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binsar wildlife sanctuary overview

#1 of 7 Places To Visit in Binsar
binsar wildlife sanctuary
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Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary, Binsar, Uttarakhand, India
entry fee
50 - 250
Vehicle fee
All days of the week
6:00 AM - 6:00 PM
visit duration
2 to 3 hours

how to reach binsar wildlife sanctuary

Buses leave for Almora from Delhi’s ISBT Anand Vihar every 45 mins between 5:30 am and 7:30 pm. You can take a shared taxi from Almora to reach this sanctuary. Travelling in your private vehicles is also a good idea. The Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary is situated in the lap of Kumaun Hills of Himalayas on the top of Jhandi Dhar, which is 33 km north of Almora.

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about binsar wildlife sanctuary

Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary is a small protected area, set deep in the Himalayan foothills, enclosing only 47.04 sq km. However, because the sanctuary lies over heavily forested hill terrain, at altitudes ranging from 900 to 2,500 mts, the blob-like size belies the ease of movement within it. The forest cover is mostly oak (three varieties) and rhododendron at higher altitudes and chir pine at the lower levels. In all, 25 types of trees, 24 kinds of bushes and seven varieties of grasses have been documented in the sanctuary. There are nine listed water holes. According to the 2005 census, Binsar was home to 16 leopards, 69 ghoral, 43 Kakar, 57 wild boars, 150 monkeys and possibly two Himalayan black bears.
Besides these, the sanctuary harbours jackals, Indian red fox, pine martens and porcupines. Though sightings here are occasional, and usually in ones and twos, one does get to see the odd animal, even the leopard. On the other hand, Binsar ranks high in avifaunal variety and visibility — around 200 species of resident and migratory birds have been recorded within its boundaries. Nine villages, populated by some 600 people, are situated within Binsar’s boundary. In an effort to reduce the human pressure on the sanctuary, 35 villages that encircle it and have traditionally depended on upon it for their livelihood, have been instituted into an Eco- Development Committee that devises alternate means of income and keeps an eye on the health of the forest. Despite this, the numerous forest fires raging at any given time in the dry, vulnerable summer months, most caused by careless disposal of lighted objects and other burning material, is quite alarming. 

There is one entry gate for tourists, at Ayarpani, located on the south-east edge, and only one road, climbing in a northwesterly direction to terminate at the Forest Rest House (FRH), near the core zone. As such, unlike many other parks in the plains, jeep or elephant safaris are not the means for exploration here. Walking is. The sanctuary is crisscrossed with many trails, some relatively wide and well-trodden, others barely discernible. If planning to venture alone, be aware that not only is it easy to get lost, but you would also lose out on the benefit of a guide who can make your experience enriching. All walks are up and down hillsides and valleys; some are quite steep and long and can tax the stamina of the unfit. However, they are extremely enjoyable: the forests are pristine, healthy and shady for the most part, and very thick in some places.

What is delightful is that you probably won’t meet anyone along the way. Walks lead off from where you are lodged; those described above are out of the TRH/ FRH region. However, regardless of where you are staying, the standard excursion at Binsar is the 1-km gentle ascent from the TRH to Zero Point, at about 2,500m, the high centre of Jhandidhar, the main hill of Binsar. The tall machan at this spot affords a 360° view of the sanctuary, and also of the snow ranges. During British times, a flag was hoisted here to let people in the villages around know that the district commissioner was visiting the area.

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