Gir National Park

Gir National Park, located in Gujarat, is a natural treasure in the region and is renowned for its unique wildlife and pristine landscapes. It is the only place in the world where the critically endangered Asiatic lion is found. Although the primary goal of Gir was to conserve Asiatic lions, it is also home to hundreds of other terrestrial and avian species.

Gir Forest National Park is the perfect example of a balanced environment in today’s world of declining ecological equilibrium. Numerous wild animals have made Gir their home, and it has also made a significant contribution to its survival. View lions in their natural environment at Gir and capture memories of threatened creatures that your future generations might not be able to see.

Quick Fact

People often associate Gir with “Maldharis,” creatures that have endured through the ages thanks to their symbiotic association with lions. They reside in Gir and are pastoral religious communities. Their towns are referred to as “nesses.”

History of Gir National Park

This park has served as the only naturally occurring habitat for critically endangered Asiatic lions since 1884. When the British were in power, these British officers always took great pride in ruthlessly hunting lions and other animals. All their hunting activities were carried out with the assistance of locals, Maharajas, and the nawabs who owed them a favor. The number of tigers and lions successfully hunted during this time served as a measure of the pride and prowess of the Maharajas.

The great famine of 1899 caused a sharp decline in the number of lions, and Lord Curzon abandoned plans for any “Shikhar” or hunting expedition at that time. It was also suggested that the local Maharajas and Nawabs protect the sparse remaining lions. The Indian government outlawed lion hunting in 1960, allowing only picture safaris, which are being conducted today.

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    BEST TIME TO VISIT GIR NATIONAL PARK

    SUMMER SEASON

    (March to June)

    Summer in Gir National Park brings heat and humidity, and the temperature fluctuates between 25°C to 42°C. Despite that, Summer is a preferable season to spot wildlife creatures and thus engage in nature photography. It is advised to visit early in the morning as this is when the weather is better for a decent experience in exploring the wildlife. All in all, if your main focus is to sight the lions, then you should visit during the summer months.

    MONSOON SEASON

    (July to October)

    The Monsoon season is set in July and lasts till October in Gir National Park. However, during this season, the southwest Monsoon hits the national park, making the safari impossible for visitors. Hence, the park remains closed, and unfortunately, you cannot plan a wildlife tour to Gir. Though the scenic beauty of this park is said to double in the Monsoon, Keeping all these factors in mind, it is better to avoid a wildlife tour plan. If you are still inclined to visit, you can check out the nearby Devalia Park, which opens throughout the year.

    WINTER SEASON

    (November to February)

    Winter is an ideal time to visit Gir National Park to admire the region’s natural beauty and unique landscapes. During this season, the weather brings a cool and comfortable climate, and the temperature varies from 10°C to 22°C. You can spot a wide variety of animal species and some endangered birds that flock here during this time. The overall beauty of this park enhances during this season, bringing comfortable climate conditions to explore at any time of the day.

    HOW TO REACH GIR NATIONAL PARK

     
    Rajkot and Keshod airports are the nearest to Gir National Park. The Rajkot airport is about 165 kilometers from the park, whereas the Keshod airport is about 89 kilometers away. Take a taxi or a bus to Gir National Park from either of these two airports. 

    However, the Mumbai International Airport is the most effective way to travel to Gir National Park from abroad. From the Mumbai airport, one may fly to the Diu airport. One can take a cab from the Diu airport to Gir National Park, about a two-hour drive away.

    The two railway stations nearest Gir National Park, Junagadh, and Veraval, are roughly equal in distance from the park. Both train stations are located on the state’s primary rail route and have direct trains running to all major cities across the nation. 

    Take a cab, taxi, or state bus from either of these two railway stations, and it will take 1.5 to 2 hours to travel to Gir. The Rajkot Railway Station is the next closest station, which is around 163 kilometers and takes about 3 and a half hours from the Gir forest.

    The roads are always pleasant and are the best commute alternative. Given Gujarat’s generally excellent road conditions, traveling by car may be relaxing and fun. There are well-developed road networks between Gir and other major cities of Gujarat.

    Regular state and private buses run between Gir and all the other main cities of Gujarat, including Ahmedabad, Junagadh, Surat, Jamnagar, and Dwarka, among others. Cabs and taxis are relatively accessible in Gujarat’s major cities to reach Gir National Park.

    TIPS FOR GIR NATIONAL PARK

    • Do not feed or disturb the wildlife.
    • Carry water bottles with you.
    • Hire field guides to learn about your surroundings.
    • Do not scare the wildlife with quick or sudden movements.
    • Smoking is not allowed as cigarette butts may start a forest fire.
    • Walking or hiking is not permitted in the park. For safety reasons, stay in a vehicle with a guide.
    • Picking plants or insects is prohibited; do not remove anything from the park.

    FAQs

    Why Gir National Park is famous?

    Gir National Park is famous for its Asiatic Lions

    Where is Gir National Park located?

    The Gir National Park is located in Gujarat, India.

    What other wild animals can be seen in Gir National Park?

    The Gir forest is home to a wide variety of animals and birds, while the Asiatic lion is its most famous resident. Along with lions, we also saw crocodiles, eagles, owls, and many other animals. Therefore, it is preferable to go slowly and take in the jungle instead of asking your safari jeep to speed around the park in quest of lions like most tourists do. Additionally, you must exercise patience and make several visits to the sanctuary.

    How many days are required to explore Gir National Park?

    At least three days are required to explore Gir National Park thoroughly. It will take one day to complete your safari, but three days are required if you want to explore the sights comfortably.