Gir - the pride of Gujarat is one of the popular national parks and huge lion reserve in the country. Spread out in a sprawling area of about 1412 sq km, this spectacular national park was established in the year 1965 with the aim to protect and breed the Asiatic lions. The terrain of the forest varies between grasslands, scrubs, wet lands and deciduous forest. Gir, the bio-diversity sanctuary has played a prime role in conserving the organic wealth of this region to a great extent.
Gir is the only place where one gets to see the pure breed of Asiatic lion in its natural habitat. This popular tourist attraction is the abode of around 300 lions. Wildlife safari helps you to get the glimpse of the wild folk at a very close range. Chinkaras, hyenas, sloth bears, leopards, chital, nelgai and crocodiles are some of the other prime inmates of the forest. While blackbucks and desert cats are seen very rarely. Kamaleshwar lake is the mating and breeding ground of Marsh Crocodiles. This forest is also an ideal place for bird watchers. Crested eagles, black headed orioles, bush quails, eagle owl, pygmy woodpecker and many other species are seen dwelling here.
Wildlife lovers and nature admirers must never ever miss visiting this “Mini Africa” of India in his/her lifetime.
December to March is the ideal season to visit this stunning paradise.
OTHER THINGS TO SEE
Kankai : Visit to the Kankai mata temple which is located in the midst of the jungle is a nerve-tingling experience. It is about 50km from Gir and one can hear the roar of the lions and the cries of other animals at night.
Talala : Talala is popular for its Bhimdeval sun temple and juicy kesar mangoes. It is about 70 kms from Junagadh.
HOW TO REACH
By Train : Trains run from Rajkot and Ahmedabad to Junagadh. Later hire a bus/taxi to reach Gir which is about 65kms from Junagadh.
By Road : Buses operate between Gir and Junagadh.