The elevated pitch of modernization and civilization had turned most of the Hill –Stations to Hill Cities. These hill cities with the luxury of Wi-fi, pizzerias, television, etc may be attractive for most but not some. At the same time, some hill stations managed to not be the part of the league and took a bold step to protect themselves from the destruction of commercialization and civilization. The beautiful Binsar Valley, 23 Km from Almora in Uttarakhand is one of them. In 1988, the Forest Department of Binsar took steps to preserve and conserve the forests of broad oak leaf.
Binsar is not a village or town but a wildlife sanctuary spread over 46 sq. Km. It is a big natural swath of forestland, painted with pine and oak trees.
Once you enter the Binsar Valley registration fee (Rs 150 per person and Rs 250 for the vehicle), you are in a different world and era. The place had its own natural aura. It seems time clock had frozen years back for this place and sunlight never had an opportunity to kiss this place. While climbing the narrow and snaky roads, chances of spotting wildlife and birds increased as compared to humans.
Days in the Binsar wildlife sanctuary are quite long and different from other places. There is nothing much to do except listening to your own heartbeat with a cool breeze in your ears and trailing the long and dark trails of thick forests till sunset and Zero Point. While wandering on the ridge you can spot Deer, Gray Langur, Wild Boar, Jungle Cat, Jungle Goat, etc and different varieties of birds. If you are lucky enough then sometimes you get a glimpse of leopard too. At 7 Km from the registration point, on the green meadows stands Bineshwar Mahadev temple, known for its architectural excellence.
During clear skies, from zero point one can get the magnificent views of resolute standing peaks like Nanda Devi, Trishul, Shivling, Kedarnath, etc at a range of 300 km.
Some visit Binsar valley for a day while others prefer to stay here for several days in the lap of nature. There are five hotels and resorts and 2-3 homestays in total. The Binsar Forest retreat is an Eco-friendly homestay located at an altitude of 7600 feet. It offers the sounds and sights of wilderness along with spectacular views of Himalayas and Valley. The Grand Oak Manor offers you comfortable cozy rooms with an old history. The Marry Budden Estate also with the history of the 18th century provides you a luxury living. The Khali estate located at a height of 6600 feet offers you panoramic views of snow-clad mountains and valley. The KMVN (Kumaon Mandal Vikas Nigam Limited) guest house, located at 7600 ft was created to increase employment opportunities and community development of the Garwhal region. It does justice with the marvelous location providing all the spectacular views of valley and forest.
Some Important Points to Take Care of:
- Do not move around in the jungle after dusk.
- Do not leave your children alone.
- Do not throw lit cigarettes as it can lead to a fire.
- Use electricity only when required.
- Carry a sturdy pair of shoes and Umbrella for exploring this place on foot.