Gir Wildlife Sanctuary
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Gir Wildlife Sanctuary

 

Gir Wildlife Sanctuary Gir wildlife sanctuary is located in the southwest of the peninsular state of Gujarat. This wildlife sanctuary spreading over an area of 1413 Sq. Kms is the last remaining habitat of Asiatic lions. The picturesque sanctuary is criss-crossed by many beautiful lakes and rivers which are makes Gir rich in sources of water. It may be mentioned that rampant hunting during the British period led to a drastic fall in the number of animal species. To arrest this decline, hunting was banned and Gir was given wildlife sanctuary status after independence. Other than the endangered Asiatic lion, many other species of animals and birds have discovered Gir as their safe habitat.

Facts and figures
Location from nearby major cities :
Ahmedabad (400 kms), Junagarh (42 kms)

Known for : Asiatic Lions

Climate & the best time to visit
The climate prevailing here is tropical with extreme variations. In the summer season, the temperature reaches a high of 46 degrees. In the winter months, the mercury may dip to a low of 6 degrees. The park receives a good rainfall with the average annual rainfall being 1000 mm. Though the sanctuary remains open throughout the year, the best time for visit is between the months of November and June.

Attractions in the Park



Asiatic Lion at Gir, Flora
The vegetation in Gir mainly comprises of mixed deciduous forests with teak, Acacia and Banyan being the main trees. Along the main rivers and streams, many other tree species like Jamun, Karanj, Ber, Tendu, Semul, Umro, Vad, Kalam, Charal, Sirus and Amli are also found. These are mostly broad leaved and evergreen trees that also help in maintaining the moisture content of the area.

Fauna
The last remaining habitat of Asiatic Lions also houses many other animals. Infact, Gir also has the largest population of Leopards in India. Sometimes, Leopards also venture close to the tourist lodges at night. Other animals found are Sambar, Chital, Nilgai, Chowsingha, Chinkara Gazelle, Wild Boar, Langur, Jackal, Panthers, Wild Cats, Hares and Hyena.

Avifauna :
Many wildlife enthusiasts also call Gir a paradise for bird watching. The presence of many sources of water naturally attracts migratory bird species during the winter months. Many local species of birds can be spotted throughout the year. The commonly spotted birds are Paradise Flycatchers, Black headed Cuckoo Shrike, Gray Drongo, Pied Woodpeckers, Coppersmiths, Indian Rollers, Crested Swifts, Fish Owls, Black Vultures, Shaheen Falcons, Bonelli's Eagles, Flamingo, Crested Serpent Eagles, Painted Sandgrouse, Rock Bush Quail, Gray Partridge, Painted Storks and White Necked Storks.

Other Places to Visit Junagarh Fort Bikaner ,Junagarh :
At a short distance of 42 kms from Gir is the old city of Junagarh. Junagarh's medieval period heritage in the form of its forts and places of religious worship are worth visiting. The best attraction of the place is Uperkot Fort, considered an architectural masterpiece. Other attractions include Jami Masjid, Mahabat Maqbara and Durbar Hall Museum.

How To Reach



By Air : There are three operational airports near the sanctuary-Diu (104 kms), Ahmedabad (381 kms) and Rajkot (150 kms). A hmedabad and Rajkot are the most convenient airports with commercial flights from many destinations of India.

By Rail : The nearest railway station is Junagarh at a distance of 65 kms. Express trains connect Junagarh with many national destinations.

By Road : Gir can be easily accessed from Junagarh. A good road network connects the sanctuary with many towns of Gujarat.