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Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Famous Sites of Gir National Park by David Urmann

Gir National Park is 64 kilometers from the city of Junagadh and 32 kilometers from Verawal. It is located in the city of Gurajat. The park has a total land area of 1,412.14 sq. kilometers. Its lion sanctuary measures 141,213 hectares while the main area of the national park is 35,948 hectares. Aside from being a national park, Gir is also a wildlife sanctuary. It was established in September 18, 1965 as a forest reserve in order to protect the world famous Asiatic lion.

The land coverage area has a status of being a national park even at only 2,450 hectares. In addition, it lies within the district of Junagadh in Gurajat. It is about 65 kilometers from the southeastern portion of the Junagadh city and about 90 kilometers from the eastern portion of the Keshod Airport in Saurashtra or Kathiawar Peninsula.

The forest rest house of Sasa is the main headquarters of the sanctuary. It is filled with varieties of deciduous type such as teak, flame of the forest, ber and jamun as well as types of acacias like babul. The road that leads to the attraction is hilly with a lot of rivers. Moreover, this national park offers its visitors pleasant and long drives throughout the forest cover.

The parks main wildlife attraction is the Asiatic lion. This site is the only lasting habitat of this species that has been residing in the parks forest since the year 1884. An estimated 239 of this breed had been reported to live in this area since 1885. They are slightly smaller in appearance than their African counterparts though the largest male lions of this park are still a wonderful sight to see.

An ideal way to spot these lions is either at dusk or at dawn for it is their time to hunt for food. In addition, the Department of Forest arranges lion shows on Sundays wherein the audience can watch how lions hunt for their food. The audience can also see these animals in close range.

Tourist Spots in Gir National Park This park has a vast history and folklore. It takes pride of its antique temples such as the Tulsishyam and Kankai Mata as well as its place of pilgrimage along with hot springs. Moreover, the parks forest is popular for the Madharis or the cattle herders wherein the buffalos form a significant part in the diet of the lions. They are extremely hospitable and their lifestyle hardly changed throughout the years. In addition, the tradition and folklore of the Madharis contains a unique proof of coexistence between lions and humans.

Viewing or sighting wildlife in this national park is ideally done when driving around the grounds of the forest. The best routes from Sasan are to Kankai and Baval Chowk as well as to Tulsishyam and Chodavdi as well as to the dm of Kamaleshwar. A jeep is definitely more appropriate than a sturdy car so that it can protect you from any harm.

There are 3 unusual reserves in the area. One of these is the Nalsarovar Lake and Sanctuary, home to numerous water birds. The Little Ran of Kutch is the second one, the home of the wild ass Indian. The third one is the Flamingo Island, also the last remarkable reserve in the area often referred to as the virtual haven of wildlife buffs on Gurajat State.

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