Day 1 - 11 Apr 2018
Content: We decided to visit Gir National Park in Gujarat. Gir exists as a unique spot in every wildlife travelers list. The density of lions in Gir national park has been increasing year on year due to the diligent efforts of the forest department was one of the reasons to choose this destination. As per our plan, we landed at Diu Airport. The nearest airport to Gir is located at Diu and Rajkot. Both these airports are well connected to cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, and Ahmedabad. Diu Airport is a domestic airport situated at Diu in the Union Territory of Daman and Diu. We met our tour representative at the gate. He welcomed us very friendly and dropped us at the hotel.
Day 1 - 11 Apr 2018
Content: We checked in to the Asiatic Lion Lodge, a charming property amidst the dense forest of Gir. It is the perfect spot to explore Gir National Park. Their lovely forest stays for travelers made our days memorable. Their cottage interiors are attractive with interesting paintings. The rooms are very clean and well-furnished. We had lunch at their restaurant. The food was homely as well as delicious. The meals include major Gujarati special dishes. We enjoyed the food and took some time to rest.
Content: The hotel staff helped us to hire a car for the Forest Department Guest House, where an entry permit for Gir Sanctuary can be obtained. Sinh Sadan Orientation Centre located 5 minutes away from the park’s main gate opened from 7 AM to 11 AM, and from 3 PM to 5:30 PM to issue the permit. It is better to obtain an e-permit through the online website. It is mandatory to obtain a permit before entering for safari.
Content: After obtaining a permit, we headed to Kamleshwar dam. It is located inside Sasan Gir premises National Park. It is the perfect viewpoint for watching the sunset into the clear blue waters. The view of sun setting slowly in between expansive lush green forest. It is highly dangerous to spend an evening without a knowledgeable guide in the forest. We got glimpses of the sun setting view from the car itself, then return to our accommodation and had dinner.
Day 2 - 12 Apr 2018
Content: This was the main day of our trip diary. We started our day early in the morning to greet the royal Lions in Gir National Park. From the forest department office, we transferred to a jeep that took us deep into the forest. The morning safari timing was 6 AM to 9 AM. The other time slots: 9 AM to 12 PM and 3 PM to 6 PM are available for the safari into the forest. The gypsy safari is the only option to take the jungle trail, a safari into the forest took about 3 hours long. As the gates opened, our jeeps started to enter the core of the forest. The path was uneven and our jeep slowly trudged into the forest. The ground was filled with twigs from the dry trees around the forest. We were very curious to spot various wild animals. On the way, our jeep stopped suddenly where we met a person in a uniform. From our jeep driver, we came to know that he was the caretaker of lions in the forest. From the driver we heard many stories regarding their profession. As soon as we heard a whistling sound from the caretaker, the environment became very silent. It was the signal that he was summoning the lions. After 15 minutes of waiting our hope has faded away, but suddenly there was a suppressed roar. At a long distance, we could saw a lioness walked proudly with her cubs. The caretaker stood relaxed by observing each step of the lioness. She was slowly approaching our jeeps, as soon as shutters started clicking. For the first time in our life, we glorified the beauty of a lioness. Then, our jeep slowly moved ahead. On the way, we saw many deer jumping around the forest. The most surprising thing we noticed was the small cottages right in the middle of the forest. From the driver, we learned that they were the Maldhari tribe, settled in the forest for years. We returned to the gate and transferred to a car.
Content: Gir has the largest population of marsh crocodiles as compared to anywhere else in the country. We went to visit those marsh crocodiles in Crocodile Breeding Farm. It’s located inside the Forest Department office complex, within walking distance of Sinh Sadan Orientation Centre. After some time, returned to accommodation for lunch.
Content: Afternoon the staff provided snacks along with hot tea and coffee. We enjoyed delicious snacks in a dedicated area. We saw a few swings meant to engage kids in front of the hall where we spend tea time.
Content: Then, we left again to visit Devalia forest park or Gir Interpretation Zone. It is a small protected area of Gir Jungle Trail. We felt like a picnic spot at the moment we entered the park. There is an information center right inside the park, where we booked our safari. We could opt for any one of two modes of safari available: Jeep Safari and Bus Safari. As per the advice us to opt for a bus safari. He said that taking a tour on the bus gives you better chances of sightings and is much cheaper than a jeep safari. Inside the park, we saw many statues as well as many activities for kids. One of the statues that attracted our eyes was the statue of a Lion family, a Lion with his Lioness and cub. Then we walked further through the beautiful walkway. We entered the bus along with many travelers. Spotting a lion is guaranteed in this safari driver said. We spotted a leopard too which was kept in an enclosed area within the area. We spotted some lions on the way. But we felt Devalia safari park was not as exciting as the morning jeep safari. After the safari, the bus dropped us at the gate from there we transferred to the hotel by car.
Day 3 - 13 Apr 2018
Content: After breakfast, we checked out of the hotel and headed to Gir National Park to visit the village. The breakfast was very pleasant and simple.
Content: We headed to visit tribal settlements in the park. Undoubtedly one of the most interesting things to do around Gir is a visit across the villages. The Maldharis Tribe Visit & Siddis Tribal Visit allowed learning about the culture and art forms of them. It is must to visit them with a guide. For visiting tribal people we transferred to a jeep from the gate with a friendly guide. He gave all information about the settlements. We met some people on the way.
Day 3 - 13 Apr 2018
Content: We moved towards one of the most popular religious spots in Gujarat. Somnath is a coastal city, the main destination was Somnath Temple. It was a popular pilgrim site. We reached the temple by noon, the complex was very attractive with red stones. The temple was clean and well-maintained. We walked to the locker room where we could keep our bags and belongings. There were many visitors but no queue system so that we could easily pass the security check. We could see the temple complex on the backdrop of the Arabian Sea. We struggled to catch a view of the simple but beautiful inner sanctum. The idol in the temple was in the middle of the temple without anything to support it from below, or suspend it from above. It was better to visit in the late evening so that we can witness the Aarti ceremony. We saw a pillar by the sea with an arrow that points to the South Pole. We had an incredible experience but we missed the Aarti ceremony.
Day 3 - 13 Apr 2018
Content: We moved to Diu Island, which is located just 110km away from Sasan Gir. It was the good decision to opt for cooling off on the beaches and explore historical forts in the island. It is situated in the southern coast of Gujarat. We decided to explore one day in the island. We checked into Radhika Beach Resort, an excellent option for tourists visiting Diu. They offered a family-friendly atmosphere. This 3 star property located at the heart of the town. They offered well maintained room with a view of the lush garden or the pool. Their deluxe comfort was perfect for a couple. We enjoyed dinner at the restaurant.
Day 4 - 14 Apr 2018
Content: We dedicated the last day of our trip to explore the historical town. After fresh up and free breakfast from the hotel, we headed to the first destination, Diu Fort. It was built by the Portuguese, which is a great landmark for architecture and the human mind. The fort was surrounded by the Arabian sea on three sides. It was located collectorate Office of Daman and Diu. The Fort accommodates a lighthouse which is also the highest point of the city and three small yet beautiful churches. The view from the lighthouse is striking. Then we moved to Diu Museum.
Content: Diu museum was once a church was converted into a museum. It was previously known as St. Thomas Church. Now it showcases the historical artifacts used in the colonial era. The photography was not allowed inside.
Content: The next destination was another important landmark in the town, Naida Caves. It is a unique cluster of man-made caves. It looks unique with its picturesque rock formations. The sunlight filtering through the canyons is a sight to view. Exploring the Naida Caves was too much fun-filled. These caves have a natural opening in the ground. We spend an hour and headed to Chakritirath Beach to view the sunset. We spend remaining time on the shore of the beach to experience sunset and calm water splashing. By 7 pm, we headed to the airport to catch our flight to our hometown.