Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Gir National Park

We have been in Mumbai 8 years now. And we love travelling, as is evident by this blog.

So it was like a black mark on our wanderlust credentials that we hadn’t yet visited Gir National Park, which is practically next door in Gujarat. To be fair, although Gujarat sounds closeby, Gir is about 800 km away by road from Mumbai – because the road skirts all the way around Gulf of Khambat. Same with trains. And with only a single train to Junagadh (closest railway station) from Mumbai, tickets are always in short supply.

However, Gir is the only place where lions can be seen in India – only place in Asia infact. It is the last surviving population of the Asiatic lion (otherwise lions are only found in Africa now). And it is something else to see the king of the forest in his natural habitat. India is a more of a tiger country, with about 15 tiger sanctuaries spread across the nation. And it turned out to be a blessing, because the holiday (Good Friday) weekend that we travelled, all tiger sanctuaries were full. But we were able to get safaris in Gir for that weekend (The Supreme Court has limited number of safaris everyday in all wildlife sanctuaries – and for holidays, safari permits at the well known tiger reserves are sold out months in advance)

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