Raju Hotel – Mysooru

20 Jun

Time to head back down memory lane, this time to Iyers Lunch Home in Mysore. Known by various names including Gully Hotel, Raju Hotel (after the owner).

My family's tryst with his Hotel started with my Grandfather who used to eat Khali Dose with potato palya (no irulli). Continued with my father and uncles and of course us. Living in Bangalore, I couldn't wait for the holidays to come. First thing we used to do in Mysore was to go and eat at Gully (so much for priorities).

Raju, the genial owner used to greet everyone that came through the door. He was bald but used to color his pate black (as if it fooled us 🙂 ). He would always ask about the family. If my uncles came with us, they would generally exchange notes on who got married, who died, latest scandals (compared to today, scandals those days were pretty mild to say the least).

 Fare was pretty simple, Idly, Vade, Khali Dose, and Bisi Bele Bhaath (pretty strange for morning breakfast). I dont remember right but Masale Dose was served only in the evening. But for us the main attraction was Set Dose. A set consisted of 4 doses' (you could order half a set as well) with benne. Chutney would then be poured on top.

To date, I have NOT eaten set dose that is on par with Gully. Last time I ate there was in 1998. Raju passed away after that and the place apparently closed down.

People from Mysore tell me that there is a "replacement" for Raju Hotel in Mysore. Someone who makes good set dose. But Raju/Gully/Iyers will always be special.

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26 Responses to “Raju Hotel – Mysooru”

  1. rk June 21, 2006 at 1:18 pm #

    Sad that Raju closed down. Yen Dose guru? Really vintage stuff.

    And I have been to Mylari hotel in Mysore. Liked the Dose and Chutney. Reminds you of the days of yore. Maybe you can cover this place in a later post.

  2. Vijay June 21, 2006 at 1:27 pm #

    My only problem with Mylari Dose… thumba swalpa palya…

  3. Desi June 27, 2006 at 10:54 am #

    I don’t think I will ever eat as good a Dose as it was in Raju’s. My family still lives in the same street where this hotel was. When we were kids, we used to wait for 1st of every month so that my father would get us kesati bath, pakoda and masale dose from Raju’s. The only outside food my grandfather was eating raju’s masale and set dose!!

    And then there were frequent sightings of bigwigs like annaavru, master hirannayya, politians, etc..

    The amusing part for the kids was, the way Raju used to make lots of unique (noise/sound) while collecting cash and giving change!!

    • Srinivasan S, Beaumont, TX, USA February 26, 2012 at 3:31 pm #

      Yes, I fully agree with the article. This took me back to my school days. Raju was my Father’s close friend. I can never get that set dosa with sagu and “Benne” (Butter). We even use to get the carrier meal. One carrier meal was more than sufficient for a family of six !!!.

      • Vijay February 26, 2012 at 3:36 pm #

        Thanks for your comment…did not know that Raju hotel had carrier meals.. I remember the Bisi Bele Baath was great as well…

      • Srinivasan S, Beaumont, TX, USA February 26, 2012 at 4:12 pm #

        Yes, He used to send it only on order. Large brass carrier with 6 to 7 utensils one above the other along with 6 to 8 “Bale yele” banana leaves!! I was greatly disappointed to see a vacant site when I visited last. There is no trace of the building! Who can forget the special aroma of the morning Set dosa sagu, Kesari bath and Kharabath, bisibele bath. Above all the hospitality and the gesture which can never be forgotten. His animated passing on the orders use to make you feel he is very busy. He used to keep his entire staff on their toes.

      • Vijay February 26, 2012 at 4:24 pm #

        It is sad..but at least we have memories…the last I ate there was in 1998…there are still some old places left in Mysore and B’lore…

  4. Vijay June 27, 2006 at 11:44 am #

    Desi,
    Raju was indeed special as was the hotel. How I wish we lived on the same street 🙂 we used to commute from Yadavagiri…

  5. ravi July 5, 2006 at 3:13 am #

    Where was this hotel located?
    Is this the same hotel which gave beNNe in 10 paisa shaped small bowls?

    If yes, R. K. Narayan had supposedly created a character in his novels after Raju.

  6. Vijay July 5, 2006 at 5:18 am #

    Hmmm.. as far as I can remember the benne used to be “slapped” on top of the dose… I wouldn’t at all be surprised if Raju was a character in a RKN novel..

  7. rk July 5, 2006 at 11:52 am #

    Excerpts from Chetan Krishnaswamy’s artice in Churumuri:
    “Raju (some say Keshav) was an enterprising tourist guide who operated from opposite Hotel Metropole. Local lore speaks of how he once chaperoned a couple from the US, and even escorted the lady to meet Mysore’s legendary dancer Venkatalakshmamma, who lived in the vicinity of Gayathri talkies-area. In due course, Raju/Keshav is supposed to have charmed the lady and eloped with her to the US.”

  8. rk July 5, 2006 at 11:52 am #

    Excerpts from Chetan Krishnaswamy’s artice in Churumuri:
    “Raju (some say Keshav) was an enterprising tourist guide who operated from opposite Hotel Metropole. Local lore speaks of how he once chaperoned a couple from the US, and even escorted the lady to meet Mysore’s legendary dancer Venkatalakshmamma, who lived in the vicinity of Gayathri talkies-area. In due course, Raju/Keshav is supposed to have charmed the lady and eloped with her to the US.”
    Read more here; http://churumuri.wordpress.com/2006/07/03/rkn-as-mysorean-as-mysore-pak-mysore-mallige/

  9. M.P.V. Shenoi December 5, 2006 at 5:19 pm #

    Rajus set dose! Those were the student days. And we had no pocket money. It would be months before one had a chance tohave them.
    Gully hotel, prasad lunch home, Dose Narayana char, old Indra Bhavan sweets, Raj & Brothers photographers, Premleela agarbathi, Pattu Brothers, Bhavsar cycle mart
    One does not know how many of them have survived.

  10. Vijay December 6, 2006 at 4:24 am #

    Shenoi: It would be indeed interesting to find out what happened to all these places..

  11. Veena Shivanna December 6, 2006 at 5:00 am #

    No Idea..! I just remember Raju the guide of RKN.. Metropole was an area which was quite far away from my home. Though I studied in a college which is very closed to Metropole hotel, I never dared to go to hotels etc., with friend. forget about hotel, not even to DD Urs Road..
    If I remember correctly, it was a bygLaa like this.. ododu biTTu Ursu road allu sayyaji road allu tirgu 😦
    I used to go to landstone building to buy those second hand books, the guy still remember my face when I went to him with my brother.
    Sunil book house avaru kooDa ashTe. monne paani puri gaaDi vaala asked me one question.. neevu munche illi barthaa idri alva ? mysore ge bandaaga banni madam.. munche was like 7-8 years back when I was studying… Those paani puri gaaDi waala, those waiters (paras chats nalli obru waiter nange innu gnaapaka), such people not only remembers you but even trigger a dialogue.. so nice of them.. no prejudice like .. avare modlu maataDisli.. I try to avoid this but sometime I feel people don’t like to avoid this & they look at the sky when I want to smile at them 🙂

    namma Mysooru, namma mysoreans.. Bangalore nalli sikde irovrella.. california, phoenix nalli sigokke shuru aagbiTTidaare eega 🙂 ello ondu kaDe, nodi gurutistaaralla adu saaku bidi 🙂

  12. N Niranjan Nikam February 12, 2007 at 8:07 pm #

    This one on Raju hotel, I must share. There was this friend of my father who was as officer in the sales tax and who resembled the legendary actor Ashok Kumar. Every Tuesday, he would come to our house in his Austin of England car, pick us up and take us to Raju hotel. Raju as he was fondly called would send his waiters to our car, to take the order. After our thindi was over, my father’s friend would promptly ask for the bill and he would give him a Rs 100 note and Raju would return the money back but in the form of Rs 10 notes. Both would be satisfied. The tax officer for not feeling guilty and Raju for taking the money! Of course, the set dosas with sagu were really out of this world.

  13. Vijay February 13, 2007 at 1:44 am #

    Niranjan: Interesting story…everyone is happy that way.. I am sure your father’s friend did other favors for Raju that was worth more than the set dosas you had 🙂

  14. Dinu March 7, 2007 at 4:43 am #

    Why did you not tell that to me before, Niranjan??

    I remember visiting Raju Hotel after mid 60s. My father was a great masala dosa lover. He used to take us there occasionally. Sometimes when my grandfather’s cousin visited Mysore from Bangalore, he made it a point to visit here. He always got us Jamoons before being treated with Masala dosa and coffee. Visiting hotels was fun in those days. On return home, (we always walked to and from – walking while the elders chatted) we used to make those that did not make it to the hotel smell the fingers that had cut , tore and put the dosas into the mouth! The smell would last for a long time! Eventually, the man that got us Jamoons became as popular in our family as ‘Jamoon Chandu’ as ‘Raju Hotel’ to the public. Jamoons had been then recently introduced and had been popular too. Not many hotels boasted of tasty masala dosas then. Raju Hotel was certainly one among the fewest few.

  15. Vijay March 7, 2007 at 5:17 am #

    Dinu: Same here.. my grandad’s house was in Yadavagiri.. while going it used to be car or auto.. coming back the young ones (as we were then.. talking early 70’s here) would walk back….. good memories. Thanks for sharing them here.

  16. kal October 17, 2007 at 10:43 am #

    raju hotel mucchiddu keli thumba bejar aayithu. Nanu mysore bittu 25 varsha aadru allina Dose ivathigu nenapide. Navu Gangotrli ooduvaga, You know raju hotel navara Nadini was Girl friend of the then Prince of Mysore. who became my friends husband later, and was madly in love with Dose, My late father used to take all of us, (we were 5) once a week for dose, aaga mysore nalli ade ondu dodda outing. Really miss mysore, colege days and Dose.

  17. Vijay October 17, 2007 at 11:12 am #

    @Kal: It was the same for us… I used to visit from Bangalore during the holidays and breakfast at “gully” hotel was mandatory… I last ate there in 1999…Raju was still running it then.. sigh !!!!

  18. Chethan June 25, 2009 at 5:19 pm #

    hey guys…. reading these article and replies were indeed like eating those dosa.. uffff am missing ma mysore … 🙂
    just on a wild typed mysoreans at phoenix n found this link.. heheheh
    am also from mysore.. while reading these i was just rem every gully in this city.. ufff
    nice to see this thanks guys

  19. American June 7, 2010 at 2:03 am #

    I love masala dosa. I love raju hotel. I love bangalore.

  20. hotel freek January 31, 2011 at 9:23 am #

    a great place to enjoy unlimited North Indian meals in Bangalore, then Rajdhani located on 4th floor of Bangalore Central Mall, Jayanagar, is the ideal place.

  21. ramshackle mundargi July 31, 2016 at 6:28 pm #

    great in 1962 I had eaten set dose here at Raju hotel , I was 7 years old then

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