Khali Estate

By Sanjeev Nayyar [email protected] | 2012

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Shortly after u enter Binsar Forest area is Khali Estate. Structure that u see is a bungalow made in 1895. A Britisher Mr. Wilson was inspired when he took over the estate. It is called Khali (meaning empty) because there was nothing in the area earlier.

As you enter the hotel is this hall. Note the paintings on walls. It took 8 years to construct this bungalow that was surrounded by orchards of plums and peaches. U get a very good view of the Himalayan Peaks from here as you shall see later.

On the wall you see pictures of various people who stayed here. Gandhiji came in 1929. Vijaylaxmi Pandit came in 1935. Other leaders who stayed here are Sri Aurobindo, Ramana Maharishi, Swami Vivekananda etc. It became an Yoga Ashram in 1950 and is today a hotel.

Painting inside room where Mrs Vijaylaxmi Pandit, sister of first PM Pandit Nehru, stayed. In Oct 2012 entry fee into forest area is Rs 250/ for vehicle and Rs 150/ per person. Binsar is about one hour drive from Almora, 22 kms.

Today it has 8 cottages one of which you see. Most of them have two levels. Cottages are amidst lots of trees. From here you can visit Jageshwar Jyotirling (app 2.5 hours) and Golu Devata Mandir. I would suggest just enjoy Binsar and venture out separately with Almora as the base.

Inside the cottage. Met a Bengali family there who seemed to be enjoying themselves. However, a good friends parents who went there in the winters had a bad experience. The hotel did not have a back up power connection so no heaters worked during extreme cold.

U see Himalayan Peaks through the window in one of the cottages. Loved the cottage. Very cosy and romantic.

This is bungalow view from the other side. Today no one lives in the bungalow, hotel guests live in the cottages. Had breakfast there, was very good.

Beautiful garden with lovely flowers. Take the forest area road till the end to reach Kumaon Mandal Vikas Nigam hotel. View from there is superb. Trek thru deep forests for another 2 kms to reach Binsar Point from where the view is enchanting to say the least.

In order to attract corporates they have this Conference Hall. If u are looking for a quiet place to brainstorm this is a lovely. They have audio visual aids and can accommodate up to 50 people.

Some more flowers. Hotel website is www.resorthimalaya.com. Or call 0091 5962 251011/251048.

Temple at entrance of hotel. The estate is spread over 25 acres. If u are adventurous visit the local villages close by. Can we a wow experience.