A stunning view of the snow covered Himalayan peaks, lush forests abundant in flora and fauna, dramatic sunrises and sunsets and the promise of uninterrupted solitude – is what made Binsar simply enchanting.
We reached the KMVN Tourist Rest House around 7 in the evening and after a quick wash and dinner, awaited the lights to go off – there is no power in the rest house for the entire day excepting for 2 hours in the night sourced from a diesel generator. So, post 9 pm when the lights went off, we felt transported into a world unsullied by modern technology.
As we stepped out of our rooms and on to the terrace, we were greeted by the mesmerising sight of a moonless night sky densely speckled with thousand of stars shining like micro diamonds. All of us, including the children immediately set about trying to identify the familiar constellations and planets. Tip: Carry a chart of the night sky to have more fun.
Going back down, the single candle lit long corridor where we settled down for a nice adda (chat session), formed the ideal setting for ghost stories! The five kids, aged 7 – 11, were very much enthralled by some very realistic ghost stories told by the elders. Tip: Stock up on games and books to soak in the ambience better.
We woke up at 5 in the morning to the call of the birds and got ready to go to to the deck again to get the first glimpse of the Himalayan peaks and sunrise. What we experienced is best described through the series of photos:
First, we got the majestic view of the snow covered Himalayan peaks dominated by Nanda Devi (the highest peak in India), flanked by her sentinels Trishul and Nanda Kot and the Chaukhamba and Panchachuli ranges. The sight was simply spellbinding.
Next, came the sunrise and this was the best I had seen so far. The sun first appeared as a red fleck between 2 peaks of the Panchachuli range. And then as it came out in full view, first slowly and then very quickly, gave impression of an impishly cute child peeping out first with a corner of it’s eye and then rushing forward to eagerly to greet it’s audience. To the yoga enthusiasts and sun worshippers, this presented an ideal opportunity for the Surya Namaskars!
After breakfast, we took a short 2 km trek to Zero Point, the highest vantage point in Binsar, giving an even more spectacular view of the Himalayan peaks. The walk took us through the wilderness of the sanctuary, lush with deep red rhododendron trees, hundred year old oaks and pines, the silence broken only by the sounds of many invisible birds, the continuous Zee-Zee sounds of buzzing insects and some adventurous animals like the black faced langoor monkeys. If you are lucky you may spot some of the more elusive animals and birds which abound in Binsar.
Those keen on capturing the sunset or staying in an even more isolated spot, could go to the old Forest Rest House which is a km away from the KMVN. This offers only a few rooms and one would have to get their own provisions and do the cooking themselves. This place offers a sweeping view of the valleys and needless to say is perfect for a Back-to-Nature experience.
Happy Holidaying in Binsar!
A special thanks to my friend, Sujata Nanda for the awesome photos.