Binsar Sanctuary is situated in the foothills of the majestic Himalayas. Although its a small sanctuary, it houses a wide variety of flora and fauna. Also, one can spot some of the rarest species of birds and butterflies that are especially found in the Himalayan range.
The wildlife sanctuary is situated at an altitude ranging from 900 to 2500 m. At the lower level, the forest mainly consists of Chir Pine while its oak and rhododendron in the higher altitudes. The running water has shaped the terrain of this sanctuary.
Flora: The sanctuary houses around 25 types of trees, about 24 types of bushes and seven varieties of grasses. The flora consists of oak and moist mixed deciduous forests; temperate moist coniferous forests including deodar and blue pine; sub-alpine birch, fir and spruce forests; Sub-alpine pasture and scrub.
Fauna: As per a recent survey, there are 16 Leopards, 69 Ghorals, 57 Wild Boars, 43 Kakars, 150 Monkeys and two Himalayan Black Bears. Also, Indian Red Fox, Jackals, Pine Martens and Porcupines have made this sanctuary their home.
Avian-Fauna: The sanctuary has been declared an Important Bird Area by Birdlife International. There are more than 200 bird species in the sanctuary, including Forktail, Blackbirds, Laughing Thrush, Kalij Pheasant, Nuthatches, Parakeets and Monal.
Zero Point: Zero point is the highest point in Almora district, and offers unparalleled panoramic view of the magnificent Himalayan range. The snow-clad peaks of Kedarnath, Shivling, Trishul and the Nanda Devi can be seen from this point.
Location: Binsar Wildlife Sanctuaryis located 35 km from Almora in the state of Uttaranchal.
Area: 47.04 sq. km.
Route: Its half an hour journey from Almora.Kathgodam is the nearest railhead, almost 126 km from Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary. One can board the overnight train Ranikhet Express from Old Delhi railway station to reach Kathgodam. There are taxis available from Kathgodam to reach Binasar.
Road: From Delhi take national highway (NH) 24 to Rampur via Hapur and Moradabad, and then NH 87 to Kathgodam via Rudrapur. There is a direct bus service from Delhi to Kathgodam in the morning and evening.
Things to keep in mind
- If you want to discover and explore the sanctuary and its wilderness, you have to walk through the area. There are no jeep rides or any form of transport available in the park.
Best Time to Visit: February to April, October to November.
Kathgodam: The temples of Sheetla Devi and Kalichaud are located near this town.From Kathgodam, one can head towards Almora, Nainital, Bhimtal, Sattal, and other major tourist destinations in Uttaranchal.
Almora: One of the most captivating towns of Kumaun region, Almora is known for its natural beauty, handicrafts, cultural heritage, wildlife and more. A temple dedicated to Nanda Devi is located in the centre of this shoe-shaped town.
Image Source: Ani