By- Ishita Goel
Lying in the Kumaon region of the Himalayas, Binsar is best known for the Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary, which is spread over an area of 47 sq km. This wildlife escapade in the higher reaches of Uttarakhand is home to more than 200 species of migratory and native avifauna. The prime attractions of the sanctuary are Indian red fox, a threatened species, jackals, porcupines and pine martens. You can also spot leopards, wild boars, ghorals, monkeys, kakars and the Himalayan black bear. Binsar is perched at a height of 2400 m above sea level and gives a picturesque view of snow-clad mountains and dense greenery. The forest is dotted with rhododendrons and oaks at higher altitudes and pines at lower altitudes. Binsar hosts 25 types of trees, 24 varieties of bushes and seven kinds of grass.
Jeep safaris from the main gate to the Forest Rest House are available to explore the forest.The eastern regions of the sanctuary can be explored from the entrance towards Gairad Bend. While in the jungle, it is imperative to respect the sanctity of its denizens and follow the rules of the forest.
Some of the interesting bird species you can find here are Himalayan vulture, Kalij pheasant, long-tailed broadbill, mistle thrush, Oriental turtle dove, etc. Make sure to keep your binoculars handy to spot the feathered friends. Binsar has been declared as an ‘Important Bird Area by Bird Life International).
Nature at its best
Binsar is about 30 km from Almora and is noted for its pristine natural beauty and snow-clad Himalayan peaks. It is home to several temples and emerald meadows. Binsar is a trekker’s paradise. There are numerous tiny trails that take you through the picturesque beauty of the landscape. A popular spot called zero Point gives a 360-degree view of the mighty Himalayas, including Nanda Devi. A short trek of 2 km takes you to Zero Point. Don’t forget to capture the sunset and sunrise views. It is enthralling to see the scalding ball of sun sink between the mountains, as the myriad hues of the sky bid goodbye to day and hail a crisp dusk.The thick foliage of Binsar makes it ideal for nature walks, camping and other adventure activities.
Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary was established in 1988. It was once the capital of the Chand dynasty that ruled Kumaon from the 11th to the 18th century AD.
Best Time to Visit
Summer months and October and November are the best time to visit Binsar as the weather is pleasant during this time of year.