Binsar To Jageshwar

     When it comes to weekends, a few treks offer the perfect blend of adrenaline rushes for adventurer in you and a relaxed itinerary to let you go back to work on a Monday. Binsar Sanctuary to Jageshwar Trek in the Kumaon region of Himalayas ensures that you make the most of your weekend. Starting at the picturesque Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary, the trek includes walks through pine forests accompanied by the music of tiny rivulets of clear water, spotting a few rare flora and fauna and camping amidst thick deodars to reminisce about the (literally and factually) breathtaking Himalayas. Besides the natural beauty, Kumaon invites you to enjoy the local culture and traditions.

     Their ancient temples and splendid architecture leaves you in a state of amazement. The itinerary begins at Delhi, where Ranikhet Express leads you to Kathgodam at the dawn and then a drive through the twirling roads drops you at Almora. Frankly, if you are not too tired of the rail and road journey, you can begin the trek right here. At approximately 2500 meters, the Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary is home to barking deer, himalayan black bear, leopard, serow, sambhar and a few rare species.

     For the tree lovers, the sanctuary is lined with oaks, rhododendrons and cedars among others. The best time to visit Binsar is from October to March as the clear weather lets you soak in the beauty of snow clad peaks like Nandadevi, Trishul, Nandaghunti, Panchachuli massif and the entire Kumaon Himalayas range. On a human front, the locals are warm and welcoming. An elaborately detailed chat gives you a window into their lives, cultures and customs.

     The dawn of the next day brings in even more splendid destinations like the Jageshwar temple, one of the 12 Jyotirlingas. This temple, rather the temple city, dating 9th to 13th century AD is a cluster of 124 exquisitely crafted stone temples, believed to be renovated by Adi Shankaracharya.