October 21, 2014

Binsar- Where Wilderness Blends with Snow Mountains...!!

At an elevation of 2000 meters, Binsar sits peacefully with magnificent snow clad mountain views and deep valleys. It has a heavily forested hill terrain and is an ideal place to spend early mornings listening to the chirping of birds. The encapsulating twinkling skies of Binsar looks like the gorgeous work of a highly skilful painter.

Binsar sanctuary is quite well known for its avian fauna and the best time to visit would as early as the sun rises. Mist hovered around the tall pine and oak trees early in the morning as the gates opened for us, the first guests of the morning. The winding road of the sanctuary took us to the highest point in Binsar along with many birds that flew alongside. The view of the imposing blue misty hills with the mist rising up on a cold morning was undoubtedly a sight to behold. Absolutely a photographer’s delight! All that we could see were mountains wrapped in blue hue. The distant peaks of Nanda devi, Panchachuli, Trishul and others seemed like blue mountains bathed in snow. A trek of 2 kms through a forest patch leads to Zero point (2345 meters), the highest point in Binsar. Barking deer, macaques and birds are quite frequently seen en-route. The machchan at zero point offers a panoramic view of the expansive Himalayas in the distance and gorgeous valleys way below. More than the vistas, it is the numerous species of birds that bring nature lovers to Binsar wildlife sanctuary.

View from Binsar sanctuary

Trail to zero point
View from Zero point
Blue mountains as seen from zero point
Behsodi village offers great birding opportunities in the morning with flycatchers, bulbuls and doves being the most common ones. Enjoy a village river trek which can be quite refreshing and an informative one too. This evening trek winds its way through a narrow trail along the ridge of hills and goes past the pine trees and Basoli village to Binsar River. I smiled at the amiable villagers and listened to the interesting information that the guide passesed on before the trail ended at the bank of the river. We sat by the gurgling river for a long time and gazed at the setting sun in oblivion as serenity prevailed all over. This also makes for an ideal picnic spot to spend a peaceful evening.

Village trail

Golu devtha temple en- route Jageshwar is a nice little temple amidst the tall pine trees of Binsar. The route is lush green and beautiful, and offers magnificent sunset views. The road further snakes its way through a forest, hills and valleys to Jageshwar. Situated in a valley, Jageshwar temple complex is a protected monument comprising of more than a hundred shrines with intricate architecture amidst a serene setting and has numerous visitors seeking blessings round the year.  The place also has numerous food stalls where one can relish the local kumaoni cuisines. 

Shrines at Jageshwar
To break away from the serenity of Binsar, we took the road that climbs its way past the magnificent vistas and Almora town to Bageshwar. Bageshwar gets its name from the famous Bagnath Shiva temple and has a beautiful landscape formed by the confluence of Sarayu and Gomti rivers. Another 20 kms took me to Baijnath temple complex, a protected monument by the Gomti river. A beautiful setting where I fed fishes near the temple and gazed at the far off hills as a school of fishes gobbled down the throws. 

Bageshwar town way below
Shrines at Baijnath
The winding road further led to Kausani, a beautiful hill station snuggled amidst the tall pines of Kumaon. The majestic mountain vistas turned magnificent as the bewitchingly picturesque Kausani approached. A tea plantation walk with a tea factory visit just before entering Kausani is an ideal way to begin exploring this hill town. Less than half a kilometer ahead, the shawl factory offers some of the best local hand designed shawls using wool from the local sheep.  The outlet also boasts of a host of other local products made by local women folk. Anasakthi ashram is where Mahatma Gandhi spent 14 days of his life and the insides of it have pictorial displays of Gandhi’s life in detail. The panoramic vista of the expansive and stunning Himalayas from the ashram is absolutely a stunner. Nanda Devi, Pancha Chuli, Nanda Kot, Nanda Khat, Trishul, Nanda Ghunti, Neelkanth and many more stood tall bathed in snow, and I gaped at the various peaks in admiration as they soaked themselves in the orange light of the setting sun. 

View from Anasakthi ashram
The local cuisines of Binsar are a real treat for the taste buds with Madve ki roti (ragi roti), palak ka kappa, Bhaat ke daal, Kaudh ke daal and kumaoni raitha being some of the most preferred ones. You can explore these dishes at any of the food stalls near Jageshwar temple or at Kausani. Buransh, the local squash is a lovely drink which should not be missed. 

Signing Note- Gaze in oblivion and soak in the surreal natural setting...!!

Route- New Delhi- Ghaziabad- Hapur- Moradabad- Bazpur- Nainital- Almora- Binsar

New Delhi to Binsar- 380 Kms
Binsar to Jageshwar- 60 kms
Binsar to Bageshwar- 42 kms
Binsar to Kausani- 82 kms

Binsar wildlife sanctuary timing- Sunrise to sunset
Tea estate timings- 9am- 1pm and 2pm- 6 pm
Nearest rail head- Kathgodam (115 kms)
Nearest airport- New Delhi (415 kms)


  1. Wow! Binsar is so beautiful! I love all your photos.

  2. wow ! what a beautiful place it is ! very attractive pics with detailed description. I m reaching Nainital on 15 th october and I think this will now be in my list to visit .

  3. What an enchanting place! Nicely narrated, too. The pictures are just breathtaking...the blue hills images look like paintings...

  4. just one word would suffice- brilliant

  5. The layered hills capture is awesome sir! Wonderful write

  6. indeed a pristine peace of heavens on earth... nice clicks

  7. beautiful place.. superb shots..

  8. OMG! The mountain pictures are so surreal! Awesome Niranjan :)

  9. Beautiful. The second photo is the best!!

  10. Wow! Such magnificent views. I love the Blue Mountain shots. The early morning rays seem to add more magic to the already beautiful picture.

    1. Glad you liked it. That is my favourite too. Yeah, I could not take photographs for a while as I kept gazing at those lovely mountains.

  11. Beautiful photos and nice write-up

    Last photos is amazing

    thanks niranjan


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