Gir National Park | Sasan Gir
About Gir National Park:
It is the sole home of the pure Asiatic Lions (Panthera leo persica) and is considered to be one of the most important protected areas in Asia due to its supported species. The ecosystem of Gir, with its diverse flora and fauna, is protected as a result of the efforts of the government forest department, wildlife activists and NGOs. The forest area of Gir and its lions were declared as "protected" in the early 1900s by the then Nawab of the princely state of Junagadh. This initiative assisted in the conservation of the lions whose population had plummeted to only 15 through slaughter for trophy hunting.
The April 2010 census recorded the lion-count in Gir at 411, an increase of 52 compared to 2005. The lion breeding programme covering the park and surrounding area has bred about 180 lions in captivity since its inception.
The park and the sanctuary remain closed, from June to mid-October, but the cool and dry weather between late-November and early-March is the recommended visiting period. During this period it is easier to sight the wildlife in the open.
During peak summer, surface water for wild animals is available at about 300 water points. When drought hits the area following a poor rainfall, surface water is not available at a majority of these points, and water scarcity becomes a serious problem (mainly in the eastern part of the sanctuary). Ensuring the availability of water during peak summer is one of the major tasks of the Forest Department staff.
Teak bearing areas are mainly in the eastern portion of the forest, which constitutes nearly half of the total area.
The forest is an important biological research area with considerable scientific, educational, aesthetic and recreational values. It provides nearly 5 million kilograms of green grass by annual harvesting, which is valued approximately at Rs. 50 crores (Rs. 500,000,000) (US$ 10 million). The forest provides nearly 15,000 metric tons worth of fuel wood annually.
The carnivores group mainly comprises Asiatic lions, Indian Leopards, Sloth bears, Jungle cats, Striped Hyenas, Golden Jackals, Indian Mongoose, Indian Palm Civets, and Ratels. Desert cats and Rusty-spotted cats exist but are rarely seen.
The main herbivores of Gir are Chital, Nilgai (or Bluebull), Sambar, Four-horned Antelope, Chinkara and Wild boar. Blackbucks from the surrounding area are sometimes seen in the sanctuary.
The plentiful avifauna population has more than 300 species of birds, most of which are resident. The scavenger group of birds has 6 recorded species of Vultures. Some of the typical species of Gir include Crested Serpent Eagle, endangered Bonelli's Eagle, Crested Hawk-eagle, Brown Fish Owl, Great Horned Owl, Bush Quail (or Quailbush), Pygmy Woodpecker, Black-headed Oriole, Crested Treeswift and Indian Pitta. The Indian Grey Hornbill was not found in the last census of 2001.
Asiatic Lion habitat, distribution and population:
Even though the Gir Forest is well protected, there are instances of Asiatic Lions being poached. They have also been poisoned for attacking livestock. Some of the other threats include floods, fires and the possibility of epidemics and natural calamities. Gir nonetheless remains the most promising long term preserve for them
The lion breeding programme and lion-counting:
The census of lions takes place every five years. Previously indirect methods like using pugmarks of the lion were adopted for the count. However, during the census of April 2005 (which originally was scheduled for 2006, but was advanced following the reports and controversy over vanishing tigers in India), "Block-Direct-Total Count" method was employed with the help of around 1,000 forest officials, experts and volunteers. It means that only those lions were counted that were "spotted" visually. Use of "live bait" (a prey that is alive and used as a bait) for the exercise, though thought to be a traditional practice, was not used this time. The reason believed to be behind this is the Gujarat High Court ruling of 2000 against such a use of animals.
1968 177 -
1974 180 -
1979 205 76:100:85
1984 239 88:100:64
1990 284 82:100:67
1995 304 94:100:71
2000 327 -
2005 359 -
2010 411 97:162:152
Gir Interpretation Zone, Devalia:
Gir National Park and Sanctuary does not have a designated area for tourists. However, to reduce the tourism hazard to the wildlife and to promote nature education, an Interpretation Zone has been created at Devalia within the sanctuary. Within its chained fences, it covers all habitat types and wildlife of Gir with its feeding-cum-living cages for the carnivores and a double-gate entry system. Typically the inside population of the zone includes about 100 spotted deer, about 100 Nilgai (or Bluebull), about 15 wild boars, about half a dozen sambars and blackbucks, and other mammal and reptilian species along with birds. In addition limited number of tourists are allowed into the sanctuary on designated routes. The best time to visit the area is outside the monsoon season.this place is also conserved by the ngo s in the east and by the iucn in the north
Asiatic Lion Reintroduction Project:
Other Attractions in Gir National Park:
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. Wildlife viewing in the Gir’s is best done, by driving via jeep around the forest.
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.
How to Reach:
The nearest airport from Gir is Keshod 90-kms via Veraval. Visitors can easily catch daily flights from Mumbai to Keshod.
The nearest rail connection is the meter gauge rail line of 395-kms from Ahemdabad.
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.
General Info / Tips:
- Do not disturb the animals during day time as most of the nocturnal animals sleep during day time.
- Do not try to irritate the animals or make them angry by teasing them.
- Take official guides along with you on the park trip.
- Do not smoke inside the park.
- Do not use flash or intrusive photography.
- Picking of plants and insects is strictly prohibited.
- Wear loose fitting and simple clothes that blend with the park surroundings.
- For the safety of the visitors, walking and hiking within the vicinity of the park is not allowed.
- Camping and picnicking is not allowed within the park.
- Carry plenty of water along with you.Waiting for your reply.
Cost per jeep per safari in INR:
For foreign nationals 1-6 persons: Rs. 3800 (on weekdays), Rs. 4300 (on Sat & Sun), Rs. 4800 (during festival season), Camera fees – Rs 500 (full day) above 7 megapixel.
Service tax on the bill is 4.12% additional.
Gir National Park - Jeep Safari Timing:
Rest of the Time Park is closed for the Visitors
WINTER (Oct to Jan)
MORNING - 06 : 30 to 10 : 30 AM,
EVENING - 01 : 30 to 5 : 30 PM
SUMMER SAFARI TIMING (Feb to June)
MORNING - 06 : 00 to 10 : 00 AM
EVENING - 02 : 30 to 06 : 30 PM
Hotels - Lodge and Resort in Sasan Gir:
- Amidhara Resort
- Gir Birding Lodge
- Gir Jungle Lodge
- The Gir Lodge
- Lion Safari Camp
- Maneland Jungle Lodge
- Wonderland Resort
- Sinh Sadan Guest House
- Vanvaso Resort
- Hotel Anil Farmhouse
- Club Mahindra Safari Resort
- Woodland Resort
- Taj Gir Lodge