Binsar was the second last leg of our Uttarakhand trip, the 6th halt in our road trip. Despite being on our 9th day in the roads, the excitement of the hills and the Himalayas had not ebbed in any manner. On the contrary, by now, we were filled with a strong desire to explore yet some more. So what if we had seen the magnificent peaks of Panchchouli up and close from Munsiyari? One couldn’t tire of them here in Uttarakhand. Instead, the love affair only deepened. You would want to see them from everywhere. And then there were the almost life-inducing treks. We had grown so so used to over the days…those, too, demanded that we hit the hills every morning and evening. Binsar promised all these. Yet again…
Drive from Chaukori to Binsar: Binsar is 90 kms away from Chakori. We maintained the same regime…start off an hour after breakfast and try to reach the next destination by lunch time. We did just that for Binsar too. However, the route entailed we drive downhill by about 50 kms, beyond which, the uphill drive started once again. It was at this point that the drive got a little dreary. For, in the hills, they do not switch on the AC while driving uphill. And although the downhill drive was an AC ride, the comfort was soon lost to dust, fumes and heat on our way up. We were sure we needed another shower when we’d reach the Grand Oak Manor.
Staying in Grand Oak Manor in Binsar: Ah! That was undoubtedly the biggest draw of Binsar….Located 7kms inside the Binsar Wildlife
Sanctuary, the place ensures you are cut off from civilisation. No car
honks, handful of humans around you, no television, hardly any net
connectivity….there is no way you wouldn’t connect with nature and
your own self when here… (Read the review of the Grand Oak Manor in Binsar)
Sight-seeing in Binsar: You go to Binsar to trek around the Binsar Wildlife Santuary. The reserve is home to birds, bears, boars, jackals, leopards, foxes etc. During our treks, we did manage to spot a fox and a few boars, but deep inside the trees…
Although stationed at the Grand Oak Manor for 3 nights, we were sure we didn’t want to budge from the premises of the Dame, but Sindhu insisted we go see the cluster of Jageshwar temples some 60 kms downhill. Why Ms Bhuvan Kumari from the Jeolikote Cottage (Read — Staying at the Jeolikote Cottage) too had adviced us to go there! And so, we relented and reluctantly went to see the Jageshwar temples, the museum that houses the temple statues and figurines, the Jhula Devi temple with its hundreds of bells, cave paintings from the stone-age at Phulaseema. Honestly, not a bad day. But wouldn’t have minded staying put at the Manor too….
For the complete Uttarakhand itinerary, where to stay, what to see and what to buy, read — An Uttarakhand Roadtrip This Summer