In the heart of the jungle, 50 km from Sasan Gir, there is a shrine to Kankai Mata, the benefactor of the shepherds of Gir forest. A supremely wild place, here you can hear lions roar at night and animals gathering at the nearby lake. There is a bus from Junagadh every morning that leaves at 8am, stays one hour at the temple, and departs on the return journey at 9:45am. But to really experience the place, go with private transport and stay the night. The high temple walls ensure your safety, and once night falls, you can watch the stars through the jungle treetops, hear lions roaming outside and experience a night in the true wilderness.
How to get there
By road: A permit for entering the park is obtained at the Sinh Sadan Orientation Centre, Visit Gujarat Forest Department Website for timing. A 35-40 km driving route through the park is maintained for visitors. (IMPORTANT NOTE: Unless traveling with an official and experienced guide, you must not leave your vehicle at any time, for your own safety as well as the well-being of the park and its inhabitants.) Entry fees, per vehicle with up to 6 occupants, are, for Indians- Rs. 400/- Mon.-Fri., Rs. 500/- Sat.-Sun., and Rs. 600/- for holidays. Entry for foreigners US$40 (must be paid in rupees.) For more information, contact the Forest Dept. at Sasan Gir, Tel: 02877 285541. Gir National Park is 60 km from Junagadh, the most common base for making a visit, and 360 km from Ahmedabad. The main centre is at Sasan Gir, and has a forest guest house maintained by the park, just opposite the railway station.
By rail: One can travel by rail to Junagadh from Ahmedabad or Rajkot and then take a 65 km road trip on bus or taxi to Sasan Gir.