lions of Gir were declared protected long back in the early
1900s. This initiative by the Nawab of the princely state of Junagadh
(Gujarat) truly turned out to be fruitful. The Government Forest Department
along with numerous wildlife activists and NGOs took serious measures to
check the dwindling population of the Asiatic Lion. And before long, the
horrifying total count of 15 went up to a whooping 359 (as per the April
2005 census). Today, the eco-system of the Gir National Park
, with its
pristine flora and fauna, happens to be one of the most haunted wildlife
destinations in the country.
Best Time : December to
Wildlife Species in the Park
Entry Fee : Rs 30 (Indians)/ Rs 200 (Foreigners)
of course the dense population of the exotic Asiatic Lion that brings
travellers to Gir National Park in hordes. Around 359 lions call the park
their home. These lions are a bit smaller in size as compared with the
African version. The ideal time to spot the Asiatic lions is either at dawn
The next big attraction in the jungles of Gir is the leopard. Other
commonly sighted animal species of the park include chital, spotted deer,
chinkara, sambhar, black buck, four horned antelope, wild boar, shrew, grey
musk, Indian flying foe, ratel, jackal and small Indian civet among others.
Even the species of the cat family can be spotted here. These include jungle
cat, desert cat and rusty spotted cat.
Bird watching at Gir National Park can also prove to be quite a delightful
experience. A number of exotic bird species fill the forests of Gir with
their chirrups and twitters. One can easily sight avian species like
paradise flycatcher, black headed cuckoo shrike, pied woodpecker, bonelli's
eagle, creset serpant eagle, painted sandgrouse, bush quail and grey
patridge among others.
What else to see and do?
Travel (Air/Rail/Road) Information
- Bird watching is an interesting activity at Gir. To get the most of
your visit, you can head straight to the Nalsarovar Lake, which is
located inside the national park.
- Also remember to visit the Lord Krishna Temple inside and the Tulsi
Shyam springs that are closely located.
- The historic city of Junagarh is just 64 km from here. So, tourists
can make a trip to the city and visit such popular attractions as the
Jami Masjid, Durbar Hall. Uperkot Fort and Mahabat Maqbara are famous
- Another worth visiting site that lies close by is Somnath. An
important Hindu pilgrimage centre, the temple has an interesting
The closest airport from the Gir National Park is Keshod, 90 km away.
Travellers can avail of regular flights from Keshod to Mumbai. After their
arrival at Keshod, they can undertake a road journey to Gir. Though the
closest railhead is Sasangir (1 km), the most convenient option is
Ahmedabad. By road, tourists can access the Gir National Park from the city
of Ahmedabad via Rajkot, Junagadh and Mendarda.
Tourists can plan their stay at the resorts in the Gir National Park.
Options preferred by tourists are as follows.
- Maneland Jungle Lodge
- Sinh Sadan Guest House