Had a great 6 day break from Delhi with family at Haldwani and Binsar. We stayed at the Kumaon Mandal Vikas Nigam(better known as KMVN) Guest House for 3 days and 3 nights at Binsar which is one of the two places where you can stay in Binsar. Club Mahindra’s Resort is not worth mentioning as part of those options because it is common knowledge that they are cashing in on Binsar’s name without actually being located in Binsar. If Binsar is at 8000 feet, Mahindra’s resort will be at 4000 feet. The other place where one can stay is at the Mount Oak Resort which is an old British house converted to a hotel. This place is not advertised through the Indian media but done so only through the internet and magazines abroad. Exorbitant costs keep Indians away from this place.
KMVN is the everyone-can-afford place to stay. The staff and management were excellent, people ready to help at all times. Binsar is a recognized wildlife sanctuary but sadly the locals informed us that few of the animals that were brought to be preserved have survived. The tigers, leopards, deer and monkeys are few of those that have survived. Binsar has no electricity. The electricity that powers the lights for 1 hour each day at KMVN are generated through solar panel chargers and diesel. It’s a place where no gadget works, there are only 6 plug points at the reception at KMVN all of which may be used only when the electricity is generated daily between 7-8PM.
Apart from outdoor activity like trekking and rock climbing, there isn’t much else to do in Binsar which is why I consider it a great place to spend a few holidays but not a place where I’d be able to survive for long after being brought up in a metropolitan and so-called advanced city. We also realized how pathetic we are at judging distances simply because we are not used to walking so much with vehicles readily available at every corner. The trek to sunset point was only a 500 metre walk but it seemed never-ending when we went there the first time, so much so that we ended up returning midway thinking it’d get too dark if we were to return from our destination after sunset. A KMVN staff member laughed and guided our way to help us reach sunset point. While we walked back to the guest house we realized how short a distance that was.
Something I took on our trek to zero point.
The next day we went to zero point, after which we returned to the pakora room. So for every calorie we burnt, there were a hundred calories gained. It was worth it! It was 12:00PM then and we a had a good 8 hour session of Monopoly till dinner.
Sleeping for 2 hours a day during exams is fun, but 12 hours of sleep is even more fun. It leaves you feeling exuberant when you get up and that’s how I felt the next morning(more close to an early afternoon). Brushed, washed and headed to the temple mentioned in all the tourist booklets and was surprised to see only frames with illustrations of various hindu gods inside the temple. The temple is only a place where families come together to pray, the money involved isn’t a lot therefore simplicity does a great job. We returned after that 3 km trek after roaming around the place for an hour.
Now Monopoly is a game you can play for 7-8 hours but Scrabble doesn’t let a big group remain occupied for a long time, so everybody had to be happy reading the books they had brought. I was reading Q & A by Vikas Swarup which my mom loved and though it was racy and a good read, I wouldn’t put it on the list of books that are worth shelving for revision later. That night was the end of a very enjoyable 3 nights at Binsar which is a beautiful place. The view of the Himalayas is something more enjoyable at Kausani but I may have seen too much.
Now back in Delhi, screaming because of how hot it is with the air conditioners switched on. Still I wont complain, now that I can use AirPort again.