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Sasan Gir
General Information about Gir Forest

Location: Junagadh, Gujrat
Country: India
Area: 1412 kmē

The Gir Forest National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary is a forest and wildlife sanctuary in Gujarat, India. Established in 1965, with a total area of 1412 kmē (about 258 kmē for the fully protected area (the National Park) and 1153 kmē for the Sanctuary), the park is located 65 km to the south-east of Junagadh.

It is the sole home of the pure Asiatic Lions (Panthera leo persica) and is considered to be one of the most important protected areas in Asia due to its supported species. The ecosystem of Gir, with its diverse flora and fauna, is protected as a result of the efforts of the Government forest department, wildlife activists and NGOs. The forest area of Gir and its lions were declared as "protected" in the early 1900s by the then Nawab of the princely state of Junagadh. This initiative assisted in the conservation of the lions whose population had plummeted to only 15 through slaughter for trophy hunting.

The April 2005 census recorded the lion-count in Gir at 359, an increase of 32 compared to 2001. The lion breeding programme covering the park and surrounding area has bred about 180 lions in captivity since its inception.

Around Sasan Gir Wildlife National Park
The Nalsarovar Lake and Sanctuary are also within the Gir Forest Area. You can spot birds like Back-Headed Cuckoo, Paradise Flycatcher, Pied Woodpecker and various species of Bush Quail, Eagles, Flamingo, Painted Sand Grouse, Partridge, Parrot and Peacock may be seen. There is a small temple, which is dedicated to Lord Krishna, located near the Tulsi Shyam Springs. is 64 km from Sasan Gir Forest Reserve. It is an important heritage sight.

Travel Tips
Tourists should not cause any damage floral and faunal life. The flora should not be plucked to take back home. You should not kindle any kind of fire; throw lit matches and cigarette buds. Do not throw or leave trash, litter and polyethylene bags in the forest. Firearms and chemicals should not be taken into the forests as they may cause harm to the wildlife and the vegetation. Never play radio and tape recorders as their frequency and voice might disturb, scare or irritate the animals.

The safaris require a permit before entering the safari area. The Sinh Sadan Forest Lodge Office issues the permits on the spot.

The Gir Forests are usually dry and arid. The greenery in the forests can be seen during the monsoon season. The summers, from April to June, are harsh with temperatures rising to 40°C. the winters, from December to February are cool and comfortable. The tourists need to carry light woolens during the summers and heavy woolens during the winters.

How To Reach
The park is well connected by the road network from the nearest town of Veraval and Junagarh, which are at a distance of 32 km and 64 km respectively. Daily two steam trains run to Veraval and one to Junagarh from the rail junction at Sasan Gir, which is the nearest railway station at about 1 km from the park. The nearest airport is at Keshod, which at a distance of 86 km.

The Sinh Sadan Forest Lodge provides accommodation to the visitors to the park. Gujarat Tourism's Lion Safari Lodge is close by to the river at about 200 meters from the Sinh Sadan. The lodge has well-maintained gardens and is equipped with modern facilities. There are a few reasonably priced hotels a little distance away from the forest reserve.


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