The local maharaja was responsible for setting up the sanctuary a century ago, after it was realized the local population of lions had been hunted to the point of extinction in the early twentieth century. Over 400 Asiatic lions now survive in the wild – all of them in the Sasan Gir National Park in southern Saurasthra, Gujarat. The reserve is close to the coast and sightings are regularly reported of lions lounging on remote beaches, much to the surprise of visiting sun worshippers.
Several fascinating religious sites, including Mount Girnar and Junagadh, also lie within range of day trips, and a visit to see the Asiatic lions can be included in any tailor-made itinerary of Gujarat.
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