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About Gir National Park
State : Gujrat
Tiger at Gir National Park, GujratGir National Park, GujratChinkara at Gir Nationla Park, GujratLeopard at Gir National Park, Gujrat
Area details
Total Area : 1,412.14 sq. km.
Lion sanctuary 141,213 hectares (of which national park 35,948 hectares)


Situated about 65km SE of Junagarh district in the state of Gujarat in South West India, the National Park was established on 18th September, 1965, as a Forest Reserve, primarily to conserve the Asiatic lion-classified as one of the World's most threatened species. Now Gir National Park is the only remaining place in the world, where one is likely to see the Asiatic Lion. The sanctuary covers a total area of 1,412 sq. km of which 258 sq.km at the core forms the National park. Permits are required to enter this part of the sanctuary.

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.

The 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.

The land is rugged with deep ravines, steep rocky hills and plenty of rivers. The vegetation, mainly along the main rivers and streams is mixed deciduous, with Teak, Acacia, Jamun, Tendu and Dhak trees, interspersed with large patches of grasslands and offers the visitor long pleasant drives, through the thick forest cover. These trees are mostly broad leaved and evergreen, giving the area a cool shade and moisture content. The Gir forest is dry for most of the year with scrub trees, like babul and few flowering trees. Prosopis and Casuarina have been planted in the coastal border as part of the aforestation plan.

Within the sanctuary, there are numerous human settlements of cattle herders called Maldharis. There are also places of Hindu worship and pilgrimage and sulphur springs at Tulsi Shyam and Kankai Mata. At the edge of the park there are good populations of Indian Gazelle, protected by the religious sentiment of the local people.

Climate (Gir Wildlife Sanctuary)
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 being 199mm. Because 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.



How to Reach
Air : Nearest airport is Keshod 90-km via Veraval. There are daily flights from Mumbai to Keshod. Drive to Gir from Keshod or Rajkot (166-kms) airports.

Train : Meter gauge rail line of 395-kms from Ahemedabad. There is also a railway station at Sasan Gir (1km).

Road : Distance of 400-kms from Ahmedabad via Rajkot, Junagadh and Mendarda. State Transport buses are also available from Junagadh via Mendarda (65 kms) and Veraval (42 km) between November and June.


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