As children, we would certainly have heard a common yet arresting story starting with the statement ‘Once upon a time, there was a lion in the jungle. He was the king of the jungle kingdom. Well, several of us would have heard different versions of it and I am most certain that many of us would have narrated the same story in different versions to our younger ones attempting to add more flavours to it. If you really want to view the king of the jungle and observe its regal demeanor, you shall plan a visit to Sasangir, Gujarat.
The Gir Forest National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary popularly known as Sasangir was formed in the year 1965 to provide sole haven to rare Asiatic Lions. The national park is spread over an area of 1,412 square kilometer and Mother Nature has spread its virgin beauty in every corner of the sanctuary. The diversity and variety of flora and fauna found in Sasangir makes it a preferred destination for wildlife observers, researchers and lovers. In the yore, it was popular hunting ground for Nawabs of Junagadh until it became protected area in the country. If we talk of the water bodies in the region, there are seven permanent rivers in the Gir region namely Hiran, Shetrunji, Datardi, Shingoda, Machhundri, Godavari and Raval respectively.
Availing Sasangir Wildlife holiday package will bring a lifetime opportunity to track not only Asiatic Lions which are 523 as per the latest Census but also more than 400 plant species and around 2,375 unique animal species including mammals, birds, reptiles and insects respectively. The Gir National Park is open from the mid of October to mid of June every year. The months in a year namely November, January and February are the best months to visit the sanctuary and gain a splendid experience. The jungle safari in jeeps accompanied by experienced guide is simply breathtaking and what is more interesting is the fact that the Gir Forest Department also organizes “Lion Shows”. They ensure that the visitors shall see the lions at close range and for this; they send trackers during early mornings on a mission to the located places and tempt them with live baits. Further, within the Gir National Park, the Kankai Mata temple and Tulishyam Hot Springs are located in a scenic surrounding. These are the natural hot springs where one can take bath which is truly refreshing, rejuvenating and revitalizing.