Thursday, April 14, 2011

“Sasan Gir” – The Last Home to Asiatic Lion

Last month I was enquiring for the itinerary for Ahmedabad – Nalsarovar – Sasan Gir – Diu – Somnath, finally I completed my trip without Nalsarovar and Somnath because of some personal reasons.

I had started on 9th March and was in Ahmedabad on 10th / 11th to attend a marriage, started for Junagad on the night of 11th and reached by early morning. We had hired a taxi from Junagad to take us to Sasan Gir and Diu. We (Me, wify, Brother-in-Law, His Wife and child) were in Gir for 12th and 13th half day and then in half day covered Diu.

From Diu we started in at 8 PM, reached Junagad by 11:30 PM and catched 12:15 AM but to bring us back to Ahmedabad. I was again in Ahmedabad on 14th / 15th. I had planned to visit Nalsarovar on 14th but now they have banned boat ride and it was too hot (42/43 degrees) so opted out. I came back on 16th and joined office.

I have put some of the teaser shots at my facebook (, all of them are un-edited, un-processed, direct of the camera shots.
In this travelogue I will focus only on ‘Gir’ part and might be just might be will touch the ‘Diu’ at the very end.

As I am starting from ‘Gir’ so let’s start from the point once we reached Junagad in the morning of 12th March’11 at 5:30 AM.

I called the travel agent with whom we had pre-booked the taxi, he requested us to come to his office (yes it was open) as driver was still awaited. We reached there, taxi (Indica Vista) was already waiting for us, after initial introduction and formalities, we started for ‘Gir’.

Hardly 10km from Jungad there is a Jain worship place by name ‘Girnar’ which has got 10,000 steps and is located high on a hill. My brother-in-law and his wife just stepped down and prayed at base of hill and then all of us started for ‘Gir’.

‘Gir’ is around 50-55KM from Junagad and road is not that excellent what we generally hear about ‘Tarmac of Gujrat’. From my overall experience and talks with locals I got to know that the ‘Saurastra – The Southern Gujrat’ hasn’t got its share of development. Majority of people says Modi is a big marketing / advertisement man and mainly focusing on big cities like Ahmedabad, Surat, Baroda etc.

Well coming back to main topic, the surrounding and atmosphere was excellent, by 7 AM I could see Sun rising up from the back of hills, I captured many shots but looks like nothing came up as excellent shot, but just for sake of starting with images, here comes the very first image of this travelogue.

As we move forwarded started to spot the very common animals like deers, peafowl.

We reached ‘Sasan Gir’ by 8 AM and inquired about our room at ‘Forest Guest House’, we were told our room will be available by 10/11 AM once the morning safari is completed and guest frees the room.

Getting room at ‘Forest Guest House’ is very interesting and tedious process but once you reach there and experience it, it’s all worthy. One has to call their number in advance (1 – 1.5 months) and check for the availability. Based on availability you have to fax a request with copy of ID Proof, then confirm if they have received good copy and confirm the availability again. After that you are required to make the DD of room charge and send them and again confirm it is received.

In my case we got a link (my wife’s cousin’s friend’s father is a forest ranger) so I just had to fax the request and that too hardly 3-5 days in advance. But we could get only 1 non-ac room with 2 extra mattresses. The weather was too good and AC is not at all required in any extreme weather conditions.

Another interesting thing is in forest guest house you have to book your break-fast/lunch/dinner in advance (by 8 AM for 1PM Lunch, 5 PM for 9PM Dinner and 8PM for morning 9AM break-fast). We booked our lunch knowing the food is very tasty and cheap (50/- per plate) thru our link.

So by 8:30 AM we were standing in the parking lot and were discussing what to do for next 2 – 2.5 hours. The first fixation was to have a break-fast. Then we started for ‘Devaliya’ which is about 10 KM from Forest Guest House.

‘Devaliya’ is a very special small forest area which is very well and strictly controlled, they have kind of enforced the natural habitat of forest by keeping almost all kind of animals (of course which are suited and present in the main forest area). It is being said that at times big animals like Lions are given food as well.

Not sure but looks like it has got around 7 lions, plenty of deers, sambhers, bores, peafowls, and others.

To visit it they have a small office from their one has to buy the ticket (95/- each) and then they have small buses (capacity 22). Once a bus is full it goes in to the park (I would rather say it park instead of forest). Lion sighting is almost guaranteed and drivers does nothing but just goes to the place where lions are resting (they get the information from previous bus drivers and the patrolling persons inside park).

I had to request him multiple times that I am not here to see the lions, rather to experience the natural habitat and take some interesting shots than just tons of kind of dead shots of lions.

My wish was granted and the moment we entered park I was able to capture this beautiful shot.

The cutie – pie looked more than happy to give pose for me.

Another pose

As we moved further, spotted this, look at the size its so big
It also blessed me by giving a look

Wished I could have got the frontal shot


  1. I can imagine how was the trip. Very nice shots!!!
    I think not other than Nikon can take this kind of shots :)

  2. Oh yes, it was a great trip. Thanks for the visit. Yeah, I have a Nikon D90 and lens used for this trip was Nikon 70-300mm VRII. The complete travelogue is not coming up correctly here, I have wrote it elsewhere i.e.