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Sasan Gir national park is one of the most famous national parks in India owing to the huge presence of an Asiatic lion. It is the only habitat in which the Asiatic lion still survives. It has already been declared as endangered species. Owing to this very reason, tourists often flock to this national park in order to catch a glimpse of this species of lion. The national park is spread over 1412 km². It received the title of a wildlife sanctuary in 1965 and it was declared as a national park in 1975. Overall, if you look at the presence of wildlife in this national park, you would realize that it consists of 438 species of mammals and also 300 species of birds followed by 37 different species of reptiles and over 2000 different species of insects. The authorities have made it easy for you to explore the national park with the help of the jeep safari which is conducted almost on a daily basis.
What is it famous for?
The Gir Wildlife Sanctuary is famous for the Asiatic Lion (Pantheraleopersica). Since 1913 when the total number of lions drastically reduced to a mere 20, the number has increased to a fabulous 300.
Sasan Gir national park is well connected throughout India.
The nearest airport, Keshod airport is just 38 km away. Sasan also has a railway station which is just meters away from the forest. This is one of the best ways to reach the national park.
If you’re going by road, you can easily get a bus or a car or a cab from Diu or Junagadh or Rajkot or Veraval.
This ensures that you would have no problem at all in reaching this national park.
Best time to visit Sasan Gir national park:
The best time to visit the national park is from November to March when it is the winter season in that part of the country.
The safari is held daily from morning 6 AM to 9 AM and 9 AM to 12 noon. This is followed by 3 PM to 6 PM in the evenings.
Sasan Gir national park Accommodation:
Sasan Gir national park houses a lot of different accommodation options. Whether you’re looking for elegant resorts or just budget hotels, you would be able to find all of them within the national park. This makes it easier for you to explore the national park. One thing which you have to keep in mind is that during the best season which we mentioned above, most of the hotels are booked in advance. Owing to this reason, instead of directly going to the national park it would be a good idea to 1st book your hotel or resort and once you have the accommodation options are sorted, you can head over to the national park in order to explore the wildlife in the resort. The accommodation options are spread all over the national park. Owing to this very reason, you have to look at your mode of transport through which you are arriving in the national park and thereafter, you have to choose the accommodation option which would be the nearest to you. You have to also keep in mind that the accommodation option should be such that it becomes easier for you to explore the national park as well.
So, if you want to explore the wildlife in India, Sasan Gir national park is one of the best options for you.
What constitutes the flora, fauna, and avifauna?
Spreading over an area of 1,1412sq km, the Gir National Park supports a very rich and diverse flora and fauna. The flora of the park chiefly consists of tropical dry deciduous forests of teak trees, rolling grasslands, and semi-evergreen riverine. Major trees include teak and banyan. The main species of trees found here are Jambu, Karanj, Umro, Vad, Kalam, Charal, Sirus, and Amli.
There are about 38 species of mammals, 300 species of birds, and 37 species of reptiles. The main animal inmates of the park are Asiatic lions, leopards, jungle cat, hyenas, mongoose, Chital, Nilgai (Blue bull), four-horned antelope, Chinkara, and wild boar.
The avifauna population includes king vulture, crested serpent eagle, Bonelli’s eagle, crested hawk-eagle, Brown Fish owl, Indian grey hornbill, Pygmy woodpecker, blossom-headed parakeet, Honey-buzzard, spoonbill, raptors, flamingo, spotted dove, crested swift, black-headed oriole, Indian Pitta, etc.
What are the other attractions?
Gir Interpretation Zone
The Gir Interpretation Zone at Devaliya is located at a distance of 12 km from Sasan Gir. It presents Gir in a nutshell, covering all types of habitats and wildlife. It has been created with a view to reducing pressure on the tourism zone of the national park. Lion sighting is guaranteed here.
The Kamleshwar Dam is an oasis in the dry landscape of the place. Marsh crocodiles are often seen along with the dam site. It is located in the middle of the sanctuary and is home to a record population of crocodiles.
Sirvan is a unique village near Sasan Gir. Here live the people of African origin. The village is a must-see for tourists and travellers.