Sunday, July 16, 2023

Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary

Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary UPSC

Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary is a protected area located in the state of Uttarakhand, India. It is situated in the Kumaon Himalayas, at an altitude ranging from 900 to 2,480 meters (2,953 to 8,136 feet) above sea level. The sanctuary spans across an area of about 47 square kilometers and was established in 1988 with the purpose of conserving the diverse flora and fauna of the region.

The Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary is known for its rich biodiversity and is home to a variety of animal and plant species. Some of the prominent wildlife species found in the sanctuary include leopard, black bear, ghoral, musk deer, jungle cat, fox, and various species of birds. The sanctuary also boasts a wide range of vegetation, including oak, rhododendron, pine, cedar, and other alpine flora.

One of the major attractions in the sanctuary is the Binsar Zero Point. It offers panoramic 360-degree view of the snow-capped peaks of the Himalayas, including Nanda Devi, Trishul, Chaukhamba, Kedarnath, Shivling and Panchachuli. This viewpoint is a popular spot for nature lovers and photographers.

Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary is also known for its trekking trails, which provide opportunities for adventure enthusiasts to explore the surrounding wilderness. These trails take visitors through dense forests, meadows, and picturesque landscapes, offering glimpses of the abundant wildlife and natural beauty of the region.

In addition to its natural beauty and wildlife, the Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary also has a historical significance. It houses the Binsar Mahadev Temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva, which attracts pilgrims and devotees throughout the year.

Table of Contents

  • Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary Location
  • How to reach Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary?
  • Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary History
  • Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary Area
  • Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary Mountains
  • Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary Flora
  • Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary Fauna
    • Mammals
    • Birds
    • Reptile
  • Binsar Zero Point
  • Binsar Mahadev Temple
  • Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary UPSC Questions

Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary Location

Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary is located in the Almora district of Uttarakhand, India. It is situated in the Kumaon region of the state. Due to its location, it offers spellbinding views of the majestic Himalayan peaks such as Chaukhamba, Trishul, Nanda Devi, Shivling and Panchachuli. 

The sanctuary is about 33 kilometers (20.5 miles) north of the town of Almora. The nearest major city is Nainital, which is approximately 95 kilometers (59 miles) away from the sanctuary. 

How to reach Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary?

Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary Nearest Airport:

The nearest airport to Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary is Pantnagar Airport, which is approximately 150 kilometers (93 miles) away. From Pantnagar Airport, you can hire a taxi or take a bus to reach Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary.

Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary Nearest Railway Station:

The nearest railway station to Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary is Kathgodam Railway Station, which is located about 120 kilometers (75 miles) away. From Kathgodam, you can hire a taxi or take a bus to reach Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary.

Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary History

Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary has a rich history that dates back several centuries. The area around Binsar has been inhabited since ancient times, and it holds cultural and historical significance.

Ancient Settlements and Chand Dynasty: Binsar has a history of ancient human settlements, with evidence of human habitation in the area since ancient times. The Chand dynasty, which ruled over the Kumaon region from the 7th to 18th century AD, made Binsar their summer capital. Binsar served as an important center of power and administration for the Chand rulers. The Chand dynasty built temples and structures in the region, showcasing their cultural and architectural influence.

Establishment of Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary: Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary was officially established in 1988 with the primary objective of conserving the diverse flora and fauna of the region. It aimed to protect the habitat of rare and endangered species found in the Himalayan broadleaf and coniferous forests.

Named after the Bineshwar Mahadev Temple: Locals believe that Binsar got its name from the Bineshwar Mahadev temple, a 16th-century temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple holds historical and religious significance in the region, and its presence has contributed to the naming of the sanctuary.

Importance as a Tourist Destination: Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary has become a popular tourist destination over the years. Visitors are attracted to its pristine beauty, diverse flora and fauna, and panoramic views of the Himalayas. The sanctuary offers a serene and tranquil environment for nature lovers, wildlife enthusiasts, and adventure seekers. Ecotourism activities, such as trekking and wildlife spotting, are encouraged to promote sustainable tourism.

Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary Area

The Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary spans across an area of about 47 square kilometers (18.14 square miles). It encompasses a diverse range of ecosystems, including Himalayan broadleaf and coniferous forests, meadows, and alpine vegetation. 

Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary Mountains

Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary is located in the Kumaon Himalayas of Uttarakhand, India. It is surrounded by a range of majestic mountains that contribute to its scenic beauty. Some of the prominent mountains visible from Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary include:

(1) Nanda Devi:

Nanda Devi is the highest mountain entirely within India, with an elevation of 7,816 meters (25,643 feet). It is a significant peak in the region and offers a breathtaking view from Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary.

(2) Trishul:

Trishul is a group of three Himalayan mountain peaks, forming a trident shape. The highest peak in the group reaches an elevation of 7,120 meters (23,359 feet). It is a prominent feature on the horizon from Binsar.

(3) Panchachuli:

Panchachuli is a group of five snow-capped peaks in the Kumaon region. The highest peak among them stands at 6,904 meters (22,651 feet). These majestic mountains provide a stunning backdrop to the sanctuary.

(4) Nanda Kot:

Nanda Kot is another significant mountain in the region, standing at an elevation of 6,861 meters (22,510 feet). It is known for its imposing presence and can be seen from Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary.

(5) Kedarnath Peak:

Kedarnath Peak is a prominent mountain in the Garhwal region of Uttarakhand. With a height of 6,940 meters (22,769 feet), it adds to the picturesque view of the surrounding mountains from Binsar.

Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary Flora

What is the flora of the Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary?

Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary is known for its rich and diverse flora. The sanctuary is made up mostly of rhododendron and oaks. At lower altitudes, the slopes are covered with chir pines.

Here are some of the notable flora species found in Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary:

(1) Oak Trees:

Oak trees, including species like Banj Oak (Quercus leucotrichophora) and Kharsu Oak (Quercus semecarpifolia), are prominent in the sanctuary. These trees provide dense canopy cover and are an important component of the forest ecosystem.

(2) Rhododendron:

Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary is home to various species of rhododendron, including the vibrant Rhododendron arboreum. These flowering shrubs add color and beauty to the landscape, particularly during the spring season.

(3) Pine Trees:

Different species of pine trees, such as the Himalayan Blue Pine (Pinus wallichiana) and Chir Pine (Pinus roxburghii), are found in the sanctuary. Pine forests cover a significant portion of the area, providing a characteristic ambiance.

(4) Cedar Trees:

Deodar Cedar (Cedrus deodara) trees are present in Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary, especially at higher elevations. These majestic trees with their aromatic wood are a significant part of the sanctuary's flora.

(5) Alpine Flora:

As the sanctuary reaches higher altitudes, alpine vegetation becomes more prevalent. Species like juniper, dwarf rhododendron, and various grasses can be found in these areas.

Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary Fauna (Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary Animals)

What animals are in the Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary?/Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary is famous for which animal?

Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary is renowned for its diverse fauna and serves as a habitat for various species of animals, birds, and insects. Here are some of the notable fauna found in Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary:


  • Leopard
  • Himalayan Goral
  • Chital
  • Musk Deer 
  • Kakar (Indian muntjac) (Narking deer)
  • Himalayan Black Bears
  • Jackals 
  • Indian Red Fox
  • Porcupines
  • Wild Boar
  • Monkeys


  • Himalayan Monal
  • Koklass Pheasant
  • Cheer Pheasant
  • Eurasian Jay 
  • Himalayan Griffon


  • Common Indian Monitor
  • Indian Rock Python
  • Himalayan Pit Viper 
  • Indian Cobra

Binsar Zero Point

Binsar Zero Point, also known as Binsar Viewpoint, is a popular attraction located within Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary in Uttarakhand, India. It offers breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding Himalayan mountain ranges and is a must-visit destination for nature lovers and adventure enthusiasts.

At Binsar Zero Point, visitors can witness the majestic snow-capped peaks of the Himalayas. On clear days, the views extend to prominent peaks like Nanda Devi, Trishul, Chaukhamba, Kedarnath, Shivling and Panchachuli, and many others. The viewpoint provides a unique vantage point to soak in the awe-inspiring beauty of the Himalayan range.

To reach Binsar Zero Point, visitors need to trek from the sanctuary's entrance gate. The trail takes you through dense forests, enchanting meadows, and serene natural surroundings. The trek itself is a delightful experience as you immerse yourself in the pristine wilderness of Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary.

Once you reach Binsar Zero Point, you are rewarded with breathtaking vistas that stretch as far as the eye can see. The towering peaks, valleys, and the vast expanse of the surrounding landscape create a mesmerizing setting.

Photographers and nature enthusiasts particularly relish the opportunity to capture the stunning beauty of the Himalayas from Binsar Zero Point. The changing hues of the mountains during sunrise and sunset make for remarkable photography opportunities.

Binsar Mahadev Temple

The Binsar Mahadev Temple is a revered Hindu temple located within the Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary in Uttarakhand, India. It is a 16th-century temple dedicated to Lord Shiva, one of the principal deities in Hinduism. The temple holds historical and religious significance and is a popular pilgrimage site for devotees and tourists alike.

The Binsar Mahadev Temple is known for its serene and tranquil ambiance, nestled amidst the dense forests of Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary. It is believed to have been constructed during the reign of the Chand dynasty, which ruled over the Kumaon region. The temple's architecture reflects the traditional Kumaoni style, with intricate wood carvings and a simple yet elegant design.

The temple's serene surroundings make it a perfect spot for meditation and spiritual reflection. Visitors can experience a sense of tranquility as they explore the temple complex and take in the natural beauty of the surroundings. The gentle sound of bells and the fragrance of incense create a spiritual ambiance that enhances the overall experience.

Apart from its religious significance, the Binsar Mahadev Temple also offers panoramic views of the surrounding landscapes. Visitors can enjoy breathtaking vistas of the Himalayas, valleys, and lush forests from the temple premises, adding to the allure of the place.

Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary UPSC Questions

Q. Where is Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary situated?

A. Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary is situated in the Kumaon region of Uttarakhand, India. Specifically, it is located in the Almora district of Uttarakhand.

Q. Is Binsar a wildlife corridor?

A. Yes, Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary serves as an important wildlife corridor in the region. A wildlife corridor is a protected area or passage that allows for the movement of wildlife between different habitats, enabling gene flow and promoting biodiversity conservation.

Q. What are the timings for wildlife sanctuary Binsar?

A. The timings for Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary may vary, so it is advisable to check with the official authorities or the Forest Department of Uttarakhand for the most accurate and up-to-date information. However, typically, the sanctuary operates within the following general timings:

Opening Hours: Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary usually opens early in the morning, around 6:00 or 7:00 AM.

Closing Hours: The sanctuary closes in the evening, generally around 5:00 or 6:00 PM.

Q. Why do wildlife enthusiasts visit Binsar?/What is the Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary famous for?

A. Wildlife enthusiasts visit Binsar for several reasons, drawn by its unique attributes and offerings. Here are some key reasons why wildlife enthusiasts choose to visit Binsar:

(i) Diverse Wildlife: Binsar is home to a rich and diverse array of wildlife species. Visitors have the opportunity to encounter fascinating animals such as leopards, Himalayan black bears, ghoral, musk deer, jungle cats, and a wide variety of birds. The chance to observe and appreciate these animals in their natural habitat is a major draw for wildlife enthusiasts.

(ii) Birdwatching Paradise: Binsar is a haven for birdwatchers. With over 200 species of resident and migratory birds, the sanctuary offers ample opportunities to spot and observe avian diversity. From Himalayan monals to koklass pheasants, cheer pheasants, and various birds of prey, Binsar provides a remarkable birdwatching experience.

(iii) Pristine Natural Environment: Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary is known for its serene and unspoiled natural environment. The sanctuary's dense forests, meadows, and alpine landscapes create a picturesque setting that attracts nature lovers. The tranquil ambiance and breathtaking vistas contribute to the overall appeal of the sanctuary.

(iv) Trekking and Nature Walks: Binsar offers numerous trekking trails and nature walks that allow wildlife enthusiasts to explore the sanctuary's wilderness. These treks take visitors through diverse terrains, providing opportunities to immerse in the beauty of the surroundings, spot wildlife, and experience the thrill of adventure in a pristine environment.

(v) Photography Opportunities: The stunning landscapes, diverse wildlife, and panoramic views of the Himalayas make Binsar a paradise for photographers. Wildlife enthusiasts and nature photographers can capture breathtaking images of flora, fauna, and scenic vistas, creating lasting memories of their visit.

(vi) Spiritual Significance: Binsar is also famous for its spiritual significance. The Binsar Mahadev Temple, located within the sanctuary, is a revered Hindu shrine dedicated to Lord Shiva. Devotees and tourists visit the temple to seek blessings and immerse themselves in its serene ambiance.

(v) Conservation and Education: Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary also offers opportunities for wildlife enthusiasts to learn about conservation efforts and environmental awareness. The sanctuary conducts research, educational programs, and awareness campaigns to promote conservation and sustainable practices.

Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary

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