The Gir Forest National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary (also known as Sasan-Gir) is a renowned wildlife sanctuary in Gujarat. Established in 1965, the park covers a total area of 1412 km². The park is located 43 km in the north-east from Somnath, 65 km to the south-east of Junagadh and 60 km to south west of Amreli. It is the only home of the Asiatic Lions (Panthera leo persica) and is considered to be one of the most important protected area in Asia due to its supported species. It was declared as a national park in 1975. The park’s forested hilly terrain makes it a preferred habitat for the jackals, leopards, antelope, and deer that also live there. It’s home to crocodiles and over 300 species of resident birds as well.
Places to see at Gir Forest National Park: The forest is a home to a number of wild life species. Apart from this there are seven major perennial rivers of the Gir region namely Hiran, Shetrunji, Datardi, Shingoda, Machhundri, Godavari and Raval. There is also a man made dam namely Kamaleshwar Dam which is a home to a large population of crocodiles.
Nearby attractions from Gir Forest National Park: You can easily make a short trip to places like:
Veraval (36 km)
The fishing port of Veraval is known for its dhow-building yard where massive hand-built seaworthy vessels are made. Once a port of the Nawab of Junagadh, it has old gates and historic buildings.
Junagadh (63 km)
Historically, Junagadh is one of the most interesting cities of Gujarat. Emperor Ashoka’s rock edicts here date to the 3rd century BC and there are also ancient Buddhist cave-sites dated to the Mauryan and Gupta Fort. The Uparkot Fort of the Chudasama Rajputs rises from a hilltop and has 11th century monuments inside the imposing battlements. Mystic poet Narsinha Mehta also lived in Junagadh and his monument is in the city. By the 19th century, the Nawabs of Junagadh rose to become affluent rulers and during their reign palaces, colleges, mosques, mausoleum complexes and a quaint railway station came up at Junagadh, all of which are worth seeing specially the palace museum. The city museum has archaeological finds and manuscripts. While in Junagadh, visit Sakkarbagh Zoological Park that is captive-breeding Asiatic lions and you could see ibises and other birds in the park.
Girnar (60 km)
This 3660-ft high hill rises on the outskirts of Junagadh with temples on ridges and on the summit. The 12th century Jain Temples are specially attractive with exquisite carvings.
Jetpur (90 km)
The textile town of Jetpur is known for its block and screen printing workshops and is good for shopping.
Diu Island (95 km)
Diu Island was once ruled by the Portuguese and is now a Union Territory. Popular as a beach destination, the island also has a 16th century Portuguese Fort, the impressive St Paul’s Church, DiuMuseum and old houses. Flamingos, storks and waders can be seen at the creeks of Diu.
Things to do in Gir Forest National Park: The safari trip toboth Gir National Park (known as Gir Jungle Trail) and Gir Interpretation Zone (Devalia Safari Park) is worth. If you miss the glimpse of lion in Gir national Park, don’t worry. You can opt for shorter visits at the Gir Interpretation Zone where you are sure to spot some lions.
Best time to visit Gir Forest National Park: The most popular time to visit Gir is from December to March.
How to go ?
The nearest airport is Keshod, at a distance of 90 km from Sasan Gir; the other airport is Rajkot at a distance of 140 kms which is connected to all major cities in India like, Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore, Pune, Bhopal etc.
Sasan Gir has a railway station of its own, with train connections to a number of other cities and towns in Gujarat and its neighboring states. The towns of Junagadh, Veraval and Delwada have daily trains to Sasan Gir, from where the park is only about a km away.
Fairly good roads link the park to the rest of the country. Junagadh itself is only about 60 km from Gir, and there are frequent buses connecting the town to the park.
Where to stay ?
Decent accommodation facilities are available in Gir National Park. Some options are:
The Fern Gir Forest Resort: +91- 226-739 -7777 Website: www.fernhotels.com
Sasan Gir Guest House: +91-0932-024-0024
Lion Safari Camp: +91-9971231439, +91-8826678881 Website: www.girnationalpark.in
Sukh Sagar Gir Resort, Anil Farmhouse Gir: www.girhotels.com
Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.