The Gir Forest National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary (also known as Sasan-Gir) is a forest and wildlife sanctuary in Gujarat, India. Established in 1965, with a total area of 1412 km² (about 258 km² for the fully protected area (the national park) and 1153 km² for the Sanctuary), the park is located 43 km in the north-east from Somnath, 65 km to the south-east of Junagadh and 60 km to south west of Amreli.
It is the sole home of the Asiatic Lions (Panthera leo persica) and is considered to be one of the most important protected areas in Asia due to its supported species. The ecosystem of Gir, with its diverse flora and fauna, is protected as a result of the efforts of the government forest department, wildlife activists and NGOs. The forest area of Gir and its lions were declared as "protected" in the early 1900s by the Nawab of the princely state of Junagadh. This initiative assisted in the conservation of the lions whose population had plummeted to only 15 through slaughter for trophy hunting.
The seven major perennial rivers of the Gir region are Hiran, Shetrunji, Datardi, Shingoda, Machhundri, Godavari and Raval. The four reservoirs of the area are at four dams, one each on Hiran, Machhundri, Raval and Shingoda rivers, including the biggest reservoir in the area, the Kamleshwar Dam, dubbed 'the lifeline of Gir'.
During peak summer, surface water for wild animals is available at about 300 water points. When drought hits the area following a poor rainfall, surface water is not available at a majority of these points, and water scarcity becomes a serious problem (mainly in the eastern part of the sanctuary). Ensuring the availability of water during peak summer is one of the major tasks of the Forest Department staff .
More than 400 plant species were recorded in the survey of Gir forest by Samtapau & Raizada in 1955. The Botany department of M.S. University of Baroda has revised the count to 507 during their survey. According to the 1964 forest type classification by Champion & Sheth, the Gir forest falls under "5A/C-1a—very dry teak forest" classification. Teak occurs mixed with dry deciduous species.
Places to Visit:
Nalsarovar Lake & Santuary,Krishna Temple and Tulsi Shyam Spring.
By Air :-Nearest airport Keshod -100km.
By Rail :-Nearest railway Sasan & Junagadh -65km.
By Road :-Rajkot -160kms,Ahmedabad -895kms,Veraval -43kms,Junagadh -65kms.
Best time to Visit:From September to March.