Special Places to Stay in Sasangir
'$' Signs against Hotels indicate its Category
Gir Birding Lodge ($)
The individual, coffee coloured cottages of the Gir Birding Lodge are set in a rambling mango orchard that merges with the deciduous forests of the Gir Wildlife Sanctuary beyond.
Lion Safari Camp ($$)
The Lion Safari Camp is possibly the most luxurious hotel available near the Gir Wildlife Sanctuary even though the accommodation consists of a series of sophisticated tents pitched in a well manicured garden.
Things to see and do in Sasangir
Gir National Park & Wildlife Sanctuary is a 1412 sq km hilly tract of dry deciduous forests, acacia scrub, evergreen and semi-evergreen flora and grasslands, fed by rivers and streams. Among the many water-bodies in the reserve is the Kamleshwar Dam, known for its large crocodile population.
Originally protected by the Nawab of Junagadh, the Sasangir Forest is the last remaining sanctuary of the Asiatic lion. Game viewing is done by jeep and is the best in the early morning or late afternoon. The lions, even though not easy to track, are not shy once you find them.
Other wildlife includes panthers, hyenas, foxes, wild boar, sambhar, chital, and nilgai. There is also a rich bird life including the rare paradise fly-catcher. Just outside the sanctuary entrance is the crocodile hatchery.
The best time to visit the sanctuary is from December to April; it is closed from 16 June till 15 October.
Gir is the home of the Maldharis, a term used for the many Hindu and Muslim pastoral groups of the area. The Maldhars live in traditional settlements called `nesses' and tend Jafrabadi buffalos, Gir cows and other livestock. Some of them also have camels, sheep and goats. Among the best-known pastoral groups of Gir is the Sorathi Rabari.
Siddis are a community with African origins. Believed to have come from African countries as mercenaries, slaves and labour, the Siddis grew to become powerful generals, some of them even became rulers. In Gir, there are villages of the Siddis, who are well known for their dances and other performances, and a major shrine for the community.