Sasan Gir, most commonly and widely known as the Gir Forest National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary, is a forest and a wildlife sanctuary in Gujarat, India. Established in 1965 and spread over an area of 1,412 sq km of which about 258 sq km is taken up by the fully protected area of the national park and the rest 1,153 sq km by the Sanctuary. A major tourist attraction, this is the ultimate place to feast your eyes and mind on the rich vast rare spread of fauna laid over a massive area of land.
The Sasan Gir or The Gir Forest National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary is a perfect getaway destination which is both fun and educational for folks of all ages. You can come and witness the biggest collection of the rarest types of fauna which are on the verge of extinction. Since it is practically impossible to cover the whole area in a day, you will need to take shelter in the near abouts abundantly available resorts, lodges and Hotels in Sasan Gir. These hotels and resorts offer you everything from top services with facilities such as pool and wifi to budget friendly ones. The nearest airport and train station towards Sasan Gir would be Rajkot after which you would have to travel by road either by a bus or a taxi which would roughly take you about 3-4 hours tops. Also, the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport, Ahmedabad is just 6 hours by road.
This National Park is the sole home for the world famous Asiatic lions and is considered to be one of the most important protected areas in Asia. It also shelters a large elusive array of wild animals and hard-to-find birds like uncommon Asiatic wild ass, hyenas, Gir foxes, pygmy woodpecker, brown fish owl, black buck and loads more. 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 were the hunting grounds of the Nawabs of Junagadh. However, faced with a drastic drop in the lion population in Gir, Nawab Sir Muhammad Rasul Khanji Babi declared Gir as a “protected” area in 1900. His son, Nawab Muhammad Mahabat Khan III later assisted in the conservation of the lions whose population had plummeted to only 20 through slaughter for trophy hunting.
The Sanctuary is open for tourism from 16th October to 15th June every year on a daily basis with timings for Gir Jungle Trail starting from 6am-12pm and 3pm-6pm while the timings for Devalia Safari Park starts from 8am-11am and 3pm-5pm. During this time you could choose to stroll around the park or book a safari ride across the sanctuary from the park itself, although prior booking via online channels is advisable because the eight month window does not seem sufficient sometimes as the place is packed and you would not want to be left disappointed upon learning that there later.
Sasan Gir Tourism affects Gujarat tourism directly. Although there are many other tourist attractions around Gujarat, none surpass the intensity and the crowd Gir collects. Making a huge contribution to Gujarat’s economy and tourism, the Gir National park has proved itself to be not just the stronghold of the rarest collection of wild species but also one of the best, if not the best, landmark of Gujarat.