233 East Erie Street, Chicago, IL 60611 USA   
tig.gif Gir Wildlife Sanctuary

Brief
The Gir is the only home in India for the Asiatic Lion of which there are nearly 300 in the park. The Gir National Park lies in the Gujarat peninsula in South-Western India. The terrain is rugged with low hills and the vegetation is mixed deciduous, with stands of Teak, Acacia, Jamun, Tendu and Dhak trees, interspersed with large patches of grasslands. The trees on the hills are sparse and stunted. Within the sanctuary, there are numerous human settlements of cattle herders called Maldharis with an estimated 20,000 head of livestock (which, incidentally, forms a significant part of the Lion’s diet). There are also places of Hindu worship and pilgrimage and sulphur springs at Tulsi Shyam and Kankai Mata. The edges of the park have good population of Indian Gazelle, protected by religious sentiments of the local people.

Reasons to visit
We welcome you to the most exciting tourist attractions and travel destinations which are given below. We take into notice each and every details about recreation, entertainment, adventure and relaxation. By looking at the things to do in a city one can see if that spot offers romance, family fun, sightseeing or adventure. Drill down into the tourist attractions below to find out more about each place and see how the local customs create a unique atmosphere.
 
Wildlife Attractions     
A distinct belt of vegetation is found along the main rivers and streams. Species like the Jambu, Karanj, Umro, Vad, Kalam, Charal, Sirus and Amli are mainly found here. These trees are mostly broad leaved and evergreen, giving the area a cool shade and the moisture content. Finally, Prosopis and Casuarina have been planted in the coastal borders as part of the afforestation plan.
 

The Asiatic Lion 
Gir Sanctuary is the last and only home of the critically endangered Asiatic Lion. These lions are a smaller more compact version of their African counterparts, and are best viewed at dawn or dusk when they are on the move. The major difference between the two is that the African Lion appears larger than the Indian Lion because of its large and luxuriant mane.
  

The Leopards
Leopard is considered to be one of the most beautiful and graceful animals in the jungle, also the most dangerous one. Popularly known as the Prince of Cats, this animal is the most adaptable among the predators, one of the reasons why it occupies a much larger spread of Gujarat forest cover. In the Gir National Park it is found in all the varied habitats and vegetation types. The approximate population of 210 Leopards resides within the sanctuary area.

Reptiles
Not leaving the water predators behind, Mash crocodiles are often seen along the Kamleshwar Dam Site. Another major attraction among the reptile population of Gir National Park are the numerous non-venomous Snakes such as the Indian Rock Python along with the four venomous varieties of Indian Cobra, Common Krait, Saw Scaled Viper, Russell's Viper. Among the lesser-known wildlife of Gir National Park includes the most common animal that can be sighted in the sanctuary, the Chital or Spotted Deer. Other main wild attractions are Nilgai, Chinkara, Sambhar, Black Bucks, the four horned Antelope, Wild Boar, Indian Flying Foe, Grey Musk Shrew, Indian Hare, Pale Hedgehog, Small Indian Mangoose, Small Indian Civet, Indian Pangolin, Indian Porcupine, Ratel, Indian Fox, and Jackal. The three smaller wildcats - the Jungle Cat, Desert Cat and the Rusty Spotted Cat also inhabit the forest, a fact which shows that the forest is not just meant for the protection of Lions, but the entire cat family.

Avian Population

The forest is also rich in bird life, with an estimated 300 species inhabiting the Gir National Park. Many wildlife experts believe that had Gir not been a Lion sanctuary, it could have easily passed off as a protected area for the incredible diversity of birds that it harbors. The avifauna here occupies the forest floors, small plants and shrubs and even the canopy of the trees. The Paradise Flycatcher, Black Headed Cuckoo Shrike, Pied Woodpecker, Bonelli's Eagle, Creset Serpant Eagle, Painted Sandgrouse, Bush Quail and Grey Patridge are the commonly found varieties in the park.