64 km from Junagadh and 32 km from Verawal
Coverage Area :1,412.14 sq. km./ Lion sanctuary 141,213 hectares
which national park 35,948 hectares).
Gir National Park, was established on 18th September, 1965,
as a Forest Reserve, primarily to conserve the Asiatic lion. The
total area under national park status is about 2,450 hectares.
It is located in the Junagadh District of Gujarat, about
65 km south-east of Junagadh city, and 90 km east of Keshod Airport,
in the Kathiawar (Saurashtra) Peninsula. Sasan, with a forest
rest-house, is the headquarters of the sanctuary.The Gir is a
mixed deciduous type of forest with teak, ber, flame of the forest,
jamun, a variety of acacia, particularly babul. It is a hilly
tract with plenty of rivers, and offers the visitor long pleasant
drives, through the thick forest cover.
Gir National Park is the only remaining habitat of the Asiatic
lion, which has been confined to this forest, since 1884 (
about 239 lions were
reported in 1985 ).The Asiatic lion is slightly smaller than its
African cousin, nevertheless, a large male lion of the Gir is
quite a sight to behold. The best way to observe the big cats
is, of course, in their natural surroundings, at dawn and dusk,
when they are on the prowl. The Forest Department does arrange
lion shows every Sunday, where the spectators can watch prides
of lions on the hunt.There are guided trips available, to watch
these magnificent animals from a very close range.
chinkara, wild boar, striped hyena, jackal, common langur, porcupine,
hare, black buck, are the other animals, that can be found in
this sanctuary. There are over 200 bird species including the
peafowl, grey partridge, Bonelli's eagle, crested serpent eagle,
jungle bush quail, painted sandgrouse, common green pigeon and
several species of doves . The Gir is also home to the marsh crocodile,
which can be sighted easily in its rivers, particularly in the
lake of the Kamaleshwar dam. There is also a crocodile breeding
farm at Sasan.
Gir National Park is steeped in history and folklore. It boasts
of temples of great antiquity, like Kankai Mata and Tulsishyam,
a place of pilgrimage with hot springs. The forest is famous for
its cattle herders, the Madharis, whose buffaloes form a substantial
part of the lions' meals. Extremely hospitable, the Madharis are
herders, whose lifestyle has changed little over the years, and
their folklore and traditions are a unique record of coexistence
of humans with lions.
viewing in the Girs is best done, by driving around the forest.
The best drives from Sasan are, to Baval Chowk and Kankai, to
Chodavdi and Tulsishyam, and to Kamaleshwar dam. Though a sturdy
car would do, a jeep is definitely more appropriate.
unusual reserves, the Nalsarovar Lake and Sanctuary - home to
several water-birds, the Little Rann of Kutch - home of the Indian
wild ass, and the fascinating Flamingo Island, render the state
of Gujarat a virtual haven for wildlife buffs
Topography(Gir National Park ):
The state of Gujarat has some splendid wildlife reserves that
are quite out of the ordinary. The Gir National Park is
the only home in India of the Asiatic Lion of which there are
nearly 300 in the park. This sanctuary lies in the Gujarat
peninsula in South West India and is gifted with a terrain that
is rugged with low hills and the vegetation is full of mixed deciduous,
with stands of Teak, Acacia, Jamun, Tendu and Dhak trees, interspersed
with large patches of grasslands. On the hills of the trees are
sparse and stunted.
National Park )
From the three common seasons of summer, winter and monsoon, summer
takes the longest stretch, in which the average minimum and maximum
temperature ranges between 10ºC to nearly 45ºC. The
hottest months recorded in Gir are April and May. The rains bring
some relief from the heat during the monsoons period of, starting
from middle of June and September. The maximum recorded during
this period in the area is around 1,866 mm and the minimum recorded
of less rainfall water always remains a critical factor in the
well being of the forest. At times the waterholes are required
to be replenished through water tankers from outside and the park
staff maintains around 350 of such waterholes.
Lion King(Gir National Park )
Gir Sanctuary is the last and only home of the critically
endangered Asiatic Lion. These lions are a smaller more compact
version of their African version, and are best viewed at dawn
or dusk when they are on the move. The major difference between
the two is that the African Lion appears larger than the Indian
Lion because of its large and luxuriant mane.
Of The Sanctuary
In the past Gir had a much bigger coverage area. After Indian
government placed a total ban on killing
of Lions in 1955, within the time span of three years the area
estimation came around 2,560-sq-km and the Lion population was
estimated at 287. Since then, the forest area very quickly got
reduced in area to 1,452-sq-km. In 1965, the Gujarat government
declared Gir forest as a sanctuary and in 1975; part of the sanctuary
was declared as a National Park. And with the success of
the protection program there is an incredible increase in the
Lion population too, from 177 in 1974 to around 300 in 1995.
main territories of this territorial predator outside Gir
in Gujarat include Nagwa Beach in Diu, Sutrapada, Palitana,
Mahuva, Savarkundla, Mitiyala, Keshod, Maliya Hatina, and Girnar.