Gir national forest and wildlife sanctuary
The home of wild and free Asiatic lions.
Gir National Forest and Wildlife Sanctuary Tourism
Gir National Forest also known by its other name Sasan Gir is a wildlife Sanctuary in Gujrat. It is also the habitat of the world's largest surviving group of Asiatic lions. Gir forest is 180 kms away from the main city of Gujrat and is tucked in the southwestern core town known as Junagadh. Gir is the place of attraction for people from all over India as well as UAE, UK, USA and many other countries. Due to its altitude, Gir has the perfect dry deciduous climate for the Asiatic lions, birds and other wild animals. Gir also draws the attention of the bird watching lovers reason being is because of its exotic flora the sanctuary gives the perfect shelter to over a couple of 100 species of birds. The best weather to visit Gir is from the month of December to the month of March. Although if you plan to visit in December do carry your winter clothing. The temperature in summer goes up to 46c whereas in winters it goes down to 10c which makes the winter season suitable for the visitors and tourists. Though the best seasons for the wildlife photographers and researchers is spring and autumn. The forest also closes because of the south-west monsoon from the month of June. If you are looking for adventure and a trip full of alluring views from of the nature , Gir forest and wildlife sanctuary is the perfect place where you are supposed to be.
History and Culture of Gir.
Gir forest was originally started in 1913, when the Nawabs and the forest officials took steps to protect the almost going extinct Asiatic lions because of increase in hunting and poaching. Later in 19th century on September 1965, it was officially dedicated as the Gir Wildlife sanctuary. Gir was the place for British colonists, Nawabs and trophy hunters for their trophy hunting expeditions. The Trophy hunting came to end when Nawab Muhammad Mahabat Khan contributed to conserve the lions and initiated an act to bring an end to this sport. Followed by this government forest department activitists and many other NGOs also combined their efforts to ensure the safety and survival of this great surviving species of Asiatic Lions. Gir also catches the attention of the tourist and visitors because of its wide variety of flora, there are almost more than 400 species of plants that can be seen in Gir. Several species of Acacia are also found in Gir. The forest provides around 123,000 tons of metric fuel annually to our Country. Whereas there are 2375 species of fauna which are categorized into 4 groups, 38 mammals-300 birds-37 reptiles-2000 insects.
The culture of Gir got a lot to offer to the first time visitors, the tribal festival dance which is performed by the local tribes. There are 2 tribes Maldhari and Siddi. The Dang Darbar festival which is celebrated usually like 2-3 days before Holi where you can enjoy the folk dance and traditional Gujrati food and make some new friends who will warmly welcome you with a really special thing they got to offer, their SMILE so don't forget to smile back and just indulge yourself into one of the finest cultures of India.
Top things do in Gir National Forest and Wildlife Sanctuary
How to reach
Usually people prefer cars and private or goverment sector owned buses to travel to Junagdh from Gujrat. Which takes about 4 hours from the main city of Gujrat, Junagarh is also well connected to the train routes, one can also reach Junagrah by train. There are 3 airports closer to Junagrah and they are the Keshod Airport, Rajkot airport and the Diu airport. Therefore the best preferred way is by flight and bus.
How to Reach by Flight
The 3 closest airports from Junagrah are Keshod, Rajkot and Diu airport.Rajkot airport operates daily flights as it is one of the major airports of Gujrat.It will take around 4 and a half hours to reach Junagrah from Rajkot aiport.However from Keshod airport which is roughly 95kms away it will take around 3 hours depending on the traffic.One can also fly to Diu via Mumbai which makes it the most convenient way to reach Junagarh as it is only 68kms away and will take around 2 hours to reach Junagrah.
Flights from various places from India are starting from 4500-/INR
Genreally people take prepaid taxis from the Diu Airport.
Buses are available from Keshod Airport.
How to Reach by Train
Junagarh is a well connected town as it is connected to some of the major cities, trains from many states are available to Junagarh. The main train station is Junagadh district station.
Cabs, buses and rickshaws are availble from train station.
Fares are starting from 700-/INR
How to Reach by Bus
Both Goverment and private sector owned buses are available to Junagarh district, the well constructed and smooth roads of Gujrat will let you have comforting and not so exhausting ride via bus. Buses are also available from Ahemdabad.
Fares are starting from 120-/INR
How to Reach by Road
Cab or bus can be used as the ideal mode of transportation to reach Junagarh distrcit which will take around 3 hours.
How to travel within
- Travel in the early morning so you can be there by afternoon and be bewitched by the alluring view of the birds and inhabitants of of the Gir forest.
Where to stay, Things to be aware of and what to do when in Gir.
The Local food of Gujrat has a lot to offer you though it is always better to be cautious of your allergies as Gir uses some organic spices. There are a couple of best resorts and hotels in Gir. The Gir Resort which is like 16 kms away from the city centre and Saavaj Resort which is like 12kms away from the city centre, these two resorts are among the top-rated resorts in Gir. Gujrat is among one of the safest states in India so you can leave your worries behind and enjoy the scrumptious delicacies of Gujrat. If you are going on the Jungle safari the things that you should keep in mind are that no one is allowed to come down from the jeep during the entire trip (3 hours). Protect yourself from dust and sun. Must carry water with you. If you are around the jungle then do try the Kathyawaadi food. The tribal people living in Gir are really polite and they welcome strangers with the smile and reach out to visitors with the very best of their hospitality. So don't be surprised if you hear "AVO AVO" from a stranger. There are Souvenirs which are available at good prices so don't forget to get some while you can also go around the local market and buy some traditional dresses, ornaments and jewellery in Gir. Be careful inside the forest as there are no phones allowed during the entire safari. Pay close attention to guides and always be aware of the location and safety marks. Gir is the place for adventure seekers and is waiting to warmly welcome you with its simplicity and amazing people.
Gir National Forest and Wildlife Sanctuary Itinerary
Day 1: Spend the day visiting the local market to get some traditional ornamnets and enjoy the night with the Tribal dance festival.
Day2: Go for the Jungle safari, there are 3 slots available for Jungle safari Early morning, Morning and evening so decide according to your preference. You would be asked to pay 2100 rs for the vehicle and around 1000-/INR for the permit(might change according to season).
Day3: Go for Bird watching
If you wish to stay a little longer you can always visit the Crocodile breeding centre.