Gir National Park allowes the visitors to glimpse wildlife
in its natural surroundings. The last refuge of the
Asiatic lion on Earth, the Gir National Park is located
in the Junagadh district in Gujarat. Spread over 2450
hectares, this beautiful sanctuary offers visitors the
best in flora and fauna. As visitors pass through this
park, they can view rivers making their way through
the lush green thick forests.
was set up on 18th September, 1965, and successfully
protected the lion and its habitat. From less than 200
in 1980, the lion population in Gir has since grown
to an estimated 286 in 1997. The Gir National Park is
located about 59 km from Junagadh via Visavadar.
to the park get a chance to see the Asiatic lion –
an incredible and awe-inspiring animal. The animal makes
the park worth the effort. The visitors also get a chance
see these magnificent animals every Sunday at the shows
organised by the Forest Department.
than the lions visitors also get to see animals like
the chinkara, wild boar, striped hyena, jackal, common
langur, porcupine, hare and the black buck. The sanctuary
is also home to over 200 species of birds including
the peafowl, grey partridge, Boneli’s eagle, crested
serpent eagle, jungle bush quail, painted sandgrouse,
common green pigeon and several species of doves. One
can also easily spot the marsh crocodile in the rivers
at Gir, particularly in the lake of the Kamaleshwar
dam. There is also a crocodile breeding farm at Sasan.
way to enjoy the wildlife is by driving around the forest.
Some of the best drives from Sasan are to Baval Chowk
and Kankai, to Chodavdi and Tulsishyam and to Kamaleshwar
Places of interest
in the park, two pilgrim centres, Kankai Mata and Tulsishyam
temples are which are worth a look. The highlight of
these temples are the ‘hot springs’.
Zone – Twelve kilometers from Sasan village at
Devalia is this zone, within the precincts of the sanctuary.
Spread over 4.12 sq km, the zone has a cross section
of the wildlife in Gir, and if didn’t see a lion
in the park you will be sure to see one here.
time to visit the site is from December to April. The
park remains closed from June to October, and sometimes
even later if there has been a heavy rainfall.
the lions are exlusive, you can be quite sure to see
at least one on a safari. It is better to go on a morning
trip than an afternoon one.
Though a sturdy car would do, a jeep is definitely more
appropriate, as they can take the small trails where
you’re much more likely to come across lions.
Private vehicles cannot be used to tour the park.
get a permit before you embark on a safari. Permits
can be obtained from the Sinh Sadan Forest Lodge office
at a cost of Rs 15 for the first day, with every additional
day costing you Rs 7.50ps. You have to pay Rs 35 for
a camera and Rs 75 for a video. Jeep tours taking upto
six people cost you up to Rs 150.
How to get there
State transport and express buses travel between Junagadh
and Veraval via Sasan Gur, four times a day. Train run
too, to Veraval twice a day and to Delwada and Junagadh
once a day.
Where to stay
Accomodation is very limited here and it is advisable
to book in advance.
Sinh Sadan Forest Lodge (Ph: 02877-85540)
Gir Lodge (Ph: 02877-85521)
The Sanctuary Superintendent, Sasan Gir, Junagadh, Gujarat
OR The Conservator of Forests,Sardar Baug, Junagadh,
Gujarat - 362001.