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Gir Wildlife Sanctuary, Gujarat

The Gir National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary (also called Sasan Gir) is a wildlife sanctuary and forest located at Talala Gir, Gujarat.

The Gir National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary (also called Sasan Gir) is a wildlife sanctuary and forest located at Talala Gir, Gujarat. It is the only known habitat of the Asiatic Lion.

Gir National Park Information

  • Area: Covering an expanse of 1,412 square kilometers.
  • Location: Situated within the Gir National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary, Gujarat, with the postal code 362135.
  • Geography: Characterized by teak-dominated rugged hills featuring high ridges, densely forested valleys, and expansive grassy plateaus. This region falls within the Kathiawar-Gir dry deciduous forests, exhibiting a blend of dry deciduous scrub forests and dry savannah forests.

History of the Gir National Park

The Asiatic Lion used to be widespread throughout the Indian subcontinent before excessive hunting by British colonials and India rulers decimated their population.

By the 1800s only a dozen Asiatic lions remained in India, all of which were concentrated in the Gir forest. This was brought to the Nawab of Junagarh’s attention by the British authorities. Since Gir fell within the range of the Nawab’s hunting grounds he was in a better position to establish a sanctuary for the remaining lions which he did. Following the annexation of Junagadh in 1948 and the Nawab’s family fleeing to Pakistan as a result, the sanctuary was taken over by the Government of India who continued the task of protecting the lions of Gir.

Today the Gir National Park is the only sanctuary where Asiatic lions are found. As a result of efforts by the government forest department and wildlife activists, the Gir Wildlife Sanctuary is a thriving ecosystem with a diverse flora and fauna. It is now considered an essential part of Gujarat’s ecology.

Other National Parks in Gujarat

  • Black buck National Park
  • Vansda National park
  • Marine National Park

About geography of Gir National Park

Water Reserve 

Shingod, Godavari, Machhundri, Hari, Datardi, Shetrunji and the Raval Gir are the perennial rivers which flow here. The area’s four reservoirs are located at four dams; they are the Shingoda, Machhundri, Hiran and Kamleshwar dams, termed as ‘the lifeline of Gir.’ The coordinates of the National Park lie between 21°08′09′′N and 70°47′49′′E.


In a survey of Gir National Park conducted by Samtapau & Raizada in 1955, almost 400 plant species were identified. During their survey, the Botany department at M.S. University of Baroda updated the count to 507. Teak-bearing areas are mostly found on the forest’s eastern side, which accounts for approximately half of its entire size.

Acacias come in a variety of species. Ber, Jamun (Syzygium cumini), babul (acacia), flame of the forest, zizyphus, tendu, and dhak are some of the other plants that may be found here. The forests are very significant for biological studies. Annual harvesting yields almost 5 million kg of green grass, worth about 500 million (US$7.12 million) in value. Each year 123,000 metric tonnes of wood for fuel are produced in the forest.


All the types of wildlife are present in the Gir National Park. The jungle cat, Asiatic lion, golden jackal, ruddy mongoose, Indian leopard, striped hyena, Indian gray, Bengal fox and honey badger are among the carnivores. Four-horned antelope, Chinkara, Chital, Nilgai, and Sambar are the primary herbivores found in the national park. The blackbucks sometimes pay a visit in the surrounding area. Mammals such as hare and porcupine are widely spread throughout the area, whereas pangolins are not as commonly found. The National Park harbors both poisonous and non-poisonous snakes, along with occasional sightings of pythons.

Facts about Gir National Park

  • Gir National Park & Wildlife Sanctuary is the last shelter to the surviving population of the Asiatic Lion in the wild.
  • The park is located at 43 km (27 mi) north-east of Somnath, 65 km (40 mi) south-east of Junagadh and 60 km (37 mi) south-west of Amreli.
  • The Government declared a big extent of Sasan Gir as a wildlife sanctuary on 18th September 1965 in order to conserve the Asiatic Lion.
  • Sasan Gir as wildlife sanctuary scattered in an area of 1412 square kilometers out of which 258 Km covers the core area of the National Park.
  • The park is scattered in the area of 1412 sq. km (deciduous forest) comprising semi-evergreen and evergreen flora, acacia, scrub jungle, grasslands, and rocky hills.


Gir National Park is also a Wildlife Sanctuary and also a forest located near Talala Gir in Gujarat, India. Gir National Park lies 65 km south-east of Junagadh, 43 km north-east of Somnath, and 60 km southwest of Amreli. Only about a dozen Asiatic lions remained in India by the end of the nineteenth century. All of them were in the Gir Forest, which was part of Junagarh’s Nawab private hunting grounds. So, the Nawab decided to establish a sanctuary to preserve the Asiatic lions.

FAQs about Gir Wildlife Sanctuary

Q1: Where is Gir National Park located?

A1: Gir National Park, also known as Sasan Gir, is located near Talala Gir in Gujarat, India.

Q2: What is the significance of Gir National Park?

A2: Gir National Park is the only known habitat of the Asiatic Lion. It played a crucial role in the conservation and protection of this endangered species, which was once on the verge of extinction.

Q3: What is the history of Gir National Park?

A3: In the 1800s, excessive hunting by British colonials and Indian rulers led to the decimation of the Asiatic Lion population. By that time, only a dozen Asiatic lions remained, all concentrated in the Gir forest. Recognizing the importance of preserving the remaining lions, the Nawab of Junagarh established a sanctuary in the Gir forest. After the annexation of Junagadh in 1948, the sanctuary came under the control of the Government of India, who continued the efforts to protect the lions.

Read also:- Asiatic lion

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