If you are driving to Soulitude from Delhi, it may be useful to know that you will find a number of places to break journey and refresh yourself at Gajraula. From Bhajan Dhaba, to KFC, Subway, Burger King & Bikanerwala there are plenty of options to catch a bite and a bit of respite here. In case you enjoy south Indian fare, keep an eye out for Udipiwala, 8 km after Gajraula, on the opposite side of the road.
Before and past the bridge at Garh Mukhteshwar (when driving from Delhi, Garh Mukhteshwar falls on the route before Gajraula) both sides of the road are lined with shacks selling cane and woven moodhas of every shape and size, starting with the miniature doll house versions to the large high back ones…
At Kathgodam, Udipiwala is the best option for a bite, either on your way up or down or before catching the train to Delhi. The food here is absolutely sumptuous. Hot fluffy idlis and Mysore masala dosa are a speciality, not to mention Bisibele Bhaat, which requires a bit more time to be prepared than the other items on the menu.
Himjoli, right next to Udipiwala at Kathgodam is an NGO, which has an interesting range of woolen shawls and stoles, as well as hand-knitted woolies.
During the Summer months of May and June, you will find the winding hill road, post Kathgodam dotted with locals selling the most tender and sweet bhuttas, fresh off the field, roasted on open fire and smeared with an equally fiery masala! Delicious! But be careful to calibrate the amount of the spicy sour mix you want have on it!
Zaika, an unassuming little shop, on the way to Soulitude in the Himalayas, past Bhimtal and before Bhowali, is a ‘must stop by’! Run by Mr. Jain and his late wife, it is a gem of a place stocked with all kinds of masalas, spices, churans, pickles, oils, juices….the list is endless, and so is the knowledge of Mr. Jain, who runs this enterprise. All the spice mixtures on sale here are handmade under the keen supervision and expertise of Mr. Jain. Whether you are a chef, a home cook, a gourmet or a foodie you are likely to be surprised by the range and purity of the spices and their mixes here. A fountainhead of information, Mr Jain is a source of inspiration to all of us at Soulitude.
A little before Zaika, on the same road from Bhimtal onwards to Bhowali, is another quaint little stop called, I Heart Cafe.