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Gujarat Tourism



Wildlife Sanctuaries and National Parks

Gujarat is a unique State that has many kinds of habitats. These varied landforms include dry deciduous forests, majestic grasslands, wetlands, marine ecosystems and rich moist deciduous forests. The Asiatic Lion is found only in Gir. The Wild Ass in the Rann of Kutch, the rare great Indian Bustard in the bird reserves, the world's only four-horned Antelope and the Blackbuck are some other valued species protected in Gujarat.

Gir Wildlife Sanctuary - Home of Asiatic Lions

Sprawling over an area of 1,424 sq. km, Gir with its dry deciduous forest is home to 30 species of mammals, 20 species of reptiles and several species of insects and birds. Its forest is the only place in the world, outside Africa, where the lion can be seen in its natural habitat. Gir, the last refuge of the Asiatic Lion, is one of the largest and most important wildlife sanctuaries in India. Other animal residents of the park are sambar deer, chital, nilgai the four-horned antelope chowsingha, chinkara, wild boar, langur, jackal and hyena. Few people know that Gir is also one of the finest bird sanctuaries in India. Some of the typical birds of Gir are the crested serpent eagle, crested hawk eagle, brown fish owl, king vulture, jungle quail, paradise flycatcher, pygmy woodpecker, hard headed oriole etc.

Where to Stay:

The Lion Safari Park is situated in village Balcheel near Sasan.
Tel: 02877 - 29550708
Tariff: Rs.9,000 (Includes one jungle safari and all meals) for 2 persons for 2N/ 3D

How to get there:

By Road: Sasan - Gir is situated 65 km south-east of Junagadh
By Rail: Nearest Railway Station is at Junagadh
By Air: The nearest Airport is at Ahmedabad, 415 km from Junagadh.

When to go:

The Sanctuary is open from October 16 to June 15. The best time to visit between late November and early March.
Timings: 8.00 am - 11.00 am and 3.00 pm - 5.00 pm

Little Rann of Kutch

The Little Rann Sanctuary was established in 1973 at the time when Wild Ass was in danger. Conservation led to immediate recovery and from 362 in 1963 their number rose to 720, thirteen years later. The sanctuary is spread over 4,953 sq. km over five districts of Surendranagar, Banaskantha, Patan, Kutch and Rajkot. The two main entry points to the sanctuary are at Bajana and Jinjhwada. The Rann is a flat, white cracked and utterly barren land. There are 364 hills, called 'bets' that rise across the Rann. The bets 'bets' provide food and shelter to the animals. All travel has to be done in jeeps and trucks. It is recommended to travel with someone who knows the area and the language.

Where to stay:

Rann Riders, a km ahead of Dasada Village. The accommodation is styled on local Kuba huts made of mortar and straw. The rooms are clean and stylish.
Tel: 02757 - 280257
Tariff: Rs.3,000 - 4,600

How to get there:

By Road: Little Rann of Kutch is 129 km from Ahmedabad
By Rail: Nearest railhead is Viramgam, 34 km from Dasada village.
By Air: Nearest Airport is Ahmedabad.

When to go:

The Park is open round the year but the best time to visit is October to March.
Timings: 6.00 am - 6.00 pm

Velavadar National Park

Blackbuck National Park Velavadar, in the Bhal region of Saurashtra is a unique grassland ecosystem that has attracted fame for the successful conservation of blackbuck. Once found in open plains throughout the country its largest population at present occurs in Velavadar National Park. This exclusively Indian animal is perhaps the most graceful and beautiful of its kind. It has ringed horns that have a spiral twist of three to four turns and are up to 70 cm long. Located 72 km away from Bhavnagar and spread over an area of 3,408 ha, the park has been classified as a biotic province of semi-arid bio-geographical zone.

Where to stay:

The Forest Lodge, Kaliyarbhavan is basic but hygienic and comfortable.
Tel: 0278 - 2426425
Tariff: Rs.500 (Indians), US $ 30 (Foreigners)

How to get there:

By Road: Velavadar is 160 km from Ahmedabad
By Rail: Nearest railhead is Bhavnagar, 55 km from Velavadar
By Air: Nearest Airport is Bhavnagar

When to go:

The Park is closed from June 16 to October 15, sometimes even till November 15 because of the rains. Best time to visit is November to February.
Timings: 6.30 am - 8.30 am and 4.30 am - 6.30 pm


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