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  • 18-Oct-2021
  • by Er. Deepak Maurya

Gir Forest, Gujarat.

Gir Forest, Gujarat.

SASAN GIR DIST. JUNAGADH. GUJARAT. INDIA. 362135

Introduction

Gir Forest, also known as Sasan Gir National Park, is a protected area located in the state of Gujarat, India. It is the only natural habitat of the Asiatic lion and has been declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The forest is spread over an area of 1412 square kilometers and is home to a wide variety of flora and fauna. In this blog post, we will explore the Gir Forest in detail and learn about its history, geography, wildlife, and conservation efforts.

History

The Gir Forest has a rich history dating back to the time of the Mughal Empire. The forest was a favorite hunting ground for the Mughal emperors, and later on, it was used by the British for hunting as well. In the early 20th century, the population of the Asiatic lion had drastically reduced due to hunting and habitat destruction. In 1913, the Nawab of Junagadh, who was the ruler of the area at that time, declared the forest as a protected area, and hunting was banned.

In 1965, the Gir Forest was declared as a wildlife sanctuary, and in 1975, it was declared as a national park. In 1986, the forest was declared as a biosphere reserve, and in 2011, it was declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Geography

The Gir Forest is located in the southwestern part of the state of Gujarat, in the Saurashtra region. It is situated in the foothills of the Aravalli Range, and the forest is a mix of dry deciduous and semi-evergreen forests. The terrain of the forest is hilly and undulating, with numerous streams and rivers flowing through it. The forest is also home to several small and large water bodies, which provide a source of water to the wildlife.

Wildlife

The Gir Forest is home to a wide variety of flora and fauna, with the Asiatic lion being the most famous of them all. The forest is also home to several other species of mammals, including the Indian leopard, jungle cat, striped hyena, golden jackal, Indian fox, and sambar deer. The forest is also a bird watcher's paradise, with over 300 species of birds being recorded here.

Apart from the Asiatic lion, the Gir Forest is also home to several other endangered species, including the Indian pangolin, Indian eagle-owl, and Indian python. The forest is also home to several species of reptiles, including several species of snakes and lizards.

Conservation efforts

The conservation of the Asiatic lion has been a major focus of the Gir Forest authorities. The Asiatic lion is one of the rarest big cats in the world, and its population had reduced to a mere 20 individuals in the early 20th century. However, due to the conservation efforts of the forest authorities, the population of the Asiatic lion has now increased to over 500 individuals.

The conservation efforts of the forest authorities include habitat restoration, anti-poaching measures, and community involvement. The forest authorities have also set up a breeding program for the Asiatic lion, which has been successful in increasing the population of the big cat.

Apart from the conservation of the Asiatic lion, the Gir Forest authorities have also taken several measures to protect the other wildlife species in the forest. Anti-poaching measures, habitat restoration, and community involvement are some of the steps taken by the authorities to protect the wildlife.

Tourism

Tourism in the Gir Forest has grown over the years, with visitors from all over the world coming to witness the majestic Asiatic lion in its natural habitat. The forest authorities have taken several measures to ensure that tourism does not negatively impact the wildlife or the ecosystem of the forest.

Visitors to the Gir Forest can take a safari ride to explore the forest. The safari ride is a popular way to explore the forest and get up close with the wildlife. There are two types of safari rides available in the Gir Forest – a jeep safari and a lion safari.

The jeep safari takes visitors on a ride through the forest, where they can witness the diverse flora and fauna of the forest. The safari ride is led by a trained guide, who provides information about the wildlife and the ecosystem of the forest.

The lion safari, on the other hand, is a special safari ride that takes visitors on a search for the Asiatic lion. The lion safari is a thrilling experience, as visitors can witness the king of the jungle in its natural habitat.

Apart from the safari rides, visitors can also explore the forest on foot. The forest authorities have set up several trekking trails, which take visitors through some of the most scenic parts of the forest. Trekking in the Gir Forest is a unique experience, as visitors can witness the wildlife up close and personal.

The Gir Forest authorities have also set up several eco-tourism initiatives, which provide visitors with an opportunity to experience the local culture and traditions of the region. Visitors can stay in eco-friendly accommodations, which are designed to have minimal impact on the environment.

The eco-tourism initiatives also involve the local community, who are trained as guides and provide visitors with a unique insight into the local culture and traditions. Visitors can also participate in community-based activities, such as handicraft workshops and traditional cooking classes.

Conclusion

The Gir Forest is a unique destination, which offers visitors a chance to witness the majestic Asiatic lion in its natural habitat. The conservation efforts of the forest authorities have been successful in increasing the population of the Asiatic lion, and the forest is now a shining example of successful conservation.

Tourism in the Gir Forest has grown over the years, and the forest authorities have taken several measures to ensure that tourism does not negatively impact the wildlife or the ecosystem of the forest. Visitors to the Gir Forest can take a safari ride, go trekking, or participate in eco-tourism initiatives, which provide a unique insight into the local culture and traditions.

In conclusion, the Gir Forest is a must-visit destination for wildlife enthusiasts and nature lovers. The forest is a unique ecosystem, which is home to a wide variety of flora and fauna, and its successful conservation is an inspiration for conservationists around the world.

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SASAN GIR DIST. JUNAGADH. GUJARAT. INDIA. 362135

Introduction

Gir Forest, also known as Sasan Gir National Park, is a protected…

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