Mary Budden Estate
The Mary Budden Estate is a relaxed family run luxury homestay in a fully restored colonial heritage home dating back to the 19th century and set within the secluded Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary in the heart of the Kumaon overlooking the Indian Himalayas.
At a Glance
Amazing luxury rural colonial homestay in a remote corner of the Indian Himalayas
Just seven rooms with the option of spending a night in an even more rural village retreat
Spend your days taking walks through the Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary or taking day trips to local villages
Combines perfectly with the Shakti Village Walks, 360 Leti or Corbett National Park
Wonderful home cooked Kumaoni food
Meet our specialists
Call us on (858) 523-9000 to start planning your vacation to Mary Budden Estate or take a look at our itineraries to Himalaya
Visiting Mary Budden is a journey into the Indian wilderness, escaping the hubbub of modern life and delving into a remarkable off-the-beaten-track corner of India's amazing Himalayan range. Leave behind the hustle and bustle of Delhi and take the train to this remote corner of the Himalayas in Uttarkhand and you will first come across the small town of Almora, once a colonial outpost in the days of the British Raj. You quickly discover tourists don't really make it this far, but you will go beyond this on the road to the north and take a turning towards Binsar National Park. Drive through rhododendron forests, past deodars and pines as you really think you are going into the back of beyond. As you drive on, the air gets thinner and the pine trees change to cedars and oaks and you arrive at a small colonial bungalow which is Mary Budden Estate. Sit down next to a steaming cup of tea, smile and know you have arrived at somewhere very special with nature all around you.
Mary Budden Estate dates from the 19th century, and is named after Mary Budden who ran a charitable mission in the Kumaon Hills who established a school for girls, a hospital, an orphanage and a refuge for homeless women. Many British officers built bungalows in the Binsar Wildlife Park. Mary Budden Estate was bought by Ashwani and Sereni Chopri bought the estate and it turned into a labour of love, converting it into a luxury homestay.
The estate is at an elevation of 8000ft, and is perfect to visit in the spring and autumn, it might get a little chilly (and snowy) in December and January. March and April are magical, as the Rhododendrons are in full bloom. Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary is home to leopards, ghorals, boar, monkeys, red fox and is home to over 200 species of birds. There are a multitude of walks to take throughout the sanctuary and is easily combinable with a stay at the Shakti Village Houses, 360 Leti or Corbett National Park if you want to include it in an itinerary.
There are two bungalows; the 19th century colonial Mary Budden Cottage and the more modern Rhododendron Cottage. There is also a remote village homestay in Dolar Village. There are just seven rooms between the two cottages which have all been lovingly designed, blending understated luxury with a great deal of panache yet retaining a lovely homely feel. Each room has a fireplace or wood-burning bukhari and are all en-suite. The rooms do not have TVs, although there is a TV in the living room. WiFi is on offer throughout Mary Budden Estate, but the signal is better inside. The whole estate uses solar electricity.
Throughout Mary Budden Estate there are numerous sit outs, nooks and crannies where you can sit down and read, being brought a lovely cup of Masala Chai or warming hot chocolate from the lovely members of staff.
For the more active, the walks around the estate are incredible. A day trip to the 9th century Jyotirling temples are suitably rewarding, as too a day trip to the Chittai bell temple dedicated to the local deity Golu, Devidhura or Gananath cave temple.
The food is really rather sumptuous, serving amazing home-cooked Kumaoni meals using local ingredients where possible.
There are 2 cottages with three rooms in Mary Budden Cottage and four rooms in Rhododendron Cottage and another room in their homestay in Dolar Village.
|Cosmos Room - Marry Budden Cottage||
One of the three bedrooms in Mary Budden Cottage, Cosmos has a fireplace and a beautiful bathroom enriched by its wooden flooring.
|Wisteria Cottage - Mary Budden Cottage||
The bedroom in the heart of Mary Budden cottage is called Wisteria and has two large twin-size beds on either side of a fireplace. This room also has an en-suite bathroom and a cozy annexe which accommodates a spare bed.
|Cherry Blossom - Rhododenderon Cottage||
Cherry Blossom, one of the bedrooms in Rhododendron cottage benefits from pinewood ceilings and an en-suite bathroom.
|Wild Rose - Mary Budden Cottage||
Wild Rose bedroom, with an en-suite bathroom which has modern fittings and an ambience of luxury, further benefits from a charming annexe should there be need for an extra bed.
|Cedar Suite - Rhododenderon Cottage||
Sensitively furnished and decorated, Cedar Suite is cozy and also has an en suite bathroom.
|Juniper - Rhododenderon Cottage||
Large picture windows adorn Juniper bedroom. The bedroom further benefits from an en suite bathroom.
|Oak Suite - Rhododenderon Cottage||
Courting magnificent views of the Himalayas, Oak Suite sports pinewood ceilings, its own private living room and an en-suite bathroom. Do note that this room is only available for long term stay of three weeks or more.
Dalar is one of the five villages hidden away in the Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary and there are about 11 homes in this village. There are two spacious rooms which have a stunning view over the Himalayas. The design has been carefully though through, blending typical village mud walls and the traditional craft of wall painting called aipan grace the walls yet they also include modern conveniences at every point and include en-suite bathrooms. A day trek to the village, meeting the other residents and getting to know their way of life is an integral part of your stay. Kumaoni village cuisine and a chance to sit around a fire in the evening to the sound of a flute or a possible music recital by some villagers are some of the highlights of the Dalar Village Homestay.
Mary Budden has an array of nooks and crannies and sit outs as well as living rooms, library and dining room.
Take walks into Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary with a naturalist, bird watching, outdoor badminton and table tennis on offer, day trips to local temples, evening bonfires.
Location & Directions
Mary Budden Estate is located in Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary, just to the north of Almora in Uttarkhand in India.
When to go
Almora has a pleasant and cool climate all through the year with the annual average maximum temperature is around 23°C and average minimum temperature is about 11.5°C. Monsoons season from August to October. Best time to visit is between March to June and September to December.