Binsar Forest Retreat is situated at an altitude of 7,600 ft on the south west flank of Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary. It is situated on the land once owned (during the British Raj) by Major Edin and the property is locally known as Edinpur. It is surrounded by the sounds and sights of wilderness with superb views of the higher Himalayas to the north and the valleys and hills to the south and west.
Arriving at the Retreat
We are located inside the Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary, about 8 km into the Sanctuary. The forest check-post remains closed from sunset (about 7.00 PM during summer, 5.00 PM during winter) to sunrise. We request you to arrive at the check-post at least an hour before sunset.
The last 600 metres to the Retreat is a steep uphill ride on a very rough and narrow path and you will do this stretch in our 4-wheel drive pickup. There is parking space for self-driven cars where you transfer.
Dining room and Food
All meals are served in the dining room. We don’t have room service. The meals are buffet and we don’t have an a la carte menu. We order our groceries from Almora (30 km and 1.5 hours away) and lacking a refrigerator, we order based on pre-planned meal preparations. The buffet is Kumaoni, North Indian or Continental food on rotation (not all together). We can prepare special food for children under the age of 5 years.
We serve only vegetarian food. We have egg servings for breakfast and some of our dishes (cakes, curries, biryani, etc.) use egg.
We don’t serve alcohol.
Smoking is prohibited in the dining room. In common areas smoking is only permitted in the designated smoking area.
The lounge is in the far corner of the dining room. It has a bukhari (wood stove) to keep you warm on cold days and also a library of books and magazines.
We supply fresh laundered linen on arrival. Since we do our laundry in Almora and it takes a few days to turn-around, we request you to use the same set for the duration of your stay.
Smoking is prohibited in the rooms (except in balconies / private verandas).
The Retreat is run on solar power. All rooms have sufficient lights, but we request using lights only when and where needed as we are limited by the battery bank. On rainy days we may not have electricity in the rooms and dining even after dark. We then resort to the more primitive but romantic candle-lit lighting.
Plug points are provided in the dining room and will be switched on only during daylight hours on a clear day. There aren’t any plug points in the rooms.
Our water supply is from a natural spring deep inside the Sanctuary and harvested rainwater. We request you to use water judiciously at all times.
We use solar geysers for hot water supply. All rooms and tents have running hot water for bathing only. We don’t have showers, though. Buckets are provided for bathing in the bathrooms. On cloudy / rainy days, if we don’t have sufficient hot water to go round, we can provide hot water in buckets upon request.
We do not have accommodation for drivers at the Retreat. Upon request, we can arrange for their accommodation outside the Sanctuary (about 15 km away) for a charge of Rs. 250 / night.