Sasan Gir Wildlife Sanctuary is located to the southeast of Junagadh, at a distance of 65 km, and southwest of Amreli at a distance of 60 km.
· Main Attraction: Asiatic Lions
· Location: Junagadh District and Amreli District Gujarat, India
· State: Gujarat
· Area: 1,412 km² (National Park - 258 km² and Sanctuary - 1153 km²)
· Nearest Airport: Rajkot - 170 km; Keshod - 101 km; Dui - 76 km.
· Nearest Town: Junagadh Amreli
· Nearest Railway Station: Sasan - 50.5 km; Rajkot - 169 km
· Entry Fee: Indians - INR 400 (Mon-Fri), INR 500 (Sat-Sun), INR 600 (Holidays); Foreigners USD 40 (to be paid in Indian Rupees).
· Best Time to Visit: October to Mid June
· Number of Bird Species: 300
Sasan Gir Wildlife Sanctuary is a popular amongst the native and foreign travelers as this is the only shelter of the Asiatic Lions (Panthera Leo Persica). The Nawab of Junagadh state recognized the area of the Gir forest as ‘Protected’, during 1900s. This motive of this initiative was to safeguard the population of lion that had sharply dropped to 15. The survey of 2010 states 411 lions in Gir. This data was 52 more than the data collected in 2005.
According to the survey made in the year 1964, about 500 plant species were recorded to be in the Gir forest.
· Non Teak Forests: Terminalia Bellerica (Bahedo), Butea Monosperma (Khakhar), Zizyphus Mauritiana (Bor), Bombax Ceiba (Semal), Bauhinia Racemosa (Asundro), Diospyros Melanoxylon (Timru), Terminalia Crenulata (Sadad), Anogeissus latifolia (Dhavdo), Sterculia Urens (Kadayo), Phyllanthus Emblica (Amla), Acacia Catechu (Khair), Acacia Nilotica (Babul), Lannea Coromandelica (Moledi), etc.
· Mixed Deciduous Forest: About 70% of the protected area of the park is covered by Tectona Grandis (Teak).
· Moist Riverine Forest: Syzygium Cumini (Jambun), Ficus Racemosa (Umro), Ficus Bengalensis (Vad), Pongamia Pinnata (Karanj), Holeptelia Integrifolia (Charel), Tamarindus Indica (Imli), Mitragyna Parviflora (Kalam), Albizzia Lebbeck (Sirus), etc.
· Coastal Plantation Belt: P. Juliflora (Gandobaval) and Casuarina Equisetifolia (Saru).
There are almost 300 species of birds (native and migratory), enjoying shelter in the Sasan Gir Wildlife Sanctuary. Some of the birds in the park are Crested Hawk-Eagle, Black-Headed Oriole, Crested Serpent Eagle, Brown Fish Owl, Pygmy Woodpecker, Bonelli's Eagle, Indian Eagle-Owl, Vultures, Rock Bush-Quail, Indian Pitta, Crested Treeswift, etc.
The Sasan Gir Wildlife Sanctuary is praised for its count of distinct fauna species, which was recorded to be 2,375. This count included 38 species of mammals, 37 species of reptiles, 300 species of birds (native and migratory), and 2,000 species of insects.
The climate in the Gir Forests is typically dry and arid. Monsoon is the time to see the lush greenery in the forests. The months of summers, i.e., from April to June, are hot with temperature rising to 40°C. The months of winters, i.e., from December to February are pleasant and cool. Light woolens are suggested to be carried during the summers and during winters, heavy woolens are advised.
Best Time to Visit
To explore the best of the Gir Wildlife Sanctuary is between the months of October to Mid June. This time is pleasant to explore the forests and during this time, various migratory birds find their shelter in the sanctuary.
Safari in Sasan Gir Wildlife Sanctuary
The safari is allowed in The Devaliya Park, which is open throughout the year (Wednesday Closed). The safari timings are 06:00 am to 09:00 am in morning and 03:00 pm to 05:00 pm in the evening.
· Adequate beforehand travel information is important.
· On the park trip, take official guides with you.
· Wear simple and loose fitting clothes of subtle colors that blend with the surroundings of the park.
· Carry enough water with you.
Important Information for the Visitors
· Do not feed, disturb or provoke wildlife.
· Smoking is strictly prohibited in the park.
· Intrusive or flash photography is not allowed.
· Picking plants from the park is prohibited.
· Hiking or walking in the park is not allowed. Traveling is vehicle is safe and a guide is also advisable.
· Sudden and quick moves are also to be avoided as that would scare the wildlife.
· No pets allowed.
· No littering in the park. Trash to be disposed in proper containers.
· No camping or picnicking in the park.
· No hunting weapons or devices allowed.
Around Sasan Gir Wildlife Sanctuary
While your visit to Sasan Gir Wildlife Sanctuary, you may also visit some of the interesting attractions in and around the wildlife sanctuary as listed below:
· Kamleshwar Dam
· Girnar Hill
· Nalsarovar Lake and Sanctuary
· The Uperkot Fort
· The Somnath Temple
· Junagadh Zoo
· Ahmedpur Mandwi
· Durbar Hall Museum
· Mahabat Maqbara
· Chorwad (Beach Point)
How to Reach
By Air: Rajkot, Keshod and Dui are the nearest airports to the Sasan Gir Wildlife Sanctuary. On your arrival to the respective airports, shared or private taxis are available to fetch the tourists from the airport to the sanctuary.
By Rail: Sasan and Rajkot are the nearest railway stations to the Sasan Gir Wildlife Sanctuary. Tourists can hire private taxies from railway stations to reach the wildlife sanctuary.
By Road: The Gir wildlife sanctuary is also accessible through road. Some of the popular destinations located close to the sanctuary are Ahmedabad (331 km), Rajkot, (170 km), Junagadh (111 km), Veraval (71 km), and Diu (73.5 km).
For the proper and comfortable accommodation, there are hotels, resorts, lodges and cottages available to meet the specific requirements of the guests. These accommodation options are equipped with facilities and services that lead to pleasurable stay for the guests.