Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary
At a distance of 26 km from Almora, Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary is located in the foothills of Himalayas in Almora district of Uttarakhand. It is one of the must visit places as part of wildlife tours in India.
Binsar wildlife sanctuary was declared in the year 1988. This reserve forest is located at an altitude of 2270 m and it covers an area of 47.04 sq. km. The peak point known as Jhandi Dhar is at an elevation of 2412 m. Apart from protecting wildlife, the sanctuary was established with an aim to conserve the broad leaf oak forests, mainly located in the Central Himalayan region.
Binsar was the summer capital of the Chand Kings, who ruled Kumaon from the 11th to 18th centuries. During British rule there was a base at Almora and during summer Binsar was used as official summer capital. There are 5 villages inside the sanctuary and 30 villages on the boundary of the sanctuary.
This sanctuary is rich in diversified flora and fauna as the place is home to variety of plants and animals. The sanctuary has been declared an Important Bird Area by Bird Life International as there are more than 200 species of birds in the sanctuary, including Fork tail, Blackbirds, Laughing Thrush, Pheasant, Nuthatches, Parakeets and Monal. The Sanctuary is also home to Barking Deer, Himalayan bear, leopard, fox, musk deer, langur, porcupine, flying squirrel, chital, jungle cat etc.
Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary, perched on top of the Jhandi Dhar hills, is a picturesque and quiet destination that boasts of rich natural surroundings and dense forests. Visitors can do activities like nature walk, trekking, cycling and bird watching. The highest point in Binsar is Zero Point that can be reached after walking 1.5 km inside the wildlife sanctuary. From Zero Point, one can see the Himalayan peaks like Kedarnath Peak, Shivling, Trisul and Nanda Devi. Inside the sanctuary there is an old 17th century Binsar Mahadev Temple constructed by Kalyan Chand, at a distance of 6 km from the forest entry gate.
There is only one entry gate available for tourists visiting this sanctuary, which is located at Ayarpani and only one road leads to the Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary that extends in a north-west direction and terminates at the Forest Rest House. From the entry gate Jungle KMVN Resort is situated at a distance of 10 km. Tourists seeking to spend a night here can stay at Jungle Resort. Due to restrictions within sanctuary area electricity is not available in the resort.
The best time to visit this sanctuary is from February to April and October to November.
Entry fee: Rs. 150 for person per day, Rs 75 for Students and Rs.600 for foreigners.
Vehicle Entry Fee: Rs.250 for Small, Rs. 500 for Medium and Rs. 800 for Heavy.
Timings: 6 AM to 6 PM