Gir(65 km from Junagadh), Gujarat
About Gir National Park
in the Gujarat peninsula in the south-western India, the Gir National Park
is home to 300 Asiatic Lions. The park is located in the rugged hills in the
district of Junagadh in Gujarat. The forest sprawls over an area of 1150 sq
km. The core area of the forest is spread over 300 sq km. It was earlier the
royal hunting grounds of the Nawabs of Junagadh. On account of its fabulous
number of Asiatic Lions, the Gir forest has acquired an important place both
in and outside the country. It was only in the year 1975 that Gir was
officially declared a national park. During winters the park is open from
6:00 hrs to 10:00 hrs and 15:00 hours to 17:00 hours. Summer timings are
from 6:00 hrs to 9:30 hrs and 15:30 hrs to 18:00 hrs. Entry fee for adults
is Rs. 30.00 per head and for children it is Rs. 10. For foreigners the
entry fee is US $5.
Climate & Best Time To Visit
The Gir National Park faces extremes of temperature. Summers are very hot
and winters are too cold. Temperature during the summers touches a maximum
of 46 degrees centigrade while in winters in goes down to a minimum of 6
degrees. The annual rainfall of the park records 1000mm. The park is open
for visitors from November to May. Though the best time to visit the park is
from December to March.
» Flora :
The varied vegetation at the Gir National
Park is no less attraction. About half of the protected area is covered with
Teak Forests, the main tree species being Khai, Sadad, Timru, Babul, Amla,
Moledi, Dhavdo, Kadayo and Bahedo. Moving along the main rivers and streams
one will come to witness a distinct type of vegetation. The flora here
includes Jambu, Karanj, Umro, Vad, Kalam, Charal, Sirus and Amli. The
coastal border has vegetation of Prosopis and Casuarina trees.
» Fauna -
The Gir National Park has been endowed
with a rich variety of fauna. Spotted deer is the most commonly observed
animal of the park. Other inmates of the park include black bucks,
four-horned antelopes, wild boar, Indian hare, pale hedgehog, grey musk
shrew, small Indian mongoose, Indian pangolin, Indian porcupine, Indian fox,
Indian flying foe and small Indian Civet. The jungle cat, desert cat and the
rusty spotted cat are the other attractions of the forest. The reptiles
include venomous and non-venomous snakes. The venomous includes Indian
Cobra, Common Crait, Saw Scaled Viper and Rusell's Viper. The Indian Rock
Python falls into the non-venomous group of snakes.
On an estimate, there are about 300 bird species inhabiting
the Gir forests. The diversity of birds is also one of the characteristic
feature of the national park. The Paradise Fly Catcher, Bush Quail, Black
Headed Cuckoo Shrike, Pied Woodpecker, Bonelli's Eagle, Creset Serpent
Eagle, Grey Partridge and Painted Sandgrouse are among the numerous bird
species of the forest.
Attractions Close To The Park
Attractions close to the park include Deva Ganga, Riley's, Bawal Chowk,
Kankai, Chodardi, Tulsishyam, Kamleshwar Dam and Kamleshwar Lake.
Reaching Gir National Park
» Air -
Keshod (90 km) is the closest airport from
the Gir National Park. There are daily flightsfrom Mumbai to Kishod.
» Rail -
There is a meter gauge rail line of 395 km
from Ahmedabad. Sasan Gir(1 km) is also a railway station.
» Road -
State Transport buses are available from
Junagadh and Veraval. Junagadh is at a distance of 60 km from the park.