon in a soulful melody soothing your restless mind.

Sacred sea shores - Agni Teertham, Rameshwaram, Tamil Nadu

As you wade deeper, feel her incipient power as she gently tugs and buffets at you. She has the power to absolve you of all your impurities, of all your sins, whatever that means to you. She did that for Lord Rama and for the Fire God, Agni eons ago.

Today, she is willing to do the same for you too. Would you Do you trust her enough to let her waters guide you? To anchor you to your beautiful heart, tame the wild in your mind, to let your spirit run free?

Do you wish to gently sail through the waters of life?

Boats at Sacred sea - Agni Teertham, Rameshwaram, Tamil Nadu

Then, come on. Step on.
Believe in her magic.

The sea, seemingly absorbed yet ever present hears your prayers, seals your wounds - and mine. She wastes no time to pull us deeper into her being. Until we no longer linger around, in our aloneness - unconnected, fragmented in multiple layers of caste, creed, religion or gender, instead, come together, merge as one large family to her.

Breathe in the air deeply. Inhale the scent. Is it heavy?

Heavy with intoxicating prayers of those who believe.... These are prayers that are rooted in stoic beliefs, stories that have drawn them to her since times immemorial. They know it's true. That they themselves, as much as their beloved who are no more... their ancestors, they can be freed from all and any bondages too.

Close your eyes and mediate on the thrum of the chants until the gates of your heart flung open and a gush of joy flies over the sea. That is the moment when you will be duly awed, humbled because you have been in there, with her, immersed in all your flaws, all your imperfections - naked and alone. And yet, you shall be accepted. Wholeheartedly. Without any question. Without any instance of a query.

Feel her love!

A man with a conch at Agni Teertham, Rameshwaram, Tamil Nadu

Stand your ground, plant your toes. Soon you will be pushed. To see the light. The kind of light that beams on the faces and in the smiles of little children. Her children. Innocent. Pure. Raw. Unbridled.

Immerse in those moments.

Who's joyous, who's corrupted... who prays with a sincere heart, who litters garbage... With keen eyes, she watches, searches each soul with a roving eye. She knows all. You can't do wrong and get by.

Truly blessed are those who sweep her heart and chip her soul, with their sincere love and care. A love that manifests in their desire to give her their all, to help her breathe, wash her clean, keep her happy. 

Dear Divine Soul,

When in Rameshwaram, spend some time by her side - the sacred shores of the Agni Teertham. Take some time to sit, ponder, wander, contemplate and stare. There is chaos. There is cacophony. There is rush. There is madness. Get past that. Rather, see past that. And then, you shall discover beauty.

Her beauty.

Beauty in the free flowing ripples that caress your weary soul. Beauty in the endless waves that bring you a beautiful gentle song from some great Musician who lives in the infinities beyond...

Sunset at Sacred sea - Agni Teertham, Rameshwaram, Tamil Nadu

Music that binds souls in a thread of surrender, faith and devotion.
Music that has healing power.
Music that is a reminiscence to her timeless power.