Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary is located in the Himalayas on top of the Jhandi Dhar hills. It is about 33 km north of the Almora town in Uttarakhand, India.
From a place called Zero Point in Binsar one can see the Himalayan peaks like Kedarnath Peak, Shivling, Trishul and Nanda Devi.
Binsar was the summer capital of the Chand Kings, who ruled over Kumaon from the 11th to 18th centuries AD. Binsar was established in 1988 for the conservation and protection of the shrinking broad leaf oak forests of the Central Himalayan region, and it has over 200 bird species.
Binsar is a beautiful, sleepy travel destination, situated in Uttarakhand. Binsar brings you much closer to the nature. Located at an elevation of 2,412 metres, Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary is a hot spot for nature lovers, writers, adventure lovers and bird watchers. Also the attraction of Binsar is the 300 kilometres of panoramic view of Himalayas. Binsar offers views of Mighty peaks like Chaukhamba, Panchachuli, Nanda Devi, Nanda Kot, and Kedarnath. The hills of Binsar are known as Jhandi Dhar and offer great views. One can take peaceful and serene walks within Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary, and enjoy beauty of nature. The slopes are dramatic the terrain has been shaped by the action of running water.
@ Zero Point; Zero Point is a 2 kilometers walk from the KMVN Tourist Rest House. Here one can climb up the machaan. One can spot some of the wild animals and birds and how they would come at the water hole near the Zero Point for water.
The sanctuary has been declared an Important Bird Area by Bird Life International as there are more than 200 species of birds in the sanctuary, including Fork tail, Black birds, Laughing Thrush, Pheasants, Parakeets and Monals. Among the animals one can find Leopards, Barking Deer, Himalayan bear, Fox, Musk deer, Langur, flying squirrel, Chital and Jungle cat.
There is no electrification in the forest areas as per government rules. Electricity is provided for only for 3 hours from 6 P.M. to 9 P.M.
Tip: You can use the limited access to electricity to charge your gadgets while you have dinner at the kitchen.
No non-veg food is permitted. The rooms have wooden flooring and walls. The walls are fitted with candle stands to provides unique experience with candle light. There is arrangement of Hot water, but in buckets and that too on demand. TRH Binsar has 25 accommodations in various categories and prices. The rooms are appropriately located and have attached bathrooms.
Forest department prohibits any form of accommodation except the KMVN TRH and The forest department FRH. The KMVN Tourist Rest House Binsar has restaurant which provides Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner as Buffet meals (tea coffee and snacks are exceptions).
We travelled here in summers. June 2104.
There is not much view as clouds have come up the horizon and covered all the Himalayan peaks.
Almora to Binsar takes about an hour till the main gate of the sanctuary. There are two alternate routes to the main gate. One is via Almora Bageshwar State highway and other via TRH Deenapani.
Roads are butter smooth. And it’s a pleasure drive till Binsar. We have to furnish details of tourists entering the Bird Sanctuary at the main gate approx 8 kms from the Forest Lodge Binsar. The road to the KMVN Tourist Bungalow is little difficult to manage with steep turns and curves. The vehicle pass costs around 400 INR and per head entry is Rs 50. The main gate closes for entry at 7:00 PM.
We reached KMVN Binsar at around 5:30 PM and it’s about to get dark. So there is no scope to move around outside. We head straight to our rooms after check in. The Tourist Bungalow is a huge property in the middle of nowhere. There is no electricity and you are not allowed to move outside after it gets dark. Wild animals are very much there and there have been instances of encountering wild animals in the past!
They give electricity for only 2 hours from 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM. Meanwhile one can charge batteries and have dinner.
Day starts early here, and one can get up as early as 5:00 AM. The terrace of the Tourist Bungalow offers great views of the Sunrise and the snow covered peaks. Sunrise is a spectacular sight here and one should witness this beautiful sight. Its once in a lifetime experience.
KMVN is the only stay option here in Binsar. Besides KMVN one needs permission from the DM and forest Officers in Almora to get bookings at the Forest Rest House, Binsar. Other lodging options are available but they are all outside the main gate of the sanctuary. None of them compare even any closer to KMVN!
A walk to zero point in the morning hours will bring you very close to Mother Nature. There may be spotting of wild animals and variety of Himalayan birds. And if you are unlucky, you will spot the leopards. L.O.L. Because you are on foot and no cars can be driven beyond KMVN Bungalow. Leopards have the Game on their side!
The breakfast is included in your stay at KMVN. They don’t have much options though, don’t have high expectations. But overall if I rate the stay at the Forest Bungalow, ill give rating of 10/10. Very much in middle of nowhere! You are isolated in this natural paradise. Do bird watching and click most beautiful landscape photos of your lifetime.
Binsar is definitely a treat for every photographer.