Gir Jungle Trail

Gir is one of India’s oldest sanctuaries, and is synonymous with the majestic Asiatic lion (Panthera leo persica). The only place in India to see this animal, this park can take legitimate pride in saving an endangered species, which was at the threshold of extinction in the start of the twenty-first century, by providing it a more secured habitat. The Gir ecosystem falls in Biogeography Zone-4 (the semi arid) and Biogeography Province 4-B. Gujarat Rajwara is the last remaining abode of the Asiatic Lion, Panthera leo persica. The Government of Gujarat has declared an area of 1412.1 sq km as Protected Area (PA) which comprises 258.7 sq km as National Park and 1153.4 sq km as Sanctuary. Besides this 470.5 sq km of forest area forms a buffer Zone as reserve, protected and unclassified forest. Thus, a total area of 1882.6 sq km makes up the Gir forest.


Ecological importance

The largest compact tract of dry deciduous forest in the country, protected as Gir National Park and Sanctuary, covers an area of 1412 sq km in the Saurashtra region of Gujarat. Gir has evolved to host a very stable ecosystem with tremendous regenerating, self-supporting and self-sustaining capacity due to its richness of biodiversity: 606 different plant species, 39 species of mammals, 37 species of reptiles and over 300 species of birds and more than 2,000 species of insects. A breeding ground for migratory birds, the avifauna of Gir includes a variety of raptors and many other significant species, including Lesser Florican, Osprey, Indian Pitta, Red-headed Vulture, etc. It also supports a variety of reptiles, including the Indian python and the Indian star tortoise, and possibly one of the highest populations of Marsh crocodile in the country. Gir also has one of the densest concentrations of leopards in India.


The continuous forest, which covers a large tract, plays a pivotal role in keeping the climate moderate and also keeps the salinity levels at a low on the southern coast of Saurashtra. Gir is essential to life in Gujarat. It helps in the smooth running of several ecological activities. Gir forms a part of the south central highlands in Saurashtra and is a catchment of important rivers like Shetrunji, Hiran, Saraswati, Shingoda, Machhundri, Raval and Datardi. The forest helps recharge the water table due to infiltration and percolation in conjunction with soil and moisture conservation. Thus, Gir is a boon to farmers inhabiting the peripheral environs; it ensures sustained agricultural and horticultural production. Not to mention, the forest has great potential to be a centre for creating environmental awareness and imparting nature education. The real feather in Gir’s hat, though, is the presence of the Asiatic lion. The attraction of these ironic species coupled with the aesthetic beauty of the area and the close proximity to the Somnath temple, has made Gir a popular tourist destination.

Conservation

For over 150 years, Asiatic lions have remained confined only to Gir after the Nawab of Junagadh took strong conservation measures to protect them, leading to a growth in the lion population. Even today, thanks to the people who live in this area, Gir is one of the best conservation stories in the world. The number of Asiatic lion has increased to 411 in the area according to census conducted in 2010.


Adequate protection and better enforcement of conservation strategies have resulted in the dispersal of lions outside Gir National Park and Sanctuary. The lion's distribution range has expanded to 21 talukas in the 3 districts. It is possible that an increase in the number of male lions might be one of the reasons that lions are migrating in search of new, alternative territories. The government has taken steps to develop and increase more forest areas under the network of protected areas for the lions using the ‘landscape conservation’ approach. Infrastructure, skilled manpower, better communication and patrolling systems, state-of-the-art rescue and treatment facility, people participation, scientific and organized management inputs, and esteemed leadership are the key factors behind the overall biodiversity conservation.

Eco-tourism

Tourism in Gir had its modest beginning much before the country’s independence. During the last decade, a lot of improvement works have taken place in terms of promoting the ecotourism opportunities in Gir. In tune with the objectives of Wildlife Conservation, ecotourism is allowed on a limited and regulated basis in identified eco-tourism zone near sasan-Gir. The objectives of eco-tourism in the Gir are to minimize the negative impact of tourists on PA and wildlife, to provide economic benefits to the local communities, to maximize peoples’ enjoyment during their stay through education, interpretation and to increase the visitors’ concern for nature and biodiversity conservation.


Getting there

By road: Gir National Park is around 55 km from Junagadh City, the most common base for making a visit, and 348 km from Ahmedabad and 156 kms from Rajkot. The Reception centre is at Sasan Gir, and has a Forest Guest house maintained by the forest department, nearby the railway station.


By rail:One can travel by Rail to Junagadh from Ahmedabad or Rajkot and then take a 55 km road trip on bus or taxi to Sasan Gir or can come via local trains from Junagadh city.

By Air:Person can come via flight up to Rajkot or Ahemedabad.


Time Table

Days Morning Timings Evening Timings
Monday To Sunday 6 AM to 9 AM
9 AM to 12PM
3 PM to 6 PM

Note: Forest visit is closed from 16th June to 15th Oct every year.


Charges

Particulars Indian Foreigner
Normal Day
Up to 6 persons 800 INR 4800 INR
Extra Child 100 INR 1200 INR
Saturday-Sunday
Up to 6 persons 1000 INR 6000 INR
Extra Child 125 INR 1500 INR
Festival Days
Up to 6 persons 1000 INR 6000 INR
Extra Child 125 INR 1500 INR

Note: In one E-permit maximum 6 (+1*) persons will be allowed.
*Only 1 child between 3 to 12 years will be allowed.


Viewing by

Open Gypsies are locally available at reception centre sasan gir.


Photo Gallery



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Important notes:
  • E-permits are REFUNDABLE for only Gir Jungle Trail.
  • Gir Jungle Trail remains closed from 16th June to 15th Oct every year.
  • Devalia Safari Park remains closed on every WEDNESDAY.
  • Reporting time should be 30 mins prior to departure.
  • E-permit doesn't include charges of Guide Service, Vehicle Service and Camera Fee. All this information will be available locally at Reception Center,Sasan-Gir.
  • 100% of Permits are available for online Booking for only Gir Jungle Trail.