Various deciduous forests,
grasslands, acacia scrub, wetlands and the seven rivers
forms the topography of this wildlife sanctuary.
History of Gir National
Since 1884, Gir National Park has been the only habitat of
the Asiatic lion. During the British Raj, lions were hunted
mercilessly by the British officers assisted by the obliging
Maharajas and Nawabs. Every Maharaja was proud of the number
of lions or tigers he killed during his lifetime. In the
year 1899 the famine decreased the lion population so badly
that Lord Curzon cancelled his shoot in Gir where he had
been invited by the Nawab for a ‘Shikaar’. The Lord Curzon
also advised the ruler to protect the remaining lions. By
the time India achieved independence, the number of lions
get increased, but they were once again hunted by the
Maharajas. The Government of India banned the hunting of
lion in the mid 1960 and now this park is open only for the
photo safaris. The Gir National Park later became a major
tourist attraction in India. About 300 lions are found in
Wildlife Attractions in the Gir National Park
The main wildlife attraction in the Gir National Park is the
lion. Besides lion, various variety of wild animals are
found in this park which are the Wild boar, Bear, Panther,
Jackal, Sambar, Spotted deer, Striped Hyena, Leopard, Nilgai,
Chinkara gazelle, Jungle cat, Black napped hare, Common
langur, Porcupine, Langur, Blackbuck, Mongoose and the
Indian Chousingha, the four horned antelope. The rusty
spotted cat has been recorded in the Gir. During monsoons,
about 200 varieties of birds can also be seen in this park
including the peafowl, grey partridge, Bonelli's eagle,
crested serpent eagle, jungle bush quail, painted sandgrouse,
common green pigeon and several species of doves. Gir is
also home of the marsh crocodile, which can be sighted
easily in its rivers, particularly in the lake of the
Kamaleshwar dam. There is also a crocodile breeding farm at
Jungle Safari in the Gir National Park
You can visit the Gir National park by having a jeep ride
with a guide. The Gir Forest Department also organize “Lion
Shows”. They make sure that you can see the lions at close
range so they send trackers early morning on a mission to
the located places and tempt them with live baits.
Best time to visit the Gir National Park
The Gir National Park is open from the mid of October to mid
of June. November, January and February are the best months
to visit the sanctuary. However the best time to view the
lions, in their natural surroundings is early in the morning
or after 4 p.m. It is during this time that the animals are
most active and can be easily spotted.
Other attractions in the Gir National Park
Within the Gir National Park, the Kankai Mata temple and
Tulishyam Hot Springs are located in a scenic surrounding.
These are the natural hot springs where one can take bath.
It is about 90 km. from the entrance to the sanctuary. The
forest is also known for its cattle herders, the Madharis,
whose buffaloes form a substantial part of the lions meals.
How to reach Gir National Park
The nearest airport is located at Keshod.
The nearest railway station is located at Junagadh. This
station is located on the Ahmedabad – Junagadh and Rajkot –
Gir National Park is connected to various cities in Gujarat.
Junagadh is about 60 kms from the Gir National Park.