Gir National Park

Gir National Park is located in the state of Gujarat, India. It is situated approximately 360 kilometers southwest of the city of Ahmedabad, and covers an area of around 1,412 square kilometers. The park is known for its population of Asiatic lions, which is the only remaining population of this species in the wild.

1Name of the National ParkGir National Park
2Year established1965
3Area in Sq Km1,412 square kilometers
4Elevation in m150 meters to 530 meters
5State / States spread inGujarat
6Main Animals foundAsiatic lions, Indian leopards, Indian cobras, striped hyenas
7Main Birds foundWhite-backed vulture, Indian eagle-owl, crested serpent-eagle
8Main reptiles foundIndian rock pythons
9Best time to visitDecember to March

The history of Gir National Park dates back to the early 20th century. In 1900, the Nawab of Junagadh declared the region as a “protected” area, which prevented hunting and other activities that could harm the wildlife. In 1913, the British government established the Gir Forest Reserve, which was the forerunner of the national park. The reserve was created to conserve the Asiatic lion, whose population had declined drastically due to hunting and habitat destruction.

In 1965, the Gir Forest Reserve was upgraded to a national park, and since then it has been a major conservation area for the Asiatic lion.


The geological history of this region dates back to the Cretaceous period, which was around 145 to 66 million years ago. During this period, the region was covered by a shallow sea, which left behind a sedimentary rock formation known as the Deccan Trap.

The Deccan Trap is made up of volcanic basaltic lava flows and is one of the largest volcanic provinces in the world. The lava flows from the Deccan Trap covered most of western and central India, and formed a series of flat-topped plateaus that are now known as the Deccan Plateau.

Type of Forests and Trees

Gir National Park is classified as a dry deciduous forest, which means that the trees in the park shed their leaves during the dry season to conserve water. The park is dominated by teak trees, which account for about half of the forest cover. Other common tree species in the park include the flame of the forest, jamun, tamarind, acacia, and banyan.

The dry deciduous forest in Gir National Park is characterized by a mix of tall trees and shorter shrubs and bushes. The canopy of the forest is typically around 20 to 25 meters high, with the understorey consisting of thorny shrubs, grasses, and climbers. During the monsoon season, the park comes alive with new growth, and the forest is filled with lush green foliage and flowers. The teak trees in Gir National Park are particularly important as they provide food and shelter for the wildlife in the park, including the Asiatic lions. 

Biodiversity of Gir National Park

The Gir National Park’s complete forest area is dry and deciduous, making it ideal for Asiatic Lions. According to 2015 statistics, the Saurashtra Region is home to 523 Lions and over 300 Leopards. Aside from these two animals, the area is home to two types of deer. Sambar is the biggest Indian deer. The Gir jungle is also home to the world’s only four-horned antelope, the Chousingha. Smaller carnivores spotted in Gir Forest include the Jackal, striped Hyena, and India Fox.

Gir National Park’s exotic flora provides habitat for over 425 bird species, and the sanctuary has been designated a significant bird area by the Indian Bird Conservation Network. Gir is also home to severely endangered raptors such as the white-backed and long-billed vulture, the Egyptian Vulture, the vulnerable Greater Spotted Eagle, and the endangered Palla’s Fish Eagle. Gir’s woods are home to the crested Serpent Eagle, the Changeable Hawk Eagle, and other birds of prey. Birds commonly seen while traveling around Gir include the Asian Paradise Flycatcher, the Red-breasted Flycatcher, and the Fantail.

Sasan Gir is home to over 40 different kinds of reptiles and amphibians. Kamleshwar, a large reservoir in the sanctuary, is the best place to see Marsh Crocodiles in significant numbers. There are numerous snake species in the park, including the King Kobra, Russell’s viper, Saw-scaled viper, and Krait. The refuge also housed star tortoises and freshwater turtles. It is also home to a significant number of marsh crocodiles and other reptiles such as star tortoises, soft-shelled turtles, monitor lizards, and Indian rock pythons. The crocodile nursery at Sasan Gir National Park is also worth a visit.

Best time to visit Gir National Park

Gir National Park is closed from the middle of June to the 15th of October every year due to the rainy season, making it impossible to see the wealth of flora and wildlife. Gir Forest National Park is best visited between November and March. Despite being hot months, April and May are ideal for viewing Gir’s spectacular wildlife. June is too sweltering and should only be visited by those who can withstand the harsh loos of this month. The climate is predominantly hot, despite the fact that the region experiences monsoons, winters, and summers, with summer accounting for the majority of the time.

  • Summer: The weather ranges between 45 degrees Celsius and 10 degrees Celsius during this season. The hottest months have been documented to be between May and April, which is not the best time to explore the Gir Forest.
  • Monsoon: However, rains do provide relief from the scorching heat during the monsoon season, which lasts from June to September and is the best time to explore Gir National Park if you have always wanted to visit the place. The forest is accessible all year, except during the monsoon season, which lasts from June to October.
  • Winter: Since it’s the best time of year to visit Gir Forest National Park, winter is actually a wonderful time to plan a journey there. The winter months are undoubtedly the best time to visit because the weather is cool and there is a great possibility that you will see wildlife.


  • Devalia Safari Park: Also known as the Gir Interpretation Zone, Devalia is a section of the Gir National Park that is divided off by chain-like 412 Ha barriers. Devalia provides services to travelers who are unable to obtain permits for a Gir safari in order to lessen the strain on Gir, which receives the most visitors each year.
  • Crocodile Breeding Farm: The crocodile breeding facility in Sasan Gir has always been a very special location where young to mature crocodiles can be located. They are raised here in order to replenish the refuge with them. The forest department announced a crocodile protection project and released almost a thousand marsh crocodiles into Kamaleshwar Lake, making it a location that is quite alluring.
  • Kamleshwar Dam: This is regarded as the most important area of a dam built across the Hiran River. It is situated within Gir’s National Park, and the dam serves as a lifeline for the reserve area, where tourists can see a variety of marsh crocodiles.

In summary, Gir National Park is a crucial conservation area that protects endangered species and preserves a unique ecosystem. It is also an important tourist destination that provides economic benefits to the local communities. It serves as a reminder of the importance of conservation efforts and the need to protect our natural world for future generations.

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