A Safari trip to Gir National Park
The Importance of Gir National Park
Gir National Park, located in the state of Gujrat, is the only place in the world apart from Africa, where people can see the wild lion in its natural habitat. The lions, which had been brought to the brink of extinction by slaughter for pleasure and trophy hunting, have been bred in a protected environment in this forest. The park was the one of the forest forest areas in India to be declared as protected long back in the 1900, by the then ruling Nawab of the Junagarh. Since then it is through the persistent efforts of the forest department of the government, the various wild life activists and numerous NGO’s that the population of lions has risen from a mere 15 to 411in 2010, which include 97 males, 162 females, and 152 cubs.
Landscape and Environment
The Gir Wildlife Sanctuary covers a total area of 1412 sq kms, with a major percentage of the landscape being hilly. There are dry deciduous forests, acacia shrubs, grasslands and evergreen and semi-evergreen plants. Although the national park is fed by seven major perennial rivers, water scarcity can pose a serious threat to animal and plant life during the periods of drought. During such time and even during peak summers, the forest department staff is kept busy in ensuring availability of sufficient water to sustain the wildlife of the park. The Kamleshwar dam reservoir is the major source of water for the park and hence is also known as “the lifeline of Gir”.
Not many people are aware of the fact that Gir National Park is also an important area for carrying out biological research. There are more than 400 different types of pants that can be found in these forests. Apart from that, the forest is also home to 2,375 different species of animals, birds, reptiles and even insects. In addition to the Asiatic Lion, this wildlife sanctuary is also renowned for its huge population of marsh crocodiles and Indian leopards. The forest also plays an important role in the economy of the state by providing an annual production of firewood and green grass worth cores of rupees.
The Experience of the Safari
Taking a safari through wilderness of Gir National park is a thrilling experience in itself. Despite driving around within the relatively protected confines of a vehicle, one cannot help but feel a sense of fear about trespassing the territory of the Asiatic Lion, one of the most feared land animals in the history of mankind.
Some other place of visit near to Gir National park
Talala: This place is located at a distance of almost 75 km from the center region of Junagarh. This place is known for 2 important things, the first is Bhimdeval Sun Temple and the second is the huge orchard of mango trees near to this temple. This place is must to visit during summer season to enjoy the mangoes which are very tasty.
Kankai: 50 km away from Sasan Gir just in heart of Jungle located is one of the shrines of Kanika Mata. She was called the benefactor for shepherds in the Gir forest region. You will get to hear the roars of the lions and presence of other wild animals over here.
Planning to go this place via Indian Rail?
Visit www.indianrail.gov.in. / for knowing specific trains going to this place. You may book your train tickets at www.irctc.co.in/
Planning to go this place via Bus?
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