After tea, I freshen up and head to the so called zero-point, which is located at altitude of around 2400 m, highest in Binsar sanctuary. The walk from rest house to zero-point, around 2 kms, is slightly eerie, as there is complete lack of sound throughout the path. Not even birds chirping. And with stories of leopards in the jungle, I'm tempted to turn back once in while. But the walk is worth it, as the view from zero-point is, to fall back on cliches, breathtaking. The mountains appear much closer here, as if one can almost extend hands and touch them. What is about mountains that draws us to them, again and again? We come perhaps to be awed, to be humbled, and as the quote above alludes to, maybe because something at our core, beyond our personalities, resonates with these snow-capped peaks, stillness and wide-open spaces.
After a while, I head back to the guest-house. The plan for the day, or rather next two days is set. Grab a chair and sit facing the mountains, drink tea, watch the play of sunlight on snow capped peaks, read, brood, drink some more tea. Walk again till zero point. Rinse and repeat. There is no urgency to do any 'sight seeing' or check items of 'a tourist's guide to things to do' list. All that one needs to see and do is right here. Remoteness of Binsar, coupled with lack of typical tourist traps, makes it an ideal location for seekers of solitude and nature in its purity.
And so that's how I spend my vacation in Binsar. A real vacation. Binsar remains one of my absolute favorite places in Himalayas, and I hope to return sometime soon.
PS - This trip happened long time back, in (now what seems like) a previous life. But the impressions left by Binsar are still as fresh as if I was there yesterday. As can be seen, these pics are from the pre smart-phone era. Another reminder that I really need to revisit.