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Gir National Park

Location: Gujarat

Main Wildlife Attractions: Asiatic Lions

Coverage Area: 1412 sq.kms.

Established: 1965

Best Time to Visit:October to June

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The only home of the endangered mighty Asiatic Lion, Gir National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary is one of the most popular attractions of Gujarat. In 1965, Gir forest was titled as wildlife sanctuary and in 1975 it was declared as a National Park. Spread in a huge area of 1412 square km, the national park houses around 38 species of mammals, 300 avifauna species, 37 species of reptiles and over 2000 insect species. Enjoy jeep safari and bird watching at Sasan Gir.



How to reach Gir National Park

By Air

The nearest airport to the protected forests is Keshod Airport at a distance of 38 km

By Rail

Sasan railway junction is the closes railway station to the famous Gir forests just a few meters away.

By Road

Gir forests can be reached easily by roads through buses, cars or taxis from Diu (110 Km), Junagadh (55 Km), Rajkot (160 Km), Veraval (40 Km) and Ahmedabad (408 Km).



What is the best time for visiting Gir Forest National Park?

The only home of the Asiatic lions, the very popular Gir National Park is placed 66 km away from Junagarh district. The national park is open to visitors all throughout the year except the monsoon months, between June and October. But the best time to visit Gir National Park is in the winter season, from November to March. During this time, the weather is cool and the chances of sighting animals are greater.

Gir Jungle Safari Timings

Days Morning Timings Evening Timings
Monday To Sunday 6 AM to 9 AM 3 PM to 6 PM
9 AM to 12PM -

Interpretation Zone/ Devalia Safari Park

Particulars Morning Timings Evening Timings
Monday To Sunday 8 AM To 11 AM 3 PM To 5 PM

What are the charges inside the National Park?

Entry Fees:

Category Monday-Friday Saturday-Sunday & Special Holidays
Indian Up to 6 persons INR 800 INR 1000
Extra Child INR 100 INR 125
Foreigner Up to 6 persons INR 4800 INR 6000
Extra Child INR 1200 INR 1500

Note:

  1. Per E-permit maximum 6 adults +1 child* is allowed.
  2. *Child should be between 3 to 12 years of age
  • Guide Fees: INR 100
  • Jeep Hiring Fees: INR 1300- INR 1500

Interpretation Zone Fee:

Category Monday-Friday Saturday-Sunday & Special Holidays
Indian (Per Person) INR 150 INR 190
Foreigner (Per Person) INR 2400 INR 3000

Note: Devalia Safari Park (Interpretation Zone) remains closed on every wednesday.

What is Gir Forest National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary famous for?

Gir Forest National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary is famous for being a protected habitat of the endangered species of Asiatic Lions.

When were the Protected Forests established?

Gir forests existed in erstwhile days as the hunting ground for Indian Royalty. Due to this, the population of the Royal Predators of India, Asiatic Lions, started to dwindle by the early 19th Century.

In the year 1880, the lions were counted to be bare 12 in numbers.  This caused a major concern in the mind of The Nawab of Junagadh who understood the importance of the wildlife species and laid down laws regarding a ban on hunting.

After India got independence, Gir Forests were included in the state of Gujarat. The area was declared as a Wildlife Sanctuary on 18 September, 1965 just for the purpose of saving the precious wildlife species of lions. By 1975, an area of 269 sq. km in the sanctuary was demarcated as a National Park.

By the year 1968, the lion population was counted to be a bare minimum of 177 species. The forest department initiated numerous wildlife protection schemes to increase the dwindling population of the tigers.

The schemes proved to be successful and the population of tigers increased to 359 by the year 2005. A per census 2010, Asiatic Lions population in the protected forests were counted to be 411 in number which was constituted by 75 sub-adults, 97 adult males, 77 cubs and 162 adult females.

What is the location of Gir Forests?

Gir Forest National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary is situated at South-West of Saurashtra peninsular region in the Indian state of Gujarat.

What are the major attractions in and around the Park?

  • Interpretation Zone: For tourists, an interpretation zone has been created inside the Park at Devalia, which basically comprises of all sorts of habitat and wildlife in the park restricted under chained fences.
  • Kamaleshwar Dam: This stunning dam inside the sanctuary surrounded by lush greenery is bet for a visit in the morning. At this location, tourists will find maximum number of marsh crocodiles as compared to any other place in the country.
  • Gir Bhimchas: This water reservoir inside the park is a must visit. It is believed among tourists that this reservoir was constructed by Bhim to help his mother, Kunti, to get rid of her thirst.
  • Somnath: The newly constructed Somnath temple which has become a famous tourist attraction is located at a close distance from the sanctuary.

What kind of accommodation facilities are the best nearby Gir forests?

Tourists need not worry about accommodation facilities when on a tour to Gir forests. Apart from the budget hotels that are nearby the forests, there are some of the top rated wildlife resorts and lodges nearby Gir Forests. Stay in these lodges is an ultimate vacation opportunity to the tourists.

The wildlife resorts even plan the wildlife tours to the protected forests for tourists. The best of accommodation and dining facilities are available to the tourists with a stay in the wildlife lodges. Most of these accommodation establishments even organize camp fires at night which are very exciting and fun.

The best advantage of choosing these slightly expensive accommodations is the chance to live amidst the wildlife and very close to the forests. There is hardly any other adventure that can be compared with this.

For wildlife enthusiasts, some of the best wildlife resorts nearby Gir Forests include Gir Birding Lodge, Fern Gir Resort, The Taj Gateway Hotel, the Maneland Jungle Lodge, Lion Safari Camp, Sinh Sadan Guest House, etc.

Some travel tips before visiting the famous Gir Forest National Park:

Check out these useful tips on a tour to Gir National Park:

  • Lions are most active early in the morning, and hence, the early morning safaris are ideal for lion viewing.
  • Private vehicles of any sort are not allowed inside the park.
  • Do not carry any kind of weapon with you inside the forest.
  • The charges and crowds are larger during special holidays and weekends, so try and avoid tours on these days.
  • Be patient if you do not get to see any wildlife inside the forest.
  • Tourists must be ready with their cameras to click exciting pictures of wildlife species.
  • It is preferable to wear lighter colored clothes as the animals are scared away easily by darker colors.
  • Do not tease, harm or hurt any wildlife species. It is considered a major offence and will land you in trouble with the authorities.
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