Gir Wildlife Sanctuary and National Park
Located: Gir, 42-kms From Junagadh, Gujarat
Main Wildlife: Asiatic Lions, Leopards, Chowsingha
Gir Wildlife Sanctaury Short Review
Situated about 65km SE of Junagarh district in the state of Gujarat in South West India, the National Park was established on 18th September, 1965, as a Forest Reserve, primarily to conserve the Asiatic lion-classified as one of the World's most threatened species, Lion. Now Gir National Park is the only remaining place in the world, where one is likely to see the Asiatic Lion. The sanctuary covers a total area of 1,412 sq. km of which 258 sq.km at the core forms the National park. Permits are required to enter this part of the sanctuary.
Flora in Gir National Park
The Gir National Park is a mixed deciduous forest with teak, flame of the forest, some Acacia and Banyan trees. A distinct belt of vegetation is found along the main rivers and streams. Species like the Jambu, Karanj, Umro, Vad, Kalam, Charal, Sirus and Amli are found here. These trees are mostly broad leaved and evergreen, giving the area a cool shade and the moisture content.
Major Wildlife Attractions in Gir Wildlife Sanctuary
Gir is not just about Lions, the second most commonly found predator in the Gir is Leopard. Infact, Gir national park is also home to one of the largest Leopard populations in any park in India, and especially in the hotter season they can sometimes be seen at night close to the lodges. Other animal residents of the Gir national park are Sambar Deer, Chital Spotted Deer, Nilgai Antelope, Chowsingha Four-Horned Antelope, Chinkara Gazelle, Wild Boar, Langur Monkey, Jackal, and Hyena and numerous birds like Paradise Flycatcher, Bonneli's Eagle, Crested Serpent Eagle, Woodpeckers Flamingo etc.
The best way to observe the wild life is by Jeep Safari in their natural surroundings, at dawn and dusk, when they are on the prowl.
Best Time to Visit Gir Forest
Wildlife enthusiasts can visit Gir park throughout the year, but the best period to visit the Gir Sanctuary is between the months of November and June. November and February is the best time for sighting the lions, who generally retire to the forest's interior during the summer.
How to Reach
Air: The nearest airport from Gir is Keshod 90-kms via Veraval. Visitors can easily catch daily flights from Mumbai to Keshod.
Rail: The nearest rail connection is the meter gauge rail line of 395-kms from Ahemdabad.
Road: Gir is situated at a distance of 400-kms from Ahmedabad via Rajkot, Junagadh and Mendarda. State Transport buses are easily available from Junagadh and Veraval to Gir, between November and June.