India - Himalayas Binsar

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Kingdom of Kumaon

* Gentle journey into the foothills  * Wonderful wildlife opportunities * Leisurely woodland walks, charming guesthouses  * Lakeside hillstation, tiger reserve

Journey into the foothills of the Indian Himalayas for a wonderful first encounter of rural India. With warm hospitality and a true insight into life in the hills, enjoy the gentle of pace of life in these beautiful, hidden villages and discover a wealth of wildlife. With gentle walking accessible to all, your private guide takes you through the terraced fields and wooded hillsides of the Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary, alive with birdsong and the call of barking deer.

From Binsar, spend a day in the delightful lakeside town of Nainital before moving on to the Corbett Tiger Reserve for a chance to discover the rich wildlife.

 A Hidden Sanctuary

The Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary lies at the heart of the Kumaon District, with hillsides cloaked in pine forest and dotted with stone houses. You stay in two of the villages for two nights each, allowing you time to relax and immerse yourself in village life and discover the array of animals and birds making their home in the mountain forests. Choose to learn a local recipe, help collect the harvest, explore the local area or simply unwind with a hot cup of chai and admire the mountain views.  

 

Simple comfort

Your stay in Binsar starts and ends with nights at the comfortable Khali Estate, where you meet your own private guide who accompanies you at your own pace along well-used footpaths into the Binsar villages, with your luggage carried by village porters. On the days you walk, on average you walk for two to three hours a day, however your experienced guide will tailor the routes to suit your needs.

 

Lakeside town and wildlife reserve

deer in forestFrom Khali Estate, you are transported to the small hillstation of Nainital, set on the edge of a volcanic lake. Explore the busy bazaar and relax on the lakeside. After a night in a local hotel, you move on to Corbett National Park. Named after legendary hunter-turned-conservationist Jim Corbett, the tiger reserve is home to a walth of wildlife, and two days here gives you opportunity to spot deer, wild boar, jackal, langur, and if you are lucky, tiger.

 

Outward journey

Day 1 Welcome at Delhi airport, transfer to Delhi guesthouse for overnight stay.

Day 2 An early morning transfer from your guesthouse takes you to the station to catch the day train into the foothills, to Kathgodam station. A road journey takes you from Kathgodam to Khali Estate, for a warm welcome and a relaxing stay in a double room garden bungalow.

 

 

In the Binsar Sanctuary

Day 3 - Day 6 After breakfast meet your guide to discuss the journey ahead. You visit and stay in two of the Binsar villages, in community-owned guesthouses with simple twin bedroom accommodation. All meals are included throughout your stay, with picnic lunches taken when walking. Get to know the local traditions and enjoy life in the hillside villages, explore the terraced fields and woods, discover an array of wildlife and relax and enjoy the beautiful scenery.

Day 7 Return to Khali Estate for another night's stay.

 

Onwards to Corbett, via Nainital

Day 8 A road transfer takes you to the pretty town of Nainital, where you have a day to explore the bustling markets and enjoy the lake. Overnight in hotel.

Day 9 - 10 From Nainital, you journey by road to the Corbett Tiger reserve, where your hotel sits on the edge of the park. With two nights here, enjoy jeep safaris into the park, where your guide helps you to spot the abundant wildlife -including, if you are lucky, the elusive tiger.

 

Homeward Journey

Day 11 Return by road to Kathgodam to catch the overnight train to Delhi.

Day 12 Transfer from station to Delhi airport for homeward flight.

Flights

We ask our guests to make their own arrangements for international travel to India. For Village Ways holidays in the foothills, the nearest airport is Delhi. Travel information for India can be found here.

Transfers

We look after you from the moment of your arrival at Delhi airport. Your holiday includes transfers and rail journeys to the hills, accommodation in the village guesthouses and hotels, with all meals provided during your stay in the villages and your own guide through the hills. We have devised each of our holidays to provide a good balance between activity and relaxation; please feel free to tailor your holiday to your exact requirements.

Tailor-made

The suggested itinerary can be extended if you wish to spend more time exploring the Himalayan foothills, or shortened if your time in India is limited. Our knowledgeable staff will be delighted to help fashion the holiday to suit you.

Stay in Delhi

Delhi is a fascinating and vibrant city. It epitomises the huge leaps forward that India is currently undergowing whilst reflecting the country's great history. A new metro is being built but much is still moved around on overladen cycles and bullock carts. The shopping opportunities are excellent, particularly for textiles. Why not add a night's stay in the city to your holiday?

Guest-house accommodation We work with some very comfortable and hospitable guest-houses in the heart of Delhi. We can arrange overnight stays for you, or a day-room to freshen up after a night flight. If you would like to upgrade from a guesthouse to a hotel, we can arrange this.
Driver & car  One of the best ways to get around and across Delhi is by car. We offer carefully selected drivers to look after you for the day. On call for you, they will be able to take from shops to India Gate to the Red Fort and out to dinner - or wherever you choose.

From Delhi to the hills

Included in your holiday to and from the hills is a journey on the overnight Ranikhet Express from Delhi to Kathgodam. Included accommodation is in 2nd class, air-conditioned carriages - 2 tier, open plan with curtains around groups of berths. Trains open for reservation 3 months before departure. As soon as reservations open we will be able to confirm your rail journey to you.

Upgrade to 1st class You can upgrade to 1st class where the berths are in air-conditioned compartments of four or two. There is only one 1st class carriage which can be get booked very early on.

From Delhi to the hills by car You can also choose to travel up from Delhi (or return at the end of you holiday) by private car.

 

Extra nights during your holiday

Extra nights at Khali Estate

All holidays to Binsar include at least one night at Khali Estate, a marvelous place to relax and unwind. Many guests have added an extra night here at the beginning or end of their stay in the hills. If your journey here has been by night flight followed by overnight train it could be good idea to catch you breath with a quiet day here.

Extra nights in the Village Guest-houses

You may wish to prolong your exploration of the wonderful hill villages in Binsar. There is so much to learn and appreciate about village life and the host communities would love to keep you for a day longer.

Jageshwar Temples

Just outside of the Binsar Sanctuary lies a fascinating temple complex at Jageshwar. Choose to a night in the village of Matkanya, perched on top of a ridge, from where you can descend into the valley and visit the temples.

 

Agra

For many guests, a visit to India would not be complete without a visit to the Taj Mahal, regarded by many as one of the wonders of the world. Whether you wish to make a day trip by train, enjoy an overnight stay with time to explore more of Agra, or whether you wish to be transferred by car, we can arrange a visit to suit you.

Jaipur

Jaipur is the capital of Rajasthan, hosting some incredible architecture and seeped in history. Not to be missed are the Jantar Mantar observatory and the renowned Amber Fort. Add a visit here to complete the Golden Triangle of Delhi, Agra and Jaipur.