Sasan Gir, best known as the land of Asiatic lions is also home to a host of other wildlife. The dense natural cover sustains over 300 species of birds and many other species of mammals, reptiles and insects.
Apart from the teeming wildlife, the wilderness of Gir supports the nomadic lifestyle of the maaldhari tribe as well as the Siddi comunity - an African-origin tribe settled in India.
The Gir National Park has an area of about 1295 square km and is located around 60 km to the south of the city of Junagadh. Accorded the status of a Sanctuary in 1965, Gir National Park supports a sizeable population of Asiatic lions, leopards, spotted deer, Nilgai, the chinkara gazelle and wild pigs. The vegetation is comprised mostly of teak and other deciduous trees and expanses of thorn forests.
Gir National Park is open to visitors through the months of October to June every year, and guided safaris of the park may be arranged via the Forest Department. For guests at the resort, a Safari can be arranged by the concierge.
The deciduous forests of Sasan Gir are home to a number of indigenous tribes and local communities that are deeply connected to the land. The maaldhari community and the Siddi tribe have lived here for generations - their culture, customs and habitats are as much part of the picturesque Sasan landscape as the famous lions.
The maaldharis are a pastoral community that make a living in the forests of Sasan Gir as cattle rearers and herders. In accordance with tradition, their lifestyle has not changed over the years. They live as their ancestors did - by grazing livestock and harvesting what they need from the forest.
An African origin ethnic tribe, the Siddis have lived in the Sasan Gir for centuries - their ancestors are said to have migrated from the east coast of Africa over five centuries ago. Their unique heritage is best expressed in their energetic Dhamal dance.
Sasan Gir offers a number of tourist attractions and getaways for enthusiastic travellers. Be it architecture, culture, wildlife or photography, there are a number of must-visit places within an easy drive of Woods at Sasan.
The erstwhile Postuguese town of Diu is a well-known destination. The Diu fort, the
Portuguese cathedral, the Naida caves and the delicious sea-food make it worth the visit.
Junagadh or ‘ancient fort’ has a history that is reflected in the architecture of the city. Monuments from the Jain, the Buddhist, the Hindu and the Islamic periods dot the city.
Mt. Girnar, a place of worship for both Hindus and Jains is another attraction.
The temple of Somnath, rebuilt many times over the centuries, is the first of the twelve jyotirlingas of Shiva. A venerated pilgrimage site, it stands at the junction of three rivers - the Hiran, the Kapila and the Saraswati.
A trip to the bustling fish market at the Veraval harbour to buy catch fresh off the boat. The entire beach is transformed into a beehive of activity as boats come in from the Arabian sea with fresh fry. You will enjoy this enthralling spectacle, even if you don’t care for eating fish!
Of stone, earth, rocks and hills, the Buddhist monastic dwellings radiate a stillness that reflects the inner peace within. Our trip takes you down a 2000-year-old memory lane from the era of Ashoka the Great, whence these brilliant specimens of rock-cut architecture were carved out.