Binsar – A Jungle Safari

‘Should anyone take away anything belonging to the God or his worshippers and avenging spirit and compels him conscience stricken to restore it twenty fold. Even the faithless and the dishonest are said to be reformed by a visit to Binsar.’ One of the many legends concerning Binsar stated this.

Not many of us know about Binsar so did some research and found it perfect for experiencing something different from our earlier trips. Unusual Location, Rich natural surroundings among dense forest with no electricity, little network playing hide and seek… anything more you need to relax and forget about all your daily routine, traffic jams, pressure of deadlines… I suppose no.

A View to Nanda Devi from Binsar

View to Nanda Devi Peak

Binsar is famous for it’s views of the snow capped Himalayan mountain ranges, so one can sit back and enjoy the view while savouring your favourite drink. Binsar is around 400 KMs from Delhi and, 35 km from Almora. Perched on top of Jhandi Dhar hills is a notified forest reserve and bird sanctuary. There is no town called Binsar, not even a settlement of huts or anything, it is just the forest reserve that has been named Binsar.

Enroute to Binsar

Enroute to Binsar

The placed affords wonderful views of the snowcapped Himalayan ranges, like the peaks of Nanada Devi, Kedarnath, Chaukhamba, Trishul, Panchchuli and Nanda Kot. Surrounded by abundant garlands of alpine flora, ferns, hanging moss and many other species of wild flowers, this is as close as you’d get to heaven.


Early morning around 4:00 am, two of us left Gurgaon and going by our previous trip experiences, our plan was to reach Almora by 11-12. The four lane highway from Delhi up to Hapur is a driver’s dream where you can allow your speedometer to cross the mark of 100kmph. Things are not that smooth beyond Hapur up to Gadh Mukteshwar. Long stretches of road of course are there but wide-enough only to pass one vehicle at a time. In between Gadh and Moradabad we had a mixed feeling of driving both on good and bad stretches some of which are prone to traffic-jams.

Holy Ganga… Morning @ Garh Mukteshwar

From Delhi, it’s highway driving throughout. NH 24 connects Delhi to Rampur via Hapur. En-route halts include the Wonderland, Rwy crossing, Moradabad. The two lane Moradabad by-pass culminates into Rampur road which is just OK and has no major problem. At Rampur we turned and headed north on NH 87 all the way upto Haldwani/Kathgodaam. A marvellous change in vegetation, roads as soon as we crossed Haldwani and decided to take the route from Bhimtal. Around noon we reached Bhimtal and made a quick trip to Naukuchiyataal.


Bhimtaal… Beautiful Taal

A short trip to these famous water bodies and we proceeded towards our planned destination Almora. At a height of 1638 metres, Almora rests among a picturesque setting. On a horse saddle shaped hillock, surrounded by thick forests of pine and fur trees, flowing alongside the city are rivers of Koshi and Suyal and to top it all are the snow capped Himalayas in the background. The town unlike more developed Nainital and Mussoorie is quite virgin a land. The place is untouched by urbanisation and the people here have preserved their culture and tradition well.

The Jungle

The Jungle.. Binsar


5 km of long mountain range of Almora lends the whole district oodles of natural beauty. Situated only 30 KMs away from the township of Almora lies Binsar nestled amongst thick forests of Oak and Rhodendron and yet offering surprisingly close views of the Himalayan peaks. The entire region is now a wildlife sanctuary and has a host of wildlife like Panther and Barking Deer.

Entry to Binsar Forest Reserve

Binsar... Information Portal

Binsar… Information Portal

We stayed in the KMVN tourist rest house, located in the forest of the Binsar Sanctuary. And guess what, there was no electricity after 9 pm. They had solar lamp etc in the dining room but gave us candle in room. No running hot water. They gave hot water in bucket in the morning for the bath. All the staffs are very helpful. Our room had wooden walls and was clean. Overall I found it cool. BTW : they served only veg food (eggs were available – for non vegeterians).

KVMN Guest House

KVMN Guest House

Since we reached around 4 pm and didn’t want to waste any time therefore had snacks and walked through the forest for about 2 kms to Sun-set point.

Sunset Point… Zero Point

The next day…..but after enjoying the celestial view of the Himalayas during the sun-rise, we drove towards Jogeshwar. While crossing the jungle visited Binsar Mahadev temple, situated at an altitude of 2,480 meters. Binsar Mahadev temple is famous for its archeological significance, being an ancient construction of 9th century. It is believed to be constructed in just one day.

Binsar Temple .. Jungle ke beech main

Binsar Temple .. Jungle ke beech main


Thirty four kilometres from Almora was the famous temple of Jageshwar. This temple is counted among the 12 jyotirlings of the country. Before we reached Jageshwar, 2KM beyond Punuanaulah and 3 KM before Artola, there was an 8km long, slightly rough dirt track on the left hand side, which took us to the Vridha (old) Jageshwar Temple perched on a hill top of 2000ft above the main complex. As told by Pujari ji, this was the original stone temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva.

Once we were back on the main track to Jageshwar (New) after a short 5 KM drive the landscape chaged dramatically. The valley we entered had huge deodar trees with dappled sunlight filtering through – a beautiful verdant forest.

On the way to Jageshwar

In the midst of innumerable Deodar trees tower above the grand temple complex.The complex consisting of 124 temples and hundreds of statues with exquisite craftsmanship, dating back to 9th to 13th centuary A.D. From the sources I came to know that Jageshwar is situated at an altitude of about 6,200 ft. Jageshwar is a Hindu Pilgrimage town in Kumaon region.

Cluster of Temples... me mesmerised

Cluster of Temples… me mesmerised

This cluster comprises of Dandeshwar, Chandi, Jageshwar, Kuber, Mritunjay Temples etc. The oldest is Mritunjaya Temple and biggest is Dandeshwar Temple. The annual Sharavan Festival is celebrated from 15th July to 15th August in the monsoon season. Annual Maha Shivratri Mela is also celebrated in Spring season.

Dandeshwar Temple...

Dandeshwar Temple…

After spending one full hour there we drove back to Binsar and in the evening went on exploring nearby Jungle. Walked for 4 kms and reached to Himalayan View Point, where one can have a panoramic view of the snowy peaks of Himalayas on any clear day and in addition a glimpse of the township with it’s tiled roofed houses and paved streets would take you to the sixteenth century in some thoughtful moment. Unfortunately it was a foggy day and we could not see anything except great expanse of this Jungle.

Jungle Safari

Jungle Safari

Next was the day to return to Gurgaon and fortunately it was a clear day and we could get a glimpse of Nanda Devi and Trishul Parvat, presenting another joy with bright End Corner gives very scenic view of sunrise.

Sunrise... Glimpse to Nanda Devi

Sunrise… Glimpse to Nanda Devi

View to Trishul Parvat

View to Trishul Parvat

Visiting jungle is always an exciting proposition, as you never know what you will come across. Infact, the jungle can dole out numerous surprises for both the nature lover as well as the explorer. However, while in jungle, we should never forget our duty towards the nature. We should keep the environment clean and refrain from indulging in anything that can go against the nature conservation program of the forest department. We should never ever disturb the wild animals and birds, even while clicking their photos and never even try to meddle with the nature. GO GREEN….


  • travellers says:

    Hi Shalini,
    A very interesting post indeed. Is the KMVN located inside the National Park ? How is the access road to KMVN and Jagesgwar ? Which month was the trip undertaken and any scope of animal sighting?
    Actually, Binsar appears to be a nice proposition, more so after the lively descriptions of yours.

  • SKoli says:

    Hi Auro, Thanks and congratulations on your post, it was very nice indeed.

    To answer you :
    1. Yes KMVN located inside the Binsar sanctuary (around 10 KM) from the entry point where you need to pay the entry fee around 150 per person and 200 for your vehicle. It is not a luxury resort but comfortable and clean. You do have two more options (Khali Estate & Mahindra) but the view you get from KMVN will not be possible from these properties, You will anyway have to go to KMVN to see the zero point/Sunset point.

    Road from Binsar to Jogeshwar is quite good, wide, and almost no traffic (except few places like village bus stands etc.)

    2. We started our journey on 23 rd April 2010 and was two day trip.

    3. You can get a guide to show you the jungle around but Binsar basically known as “Bird Watcher’s Paradise”.

    Let me know if you have any further questions.

  • Sahil says:

    Dear Shalini ,

    Very nice post and gr8 supporting pictures . I had been to Almora few months ago but I was really pissed off by the traffic jam at Gadh Mukteshwar. Also I go to Moradabad many times due to official work but the traffic jams on this highway are really very distressing.


  • Vivek says:

    Such Place is in India !!! Wow…….

  • rohitvadera says:

    Hi Shalini,

    A very well written post. I do have plans to visit Binsar. By any chance did you guys saw transport (taxi) service from Binsar to Jageshwar. Skeptical for such services in Binsar. What do you suggest hiring the taxi for complete trip to Binsar and nearabouts if we do not want to drive by our own car.


  • nayan says:

    Hi Shalini…..very nice post…i have been to binsar couple of times but found kausani and ranikhet for himalayan peaks view much better…….i stayed in kasar between almora and binsar in a small motel named Dolma Lodge, it is located in a dream place.

  • Niladri says:

    guys, i have a 1 year old son and we are planning 4 nights in binsar and 2 nights in ramgarh in late november/early december. at that time he will be 1 year 6 months old. do u believe it will be too cold for him?

    also, i understand that the KMVN lodge in binsar is a great place to stay. but there is no power and they just provide hot water in the morning. however for my son, i need a heater at night and hot water in the evening. so can u folks suggest any alternative accommodation option one that does not cost more than Rs.1500 a night.

    need to enjoy a great vacation. but need to make the arrangements for my son too :)

    • GSK says:

      It was too cold in Apr’10. Nov & Dec temp reaches to 2 to 4 degree as it is situated at 3200 m. Plan sometimes in June will not recommend with child in Nov-Feb.

  • Beautiful description Shalini. We too recently returned from a trip of Kumaon region with a visit to both Binsar and Jageshwar. As you said April was cold and you suggested June, June was hot, May be May is the Best :-) .

    Picture of holy Ganga from Gadh Mukteshwar is Awesome.

    This post is remarkably well written. Good going. Looking forward to more …

  • testerrahul says:

    Nice post, as usual. Nice photographs too.
    One small comment friend:I guess the photoraph that you are referreing to as NandaDevi is actually Trishul and vice versa.


  • Mahesh Semwal says:

    Dear Shalini,

    Very well written post supported with beautiful pictures , Specially sunset point (Binser) & Sunrise (Nanda Devi)

  • nandanjha says:

    Skoli – Is it just me or did you hear from other folks as well, that is, the ‘detail’ (as some folks in writing word call it) is splendid.

    read this again….. ……….At a height of 1638 metres, Almora rests among a picturesque setting. On a horse saddle shaped hillock, surrounded by thick forests of pine and fur trees, flowing alongside the city are rivers of Koshi and Suyal and to top it all are the snow capped Himalayas ……………


    I would blame Ghumakkar for this.

    Thanks for such a lovely post.

    I went to Binsar in 2004, first week of Jan and our experience with KMVN was pretty bad. Later when we were discussing, it seems that they were hassled because of a presence of large contingent of travelers the previous night.

    We also paid a visit to Khali Resort and it was indeed very luxurious, In terms of location no one can beat KMVN as you have noted.

    finally, get yourself a gravatar

    look fwd to read more.

  • anirudh says:

    hi folks,i went to binsar wid my wife to binsar & stayed at kmvn on march 28 th 2010…kmvn is horrible +food is bad,guys never ever stay there…stay at mahindra and cum to binasar kmvn at 11 am in morn as views become clear at late mor…do not even stay at khali as staff is bad & place looks like haunted…dont get confused by people remarks that views r best only frm kmvn as there r no activities & u will surely get bored…saty at almora (budget) or mahindra(luxury) & cum 2 kmvn at 10 am or 11 am fr views…

  • anirudh says:

    kathgodam 2 binsar is a very long & boring journey…halt at almora & next day go 2 binsar.take a full taxi 2 binsar as u will nt get return taxi..binsar kmvn is the most disguisting propoerty…looking at it u will not get d impression but as u spend nite dere ur bad dreams will cum true….place is very-2 cold,chilled water which will give u a frost bite,bad food specially tea,there is a generator to make water heat fr morning use & it operated hole nite making ur sleep impossible,dere r no activies 2 keep u busy,no sports,no tv .no music,no magazines,views r dere inly frm 9:30 am to 1or 2 pm so its better u stay at lower altitude & cum dere in the mor….dont gon 2 zero point as the views r ditto same as r frm kmvn binsar,there was once a tower at zero point climbing on which u can see badri & kedarnath but now that tower has been cut & removed.

  • GAM says:

    Interesting, with lovely pictures. I would love to go here sometime but it is so.. far away from Mumbai.

  • I have been to Binsar more than Five times and I used to live in “Binsar Retreat” a private resort. Actually the picture you posted “Binsar Temple .. Jungle ke beech main” is the place from where the Path of “Binsar Retreat” starts. I am here to say you thanks for rebooting my sweet memories with this sweeeeet place.

  • balboa says:

    I am planning to go to Binsar in the first week of January….hows the weather during that time…..???

  • Vikas Tandon says:

    Hi shalini . I want to say that its the worst place in the world . i had been there 1 time .

  • Pat says:

    Why so, Vikas, what didn’t go well for you there?

    As per Shalini its a nice place. I’m planning to visit in a couple of weeks.

  • Sugita Vani says:

    Thanks, Shalini for telling us that there is actually no town or city called Binsar. I did not know that. As for the feeling that one has got close to heaven….I know that feeling ! Felt it strongly when I first went to the Himalayas twenty years back – both in Devaprayag when I first caught sight of the peaks and later in Kedarnath. The quality of the light there is something from another world.

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