Ibn Battuta once quoted, “Travelling - it leaves you speechless and turns you into a storyteller,” and no better sentiment can encapsulate the feeling of visiting one of the most colourful states in India, Gujarat. Reeling from transcendental chaos, the state has superseded to becoming a much-loved holiday spot because of its architectural delights, ethnic cities, endearing vibe and its food- truly a gastronomical rollercoaster.
And, Gujarat during the Navratri! Well, what a time! Grand events dot the entire state where you see people dressed their best- so charming and colourful. Popular singers croon to songs- old and new and everyone comes together to celebrate the divine power of ‘Shakti’ for nine nights- one for each of Her avatars. Visiting Gujarat during this time truly fills one's heart with joy and is possibly the most popular time of visiting this state.
Amidst these exciting avenues of the state, especially for a visitor, an often brushed aside aspect is Gujarat’s wildlife. Once you delve deeper into its rich flora and fauna, you unfold the multi-layered wilderness of this state that ranges from the lazy sloth bears to the overbearing Asiatic Lion in their natural habit.
Gujarat’s Wildlife - Decoded
So come aboard and take a plunge into this exciting wild world full of blooming flora and majestic fauna. These wildlife gems in Gujarat are worth your while in every way.
Gir Forest National Park: Established in 1965, the dry, deciduous forests of Gir, commonly known as Sasan Gir hide the most splendid wild creatures in the deep. On a safari in this jungle, more often than not, you come face-to-face with the beautiful Asiatic lion, probably the only place in India where you can still find them. To keep you going, there are about 38 species of mammals, over 37 species of reptiles and around 300 species of avifauna that you can find here. Another amazing sight here is the four-horned antelope, a herbivore species of Gir. Among other commonly spotted animals, you will find the Nilgai, Indian leopard, porcupines, and the monitor lizard. Bird species include the endangered Bonelli’s eagle, black-headed oriole and the Indian Pitta, among others. Nearest City: Somnath
Indian Wild Ass Sanctuary: In the little Rann of Kutch in Gujarat, sits a wildlife sanctuary in India, the Indian Wild Ass Sanctuary. It came under the Wildlife Protection Act in 1972 for being one of the last places on Earth to have the Indian Wild Ass- a sub-species of the endangered wild ass. Among other species, you may spot lizards, turtles, crocodiles, spiders etc. A sea line desert, visiting this sanctuary is a one-of-its-kind experience for anyone who gets saa chance to see around 32 species of animals here. Nearest City: Ahmedabad
Kutch Bustard Sanctuary: Known as the Lal-Parjan Sanctuary, Kutch Great Indian Bustard Sanctuary is one of two sanctuaries in Gujarat protecting the great bustard. The other one is in Jamnagar and has taken it upon itself, along with Kutch Bustard Sanctuary to preserve the heaviest flying bird belonging to the family of Otididae. Locally known as ‘Ghorad,’ the bird is found in three species here - the Lesser Floricans, the Houbara Bustards and the Great Indian Bustard (recorded endangered by the 2009 IUCN Red List Category). While traversing through the natural trails here, you may even spot the wolf, desert cat, caracal, striped hyenas, etc. Nearest City: Bhuj
Velavadar Blackbuck Sanctuary: A photographer’s paradise, the Blackbuck National Park in Velavadar was established in 1976 and was a famous hunting ground for blackbucks and cheetahs, back in the day, for the Maharajas of Bhavnagar. The grasslands, saline plains and muddy lands of the park is the perfect habitat for the Nilgai, the Indian Grey Wolf, Indian fox, Golden Jackal and the nocturnal striped hyena. A golden canvas with animals playing peek-a-boo, capturing natural beauty on your camera here is an interesting and a rather different experience. Also, an ideal spot for marine flora and fauna, the wildlife sanctuary has three artificial ponds, coastal marshes and two check dams. Birdwatchers especially enjoy a visit to this place with the Painted Francolin, Common Teal, Dalmatian Pelican, Cattle Egret, White Eyed Buzzard that can be easily spotted here. Nearest City: Ahmedabad
Marine National Park, Gulf of Kutch: Within the Marine National Parks lie the 42 islands on the Jamnagar coast. All of them surrounded by reef offer a surreal ambience to this national park where you will find ample marine life. Flora, ranging from sponges to corals and fauna, including seahorses, sea cucumbers, sea urchins, stingrays, bottlenose dolphins, Humpback whales, finless porpoises and sea snakes are all a part of its topography. The best-known island here is Pirotan. Nearest City: Jamnagar
Don’t worry if you just found out about Gujarat’s rich wildlife. Simply get packing and experience the wild side of this state- first hand!
Book your Lion Safari here
For more information on Navratri in Gujarat visit Gujarat Tourism.
For more information on Navratri packages visit Yatra.com