The Sasan-Gir Forest National Park has an area of 1412 km, located in the Junagadh district of Gujarat. GirNational Park and Wildlife Sanctuary is the only home of Panthera the Asiatic Lions in the world. It is one of the most dry deciduous forest in India and serve as best habitat for Indian Lions and offers diverse flora and fauna.
Along with seven major perennial rivers of the Gir region, It has biggest reservoir in the area, the Kamleshwar Dam, the lifeline of Gir. The reservoir created by the dam is known for its bird and crocodile populations.
The Maldharis are the native tribes of the region who are still lives in the Gir forest, there are 54 villages in the forest and they graze their cattle’s in the jungle only. Once can suddenly see a little village or people grazing livestock in the forest.
The villages of African origin people located in the route number 1, brought from Africa as a gifts for the Nawab of Junagadh. They speak fluent Gujarati and well settled in the forests of Gir.
There is a small Museums located in the Sasan-Gir office premises, Its offers the glance of Nawab of Junagadh, Maldharis tribes culture,Lion Hunting and other amazing information about the Gir National Park.
Junagadh is most convince place to reach Gir, then get a cab, state bus service or private bus towards Sasan Gir village. Its 55 km driver from Junagadh, condition or road is good and takes around 2 hours to reach the destination.
Junagadh is well connected from Rajkot using train and road, the excellent Rajkot-Junagadh highway via Gondal, then towards the base for Gir National Park.
There are many good Lodge avaiable around the village, equipped with all the possible facilities, I stayed at Hotel Uday ( Non AC-750 Per Night, AC – 1250 Per Night) Rates May Change.
Gujarati food was nice, a complete different flavor, all the dishs are sweet like Dal, alo even Kadi. One can enjoy Kathiawadi and Gujarati food with cold chaas or butter milk. Dont forget to have some cup of Tea as well.
The campaign for Gujarat Tourism by the brand ambassador Amitabh Bachchan really made a huge difference to boost the tourism at Gir National Park as well as other famous part of vibrant Gujarat.
The Forest Department allows 30 gypsies (50 on peak days/weekends) per safari, Half safari are already booked in advance and rest 25 for the current reservation. The safaris are divided in 3 different time slots – early morning 6:30 AM, late morning 9:30 AM and evening 3:30 PM.
One has go early and stand in the queue for couple of hours to get the permits (Gypsies 1000 rs + 150rs Guide + Ticket 500 rs + 100 rs for Camera) Rates May Change for Foreigners, as well as during the peak time. (November to January)
There are 8 routes offered by the forest department to tourist in the Gir Forest, route 1,4 and 7 are hottest for lion sightings. Early morning and late evening safari are preferred to spot the Lion, as the animal movements are high during this time.
There is a place named Devaliya, an interpretation centre 15 km from Sasan-Gir, where bus safari allowed and offers guarantee lion sightings. Devaliya has lion pride and other wild animals like black buck, Chinkara,blue bull and Deer to spot.
Its best place for kids to spot lions and other wild animals in the open ground and must visit place if you missed the opportunity to see the Great Indian Lion during the Safari.
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