Named after its last known resident, Mary Budden Estate is a beautiful homestay located in the Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary. Mary Budden was a prominent missionary who worked around the Hills of Kumaon. The Estate was bought by two lovely ladies in 1990, Ashwani and Serena Chopra, and they restored it to a gorgeous luxury boutique property – an elegant abode that retains its old-world charm.
The Binsar Wildlife sanctuary spans 47s square kilometres, housing leopards, mountain goats, foxes, deer, several bird species and a host of incredible flora. Walking safaris are a significant activity in this region, wherein guests can traverse across the beautiful forest and learn about secrets of creating local medicinal plants.
The estate is a total of five acres, placed at 8,000 feet. For travellers who wish to have a quiet experience, to contemplate and catch up on books that they have not had the time to read, this estate is a perfect getaway.
They also offer the Dalar Village Homestay, which allows guests to experience real village life in the hills. The Estate as a whole utilises harvested rainwater, is powered entirely by solar energy and partakes in organic farming.
The Estate includes two cottages with three bedrooms each, and the decor takes inspiration from the 19th century.
The rooms in Mary Budden Cottage include a lovely porch, charming pine wood, kilim carpets that are antique and many other exceptional points that make it cosy yet luxurious. Every room includes a fireplace, and each cottage can house up to six adults and two children.
Rhododendron Cottage is named after the Rhododendron flower, local to the Binsar forest. It is an enchantingly romantic cottage that has been constructed recently, retaining the colonial magic of another era. It includes all amenities of the Mary Budden Cottage and also consists of a bigger living room, a library and large picture windows. It also includes a front porch, inner courtyard, two levels and a fireplace.
The Dalar Village Homestay offers a village experience in the hills for guests of Mary Budden Estate. Dalar is tucked away inside the Binsar Wildlife sanctuary, and two spacious rooms are available for guests, offering a beautiful view of the Dalar ranges. The décor is inspired by the village, including wall paintings known as aipan. Travellers are able to experience Kumaoni village life, culture and cuisine in comfort, as various amenities such as ensuite bathrooms are included.
The nearest railway station is at Kathgodam, 120 km away from Binsar.
Pantnagar, near Kathgodam is the closest airport. It is 155 km from the estate.
‘Must do’ Activities
Several activities in an around the lodge include Yoga retreats, bird-watching, nature awareness activities, walking safaris within the Binsar sanctuary, exploring five hidden villages within the Hills of Kumaon and evening bonfires when the weather permits. One can even take a day trip to the Chittai bell temple or Jageshwar temple. Many local festivals occur at various times of the year that guests can be a part of.