It’s holiday season. We just completed our Term 2. I didn’t really do much this term break – except for revamping my blog (check the NEW sidebar! 🙂 ) and getting myself back to serious blogging again. However, the term break after Term 1 was slightly more eventful. I had gone with my mother for a trip to Nainital, Kausani, Rudrapur and Binsar. I have already written about Rudrapur. Kausani had mind-blowing views of the Himalayas – maybe I will write about Nainital and Kausani in a separate post. Right now, we will look at BINSAR!
Binsar is supposed to be a wildlife sanctuary, nestled in the Himalayas, located in the state of Uttarakhand. It is at a 2-hour drive from Nainital. It is located at an altitude of 2450 metres (approx. 8000 feet) and beyond a particular point, you have to leave your car and either trek up or be taken in their All Terrain Vehicle along the rocky, hilly road up to where the resort is located. From Binsar one can see the 300 km panoramic view of the Himalayan peaks like Kedarnath Peak, Shivling, Trisul and majestic Nanda Devi from a place called ‘Zero Point’.
It is an amazing place – actually it is hardly a place. It is a jungle – and the best part is that there is Nothing there! … There are just 4 resorts which are built inside the jungle – we stayed in one of them – Binsar Retreat! .. and Boy! are we happy with the service they offered. The people are extremely congenial, the food is simple, homely but tasty – just what the doctor ordred after all the junk food we subjected ourselves to at the Mall in Nainital. The service was meticulous, impressively personalized and this particlar resort totally rocks! This video I took captures the resort as well as the place.
There’s no eletricity at Binsar, so you can imagine how ‘virgin’ it is. There is a solar powered CFL Lamp which gets charged through the day and serves you in the night. There are kerosene lemps to power the distance between tents and also the attached washroom should you need to use it after dark. Overall, we were quite happy with our stay – it was a ‘getaway’ in the truest sense of the word – no electricity, no internet – all things that are ubiquitous were suddenly ‘missing.
Also ended up meeting a couple of interesting people at Binsar –
– A doctor from Kolkata – an anaeshetist by profession and a bird-watcher by hobbyist. He told me about the various bird-watching clubs that have sprung up in the last few years – KolkataBirds.com, DelhiBirds.com, BengalBirds.com. They apparently organize ‘bird tours’ once every few weeks to train novices (like me!) on the nuances of both bird-watching as well as photography. For starters, ‘daktar babu’ helped me spot a couple of East-Eurasian Jays right outside our tent perched on chestnut trees.
– An environmentalist and writer who writes on the environment. She was here at Binsar Sanctuary to basically cover some stuff on camera and maybe just sit back and think about subjects to write about.