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Gir National Park

Information about the Gir National Park

The Gir National Park and wildlife sanctuary is located about 65 km south east in the Junagadh district of Gujarat. Gir National Park is one of the India’s finest wildlife sanctuaries located in Gujarat. This national park is set up in an area of 1412 square km. of lush deciduous forests. This national park was established on 18th September 1965 as a Forest Reserve to conserve the Asiatic lion. This sanctuary is the final refuge of the rare Asian lions which roamed freely two centuries ago throughout Middle East and some parts of India. Sasan, with a forest rest house, is the headquarters of the sanctuary. 

Gir National Park, Gujarat

Various deciduous forests, grasslands, acacia scrub, wetlands and the seven rivers forms the topography of this wildlife sanctuary.

History of Gir National Park
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 this park.

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 Sasan.

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

By Air:

The nearest airport is located at Keshod.

By Rail:

The nearest railway station is located at Junagadh. This station is located on the Ahmedabad – Junagadh and Rajkot – Junagadh line.

By Road:

Gir National Park is connected to various cities in Gujarat. Junagadh is about 60 kms from the Gir National Park.

Gir National Park  |  Indian Wild Ass Wildlife Sanctuary  |  Marine National Park
Nalsarovar Bird Sanctuary  |  Velavadar National Park

 
 

 

 
 

 

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