Mary Budden Estate

Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary

Mary Budden Estate is a boutique homestay located in the Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary and is named after its last known inhabitant Ms. Mary Budden, who worked as a missionary in the hills of Kumaon in the 19th century. In 1990, Ashwani and Serena Chopra bought the estate, and restored this heritage property.

The estate sits on five acres of land perched at 8,000 ft. The property has two cottages each with three bedrooms. The artistically decorated interiors blend within the architectural inspirations of the late 19th century. It is one of only five privately-owned estates in the Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary, lovingly restored for comfortable and elegant living by retaining its original charm.

Visit Mary Budden to reconnect with yourself and enjoy solitude, to catch up with family and friends, to read all those books you have not had the time to read, to go for long guided walks in the deepest part of the Binsar oak forest, and to be pampered and cared for by their hospitable staff!

The sanctuary is set in 47 sq. km. of oak, rhododendron and pine forests inhabited by leopards, deer, mountain goats, foxes and martins, and a rich variety of indigenous and migratory bird species. As you walk along, you also get a chance to learn the secrets to formulating local medicinal plants for traditional use. Surrounded by a 280° view of the rolling Kumaon hills in the south and the mighty Himalayas in the north, the property’s location is perfect for nature enthusiasts and birders. There are more than 230 varieties of avian species in the sanctuary. Guided walks within Binsar Sanctuary are truly experiential with personalised itineraries to explore five hidden villages. You can also stay at the Dalar Village Homestay for a more authentic experience to immerse yourself in the culture and life of the village people.

Photo Gallery

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Rooms

MARY BUDDEN COTTAGE (COSMOS, WISTERIA & WILDROSE) - Each room is kept warm by a fireplace or bukhari. Staff is available to prepare and serve meals and provide other services. Budden Cottage is always warm and inviting. These units can comfortably sleep six people plus two children in tastefully-furnished rooms that are decorated in the spirit of elegant country living. An intimate front porch, antique kilm carpets, rich pine wood and numerous nooks add to the charm of the cottage, which is available for rent year around as a single unit. RHODODENDRON COTTAGE (CHERRY BLOSSOM, JUNIPER, OAK & CEDAR) - This beautiful, airy and romantic cottage has beautiful views and sits comfortably in the vicinity of Mary Budden Cottage. Rhododendron Cottage is named after the beautiful red rhododendron flowers that grow wild in the Binsar forest. Though the cottage has been recently constructed and is a modern addition to Mary Budden Estate, it never loses the magic of its old colonial predecessor. It has all the amenities of Mary Budden Cottage and is further enhanced with a larger living room, a cozy library and picture windows to bathe each room in sunlight. Pinewood ceilings, a fireplace or bukhari and elegant furnishings adorn each room to create an ambience of serenity and homelike comfort. The cottage has a front porch, two levels and an inner courtyard, all of which add mystery and intricacy to the beauty of the cottage.

Meals

Continental, Indian, Pahadi / Kumaoni, Chinese and Tibetan cuisines are available.

Facilities

Personalised service, 24x7 running hot water, hot water bottle, fireplaces/ bukharis and organic toiletries.

Activities

Guided walks and hikes through densely-wooded oak, rhododendron and cedar forests. Guests can also stay at the Dalar Village homestay for an immersive understanding of the culture and life of the village people. People also benefit from partaking in the village school’s activities. Photo-enthusiasts truly enjoy the different seasonal festivals celebrated in the villages. Birders too consider Binsar a paradise for the winged visitors. Yoga retreats are regularly organised by Samara Chopra. Guests also like to play outdoor badminton and table tennis. Cosy sit-outs, hammocks and bonfires add to the charm of the property. The lodge also organises day trips to Chittai bell temple, Devidhura temple, cave temple of Gananath and Jageshwar, which has 9th century Jyotirling temples dedicated to Shiva. A well-stocked library and board games make days you choose to stay indoors a lot of fun!

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