Gir National Park
State : Gujarat Area : 1,412 sq. km Altitude: 150- 530 m Vegetation : Mixed deciduous & semi evergreen
The last bastion of the Asiatic lions and one of the best places to sight the elusive leopards, Sasan Gir National Park in Gujrat is a unique wildlife sanctuary dominated by short and gnarled teak trees, thorn bushes, grassland and rocky hills.
The Gir National Park is located on the south-east of Junagadh City, on the Kathiawar peninsula of Gujarat. Gir is a beautiful, but harsh wilderness that reminds one of Africa.
Once the lions habitat in India stretched from Uttar Pradesh and Punjab in the north, across to Bihar in the east and even to the Narmada valley; however, hunting and habitat destruction almost completely wiped out the lions. The intervention of the Nawab of Junagadh in early 1870 assisted in the conservation of the lions, whose population had plummeted to only 15 at that time. Subsequently the Gir National Park was established in 1965 with an area of 1412km2 to protect the lions. Today it boasts of more than 400 of the royal animal.
The topography of Gir is dominated by deciduous forest, interspersed with semi-evergreen and evergreen flora, acacia, scrub jungle, grasslands and rocky hills. Seven rivers pass through Gir: the Hiran, Saraswati, Datardi, Shingoda, Machhundri, Ghodavadi and Raval. The water from these rivers is the key to the survival of the lions; it also feeds the large water bodies that are home of crocodiles and a large number of birds.
Asiatic lions are smaller in size than the African lions and have shorter manes. Sighting lions is best early in the morning, when they are out on patrol or hunt. Due to the nature of the habitat Gir is also a great place to spot the elusive leopards.
Main Attraction : Asiatic Lion, Leopards, chousingha (four horned antelope) & bird life
Fauna : Gir has about 400 lions and 300 leopards, making it one of the major feline concentrations in India. Sambar and spotted deer, blue bull, chousingha, chinkara and wild boar. Other mammals in the park include Jackal, striped hyena, jungle cat, rusty-spotted cat, Langur, porcupine, and black-naped Indian hare.
Gir has a large population of marsh crocodiles or muggers, which are among the 40 species of reptiles and amphibians recorded in the sanctuary.
Avi Fauna : More than 200 species of birds are found in Gir; these include Ospreys, Perigrine Falcons, Fish Owls, Crested Serpent Eagles, Bonelli's Eagles, Goshawks and Pale and Montagu's Harriers.
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Major City: Rajkot (165 Km / 3.5 hrs), Ahmedabad (319 Km / 7 hrs)
Airport : Rajkot (165 Km / 3.5 hrs), Ahmedabad (319 Km / 7 hrs)
Railway Station : (165 Km / 3.5 hrs)
Park Opening / Closing
Park Open : October - June
Shortest Route :
Fly to Rajkot and drive to Gir (165 Km)
Best Time to visit and climate:
The best time for this trip is November - March. April onwards is summer when it becomes unbearably hot and then the monsoon prevails from July to September.
|Best Time to visit|