Gir National Park & Gir Wildlife Sanctuary

Gir National Park & Gir Wildlife Sanctuary is one of the main Indian tourist destinations in Gujarat state.

Gir National Park Young male Asiatic lion (Panthera leo persica) in Gir Forest National Park. Photo Source : Creative commons Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0. Photo by Bernard Gagnon .

Gir National Park & Wildlife Sanctuary is also known as “Sasan-Gir”. “Asiatic Lions” are seen only here in this Wildlife Sanctuary and is the protected forest area right from early 90’s. This Wildlife Sanctuary and National Park is rich in Flora and Fauna. There are around 400 to 500 species of plants inside the Gir Wildlife Sanctuary. There are 2,375 distinct fauna species found in Gir Forest National Park. The last count shows 411 lions, as on 2010. There is a Lion Breeding program inside the Wildlife Sanctuary to increase the endangered Asiatic Lions population. Indian Leopards, Sloth bears, etc, are some of the other wild animals in the Wildlife Sanctuary.

Kamleshwar Dam, along with 3 other dams, fed by 7 rivers, are the lifeline of the this National Park & Wildlife Sanctuary.

To see the Asiatic Lions in action, you may need to take a trip with the help of a Guide. If you are lucky, you may spot the Lion in a single day.

How Do I Go to Gir National Park?

Junagadhr Railway station in the Western Railway Zone of Indian railways is the nearest railway station to this National Park. Junagadhr is connected by frequent trains to Ahmedabad, Rajkot and nearby cities. From Junagadhr, you need to travel around 65 kilometers by road to reach this National Park. Gir National Park & Wildlife Sanctuary is at a distance of around 42 kilometers from Somnath, another nearby town, where the famous Somnath temple is situated.

Where can I Stay When Visiting the Gir National Park?

There is a forest Guest Houses are private hotels available near to the park and adjoining cities.

Champaner-Pavagadh Archaeological Park, Gujarat

Pavagadh Archaeological Park or Champaner-Pavagadh Archaeological Park is in Panchmahal district of Gujarat state, India. This Archaeological Park is a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Champaner-Pavagadh Archaeological Park, Gujarat
Champaner-Pavagadh Archaeological Park

Champaner-Pavagadh Archaeological Park in Gujarat is a vast area of around 3300 acres with a buffer zone of around 7000 acres! It consists of the historic citadel, palace & other buildings and military structures, water installation, etc, which together formed the capital of Mahmud Begda. The work of rebuilding (this city was the capital of Solanki Kings and Khichi Chauhans) the capital city on the foot hills was started in 1484 A.D. by the young Sultan Mahmud Begda and took 23 years to complete. Mahmud Begda then shifted the capital of his kingdom from Ahmedabad to Pavagadh. (Mahmud Begda was the grandson of Great Ahmed Shah, who founded the Ahmedabad City.)

Pavagadh Temples in the Archaeological Park

There are Hindu temples and Jain temples. Mosques and many other historic heritage buildings are also there in this heritage site. The ‘gudhamandapa’ and ‘antarala’ of a 10th/11th century temple is the oldest remains found in the Archaeological Park. There are many other Hindu and Jain temples of 13th to 15th century, built in Nagara style of architecture, in the Champaner-Pavagadh Archaeological Park.

Some of the historical monuments consists of a series of fortifications, which extend from the plains to the Pavagadh hill top. These forts have beautiful bastions with balconies in between. The Jama Masjid inside the Champaner-Pavagadh Archaeological Park, is a perfect blend of Hindu-Moslem architecture. There are four other Mosques inside the Champaner – Pavagadh Archaeological Park, which are still in good condition.

The Pavagadh hill at a mean height of around 800 meters above sea level, is considered as one of the oldest rock formations in India, with Reddish-yellow coloured stones.

How do I go to Champaner-Pavagadh Archaeological Park,?

Champaner is at a distance of 45 kilometers from Vadodara alias Baroda.

What are the Timings of Champaner-Pavagadh Archaeological Park?

The Archaeological Park is open from sunrise to sunset.

Pirotan Island Marine Park

Pirotan Island Marine Park
Yellow Carpet sea Anemone at Pirotan Island – Photo Source : Creative commons. CC BY-SA 3.0.

Pirotan Island Marine Park is off the coast of Bedi Port or Nava port in Gamnagar district of Gujarat state, India. Marine Park in Pirotan Island is at a distance of 12 nautical miles or 22 kilometers of the coast.

Pirotan Island (or Pirothan island) Marine Park is spread over an area of 3 square kilo meters. There are a group of 42 islands, of which Pirotan Island is the most famous island and where tourists are allowed, after getting permission from different government departments like Forest department, Customs department and ports department. Tourists can go to the Pirothan island in the morning and leave by evening. Only Human inhabitants of the island are the light house staff.

Mangroves is the main vegetation in the Pirotan Island. Coral reefs are a major attraction in the Pirotan islands and the island was declared as a Marine National Park in the year 1982.

Pirotan Island is rich in Marine flora and fauna. Sea Anemone, Octopus, sea horse, sea slugs, King Crabs, Hermit Crabs, Ghost crabs, Squid, Sea worms, Sea snakes, Sea Scorpions, Saw-scaled Vipers , Scorpions, etc, are to name a few. There are many sea birds like Sea Gull, Crab Plover, Pelicans,Harring Gull, Black headed Bull, different waders, etc, among the birds found in and around the Pirotan island.

There is a shrine (Durgah) dedicated to Khwaja Khijer Rahmatullahialaih in the the island.

How do I Go to Pirotan Island Marine Park?

You need to hire a boat to go to Pirotan Island Marine Park from Bedi Port or or Nava port. There are no regular boat services to the Pirotan island.

Travelling time is around 90 minutes from the Bedi Port in Gamnagar district of Gujarat. The beach waters are shallow and hence entry is possible only during high tide. You also need to leave the island when it is high tide.

Foreign citizens need permission from the Police department also.

Conclusions About Pirotan Island Marine Park

Are you going to the uninhabited Pirotan Island Marine Park, which is rich in marine life? Please leave your comments below.

Char Dhum Pilgrimage Tour to Dwarkadhish Temple

Dwarkadhish Temple is at Dwaraka in Jamnagar district of Gujarat, India. The Dwarakadhish Temple, Dwaraka, is one of the four Hindu temples of Char Dhum Pilgrimage tour and is considered as a very sacred temple by Hindus.

The Dwarkadhish Temple
The Dwarkadhish temple at Dwarka, Gujarat, India.

It is believed that every Hindu must visit these 4 Char Dham temples at least once in his or her lifetime to attain salvation. Other three Char Dham temples are Badrinath temple in Utterkahand state, Jaganath Puri temple in Odisha state and Rameswaram temple in the state of Tamilnadu.

The four Char Dham temples makes a perfect square with Badrinath and Rameswaram falling on the same longitude and Dwarka and Puri lying on the same latitude. These 4 temples represents the farthest points of India existed during the time of Great Hindu philosopher and reformist Seer Adi Sankarachraya, who defined these Char Dham temples.

How do I go to The Dwarkadhish Temple?

The Dwarkadhish Temple is well connected by roads to other parts of the country. Ahmedabad is around 450 kilometers from Dwarakadhish Temple and Mumbai (or Bombay as it was known earlier) is at 950 kilometers distance. Jaipur, the capital of Rajasthan state is at 1025 kilometers away.

Jamnagar is the nearest airport at 135 kilometers distance from the Dwaraka Temple.

Dwarka railway station is the nearest railway station to the Dwaraka Temple.