Gir Forest, Gujarat
Time To Visit
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.
The park 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.
Visitors 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.
Other 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.
The best 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
of Inetrest :
Located 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’.
Gir Interpretation 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.
The ideal 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.
Though 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.
Tips: 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.
You must 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.
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.