Sasan Gir National Park (Gir Forest National Park, Gujarat)
This national park was established in the year 1975 in the Saurashtra region of Gujarat State. It is spread over an area of 258.71 sq. km in the District of Junagarh. The nearest town from the park is Veraval which is 42 km away. The nearest airport is Kishod at a distance of 50 km. The nearest railway station Sasan Gir village just near the park. Junagarh is 58 km by road from the park.
The park falls in the tropical zone. The average rainfall at Sasan is 1000 mm. the terrain of the park consists of deep ravines, steep rocky hills and stretches of grasslands. The forests of the park consist of teak and missed deciduous trees with thorn species of Acacia and Zizyphus in parts. It has a luxuriantly rich eco-system endowed with diverse flora and fauna.
The park is the last remaining stronghold of vanishing Asiatic lion-classified as one of the world’s most threatened species. Through Gir is identified with lion, but it also harbors 32 species of mammals, 28 species of reptiles and nearly 300 species of birds and a large number of species of insects. Sustained efforts are being made to protect and preserve the lion here. The number of these lions according to 1995 census was 304. The other animals found in the Park are leopard, hyaena, jackal, mongoose, civet cat, ratel, rusty spotted cat, nilgai, chital, chinkara, montjec, monkeys, sambar, chausingha, wild boar, monitor, lizard, crocodile, snakes including python. More than 300 species of birds are found here which include vultures eagles, owls, bush quails, pigmy wood peckers, orioles crested swifts and Indian pitta.
The park remains open for tourists from 16th October to 15th June. The best period for visiting the park is from October to April. Guest houses are available for tourists in the park.