Sasangir National Park was established in order to conserve the Asiatic Lion, on 18th September 1965, as a Forest Reserve with an area of about 2,450 hectares. A principal part of the Junagadh District of Gujarat, it is 90 kms from the Keshod Airport in the Kathiawar (Saurashtra) Peninsula.
A small town named Sasan with a forest rest house, is the headquarters of the Gir Wildlife Sanctuary. A hilly terrain with a dense network of rivers is the distinct feature of Sasangir National Park. Sasangir was declared partially as a Wildlife Sanctuary and partially a National Park in 1975.
Gir Wildlife Sanctuary is one and the only existing habitat of the Asiatic lion found only in these forests since 1884 whose statistical figures are around 300 presently.
The Asiatic lion differs from the African Lion in its size, which is slightly smaller than its African cousin. The national park is made of three adjoining reserves - the Nalsarovar Lake and Sanctuary inhabiting several water-birds; the Little Rann of Kutch, home to the Indian Wild Ass; and the captivating Flamingo Island make the Sasangir National Park an ideal place for wildlife buffs.
The Sasangir National Park boasts of many antique temples like Kankai Mata and Tulsishyam. The best way to explore the national park and enjoy the wildlife viewing in the Sasangir wildlife sanctuary is by jeep safari.
The best long jeep drives from Sasan are conducted to Baval Chowk and Kankai, Chodavdi, Tulsishyam and to Kamaleshwar dam.
Take official guides along with you on the park trip.
Do not disturb the animals during daytime as most of the nocturnal animals sleep during daytime. .
Do not try to irritate or annoy the animals by teasing them. .
Picking of plants and insects is strictly prohibited. .
Do not smoke inside the park. .
Do not use flash or intrusive photography. .
Walking and hiking within the vicinity of the park is not allowed. .
Camping and picnicking is prohibited within the park..
Carry plenty of water along with you..
Wear loose fitting and simple clothes that blend with the park surroundings. .
The Gir is an area with mixed deciduous forests with Teak, Ber, Flame of the forest, Jamun and Babool. A wildlife sanctuary owes a distinct belt of vegetation along the main rivers and streams.
The rare tree species like the Jambu, Karanj, Umro, Vad, Kalam, Charal, Sirus and Amli are found here abundantly. These wide and tall, broad leaved and evergreen trees provide a cool shade and moisture to the area.
The Sasangir National Park accommodates the wild animals like chinkara, wild boar, striped hyena, jackal, common langur, porcupine, hare, black buck and other animals.
There are more than 200 bird species including the peafowl, grey partridge, Bonelli's eagle, crested serpent eagle, jungle bush quail, painted sandgrouse, common green pigeon and several species of doves.
Sasangir National Park TourThe Kamleshwar Dam in Sasangir Wildlife Sanctuary is home to the marsh crocodile commonly seen in the river. There is also the only crocodile-breeding farm in this national park.
Wildlife viewing in the Gir's is best done, by driving via jeep around the forest. The Forest Department organizes the lion shows every Sunday for the tourists. There are also special trips along with the trained guides who give the tourists direction for the sanctuary tour.
The best time to observe this ferocious carnivore is to grab his sight during the dawn and dusk when they are on the prowl.
The wildlife lovers can visit Sasangir National Park all through the year. The best time to visit the Sasangir Wildlife Sanctuary is between November to June.