Mary Budden Estate, Binsar
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 lodge includes 12 luxury cottages, each having three distinctive aesthetics. Every room has its own lavish amenities, and are built using local/indigenous materials.
The Nallah Units, located along Reni Pani’s seasonal nallah are six in total with a magnificent view of the stream and surrounding forest. They feature opulent bathrooms with an outdoor shower.
There are four Forest Units, located in the woods. They feature a unique architectural design, with a large deck on the roof of the bathroom, accessible by a staircase from inside the room.
The two Hill Units are located on the highest point of Rani Pani’s hillock and are the most lavish in the lodge. Every room has a deck that overlooks the forest, giving an excellent view of the Satpura Tiger Reserve. The units also feature large bay windows to bring guests closer to the wildlife.
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.