Gir National Park was established in 1965 and is located near the Talala region of Gujarat. It is the only place in the world where critically endangered Asiatic lions are found. Although the primary goal of Gir was to conserve Asiatic lions, it is also home to hundreds of other terrestrial and avian species. This area is home to about 606 plant species, 36 animal species, more than 2000 insect genera, and almost 300 different types of birds. Gir Forest National Park is the perfect example of a balanced environment in today's world of declining ecological equilibrium. The region's moderate climate is a result of the region's diversified and dense vegetation, which helps to preserve the ecological balance. Gir National Park also known as Sasan Gir was once the private hunting ground of the Nawab of Junagarh with an area of 1,414 sq km of which 258 sq km is now a fully protected area (National Park) and 1,153 sq km a wildlife sanctuary. The lion breeding programme, which includes the nearby park, has been successful in producing 128 lion cubs since it began. The Nalsarovar Lake, which is home to a variety of water birds, the Rann of Kutch, which is famed for its mesmerising flamingo island, and the Indian wild Ass are all included in this wildlife reserve. Combining the three reserves broadens the variety of species in the wildlife reserve, attracting more wildlife enthusiasts from across the world.
The sanctuary is located in Gujarat, a peninsula in southwest India, where the landscape is rocky, rough, and home to a variety of deciduous trees. The terrain is rough, with some of the deepest ravines, steep, rocky hills, and rivers everywhere, all of which are dotted by sizable sections of grassland. The Asiatic Lions, the Bird Sanctuary, which has more than 200 species of birds, the Temple of Tulsi Shyam, and the Crocodile Breeding Farm, which is close to Sasan, are the main draws of the area. Crocodiles, Pygmy woodpeckers, Chitals, Leopards, and numerous other species bring this place to life. There are several rivers that flow through the park offering amazing wildlife spotting opportunities. Gir collectively boasts over 2,300 species inclusive of insects, 300 species of birds and 37 species of reptiles. Predators at Gir include leopard, jungle cat, desert car, honey badger, mongoose and lions. Asiatic lions are smaller than their African cousin. The best time to sight such mesmerising creatures is at dawn and dusk when they are on the prowl. Why Gir National Park is famous? Sasan Gir is famous for its Asiatic Lion population as its the only place where these big cats are found in their natural habitat.
Types of Safaries
Big 5 Animals
Carry binoculars, a camera, and a bird book to identify birds to make your trip more fruitful.
Wear comfortable walking shoes. Do check your shoes every time before wearing them to avoid scorpions and other creatures.
Carry proper woolens in winters and an effective sunscreen in summers.
Remember to Carry Hats/Caps and personal medicines (if any).
Wear muted forest colors like earthy greens or beiges and avoid perfumes and deodorants.
The Safari might be delayed or postponed due to weather conditions.
Frequently Asked Questions
Gir National Park is the major shelter for Asiatic Lions in the world. It is located in the state of Gujarat and stretches in an area of 1,412 sq km. The summers here are hot and humid while winters are pleasant. During the monsoon season, the park remains closed.
Climatically the best time to visit Gir National Park is from December to March. But April and May are ideal for wildlife sightings.
There are enough commuting options available for the tourists to reach Gir National Park.
Nearest Airport: Keshod and Rajkot Airport
Nearest Railway Station: Junagadh and Veraval Railway Station
Road: Gir National Park is connected to most of the prominent cities. There are state as well as private bus transport services available along with taxi service. One can also drive their way to reach the park.
Local Shopping in Gir: Gujarat is famous for its handicrafts and garments. Whilst visiting Gir, one can buy conventional goods and handmade items. Patolas silk sarees(the pride of Gujarat), and Bandhan is along with Ghagra Cholis are quite famous here. Many handmade items such as wall hangings, cradle clothes etc can also be purchased from here.
Enjoy Tribal Festivals: Maldharis and Siddis are the popular tribal communities in Gujarat. These people organise festivals every year that are open for tourists as well such as Dang Darbar and Chitra Vichitra. It's a good takeaway to learn about the culture and traditions of these people.
Visit Crocodile Breeding Centre: Crocodiles are beautiful beasts and have a unique significance in the ecosystem. Though they might seem scary, they can surely be compliant depending on how they are being taken care of. One can indulge in the experience of breeding crocodiles and learn why their conservation is crucial for the environment.