Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary
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|Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary|
IUCN category IV (habitat/species management area)
Oaks on a mountain slope in Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary
|Governing body||Department of Forest Uttarakhand|
Binsar was the summer capital of the Chand Kings, who ruled over Kumaon from the 11th to 18th centuries AD. Binsar was established in 1988 for the conservation and protection of the shrinking broad leaf oak (Quercus) forests of the Central Himalayan region, and it has over 200 bird species.
The sanctuary is spread over 45.59 km² and situated at an altitude varying from 900 to 2500 metres with an average height of 2412 metres. It is located 35 km from Almora in the state of Uttarakhand.
Flora & Fauna
Binsar has a museum about the flora and fauna of the region. Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary is known for its wide variety of flora ranging from 25 types of trees and 24 types of bushes to seven varieties of grasses. The higher altitudes of sanctuary are covered with oak and rhododendron trees. March and April are the months when flowers, especially ruby red rhododendron, are in full bloom.
The fauna include leopard (Panthera Pardus), Nemorhaedus goral (goral), Chital (Axis axis), musk deer, serow (Capricornis sumatiensis), jungle cat (Felis chaus), Sus scrofa, black bear, pine marten, fox (Vulpes vulpes), langur ((Presbytis entellus), monkey (Macaca mulatta), porcupine, flying squirrel (Petaurista petaurista), and barking deer (Muntiacus muntjak). It has over 200 species of birds including tits, forktail, nuthatches, blackbirds, parakeets, laughingthrush, magpies, Kalij pheasant (Lophura leucomelana), monal, koklas, eagles, woodpeckers, and Eurasian jays. Binsar is also home to many reptiles and a wide range of butterflies.
Places of interest
The Khali estate was once the home of Sir Henry Ramsay, who was the commissioner of Kumaun from 1856 to 1884 and called by British authors the King of Kumaun. He also built his bungalow at Binsar. Vijay Laxmi Pandit, the sister of Jawahar Lal Nehru, also lived here.
Mary Budden estate
The Mary Budden estate located at 8000 feet is a restored colonial home with two cottages and a temple to Shiva.
There are two Binsar in Almora. The Binsar Mahadev is located in a jungle around 20 km from Ranikhet and nearly 70 km from Almora. It is known for the temple of Lord Shiva. Every June "Yagya" is organised in which thousand of devotees visit there.
The Bineshwar Mahadev temple is a holy destination for Hindus. Binsar was named after the temple, which is dedicated to the God Shiva.
Kasar Devi temple
Kasar Devi temple is located around 9 km from Binsar. It housed Dutch monks from 1970 to early 1980s. It gained recognition in 1920 when Swami Vivekananda meditated there.
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