We have been to Ambarnath temple Mumbai during one of our official trips to Mumbai for 6 days at the end of March 2017. We have stayed in The Kohinoor Continental hotel, absolutely enjoyed staying there and roamed less places due to our work commitment. Just like we always do.
Somehow we squeezed in time to visit the famous Lord Shiva temple called Ambarneshwar temple a.k.a Ambarnath temple, one of a kind experience travelling in the metro to visit this temple.
Since Hoysala architectures are found exclusively only in the Karnataka state of India, was totally amazed and surprised to the major resemblance in architecture here.
(Read our trips to Hoysala Architecture and Picshere).
So I couldn’t help marvel at the beauty of this temple architecture and compare that with the Hoysala architecture.
Just like Hoysala architecture, in Ambarnath Temple Mumbai, you can also find reliefs (carved sculptures of various avatars of gods and goddesses) on the outer wall of the temple, that too with the same zig-zag pattern.
The zig- zag pattern of the walls, continuous pattern of reliefs carved on the walls, minute work of disc pattern on the pillars are all exactly matching with the Hoysala architecture of Karnataka.
Hoysalas built the temples between their ruling period of 11th century to 14th century. Guess there are possibilities of their influence here in Ambarnath Temple Mumbai.
The only major difference was that there was no star shaped mandap on which Hoysalas usually built their temple.
What was more amazing beyond the imagination was to find lord Vishnu reliefs carved on the Lord Shiva temple.
(Just like how I was amazed to see tiny shiva lingas around the main sanctum of Lord Vishnu temple in our recent trip to Wayanad).
There is an unproved story that five pandava brothers have built this temple overnight from a huge mass of stone. Not having enough evidence to back up this history here.
However, I am blessed and grateful to have visited this temple – Ambarnath temple Mumbai.
This is a complete guide on going trip to Goa from Bangalore by both air and bus.
We have been to Goa 2 times in the same year in 2018. First trip to Goa by bus and the later by air. Both the times we stayed in North Goa – once in an exotic resort with a private beach and once in the Calangute High road with an infinity swimming pool.
This is how to plan your trip to Goa from Bangalore, how to rent a bike and have fun.
Image Credit – Holidify.com
Trip to Goa from Bangalore – Overview
Our First Trip to Goa from Bangalore by Bus:
Our very first trip to Goa from Bangalore was by bus to Panjim city. This trip was planned in the month of April in 2018 to celebrate our birthdays (we are one year and a day apart). It was a 3 days trip to Goa and we absolutely enjoyed our first time being there together. Rajesh has already been with his friends once and stayed in Taj hotels for the entire trip (big guy :).
We booked a KSRTC bus, boarded from Bangalore central to reach Panjim city, the capital of Goa.
We rented a bike in Panjim itself for all three days to roam all around the goa. Thanks to Rajesh who planned on booking a bike, otherwise it would have been difficult to see the places in goa without it.
There was another advantage of booking a bike on our goa trip.
Since we stayed far from the main Goa, we got to see more than just beaches on our daily bike ride.
From our resort in North Goa, we rode our bike daily among the never ending dense cashewnut forest to go look around the places. It’s just like seeing Coconut trees in South India.
We saw many Russian girls solo riding Royal Enfield bikes en route – which was quite a sight.
Though we stayed in an Elite resort, we spent most of the time hanging out outside, except for the last day. Of all, the most memorable being the ride to Reis Magos fort and its surrounding places.
And we have been to many beaches day and night that I lost track of, had dined in all the good restaurants near to the beaches we have visited.
Places we visited during our 3 days trip to Goa from bangalore– All beaches and restaurants.
This time it was a 4 days trip to Goa from Bangalore for our 3rd Wedding anniversary celebrations.
This time we chose to stay close to main Goa, so we chose Silver sands serenity in Candolim Goa.
Just like our last trip we hired a bike to roam around Goa. But this time we did not go crazily to many beaches like we did before.
We spent most of the time in restaurants and in the infinity swimming pool in our stay. As such we enjoyed being in our room, with a good swimming pool and restaurant to hang out.
Once we tried Spa at O2 (O2 Spa) – an Elite spa in Goa and it was a total waste of money for 5000 rupees.
Restaurants we liked most – Silver Sands Serenity, The lazy Goose, The Fisherman’s Wharf, Big Fish
Food We liked most – Rava Fish fry (fish fry made with rava sooji).
How to Plan Goa trip
From our 2 time trip to Goa from bangalore, we have seen Goa both ‘in season’ and ‘off season’.
Season time is where Goa thrives with international visitors especially in beaches of Goa.
During season time in Goa, that is – from end of December to end of April – all the prices are sky high. Try eating street food maggi noodles for the price of 150 rupees, you would know what I am talking about. Though food prices remain the same in elite restaurants for all seasons, it is disappointing to see restaurants like ‘Inferno’ remain closed in off-seasons.
So there is no fun if you are going in off season. You could save some money by pre-booking your stay way in advance and rent a bike while you are there.
We repeat going trip to Goa since it is our favorite travel destinations just like Coorg and Tiruvannamalai for road trips.
Interested in our road trips? We have been on many dozen bike trips from Bangalore. Click here.
I went on a 5 days Solo trip to Kumbakonam, one of the best vacations ever in my life. Thanks to Rajesh for arranging my travel and accommodations. To roam around my favorite places in Kumbakonam, I have arranged for a 2-wheeler rental bike through my Kumbakonam native friend.
But my hubby was busy in organizing the “Cloud Summit” event. And he made it a hit, that’s a different story. Since it was a big deal finding speakers and organizing the event, I let him be.
So I have decided to go chill out in my favourite place, for 5 days, all alone.
I started my trip on 8th December 2019 from Bangalore, boarded a train from Bangalore Central and reached Kumbakonam on 9th December, 6am.
This is the story of my 5 days solo trip, from 9th December to 13th December 2019.
Solo trip is NOT new to me
Travelling alone is not new for me. I have been travelling to places since I was 18, traveled for studies, traveled for jobs, traveled to new cities for interviews. And finally I lived in London for more than a year, for my Management studies just before I got married.
I never had any fear or any concern on travelling alone. But since my marriage in the year 2015, I kinda fell in a comfort zone of being in a company all the time.
Any time I step out of my home, I am always accompanied by my hubby. Apart from weekly groceries and yoga classes, ofcourse.
Just like the years 2017 and 2018, I looked forward for this trip to Kumbakonam too. But, you know, unfortunately Rajesh had his own plans.
So rolled up my bachelor sleeves, and decided to go on a solo trip to Kumbakonam.
Kumbakonam – A small, very beautiful mesmerizing town, well connected with roads to Trichy, Chidambaram, Tiruvannamalai, Thanjavur etc., is always beaming with history and ancient temples.
A beautiful town surrounded by numerous ponds filled with lilies, lakes and dams, agri fields and ancient temples. I can never find the right words to fit the beauty of this simple town. And I never get bored of visiting this place over and over again in my life.
When I am in Kumbakonam, I feel connected to my ancestors (no kidding). Every temple has a story to tell, and it compels your undivided attention for long hours. The hardship behind each temple’s architecture makes you humble and fall in love with it forever.
Yes, that’s my connection with Kumbakonam and its temples – bond forever.
Long list of Famous temples in Kumbakonam with Google Map
Probably this is the longest list of temples in Kumbakonam you will get in internet, it took me 1 full week to compile this list with google map link. Click here.
I chose Kumbakonam because I would not want to be anywhere else on my solo trip, because it’s like my second home.
What did I do in those 5 days?
How I Spent 5 days in Kumbakonam – Overview
What I Did
I did exactly the same of what we both would do on a duo trip – i.e. roaming Kumbakonam and visiting our favourite ancient temples.
Yes I visited my favourite temples in and outside of Kumbakonam, spent time hanging out near Mahamaham tank, watched the sunset sitting in UNESCO Darasuram, ate food in my favourite restaurants in Kumbakonam.
Sometimes, I went over and over again to some of the favorite temples in the late evening, which are close to my heart. They are Sarangapani temple, Adi Kumbeswarar temple and Ramar temple which are located within short distances in the centre town.
Late evening poojas are very special in those big ancient temples, and since it was an auspicious month, luckilyI got to watch elephants parading with the idols in the streets – every single day.
Not all the time you get to watch these special parades and poojas.
It was a blissful moment when I spent long evenings in those favourite temples, my soul was at peace.
Where I ate
Everyday, I wake up, get ready with a pair of water bottles in my day bag. Then start my rented bike to go nearby “ayya kadai” (written all about my favourite famous food items in Kumbakonam), to have a hearty southindian, pocket friendly breakfast.
Thanks to ‘ayya kadai’ brothers for all the yummy quality – budget priced food, otherwise it would have been difficult on budget on such a long trip.
It is one stop for all breakfast, snacks and lunch items, except for dinner. I would return back to this shop after a short trip to pack snacks (a couple of vada made fresh every day) and also lunch (variety rice ready by 12 noon itself ) if I have plan to go on a long bike trip away from Kumbakonam. Like the days I went to places like Thirukannapuram, Thiruvalanjuli and Alangudi.
I was not dead serious about going to all possible temples in and around Kumbakonam, that is not even practically feasible.
So in the 5 days of itinerary metioned below, you could see me visiting temples aggressively in the first 2 days. And the last 3 days, I slowed down, spent more time in any of the favorite temples leisurely. Unlike my past road trips to Kumbakonam, this time I took it real slow.
There has to be one special occasion in the solo trip right?
I could name many, but just one occassion holds strong place in my heart.
On day-2 of my solo trip to Kumbakonam, I traveled all the way to Tirukannapuram Lord Vishnu temple only to find the main sanctum closed at hardly 11 am. Since there was no anticipated devotees at that time, the temple panditji decided to close it for the day.
I was utterly disappointed to only to see the closed doors, sitting in front of the main sanctum cursing my luck as I couldn’t darshan him even in this trip. Because in our last couple of trips to Kumbakonam, we couldn’t even make it to this temple.
Just when I thought I will leave the place saying good bye to the care taker, a preist came hurridly saying he forgot to pick something from the temple. Soon after I introduced myself, before I could even ask that is there any possibility of darshan, he opened the main sanctum door, and in 30 secs he was showing me aarti (oil lamp plate) to the Perumal.
I stood there marveled at the height of Lord Vishnu, taller than 35 feet idol in Tirukoilur Ulagalantha Perumal temple. And humbled at the luck I have got that day to darshan the most beautiful, tallest Perumal (tallest among all 108 divya desams) in my life.
The best and most memorable moment in all my life.
What People Miss to See in Kumbakonam
Most people (devotees) visit Kumbakonam, for any of the following reasons.
Navagraha temples Trip
108 Divya desam Trip (Exclusive Lord Vishnu trip)
Lord Shiva padal petra stalam trip (exclusive Lord Shiva temples)
But what they don’t see (I assume) is this. Look at the beauty of Kumbakonam. Only for this reason, I will be keep coming again and again to this beautiful place on the first opportunity I am getting to travel after #coronalockdown.
Trip to Kumbakonam –5 Days Detailed Itinerary
The first thing I did after checking in the room was to visit my most favorite and beautiful temple in Thirubuvanam (see pic above), 5kms from Kumbakonam town. Next step was to Mahalingaswamy temple, enquired for Pradosa pooja and returned back to the same temple with all pooja items in the evening and did the ritual.
On the 2nd day, I enjoyed riding all the way to Thirukannapuram, among the green fields. Again, traveled long distance on the 4th day to Alangudi.
On the 3rd day, I took a break in the morning, just chill near mahamaham tank after breakfast and a cup of ginger tea.
Then packed lunch from my favorite ayya kadai, went to Darasuram with a book in hand. Spent the entire afternoon in the darasuram temple.
On the last day, I spent most of the day in the room reading books. Went out in the evening to spend time near Mahamaham tank after a cup of ginger tea.
Here is the Detailed Itinerary of 5 Days Solo Trip to Kumbakonam
I remember the time we went to Trichy in Jan 2017 for Vaikunta Ekadasi darshan at Ranganathar temple.
Here is our experience on what to expect when you are planning a trip to Trichy for Vaikunda Ekadasi, and list of other important temples to visit in the city.
Overwhelmed by the Crowd at Srirangam For Vaikunta Ekadasi
Having gone to the temple at 4am on the day of Vaikunta ekadasi, we were standing in a queue that would take about 5 to 6 hrs to come across Vaikunta vasal (golden door – the destination).
Looked like as if the whole world had lined up around all the doors of this huge temple for celebrating the auspicious day. After seeing such a mass crowd as early as 4 am, and after a long dilemma, we decided to drop the plan. We exited the queue, then headed to the two other famous temples in Trichy for Vaikunda Ekadasi darshan.
Both are renowned 108 Divya Desams namely Kamalavalli Nachiyar temple and Uthammar kovil. Not only were we able to enter the golden door but also had good darshan at both of these temples.
And swore to ourselves that when we come back to Trichy next time for Vaikunda Ekadasi, we would never return back without a darshan at the Ranganathar Temple.
We were happy that atleast we could darshan Lord Ranganathar just before the day of Vaikunda Ekadasi. That too after waiting in the 200 rupees VIP queue for almost 3 hrs. Glad we did that darshan one day before, to count the effort we had put in for that trip.
Not always we fail to predict the crowd in the temple. In the year 2017, for Athi Varadar raise after 40 yrs from the temple in Kanchipuram – we planned the trip well, and did darshan on 21st July 2019. That too after long wait of 3.30 hrs (yet nothing compared to the predicted time wait in Srirangam for Vaikunda Ekadasi darshan) and walking for 8 kms in total.
This was the time we were about to become ardent travellers.
We travelled many destinations by bike since then. This year was the stepping stone for making everlasting memories in our married life. We travelled back to back on all weekends, challenging ourselves to the longer distances as we grew confident.
From Bangalore to Trichy, we travelled by Volvo bus booked in Madiwala, Bangalore. This was a planned trip for 2 days, falling on 7th and 8th Jan 2017. 8th Jan 2017 being the auspicious Vaikunda Ekadasi.
Apart from memories from the Srirangam temple, we have also visited the very famous, ancient (padal petra stalam) Lord Shiva – The Jambukeshwar temple. We went late evening to this temple, waited till the last pooja rituals (see pic below) before retiring for the day.
Here goes our 2 days Itinerary.
2 Days trip From Bangalore to Trichy For Vaikunta Ekadasi Darshan:
We travelled by bus, so we would have 2 full days in our hands to roam around the Trichy city. Like the same way we did for 3 days train trip to Kumbakonam and yet another 3 days train trip to Madurai, many trips to Goa – where we have rented a bike to roam the destinations.
But, here in Trichy, we hired an auto to see around the places. Like how we did in our Tiruttani trip.
Nothing beats the comfort of riding your own vehicle, in any destination.
We have been to Madurai a couple of times, and each time we had new activities planned to roam Madurai. One time we roamed all popular Hindu temples by Bike (rented) in our train trip to Madurai from Bangalore. The other time we went by Car to Madurai during our 5 days road trip to Tirunellveli and Papanasam, when we did nothing but shopping there. Of course, we did darshan the great Meenakshi temple.
Madurai From Bangalore – How We traveled
Since the year 2017, we were popular among friends for non-stop bike travel from Bangalore on almost all weekends.
But as ardent travellers, we didn’t restrict ourselves to just one mode of travel.
All the 3 days, we did not have any issues roaming the city by bike as an outsider. We had a good choice of restaurants all over the city and enjoyed all vegetarian south indian meals in our entire trip.
Road trip to Madurai
On our recent 5 days road trip to Tirunelveli and Papanasam, we stayed in Madurai for just a day, and did not visit any temples except the great Meenakshi temple. But roamed around the city by car, hung out around big temple lake, enjoyed Madurai’s famous Jigarthanda, and had awesome non vegetarian meals in Kari kanji restaurant. It is a must try restaurant for all kinds of non-vegetarian dishes. Click on the name to get the google map link.
Well, there aren’t many places to see in Madurai if you are not a temple architecture lover. So you can couple your trip plan with other famous places like Tirunelveli and Papanasam, or even kanyakumari.
Restaurant suggestion in Highways
Be it bike trip or road trip, the best Veg restaurant in Bangalore – Salem highways is Shri Krishna Inn. Its our all time favorite and this is where you could see hundreds of bikers hangout in the weekends. For more restaurant suggestions – you can find here.
Copy My Plan to Madurai
Of all the trips we went to Madurai from bangalore, not even once did we have issues on travel or stay or food.
The best place to spend your vacation, but only if you could couple it with other places. Because, many tourists including foreigners visit this majestic Madurai city for just one main reason – to darshan Madurai Meenakshi temple.
And, you could easily cover this place in just one day, including Thirumalai Nayak Mahal – another must see place in Madurai.
So what could you do to spice up your travel?
Go One Day Trip to Kodaikanal Hills:
Madurai and Kodaikanal are two like twins – inseparable in any trip plan. People who plan to go to Kodaikanal always make plans to visit Meenakshi temple and vice versa.
You could stay in Madurai and make a one day trip to Kodaikanal or just choose to stay in Kodaikanal for an extended period of your vacation. Kodaikanal is the best romantic place to visit near Madurai and makes it a place for best family vacation too. There are many options for kids to enjoy like cycling and boating – a complete package for family.
Madurai to Kodaikanal Distance – 116 kms
Go Long Drive From Madurai to Kanyakumari:
If you have been to Kodaikanal already, you could plan a long road trip to Kanyakumari. You could plan a direct trip from Bangalore to Kanyakumari, making Madurai as one of the pit stops. Or plan a drive from Madurai city.
Madurai to Kanyakumari distance – 245 kms
Bangalore to Kanyakumari distance – 665 kms
Woah, guess it is a practical idea to plan a long drive from Madurai instead of Bangalore.
Things to do In Kanyakumari – Kanyakumari beach, Tiruvalluvar statue, Visit Bhagavathy and Suchindram temple.
Places to Visit between Madurai and Kanyakumari
Tirunelvelli– Yet another popular city known for two things: Nellaiyappar temple (Lord Shiva temple) and for Wheat halwa (iruttu kadai halwa). Distance from Madurai to Tirunelveli – 163 kms
Papanasam – A very famous tourist spot in Tirunelveli district, popular for waterfalls (agasthiyar falls), and nearby manimuthar dam. We personally loved this place for never ending greenery and mountain view drive. (Read – Places to Visit in Papanasam in One day with distances)
Courtallam – Not any intro is required for this place. Popular among tourists for its Courtallam falls and lord shiva temple at the foot hills.
Visit to Madurai is incomplete without visiting these 3 popular places.
If you like to visit temples enroute madurai to Kodaikanal, you could then go to Thenkasi for a majestic Lord Shiva temple, situated 5.5. Kms from Courtallam. And you could also go to yet another historically important 3 temples called ‘Srivilliputhur andal temple’, ‘Sankaran kovil’ and ‘Tiruchendur’.
First two temples are close by, whereas Tiruchendur Lord Subramanya temple is situated at entirely different route.
I mean it is not practically possible to cover all the above places in just one day. That’s why we went on a 5 days road trip to Tirunelveli, and took time leisurely to see all the above mentioned places.
On the way back to Bangalore from Tirunelveli, we stayed at Madurai for a day and roamed the city.
If you are planning to Visit Kanyakumari from Madurai, you could go straight to the destination. Or if you prefer, stay in Tirunelveli for a day or two, to explore all the above mentioned places. It is definitely worth your time, especially Papanasam.
Go Long Drive From Madurai to Rameswaram:
Another best option to add tourist places to your trip to Madurai from Bangalore, you could go Rameshwaram.
In jan 2017, we went to Rameshwaram for 3 days by bus and we coupled the trip with Tirunelveli. We stayed in Rameswaram mainly to visit Ramanathaswamy temple to pay respect to my father on ‘mahalaya amavasya day’. We didn’t go to any other places in Rameshwaram. And we cherish the time we travelled on the pamban bridge – one of a kind experience.
Madurai to Rameswaram distance – 173 kms
Tirunelveli to Rameswaram distance – 226 kms
This is how we plan our travel – compare the distances from different places to the end destination, then decide which plan is best.
It is as simple as that.
Sum – Up
So, practically we know clearly about all the tourist places in and around Madurai.
Well, if none of the above places interests you, and if you are looking for particularly temple trips in Madurai, then copy my Madurai temples list.
In July 2017, we went on a 3 days trip from Bangalore to Visit temples in Madurai city. We traveled by train to Madurai, where we rented a motorbike to roam the city. This was purely a temple trip, as we are always fond of exploring the less explored.
So, this was one such trip, where we wanted to see beyond the great Meenakshi temple. Because it is the only popular temple in Madurai among the tourists.
We dedicated 3 full days just to explore the temples in Madurai city, and we were not disappointed, thankfully.
In Fact we could not cover all the ancient temples you see. We picked the most historic and popular, and filtered those were within the feasibility of our travel distances.
(You scope is limited especially when you have rented a rotten bike).
Having said that, feel free to copy this list for your next spiritual trip to Madurai, a list filtered with only most ancient and important temples. A short and sweet list of temples in Madurai, closer to the city. You can thank me later.
List of Ancient Temples in Madurai
Even Though Madurai is significantly famous for just one temple – The Meenakshi Amman temple, there are many other temples in Madurai which are not widely popular. I have taken a list of those temples, selected the most ancient and important; and are also closely located ones to visit as much as possible in one day.
Since we have planned this trip to visit Madurai from Bangalore on auspicious days; Friday and Sunday being most auspicious, I kept flexible timings keeping the waiting period for darshan in each temple in the list.
Why We did not Visit Madurai Meenakshi Temple on Day -1 : Two Reasons
The entire Madurai tourism is weaved around the great Meenakshi Amman temple. Yet, I have planned to visit them on the 2nd day for the following 2 reasons.
First, we will become more tired of visiting this enormous temple on the very first day itself.
Second, this temple is always crowded on regular days, and extremely crowded on auspicious days. On the day we arrived it was auspicious Friday falling on the auspicious month for Hindu religion – Aadi month (Some call it Aashada).
So it’s decided to visit the temple on the next day – Saturday, that too early in the morning to avoid a long queue. Yet we could not completely avoid the crowd, we had to be in the queue for 30 mins before we darshan Lord Shiva and Goddess Meenakshi.
Day Wise List of Ancient Temples in Madurai
I have carefully planned our 3 days travel fitting all the famous temples possible in the map, also being careful not to overburden Rajesh like how did in Kumbakonam visiting 24 temples in 3 days.
Temples in Madurai – Day 1 (21 July 2017) Itinerary:
1. Aapudaiyar Kovil, Madurai
2. Thirumohoor Kalameha Perumal temple
Day 2 (22 July 2017) Itinerary:
1. Sri Meenakshi Sundareswarar temple
2. Koodal Alagar, Madurai
3. Thiruvedagam Edaganatheswarar Temple
4. Thirupuvanam Sri Pushpavaneswarar temple, Sivagangai district
5. Inmayil nanmai tharuvar temple, Madurai
Day 3 (23 July 2017) Itinerary:
1. Palamuthircholai and Rakkayi hill temple with waterfalls
2. Aaru padai murugan temple
3. Alagar temple
Short Note on the List of Temples in Madurai
If you are planning a trip to Madurai from Bangalore by road or any transport, feel free to copy my 3 days trip plan mentioned above.
For example, Thiruparankundram (see day 1) and Palamuthircholai & Arupadai Murugan temples (see day -3) are notable temples for Lord Muruga.
We absolutely loved riding to the Palamuthircholai located in the outskirts of Madurai City, riding among the trees, watching the atrocity of the monkeys was one of an experience.
Also, to add thrill to our trip, we have coupled a trek to a Rakayi temple with waterfalls on the hills near to Palamuthircholai. Since we had planned it on an auspicious day, we ended up in a long queue but otherwise it was overall a good experience. If we had planned to go to this hill temple on the normal days, we were not sure of the safety of the travelers given the location and ambiance of this temple.
And the final temple in the list, is Alagar temple, a sight to the sore eyes. Just as the name depicts, the Lord Vishnu is such a charm and beauty to darshan.
On day -3, we returned back to Bangalore with plenty of memories. We really did have a good time. Infact we watched a movie named ‘vikram veda’ at Vishal De mall, Madurai just before leaving the town.
Kumbakonam famous food items – the list of famous food items and the names of restaurants.
“Where to eat?” is the first thought comes to our mind if we are travelling to new places.
Kumbakonam is like our second home, we have been to this famous temple city many times in the past couple of years. A small vibrant city decorated with equal number of temples and lily ponds – a unique sight to see in any place.
Here is the list of famous food items and where to eat in Kumbakonam.
What is Kumbakonam Famous for?
Kumbakonam is famous for numerous Ancient temples and Navagraha temples across the town. Every year lacs of devotees visit Kumbakonam during Mahamaham festival and during the Margazhi festival season.
So, mainly Kumbakonam is famous for its yearly Masi magam festival (during march), all year around Navagraha temple visits and Margazhi festival (during December).
For such a small town, Kumbakonam is busy all year around with tourists.
It is hard to decide where to eat in Kumbakonam, especially with fake ratings and reviews for restaurants these days.
Myself and my hubby have spent the majority of our vacation in Kumbakonam in our 11 days long bike trip in 2017 and 2018.
During our stay, we have explored all the major eateries – both vegetarian and non-vegetarian restaurants in Kumbakonam.
I am suggesting the following places to eat in Kumbakonam based on the quality of food, ambiance, fast service and value for money.
Famous food items (with images) in Kumbakonam with best places to eat is detailed below.
Also, I am suggesting the best ginger tea shop at the end of this article for tea lovers in the coffee famous town.
Most Famous Pure Veg Restaurant – Mangalambiga Coffee and Tiffin Center
Where – Behind Adi kumbeshwarar Temple, Kumbakonam
If you are a pure vegetarian, your search for good food in Kumbakonam ends here. This restaurant and cafe serves all south Indian tiffin items – Pongal, Vada, All varieties of dosa, Poori sabji, upma etc.,
My personal favourite – Poori and tomato Uttapam
Open on all days from 6.30 am to 10.00 pm, this restaurant serves best veg food in Kumbakonam throughout the day. Even with all the popularity, this restaurant remains humble with limited seats and food served only by senior citizens till date.
The Best place to try all Kumbakonam Famous Food items and Snacks -“Only Coffee” Restaurant.
I am an early riser, and a Coffee lover.
Almost everyday we used to travel 10kms from center Kumbakonam town to “Only Coffee” restaurant for steaming cup of coffee. If we had no long travel plans to any temples, we used to hangout there until we finish our breakfast. Sometimes we roam around near by agri field, chill out, take some pics and come back to the same restaurant for Lunch.
Even Though they have another branch in centre town, a restaurant facing Holy Mahamaham tank, we always loved going to this place for the scenic ride and friendly staffs
The name says “Only Coffee” so obviously anyone would think of it as a coffee shop.
We did too.
When we stayed in Aditya Resorts for 2 days where we had no option for dining, we came out of the resort in a mindset to ride to the nearby coffee shop.
We found “Only Coffee” in the immediate neighborhood, with the display of clay toys and some interesting books.
The friendly hotel staff asked us whether we wanted to have some snacks to go with coffee, we said yes, and we chose “kolukattai” from the choice of salad and sandwich.
This is the best restaurant that serves snacks, healthy options suited for all the ages.
Famous Snacks in Only Coffee restaurant: They had “today’s special” green salads, sandwiches, south indian special pidi kolukattai, kuli paniyaram, etc.,
Since then, our entire two days stay in Aditya Resort, we never had to roam searching for food and snacks in Kumbakonam. Even after we moved to different accommodation in the city, we came back almost everyday, sometimes twice in a day for their dosa varieties and coffee.
They serve all kinds of typical Tamil Nadu breakfast items.
They also serve unlimited and limited meals for lunch, the only time rice item was available, we chose limited meals because we preferred light food for lunch.
Not only their food is healthy (they use only less oil for food items, so they don’t serve any deep fried snacks) but also they have a variety of healthy snacks and pickles for sale. They also sell wood pressed cooking oil (Marachekku oil), some children books and wooden play toys. According to me, this place is the best vegetarian restaurant in Kumbakonam.
We absolutely enjoyed eating every time in “Only Coffee”.
Its definitely a best place for healthy, vegetarian food choices to eat with family and friends.
Only coffee Restaurant – The best hangout place for all kinds of TamilNadu food and snacks 3x a day.
You will absolutely love its peaceful ambiance with the healthy variety of vegetarian tiffin and meals, packed organic snack, pickles, evening salads and Sandwiches served all time with hot coffee/tea/milk.
“Only coffee” Restaurant is operating only at centre town kumbakonam, opposite to holy mahamaham tank. Call up and check for “Only Coffee” Thiruvidaimaruthur branch, as it was closed for renovation when we visited last time in Dec 2018
Small Shop Serving Quality Food items and Snacks all the time In Kumbakonam- “Ayya Kadai“
Initially, we thought of it as a tea stall, because hardly 15 people can sit inside this shop. Later we came to know they serve food 2 times a day apart from coffee/tea with snacks.
We found this shop when we stayed in “Poppy’s SET hotel” for 3 days Mahamaham festival in Kumbakonam.
Famous food list in Ayya Kadai: Poori masala, pongal, idli, dosa varieties for breakfast and dinner, variety rice and parotta for lunch.
Famous Snacks List in Ayya Kadai: Methu vada (Urad dhal vada), Paruppu Vada (Channa dal vada), Valalikkai Bajji (Banana Besan Fry) are must try here. They are available in the morning and noon timings, different dishes at different times throughout the day.
Almost all the prices were less than or equal to Rs. 20/- including the variety rice(like tomato rice, puliyogare, lemon rice and curd rice), so it is obvious to doubt the quality of food.
But it is a super clean small eatery shop run by 3 elderly guys, and they promise to deliver the quality food and they live up to their words. And from my experience, it is the super clean place in Kumbakonam serving good quality food and snack items.
Ayya Kadai – is the best choice in Kumbakonam town for anyone looking to eat light (and healthy) without hurting the pocket. Also, it is a must try place for an evening snack – masala vada and other oil fried snacks with coffee or tea.
Try Pandian Hotel For Famous Non veg Food items when in Kumbakonam
I love to eat Non-Veg for dinner, if not daily at least twice in a week is a must for me. Rajesh does not like non-veg as much as I like it, but he too loves to indulge in it, if it catches his eye.
After asking few people in the busy street, we were guided to a hotel across “Sarangapani temple”. We very much liked the variety of food they had in the menu, in fact, we had a hard time picking orders from the menu.
Food was served in Banana leaf, calm place to enjoy the feast. We had enjoyed two varieties of parottas, Kothu parotta, chicken masala and prawn masala with butter milk.
No chinese items were available.
We loved going back for the crispy Kothu Parotta and the Idiyappam. (Note: You need to be little early in the evening for idiyappam, since there is a huge demand).
We were also suggested to go Hotel Shanmuga, which is also a famous non-veg serving restaurant. The other day we tried some chinese there, but we didn’t enjoy it as much as we did in all other restaurants in Kumbakonam. Eventhough Hotel Shanmuga is popular among localities, we personaly did not like it much because of noisy ambiance and poor quality food.
Pandian Hotel in Kumbakonam – Pure authentic restaurant serves all kinds of Non-Veg items with a wide variety of parottas, dosa items, idiyappam, and meals.
You could also try the famous sweet shop in Kumbakonam town named Murari sweets. Their famous ajmeet cake, dry jamun are must try sweets. Buy only from a shop near to Ramar temple, as there are many fake brands all over the town.
In general, Kumbakonam famous food items are usual south indian dishes apart from degree coffee.
Since we are not a foodie we did not attempt to eat in all the restaurants in Kumbakonam. Instead, we went and explored which was convenient for us and repeatedly went to same places for comfort.
Oh yeah, while you are there, try Kumbakonam famous degree coffee in any of the restaurants. Happy Sightseeing !!.
Tiruttani temple is one of the famous tourist temples in Tamil Nadu. You will find a detailed info on sightseeing tiruttani nearby temples here from our recent one day trip from Bangalore to Tiruttani.
Instead of usual bike trips, for a change, we have decided to go on a one day trip from Bangalore by train to Tiruttani.
Image credit – Justdial.
How to Explore Tiruttani Nearby temples
For those who do not know us, we are ardent Bike riders. Feel free to explore all our bike ride trips within Karnataka and other states (yep :)) in the categories section.
We decided to go on a one day trip from Bangalore by Train after a successful trip by train trip to Tiruvallur (near Chennai).
After considering our peaceful train journey to Tiruvallur, I looked for a similar experience on this trip as well.
A famous place known for one of the Six abodes of Lord Murugan, otherwise also famously called Thiruthani Murugan Temple. A famous tourist place, well connected by road and railways and even hotels for the long distance travelers.
So, we decided on Tiruttani.
Today, 4th of February 2017, we boarded an early morning train from Bangalore central KSR railway station to Arakkonam junction, to see Tiruttani and nearby temples.