Cool climes and relaxing treks in the lap of the scenic Kumaon hills

Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary

Nature walks led by local expert guides reward with sightings of birds, butterflies and reptiles. Trek up to Zero Point, the highest viewing point in the sanctuary, for a stunning view of the 300-km-long snow-covered expanse of Himalayan peaks.

Cool climes and relaxing treks in the lap of the scenic Kumaon hills

This broadleaf temperate forest is home to 200 species of resident and migratory birds making it a great birding destination. The higher altitudes are covered in oak and come alive in winter with red rhododendron blooms.

On a lucky day, you may get to spot gorals (mountain goats) effortlessly climbing up oak-lined slopes or Indian porcupines peeking out of their rocky hideouts. These misty foothills also shelter leopards, red foxes, common langurs, yellow-throated martens, barking deer, jungle cats, and the Himalayan black bear.

History

Binsar was once the summer capital of the erstwhile Chand Rajas who ruled Kumaon from the 11th to the 18th century. An area covering nine picturesque and traditional Kumaon villages was designated a wildlife sanctuary in 1988.

Experiences

The sanctuary is a walkers’ and trekkers’ paradise, with numerous village tracks traversing through the pristine jungles.

From the Director's Travel Diary

Don’t miss the chance to taste a glass or two of Buransh, the sweet red cooling drink made from rhododendron extract. The rhododendron variety used to make this drink is locally known as Burans. It is only found in altitudes ranging from 1200m to 2400m and also happens to be the state flower of Uttrakhand.

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Our Accommodation Ratings

Opulent: Exceptional, unashamedly the best of sheer luxury. (£££££)

Luxury: Outstanding levels of 5* comfort, hospitality and facilities. (££££)

Premium: Excellent levels of comfort and hospitality and a wide range of facilities. (£££)

Mid-Range: Good levels of comfort and hospitality, with a reasonable range of facilities. (££)

Simple: Clean and simple, no frills. Often in areas of natural beauty or near wildlife reserves. (£)