Gir National Park - Gujarat

Facts & Figures

Area : 1412 Sq. Km
Altitude : 40m to 50 m
Temperature Range : 40°C to 12°C
Best time to Visit : November and June


About Gir National Park

In the southwest of the peninsular state of Gujarat, lies the 116 square-mile Gir sanctuary created to protect the last wild population of Lion outside the African regions. Since 1913 when the Lion population over here fell drastically to just 20 animals, the numbers have increased to around 300. The Asiatic Lion is slightly smaller than its African cousin is and its mane is also smaller.

Wildlife Attractions at Gir National Park

In India the Lion population is spread across the states of Rajasthan, Gujarat, Haryana, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh. But Gir is not just about Lions, the second most commonly found predator in the Gir is Leopard. Infact, Gir national park is also home to one of the largest Leopard populations in any park in India, and especially in the hotter season they can sometimes be seen at night close to the lodges.

Other animal residents of the Gir national park are Sambar Deer, Chital Spotted Deer, Nilgai Antelope, Chowsingha Four-Horned Antelope, Chinkara Gazelle, Wild Boar, Langur Monkey, Jackal, and Hyena and numerous birds like Paradise Flycatcher, Bonneli's Eagle, Crested Serpent Eagle, Woodpeckers Flamingo etc.

Flora in Gir National Park

The Gir National Park is a mixed deciduous forest with teak, flame of the forest, some Acacia and Banyan trees. A distinct belt of vegetation is found along the main rivers and streams. Species like the Jambu, Karanj, Umro, Vad, Kalam, Charal, Sirus and Amli are found here. These trees are mostly broad leaved and evergreen, giving the area a cool shade and the moisture content.

Other Attraction of Gir National Park

Jeep Safari : 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. Wildlife viewing in the Gir’s is best done, by driving via jeep around the forest.

Climate of Gir National Park

The temperatures at the park vary to extremes, as they do with most of the country too. In winters, the temperatures go down to as low as 6 degrees centigrade, while soaring up to a scorching 46 degrees in the summers. The park is open to visitors from November to May but the best time for visiting the park, taking comfort and wildlife viewing into consideration, is December to March. The park offers many excellent drives through scenic areas.



Access From Airport

Nearest airport is Keshod, while it will be ideal to travel by air to Rajkot and take a bus or taxi from here. Another major airport is Ahmedabad, connected to Delhi through daily flights (6:00 and 18:15). Indian Airlines flies Mumbai-Ahmedabad twice a day (5:30 and 19:30)

Access From Railways

The nearest railheads are SasanGir and Veraval, while the most convenient railway station is Rajkot. Delhi is connected to Rajkot through the Sarvodaya Exp. (Dep. 21:55, Monday), Jat Jamnagar Exp. (21:55, Sun), Dee Porbandar Exp.(8:25, Mon, Thu) and Uttaranchal Exp. (13:40, Sun). Daily trains plying between Mumbai and Rajkot include the Saurashtra Mail (20:25), SauJanata Exp. (8:00) andSaurashtra Exp. (7:55). Another railhead is Junagadh, connected to Ahmedabad through the Jabalpur Exp. andSomnath Exp.

Access From Roadways

State Transport buses are available from Junagadh and Veraval between November and June. To reach the park from Ahmedabad, take the NH8A to Chotila via Bagodra, Limbdi and Sayla, NH8B to Jetpur via Rajkot and Gondal, NH8D to Junagadh via Vadal. From here, take the district road to SasanGir via Khadia and Mendarda. Volvo buses run between Ahmedabad and Junagadh (Rs. 200/head). From there a mini bus will take you to SasanGir.