Have you heard about a place called Binsar in Uttarakhand? Or are you planning to travel to Binsar in Kumaon on your next Himalayan trip? Well, this Binsar travel guide will help you get answers to all your questions about planning a memorable Kumaon trip.
Binsar is a tiny little hamlet perched at the height of 2420 meters in the sleepy region of Kumaon, Uttarakhand. Flying off the radar, Binsar is a haven for those wanting to be mesmerized by captivating views.
A sight for sore eyes, Binsar offers spellbinding views of the majestic Himalayan peaks such as Chaukhamba, Nanda Devi, Nanda Kot, Panchachuli, and Kedarnath. The 360 degrees’ views from the town are the main highlight, and you should not miss them.
Let's quickly dive into the details:
Binsar Travel Guide
Engulfed by the Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary, Binsar is an adventure lover’s delight. You may spot rare animals, birds, and all sorts of flora and fauna here. Also, given the acute nature connect, I highly recommend that you go out for a hike, camp under the stars, and even partake in some breath-taking nature walks to complete your fill of greenery around you.
Binsar is set amidst lush green forests covered with oak, pine, deodar trees. Even though it is a small town, virtually off the radar, there is still a tonne to do here. I have long been an advocate of Uttarakhand as the next-big-thing when it comes to offbeat travel destinations. And, Binsar is one of the prime examples as to why!
Why Visit Binsar
From adventure activities to beautiful vistas, from orchards to meadows, from panoramic Himalayan views to mumbling streams – Binsar is an encapsulation of what nature lovers dream of. With unique species of birds chirping around from every nook and corner to having an actual Wildlife Sanctuary – you are easily covered.
Also, there are many popular tourist destinations nearby. Further, Binsar has gained popularity as a pilgrimage destination. However, there is a lot more to do when you make a Binsar trip.
History & Mythology
The Summer capital of the erstwhile Chand Dynasty, Binsar has a prominent place in the history of the Kumaon Region. The ancient Bineshwar Mahadev Temple is a source of pride for the residents.
Binsar translates to “Without a Head.” It is believed that a battle ensued between King of Binsar and the local deity, Golu Devta. In the battle, Golu Devta was beheaded. And, people believe that his trunk fell at Gairad Dana Golu near Binsar National Park and his head at Kaparkahan near Binsar. Both these places have the ancient temples of Golu Devta.
Perched on the Jhandi Hills of Kumaon regions, Binsar eight is 2420 meters above sea level and lies in the Almora District. Nainital, Mukteshwar, Almora, and Chaukori are all nearby to Binsar and can be clubbed on your upcoming Kumaon trip.
Pleasant most for most of the year – Binsar is a perfect offbeat destination in Uttarakhand. Summer temperature in Binsar varies from 24-32 degrees Celcius, while winters witness temperatures of 5-15 degrees Celcius. So, Binsar temperature is pretty pleasant throughout the year except for winters.
There are chances of experiencing snow in the winter months of December-January – so be prepared. It is one of the places of Uttarakhand near Delhi to experience snowfall.
The summers also offer lush green views along with pleasant weather in Binsar. Monsoons are gorgeous in this sleepy hamlet, though, if you do not have any prior experience of traveling in the hills in heavy rains then it is advisable to avoid the roads for fear of landslides, etc.
Best time to visit Binsar
If you are planning on a secluded trip to an offbeat location – then look no further than Binsar. Binsar has excellent weather conditions throughout the year, but there are some months which are not suitable for travel. Summers are great for trekking and sightseeing due to its pleasant weather, while winters are great for snowfall.
Hence, the best time to visit Binsar is anytime between April to October except for the monsoon months. I also like to travel to Binsar in November – December, particularly year-end when you find tourist rush everywhere else in the Uttarakhand and Himachal.
How to reach Binsar from Delhi
Binsar is well connected with all important cities of Uttarakhand and getting there depends on your choice/mode of travel. The distance from Delhi to Binsar is 380 km and may take about 9-10 hrs of drive.
The nearest airport to Binsar is Pantnagar, which 140 km from Binsar. You can easily fetch a cab from Pantnagar Airport for Binsar. It will take about 5 hrs to reach Binsar from Pantnagar by road.
The nearest railhead is Kathgodam, which is at a distance of 105 km from Binsar. There are two trains from Delhi to Kathgodam daily, as this is a gateway for the Kumaon region. Taxis/buses etc. are easily available from the railway station for Binsar and other nearby places in the Kumaon region. It will take about 3-3.5 hrs to reach Binsar from Kathgodam by road.
Well connected by major road routes, Binsar can be reached by catching a bus from ISBT, Delhi, or by driving to Binsar. Please note, direct bus from Delhi to Binsar is not available. However, one can catch a bus heading to Nainital and hire a cab from there.
If you’re driving on your own, from Delhi, Binsar will take you 9-10 hours of driving time. However, towns such as Nainital might beg you to take a halt. Roads are well melted – so should not be a concern. You can also travel to Haldwani or Almora from Delhi and then travel to Binsar by shared jeep or connecting bus.
Perfect Binsar Itinerary
Binsar is an ideal location for a laid back long weekend to get away from the hustle and bustle of daily life. Or, you can even choose to cover it with other areas of the Kumaon region. There is a tonne of beautiful places in Kumaon that are yet unexplored.
However, two days of exploring are sufficient to experience Binsar, which will keep you mesmerized and wanting to come back for more.
Travel Tip: Do not forget to check my travel guide about Manila – An unknown place in Uttarakhand.
Day 0 – Beginning of the Trip
Leave from Delhi to Binsar by your chosen mode of travel. Choose to begin the trip late at night to have a full day of activities when you reach.
Day 1 – Binsar Sightseeing and exploring the Sanctuary
Reaching Binsar early in the morning is best suited for enjoying the place. I would suggest you rest up upon reaching and then head out to explore the Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary. The Sanctuary was set up in 1988 and spread over an area of 45 km, and one can easily spot hundreds of birds in the region.
If you’re lucky, you’ll also spot barking deer, Himalayan bear, fox, porcupine, etc. The entry ticket is Rs 40 per person and an additional Rs 50 for your vehicle. You may choose to visit the museum to get a detailed understanding of the species present in the Binsar Sanctuary.
Head back to your hotel for a relaxing evening. Enjoy a bonfire and/or camp under the stars.
Travel Tip: If you are planning a trip to Himachal instead of Uttrakhand, you can check these 12 must-visit offbeat places in Himachal.
Day 2 – Exploring Binsar Attractions
Head out on to the Zero Point. Do this near the sunrise time as the view glimpses of the hills surrounding the region is an experience worth cherishing. Situated very close to the Binsar KMVN resort, you will be easily rejuvenated once you reach the zero point.
A short trek of 2 km is all you need to enjoy before setting yourself high up to look at the snow-covered mountains. Head back to your hotel to enjoy your morning cuppa.
After some rest, another location to visit is the Pariyadeva Pashan, which is situated on the Almora to Binsar road. The place has its history dating back to the Megalithic age (1500 BC to 500 BC) and will draw your fancy for its archaeology aspects.
Apart from these beautiful places, if you still have time to explore more, then catch some trails in the nearby forests to explore the surrounding region. You may also choose to visit the Kasar Devi temple and the Bineshwar Mahadev temple on either of your two days there.
Day trip to Patal Bhuvaneshwar from Binsar – Alternate Plan for Day 2
You can also plan to visit Patal Bhuvaneshwar on this day instead of local Binsar sightseeing. It is a 3.5 hr drive from Binsar, about 109 km away. Make sure you start early from Binsar because it will be like a 12 hr return trip. You can also opt to stay at Chaukori to cut the drive time back to Binsar.
Patal Bhuvaneshwar is a majestic limestone cave temple which is about 160 meters long and 90 feet deep from the point of entrance. If you are into mythology or geology, you will love the visit to this cave.
Day trip to Chaukori from Binsar – Alternate Plan for Day 2
If you are into road trips, then you can plan to complete the circuit of Binsar to Baijnath to Chaukori and then back to Binsar via the Sheraghat route. The route from Chaukori to Binsar via Sheraghat is pretty scenic and through the dense forest.
Hence, after the first day of relaxing in the woods, this road trip from Binsar to Chaukori will be a refreshing experience. Nothing better than having the night spent at Chaukori to watch the famous sunrise and sunset.
Day 3 – End of your trip
Head back to Delhi or continue exploring the Kumaon region in case you have more days at hand. It is always best to leave early from Binsar to reach Delhi at an appropriate time.
Can I travel from Binsar to Munsiyari?
You can plan the trip further from Binsar to Munsiyari if you have at least 2-3 more days in hand. It will take about 9 hrs of a drive to cover a distance of 195 km between Binsar and Munsiyari.
You cannot plan a day trip to Munsiyari from Binsar because it will be very hectic. Rather start from Binsar in the early morning to stay overnight at Munsiyari. You should stay the next day in Munsiyari and then start the journey back via Chaukori or Kausani. When traveling between Munsiyari to Binsar, you can stop at Birthi Waterfall as well.
Where to stay in Binsar
Limited places to stay. Camping is a great and recommended option. If you can’t find a place, head to Almora, which is more commercial. However, as with major Uttarakhand locations, Binsar KMVN is, of course, present here. Nothing can beat the KMVN locations.
While it looks a little outdated, that only adds to the charm. The service in amazing and the views will lure you into tranquillity. Binsar Forest Retreat is slightly expensive – but, the views, the rooms, the service – all add up to a memorable experience. Other places to check out are Suman Nature Resort, and I believe that a Club Mahindra Resort is also nearby.
Where to eat
The seclusion of Binsar is its major attraction, and as such, restaurants are virtually non-existent. You can, however, get meals in various resorts in and around Binsar. Roadside dhabas also come in handy at such locations. Anjana and Mohan’s café is the limited options in terms of food joints.
Otherwise, Binsar KMVN serves food as well in their restaurant.
You should always carry your water bottle and refill it as many times as you need water. It will not only keep you hydrated always, but you will also help in saving the Himalayas from plastic garbage. Remember, every tiny step counts and your step in this direction can help save the Himalayas too !! 🙂 🙂
What to shop
Any excursion is incomplete without shopping, of course. Get yourself some trinkets such as crafted wooden items or buy some local products such as the rhododendron juice (A MUST – Highly recommended), woolens, hand-knitted shawls, local honey, handmade soaps, etc.
Other tips for a trip to Binsar
- Avoid trekking in Binsar in monsoon season or when t is raining.
- Finding a place to stay in peak season might be difficult. Almora is a nearby location that is more commercial.
- Cell phone connectivity is great in the region, especially for Jio and BSNL.
- Electricity can be an issue at times, however, if you’re staying at one of the resorts – it is not much of a concern. Smaller resorts can face cuts of longer durations, especially in summer months.
- Berinag: At a distance of 95 km from Binsar, Berinag is a small hamlet situated at an elevation of 1740 meters. This little town provides different perspectives on the ginormous snow-capped peaks of the mighty Himalayas.
Pro Travel Tip: Do not forget to check my list of things to carry on Himalayan trips.
There is nothing quite as calming as the breath-taking views of the Himalayas, adorned by snow in far off distance. Binsar provides just that! With rare birds chirping beautiful songs just for your pleasure – Binsar is the place you go to calm your soul and reconnect with nature.
Don’t miss out on the lesser-defined trails with beautiful treks around the hamlet, and you’ll discover new places to call just yours. Binsar is an ideal getaway for bird watchers, nature lovers, and landscape photographers.
Have you visited Binsar before? Comment below on any fun facts we might have missed! Also, other offbeat places that have your heart, and you want fellow travelers to enjoy – do share your experiences!