Gir Wildlife Sanctuary
Photos
 
Brief

Covering a area of 1153.42 sq km, the Gir Wildlife Sanctuary is the last bastion of the Asiatic Lion. The Park was successfully able to save the endangered species from the brink of extinction, and is currently the only place in India where you can spot these regal cats! The Sanctuary spreads over Junagadh andAmreli districts of Saurashtra, and is known for its majestic views and the extensive variety of animals often spotted by travellers.  The main centre ‘Sasan’ is located in Talalataluka of Junagadh. The Sanctuary is located in the south west part of Gujarat, about 360 kilometres from Ahmadabad, 65 kilometres from Junagadh, and 40 kilometers from Veraval. It is set in the inlands from around the beaches of Diu.

The entrance to the park is located at SasanGirvillage, and this is where the Park reception and orientation centre is located. With over 300 Asiatic lions inside the entire area of the sanctuary, Gir Wildlife Sanctuary is the perfect abode for the avid wildlife enthusiast.  Gir is also popular for its variety of birds and is obviously very popular among birdwatchers. With its ruggedcliff tops, isolated hills, valleys, plateaus and ridges, the Park is an automatic favouriteamong wildlife lovers and nature enthusiasts alike.

 
Travel Tips

Given that it is a wildlife park, and one of the most dangerous one at that, it is advisable that you follow all the guidelines given by the Park authorities when inside the Park. Book ahead as the queue for the safaris can go up to a 5 hour wait for on-spot bookings especially during tourist season. If you want to take your own car inside the Park, make sure it runs on petrol as only petrol cars are allowed inside the Park. Remember to spend an evening interacting with the local tribals, absorbing their ways of life. They are a generous and hospitable community and welcome tourists with open hearts.



When to visit

  • Jan
  • Feb
  • Mar
  • Apr
  • May
  • Jun
  • July
  • Aug
  • Sept
  • Oct
  • Nov
  • Dec
sprinkles Pleasant
  • 29.2° Max
  • 15.7° Min
  • 3.5 mm
  • Carry light woolen
 
Things to do

TheGir Wildlife sanctuary has three jeep safari slots - at 6.30 am, 9:30 am and 3.30 pm. Of these, the first Safari has the best strike rate since most animals can be spotted at dawn. Pre-book your tickets as on the spot ticket booking is on a strictly first come, first serve basis. The safaris will cost you around Rs1400 per safari, including Rs 100 each, for a camera and a guide. There are a total of 8 safari routes in the Park and each safari takes you through two different routes - one for entry and another for the exit. Ask to be taken through route number 4 or 7 since the Kamleshwar Dam, a beautiful architectural edifice with panoramic views of the jungle falls on both of these routes. 

Most people travel to Gir to observe wildlife at its very best, especially the Asiatic Lion, which is found in abundance only within the confines of this Park. Other animals worth noting in the safari include leopards, sloth bears, chinkaras, chitals, crocodiles and avariety of birds such as the blossom headed parakeet, warbler, fly-catcher etc.

The Kamleshwar Dam situated within the Gir National Park, in its very centre, offers panoramic views of Gir hills and forest. The water body is home to a large population of crocodiles and a good spot to observe water birds. Built over Hiran River, it is referred to as the life line of Gir and is a major reservoir in this Sasan area. Definitely worth a few hours of stopover!

Another interesting activity in Gir is to observe the local customs and traditions of the indigenous tribalshere. These include the Maldharis and Siddhis – they are tribal groups are closely associated with the forest and can still be found within the Park and its surrounding forested tracts. They are colorful and lively folk with a rich cultural heritage that is almost as ancient as the forest itself. Ask the locals to point you to one of their settlements and enjoy an evening among the local tribes-people for a truly rustic and delightful evening.

 
Getting Around

Transportation in Gir is fairly easy to avail. Roads and local trains are the best ways to move from one point in SasanGir to another. For transportation withinSasanGir, you can hire a cab or taxi for a fixed period of time from the rental agencies. Gypsies will cost  you somewhere around Rs 800, while hiring a cab/taxi will be charged based on the number of hours or kilometres of usage. This way you can take all the time you need to appreciate and soak in all the grandeur of Mother Nature. If you are travelling on a strict budget, you can also choose to travel around SasanGir on one of their local busses available in plenty.

 
Places to Stay

Though there are only 12 noted accomodations in Gir National Park, however the price range caters to all kinds of travellers.


Luxury Hotels - (5000 - 10,000 INR pernight):-

Maneland Jungle Lodge (SasanGir, | District Junagadh, Gir National Park 362 135, India)

Gir Jungle Lodge (SasanJunagadh Road | SasanGir., Gir National Park, India)

Lion Safari Camp (Near Hirneshwar Temple Check Dam | TalukaTalala, District Junagadh, Gir National Park 362133, India)

 

Mid range Hotels - (2000 - 4000 INR pernight):-

The Fern Gir Forest Resort (SasanGir, Gir National Park 362135, India)

The Gateway Hotel Gir Forest (SasanGir, Near SinhSadan, Junagadh District, Gir National Park 362135, India)

Saavaj Resort (SasanTalala Road, SasanGir, Gir National Park 362135, India)

 

Budget Hotels - (900 - 1800 INR pernight):-

Family Rooms (SBI Road, Rameshwar Society, Gir National Park 362135, India)

Hotel Green Park (SasanJunagadh Road | Dist. Junagadh, Gir National Park 362135, India)

Hotel Leo (SasanJunagadh Main Road, Gir National Park 362135, India )

 
How to Reach

  • Rajkot and Bhavnagar are the closest airports from where you can drive uptoSasanGir in another four hours. You can also fly in to Diu, from where it is a two-hour drive to SasanGir, that will cost you somewhere around Rs 800-1000 in a private taxi.
  • Junagadh is the most commonway to reach the Park by rail. The railway station here connects trains from Ahmedabad, Rajkot, and other major cities in India. From the Junagadh station it is only another hour and a half by road, to SasanGir - viaVeraval, an alternate route it is only an hour. If you don't want to take a taxi, pubic buses run regularly to SasanGir from both places during the day. The Park is also easily reachable from the beaches of Diu, which are approximately a two hour drive away.
  • Alternatively, many people prefer to take a private bus to SasanGir from Ahmedabad. The bus drops off the travellersright next to the SinhSadan Guest House and reception centre making it a more convenient option than taking a train. The journey takes about seven hours, and buses can be arranged from the private bus stand near Paldi bus stop and will cost you approximately Rs 1000. There's no need to book in advance, since busses ply regularly on this route.

 
Surrounding Attractions

The Gir sanctuary attracts people from all over the world not only because of its majestic sights and a wide selection of wild animals, but also for the adjoining attractions. Somnath Temple is famous for its architecture and is considered sacred by the locals. Located about 46 km from Sasan-Gir, it is one of the most ancient Hindu religious temples, which is known to be one of the 12 jyotirlings, important Hindu shrines of Lord Shiva and holds an important place in history and mythology.

Junagadh Zoo is another nearby attraction known mainly for the Asiatic lions it houses within its boundaries. The zoo was built by the Nawab of Junagadh in 1863 with the motive of saving the lions from extinction. The zoo itself has a safari park that is considered a smaller version of SasanGir Wildlife Sanctuary because of its surroundings and wildlife. Its main species of wildlife comprises lions, leopards and tigers.

Mitiyala Wildlife Sanctuary is yet another tourist attraction if you are a wildlife lover. Spread over 18.22 sq.km, this sanctuary is known for its lions, leopards and other rare and endangered wildlife species. The sanctuary adjoins the Gir forest and was declared a sanctuary in 2004 and serves as a key attraction for many nature lovers keen on spotting endangered species.

 
Important Numbers

Sr. No. Police Station Phone No.
SDPO Headquarters (Circle) 053-7517574
Ambulance - 108