Around 33km away from Almora, is the Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary which is located on top of the Jhandi Dhar hills in the Himalayas. The sanctuary is named after the Binsar Mahadev Temple devoted to Lord Shiva that was built around 10th century.
A walk in the wildlife sanctuary is a magical one with sounds of birds chirping with sights of thick forests of oak, rhododendron and cheer pine everywhere. With over 200 species of birds in the sanctuary, it is a haven for nature photographers. You can also spot beautiful butterflies and wildflowers here. The sanctuary is home to leopards, ghorals, wild boars, kakars, monkeys and Himalayan black bears. Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary has only one entry gate for tourists at Ayarpani and only one road, climbing in a north-west direction that terminates at the Forest Rest House.
After a trek of around a couple of hours, you reach the highest point in Binsar, Zero Point from where you witness wide panorama views of great Himalayan ranges which are the best in the region.
Other places of interest
On your visit to Binsar, you can visit temples like Chitai Temple, Jageshwar Temple, Mukteshwar Temple, Kasar Devi Temple and Surya Temple at Katarmal. There are a few small beautiful villages too which you can explore. One of these Jalna offers amazing views of the Himalayan peaks and green valleys.
Grand Oak Manor in the midst of the sanctuary
The Grand Oak Manor is situated in the middle of the Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary thereby making it a perfect stay in the wild. You may just spot a wild animal during your stay there. Surrounded by thick forests and verdant valleys with dotted houses, it is a great escape from the hustle bustle of city life. The Grand Oak Manor exudes old world charm and takes you back to the colonial era. The imperial home has been residence to dignitaries in the past including British India’s Lieutenant General, Sir Henry Ramsay.
You can undertake activities like village walk and bird walk arranged by the resort itself. They organize yoga and meditation camps too to make you feel at one with nature. Learning to cook local delicacies or going for relaxing massages is also a good option here. There are 9 centrally heated rooms with each having a private balcony or porch so that you can enjoy the scenery around.
Kathgodam is the nearest railway station, around 91 km away. The nearest airport is Pantnagar, 125 km away.
Image Credits: www.ixigo.com, www.tripadventurer.com, www.hi.bharatdiscovery.org, www.grandoakbinisar.com