Home of the king – Gir National Park
The Gir – the largest tract of dry deciduous forests in the semi-arid western part of india is the last remaining bastion of the Asiatic Lions. It’s also the only place in the world where the Asiatic lions can be seen in their natural habitat. The Lion Sanctuary Project was begun to create a balance between the endangered lions and the nomadic Maldhari tribe. From the 20 lions at the turn of the century, there are now over 350 royal beasts that walk the park. Today, Gir is one of the best-protected sanctuaries in india.
The most important aspect of Gir is that it has become a mose stable ecosystem with tremendous regenerating, self supporting and sustaining power due to its rich and diverse flora and fauna. The unique ecosystem of Gir harbors about 38 species of mammals, around 300 species of birds, 37 species of reptiles and more than 2000 species of insects.
A rich variety of flora and fauna makes Gujarat home to 40 species of mammals and 425 species of birds – an absolute treat for nature lovers! In India,it is the only nesting ground for the Asiatic Lion who dwell in the Gir National Park. The Gir forests were set aside for protection by the Nawabs of Junagadh when Lord Curzon brought it to their notice that the lion population was on the decline. This makes Gir one of the oldest protected areas in India. Welcome to regal and memorable experience.!
Attractions at Gir National Park :
– Wildlife Safaris
– Bird watching Safaris
– Village Safaris – Maldhari & Siddhi community
– Temples visits – Somnath Temple, Girnar Temple, Kankai Temple, etc.
– Beach picnics – Chorwad, Mangrol, & Diu Beaches
– Heritage tours – Historical sites & Buddhist Caves in Junagadh
– Textile Tours – Jetpur
– Crocodile Breeding Farm
– Educational Tours
Gir Interpretation Zone, Devaliya :
This enclosed area of the Sanctuary offers a good opportunity for visitors to experience a cross-section of Gir habitats during minibus tours. Agod variety of wildlife can be seen here in a 20 to 30 minute tour of the area including the Asiatic Lion. This is a good area for grassland birds like larks and warblers, and the hunting ground of harriers and other Raptors. The Long-billed, the Red-headed, the White-backed and the Egyptian Vultures are also seen in this area.
What to see and do :
A Permit for entering the park can be obtained at the Sinh Sadan Orientation Centre, open from 07:00 am – 11:00 am and 03:00 pm – 5:30 pm. A 35-40 km driving route through the park is maintained for visitors. The forest has extremely rugged and hilly terrain and with luck it it possible to sight the rare Asiatic Lions, the leopards and the jackals in their natural habitat. The park remains closed on Wednesdays.