Gir National Park
Gir National Park, a place located in Junagadh district of Gujarat at a distance of 347 km from 2 Ahmedabad. It is a unique park and one of its kind. The forest covers total of 1412 km of area. The park was used as a hunting ground of lions by the Britishers during their reign and by the Nawabs of Junagadh until 1960 when the Government of India had to put a ban on hunting due to huge decrease in the number of Asiatic Lions.
However, the park is not only known for its Asiatic lions, but also for its plentiful avifauna population which has more than 310 species of birds. Most of which are resident birds and others migrating from many parts of the world. You can find birds from Malabar whistling thrush to painted storks. Famous ornithologist Lt. Dr. Salim Ali once said that if there were no lions here; Gir would be well-known as one of the best bird sanctuaries in western India.
Gir is home to birds like crested serpent eagle, endangered Bonelli's eagle, crested hawk-eagle,brown fish owl, Indian eagle-owl, rock bush-quail, Indian peafowl, brown-capped pygmy woodpecker, black-headed oriole, crested treeswift, Indian pitta and many more.
Look out for: Malabar Whistling Thrush and Bonelli's Eagle
Be one of few to record: Painted Storks and Brown Fish Owl
Seasons: November to January
Recommended time in the field: 2 to 3 days
Accommodation: Private Hotels in Sasan Gir
Other attractions: Crocodile breeding farm, Maldhari habitas known as NESS, Ayurved Garden by Forest Dept. Brown Fish Owl Western India’s Lion among Bird Sanctuaries Bonelli's Eagle Indian
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.