Gir National Park, established in the Junagarh district of Gujarat, is spread over an area of 1412 sq km. The park holds the distinction of being the only natural habitat of Asiatic Lions in the entire world. The population of the Asiatic lions in Gir is estimated to be somewhere around 300. Gir Wildlife Sanctuary of India is also home to a race of cattle herders, known as the Maldharis. The sanctuary has Tulsi Shyam and Kankai Mata sulphur springs inside its premises, along with a number of Hindu worship places. The best time to visit the Gir Wildlife Park of Gujarat is during the period of mid-October to mid-June.
The topography of Gir National Park of India is formed of low hills,
covered with mixed deciduous trees like Teak, Acacia, Jamun, Tendu and
Dhak. Dotting the landscape are large patches of grasslands. The area
along the main rivers and streams of the park boasts of a distinctive
stretch of vegetation. The species found there include Jambu, Karanj,
Umro, Vad, Kalam, Charal, Sirus and Amli trees. The coastal borders of
Gir Wildlife Park were planted with Prosopis and Casuarinas as part of
the afforestation plan carried out there.
Gir Wildlife Sanctuary of Gujarat serves as the only abode of the
Asiatic lions in the whole world. It is the only place where you can
find the majestic animals in their natural habitat. The best time to
sight an Asiatic Lion is dawn or dusk, when they are freely roaming in
the jungle. Gir Wildlife Park of Gujarat is also quite renowned for
housing a significant population of leopards, which is presently
estimated to be around 210.
Apart from these extremely popular species, you may also watch Indian
Gazelle, Four-horned Antelope, Small Indian Mongoose, Indian Flying Foe,
Chital, Nilgai, Pale Hedgehog, Black Bucks, Wild Boar, Sambar, Grey Musk
Shrew, Indian Hare, Chinkara, etc. Other lesser-known animal species
seen at the park include Small Indian Civet, Indian Pangolin, Indian
Porcupine, Ratel, Indian Fox, Jackal, Jungle Cat, Desert Cat, Rusty
Spotted Cat, etc.
Mash crocodiles can be easily spotted at Kamleshwar Dam, situated
inside premises of the Gir National Park. Then, there is its snake
population, consisting of Indian Rock Python, Indian Cobra, Common
Krait, Saw Scaled Viper, Russell's Viper, etc.
As many as 300 species of birds can be found inhabiting the forests of
the Gir Wildlife Park, situated in the state of Gujarat. The wide
variety of birds offered by the park makes it a heaven for bird
watchers. The most commonly found species include Bush Quail, Paradise
Flycatcher, Painted Sandgrouse, Pied Woodpecker, Creset Serpent Eagle,
Black Headed Cuckoo Shrike, Bonelli's Eagle and Grey Patridge.
How to Reach Gir National Park
By Air: The nearest airport is situated at Keshod, at a distance
of 86 km.
By Rail: Sasan railway station, situated one km away, is the
nearest to Gir.
By Road: Taxis as well as buses are easily available from