Wildlife Sanctuary in Gujarat
The Gir Forest National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary also known as Sasan Gir National Park is a forest and wildlife sanctuary in Gujarat, India established in 1965. It is situated about 65km SE of Junagarh district in the state of Gujarat in South West India.
This deciduous forest interspersed with semi-evergreen and evergreen flora, acacia, scrub jungle, grasslands and rocky hills covers an area of 1412 km2. It is located to the south-east of Junagadh and south west of Amreli at the distance of 65km and 60 km respectively.
The total area of 1882.6 Sq Kms forms Gir forest in which 1412.13 sq kms is reserved as protected area, 258.7 sq kms as National park and 1153.4 Sq Kms as Sanctuary and remaining area of 470.5 Sq Kms forest area constitutes a buffer zone as reserve, protected and un-classed forest.
This forest is divided into two areas. About 258 km2 is reserved as the fully protected ares i.e the national park and 1153 km2 for the sanctuary. Remarked as the sole home of the Asiatic Lions, Gir forest is the most important protected areas in Asia. The absolute ecosystem of Gir, with its diverse and manifold flora and fauna supports number of species.
Fed by perennial and seasonal rivers and streams, the sanctuary has large water bodies like the Kamleshwar Dam providing waterholes are for crocodiles and birds. The only home of Asiatic wild lion outside the Africa, Gir is mostly visited to experience this world’s most threatened species of lions. Exploring the natural habitat in Gir is a wonderful experience. The tiny wild birds, singing in the forest canopy, crocodiles floating in the marsh waters.
For the connoisseurs of wildlife Gir National park is paradise. Gir has leopards and numerous chital, nilgai, chinkara,wild boar and the four horned antelope. At kamleshwar dam & farm developed in the forest, you can see the marsh crocodiles. This forest is rich in bird life and the paradise flycatcher, black headed cuckoo shrike, Bonelli’s eagle, pied woodpecker, painted sandgrouse, crested serpant eagle, bush quail and grey partridge are among the variety that is found here.
The rich and diverse flora and fauna of Gir National Forest provide it a most stable and unique ecosystem with tremendous regenerating, self supporting and sustaining power to harbor nearly 38 species of mammals, around 300 species of birds, 37 species of reptiles and more than 2000 species of insects..
The best season to visit Gir in winter is from October to March which is the best time for bird watching & safari and in summer it is from april to june. The park is closed from June 15th to 0ct 15th.