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Gir National Park: The only place where Asiatic lions still roar

Gir or Sasan Gir National Park is one of the biggest reasons why people flock to Gujarat, India. This western state holds the highest numbers of Asiatic lions in this forested region. Set up in the year 1965 and spreading over 1412 sq km, Gir is the place where lions roar and run! You are likely to be just inches away from a bunch of hairy lions when you step into this park.

If you wish to feast on the might of the Asiatic Lion, then Gir is the only place on the planet where you can spot them. It is a moment of immense thrill when you catch sight of their brawny body, their chests heaving up and down under the sun and their eyes silently fixed on yours. Besides, you can even capture them in your cameras. Who knows, you might get good shots of a hunting lion!
Asiatic Lions are on the brink of extinction and this may be your final chance to see them. Gir, however, has been very proactive towards their preservation. Over the last few years, the population of these fascinating creatures has increased, thereby igniting a fresh spark of hope. But man's bestiality and acts of deforestation, poaching, etc continue to threaten the future of these animals.

Gir National Park may be the prerogative of the lion, but there are many more out there to lure you. Leopards and jackals are present in abundance, while the deer continues to be the chief prey of the lion. Antelopes and crocodiles too can be sighted easily. Besides, there are nearly three hundred varieties of birds in the forest. So, that should make your day if you love your singing birds!
The nearest big town to Gir is Junagadh. It is best to catch a train to Junagadh and then take a cab or car to the park. It would take you a little around an hour to reach the forest. Once inside, you can enjoy the Gir National Park Safari. Buses and jeeps ply to take tourists on a safari trail. The prices are nominal and thrill is guaranteed. What more could you ask for?

When to visit Gir: Gir National Park can be visited between the months of October to June. It is closed during the monsoon season. The forest opens early during the day and is open till twilight. The safari timings begin as early as 6:30 am and are scheduled accordingly with the last one being at 3 pm.

Where to stay: You can find cheap accommodation near Gir. Alternately, if you are willing to splurge, then there are some resorts right inside the forest.

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