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Wildlife Of Gujarat
A Land Of Rare Diversities
Gir National Park (Gir)
Marine National Park (Jamnagar)
Wild Ass Sanctuary (Dhranghadra)
Black Buck National Park (Bhavnagar)
Nalsarovar Bird Sanctuary (Ghandhinagar)
Narayan Sarovar Chinkara Sanctuary (Kutch)
Jessore Solth bear Sanctuary (Palanpur)
Ratanmahal Sloth bear Sanctuary (Panchmahals)
Vansda National Park (Vansda)
Shoolpaneshwar Wildlife Sanctuary (Rajpipla)
Thol Wildlife Sanctuary (Porbandar)
Porbandar Bird Sanctuary (Porbandar)
Distance & Excursions from Wildlife Sanctuary
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Gir National Park
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Gir today is the only place in the world, outside Africa, where the lion can be seen in its natural habitat.From Biblical times till a hundred years ago, the Asiatic lion roamed over a vast area ranging from Greece through West Asia to Bengal and Bihar.The last lion seen outside Gir was in 1884, and  the king of the jungle has taken his final refuge in Gir.Even in Gir the number of lions had dwindled to as low as just 15 around 1910. Serious and timely protection measures have raised their numbers to just over 300.

The Gir lion is majestic animal, averaging 2.75 meters in length, and with a bigger tail tassel, bushier elbow tufts and prominent belly folds than his African cousin which has a larger mane. He is more shaggy and a lighter brown colour than the African lion, but the two have similar habits – resting in the shade by day and hunting for food after dusk.
Gir is the only place in the World, outside of Africa, which offers total protection to this majestic animal

Though known the world over mainly for its lions, Gir is one of the few remaining forests comprising diverse habitats – open scrub country, dry deciduous and tropical thorn forest and an evergreen corridor along the river sides. The forest also harbours a variety of birds. Other main predators are the powerful panther and the striped hyena. Sambar, the largest Indian deer, chital (spotted deer), nilgai (blue bull), chinkara and the unique chowsingha (four-horned antelope) are among the ungulates found here. Another attraction is tha crocodile farm developed in forest as well as Kamleshwar dam where large populations of marsh crocodiles can be seen.

It is said that had Gir not been a lion sanctuary, it would have been termed one of the finest bird sanctuaries in Gujarat. Some of the typical birds of Gir are the creasted serpent eagle, creasted hawk eagle, brown fish owl, king vulture, jungle bush quail, painted sandgrouse, paradise fly catcher, white breasted minivet, pigmy woodpecker, black headed oriole, creasted swift and pitta. Adholia, Valadara, Ratanghuna and Pilipat are places rewarding for bird watching.

In the heart of the forest and 96 km. from Sasan, is Tulsishyam where hot springs are a special attraction. The famous Somnath 13 km.from Sasan, is a unique village where people from the African origin live. Known as the siddis, they were originally brought here by the Nawab of Junagadh for forestry work, but now have been declared an Indian tribe. Kamleshwar dam, in scenic surroundings is just 12 km. Away.from Sasan, is a representative area which is Gir in microcosm. For a tourist in a hurry, this is the best place to visit as wildlife viewing is a certainty. This area is called the Gir Interpretation Zone-Devalia. The facility remains closed every Wednesday.

Contact : Deputy Conservator of Forests, Gir National Park, Sasan, Phone : 02877-85541.
Accomodation : Forest Guest House at Sasan Gir. The Taj Gir lodge. Phone : 02877-85521, 
02877-85555, 079-6560338 at Ahmedabad.

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This site is dedicated to our friend Younus M, who passed away on 28th Sept 00, and left on us an indelible memories ! - Team GujaratPlus.com

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