Monday, 2 November 2015

Binsar, the idyllic Himalayan forest



Our driver Jivan was washing his car, while we were having delicious mixed paratha.He was there on time. While in Nainital if you are not eating mixed paratha, then you are really missing a part of Nainital.

We started our journey sharp at 7:30 am. Binsar is approximately 98 km from Nainital. The road is really beautiful and we always had the Kosi river accompanying us by our side. Our man friday Jivan told us that the rains have been less this year so Kosi is having less water. But with whatever water it has, Kosi was looking stunning with its mix of sapphire and azure.

A meandering Kosi

The photographer

Just imagine driving through a road that goes through lush green mountains with a narrow crystal clear sapphire river by the side. Every second was worth freezing either in dslr or memory and we did both.

The temple Kainchi Dham will also fall on the way.Since we are not much in temple visiting unless and until the temple is an archaeological piece of work we gave it a pass. But I think recently the temple was in news because of  Zuckerburg. We were satisfied just by taking some pictures from our car.

Kainchi Dham Temple

We were enjoying the sights and sounds of nature when our driver stopped his car. He pointed us towards a stone.The stone has an uncanny resemplance to a frog and hence called Stone's Frog. On asking we came to know that the name of the place is Garampani.

Stone's frog

Next we passed through a very scenic place called Kakrighat where KVMN is building a tourist guest house just on the banks of the river Kosi. I think once it is open for tourists, we book book a day's stay.

We took a little detour since I wanted to see the Sun Temple at Katarmal. I think there are only three Sun temples in India and Katarmal Sun temple is one of them. The other two are in Konark and Modhera and we are fortunate that we had seen them all.

We passed the G.B pant Institute of Himalayan Environment and Development and took a narrow road. The road is new and still not tar coated. It took us up till the parking. From there we had to walk almost 1 km on a gradual up slope. There is only shop below at the parking so we took some water with us and stated the walk uphill.

This little stretch of 1 km is really amazing. There were so many birds though we could not click all. Either they were hyper active or somewhere hidden in the canopy.If I had known this I would have reached here even earlier.Anyway we got some decent shots of a Verediter's flycatcher.


Birds at Katarmal

Birds at Katarmal

The temple is a 9 century temple and neatly preserved.There are a total of 44 temples dedicated to different deities that surround the main Sun temple.Very less people come, so the gate of  Sun temple is kept closed. There is a temple caretaker and whenever he sees someone approaching the temple gates, he opens the Sun Temple gate and offers prasad.

Sun Temple at Katarmal

Sun Temple at Katarmal

Sun Temple at Katarmal

Lizard at Katarmal

We resumed our journey and at around 1 pm we reached our pre-booked KVMN government at Deenapani. We had online booked KVMN government guesthouses at our different halts.

There is a small story here. Since both me and my husband love forests so we first thought that we will book the KVMN at Binsar. The guesthouse is situated inside the Binsar wildlife sanctuary.But because of renovation works in KVMN Binsar, booking was closed and we had to half-heartedly settle for Deenapani which is 16 km away from Binsar.However it turned out to be a blessing. Later we came to know that Binsar KVMN do not allow lights after evening except for 30 mins of dining hours so that the forest ecosystem is not disturbed.  Binsar KVMN cottages are very beautiful and if someone enjoys forests then its fine to spend a few peaceful nights in Binsar but its always good to be informed before making any choice.

Anyway coming back to my old talk, KVMN Deepani is really good. In Deenapani as well as Binsar breakfast and dinner are complimentary and the food tastes good. On a clear day one can see the Kumaon Himalaya range while sipping tea from the hotel balcony.The staffs are really nice and courteous, qualities very much inborn in hilly people. The rooms are also spacious but maintenance is not very well.

Binsar

The Traveller

We choose to rest for the day.

The next day we have two places in our agenda. First will be visiting the Binsar wildlife sanctuary and from there trekking till zero point. Next will be seeing the Jageshwar group of temples.

After a hearty breakfast consisting of bread, omlette and tea we went for Binsar WLS. The 16 km road is very scenic with deodar trees on both sides of the road.We had to give some 550 bucks for the entry tickets. To trek till zero point one can either take a guide for 200 bucks or can walk independently. We choose the later since the way is pretty straight. Its almost a 2 km up trek passing through the forest. There were so many wild flowers on the way. Jivan told us that March/April is the time when rhododendron makes Binsar red.

Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary


Inside Binsar WLS

Inside Binsar WLS

Flowers at Binsar WLS

At zero point there is a watch tower from where one can see the Himalaya range but luck was not with us.The clouds played mischief and Himalayas were hidden in clouds. However on our way back we saw Nanda Devi peak.

Trekking path

Watch Tower at Zero Point

Watch Tower at Zero Point

View from Zero Point

Tickel's flycatcher



From Binsar to Jageshwar the distance is 60 km and we took almost 2 hours to reach since we took a break for lunch somewhere in between.The road is scenic.

The scenic road with deodar trees all around


 Jageshwar temples are scattered in groups. We visited the main group of temples. The temples are surrounded by deodar trees.There is a tiny stream that flows along. The temples are very old and absolutely beautiful. We spend some time in the pristine environment and the headed back to Deenapani.

Jageshwar Temple
Jageshwar Temple


The next destination is Chaukori and we will leave for Chaukori early next day.





6 comments:

  1. Informative write up with equally good photographes,we had been there many times as i am from almora

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. so lucky you are that you belong to such a beautiful place. Thanks for stopping by.

      Delete
  2. What a beautiful place to visit . Great pictures and well written matter .

    ReplyDelete
  3. Beautiful place and even more beautiful pictures...

    Cheers, Archana - www.drishti.co

    ReplyDelete

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