One of the scenic places in the Kumaon region of Uttarakhand is the sleepy town of Binsar. At an elevation of 2414 metres above sea level, the town is bound by the Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary. Also known as Jhandi Dhar, it offers a breathtaking view of the town of Almora, the Kumaon hills and the greater Himalayan valley.
This place is a paradise for a nature lover, which also makes it a very apt location for those who enjoy the beauty of birds and for those who are into wildlife photography. Walking in the peaceful and serene environment simply adds on to the wonderful experience you'd get while exploring the beauty of the place.
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Binsar is a year-round destination, which offers a very comfortable weather for one to stay. However, the months from October to March are the best time to explore this place.
By Air: The Pantnagar Airport is the nearest airport, which is located at a distance of approximately 152 km from Binsar. There are regular flights from the airport to Delhi and other major cities.
By Train: The nearest railhead to Binsar is Kathgodam Railway Station, which is around 120 km away from here. The station is well connected to most of the major cities in the country like Kolkata, Lucknow, Delhi, etc.
By Road: Binsar is well connected by roads, and there are regular buses plying from Nainital, Haldwani and Almora.
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The rulers of the Chand Dynasty had made Binsar their summer capital from the 11th to the 18th century. The name Binsar is a combination of the words "bina" and "sar" which translates to without head. According to local legends, there was a very fierce battle that was fought between the King of Binsar and Golu Devata, who happens to be the local deity.
Due to a suspicion, Golu Devata was beheaded and it is believed that his trunk fell at the Gairad Dana Golu, which is near the Binsar National Park and his head fell at Kaparkahan, which is near Binsar. One can find ancient temples dedicated to Golu Devata at both the places.
A small yet beautiful town filled with orchards, streams, rich flora and fauna adds on to the overhaul beauty of this place. With many small and large hills, it is preferred by many trekkers and hikers. The trekkers going on treks to Nanda Devi, Kedarnath, Trishul, Chaukhamba, etc., make Binsar their base camp.
Major Attractions In Binsar
1. Binsar Zero Point
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It is the highest vantage point in the place, which gives a panoramic view of the Himalayan peaks of Kedarnath, Shivling, Trishul and the Nanda Devi. A 2-km trek up would take you to the Zero point, which would take you to the watch tower and provide a breathtaking view of the entire area that has a rich biodiversity.
2. Bineshwar Mahadev Temple
Built in the 16th century, this temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. It was built during the rule of Raja Kalyan Chand of the Chand Dynasty. The town is named after the deity here, and the temple attracts a lot of visitors for its unique architecture.
3. Mary Budden Estate
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The estate is home to a palatial bungalow built by the British, which now is restored and is a private-run hotel. The estate is one of the five estates in Binsar, and it still offers you a colonial touch to the stay there, which also functions as a major tourist attraction simply for its structural beauty and its serene atmosphere.
4. Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary
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It is known for its rare species of flora and fauna. It is home to leopards, Himalayan goral, musk deers, wild boars, red foxes, red giant flying squirrels, etc. The sanctuary is spread across an area of 50 sq km.