Village of the Lions: Sasan Gir, Gujarat

The village of Sasan Gir is situated in the state of Gujarat right in the buffer area between the world famous Gir national park and the ancient town of Junagadh. This village is home to the Asiatic lion, also known as the Indian lion.

The village of Sasan Gir is easily accessible by multiple modes of transport. The nearest airport is located at Rajkot which is about 165 km away from Sasan Gir. The Junagadh railway station is well connected to all major cities in the country and is the closest railway station. Sasan Gir is about 53 km away from Junagadh. State buses as well as private sleeper buses ply between Junagadh and Sasan Gir.

Sasan 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 Maldhars of Gir is the Sorathi Rabari.

Siddis Gir is 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 Sasan Gir, there are villages of the Siddis, who are well known for their dances and other performances, and Nagarshi Pir at Jhambur nearby is a major shrine of the Siddi community.

The village has both the traditional house that is made of bricks and tiled roofs and a huge door that has a small door which is used for the house owners to move in and out. There are also modern houses which are painted in bright colours.

The main attraction of this village is the Gir national park and for one to be able to visit this sanctuary it is necessary to obtain a permit which is handed out at the national park itself. These permits are only handed out once in the morning and once in the afternoon and there are only a limited number of permits that are handed out each day.

There are plenty of accommodation options in and around Gir national park to suit all kinds of travellers from budget accommodation to splurge hotels and resorts.

The village of Sasan Gir is generally the place where all nature lovers and wild life enthusiast flock to during the month of November to the end of February. This is when the weather is cool and pleasant for wild life safaris in Gir national park.

Sasan Gir is the ideal place to set up base for people who wish to visit the Gir national park as Junaghad is too far and the travel to and fro is bound to make one weary.


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