India is not only the land of the Maharajas but it is also the land of the king of the jungle -The Lion. Lion hunting sounds indistinct as it is now amongst the most endangered animal’s of the world. But if you really want to believe that lions still exits in the world, then head on for a India tour for the hunt of lions. India has, if not immense, but a decent number of this elusive creature of the big cat family. The Gir forest in India alone boasts a number of 300 lions in its forest complex. Indian Government is making intensive efforts to bring the lions closer to humans in order to extend awareness about the endangered status of the Asiatic Lions. Hence, the royal wild comes closer to the human periphery to befriend. The lions are not afraid of vehicles or people, these safaris can offer very intimate views of wild king.
Following are the best enjoyable lion safaris in India
Gir National Park and Sanctuary, Gujarat
Gir National Park is the sole surviving natural habitat of the endangered Asiatic Lions. The 116 square-mile Gir sanctuary lies in the southwest of the peninsular state of Gujarat. It was established to protect the last wild population of Lion outside the African regions. Since 1913 the number of lion population fell drastically to 20, now it has again risen to 300. Gir National Park is the best option to go for a Lion Safari, as it has the highest concentration of Lions compared to other sites in India. Jeep Safari is the best way to observe the big cats in their natural habitat. The best time is to visit at dawn and dusk, when they are on the hunt. Lion viewing in the Gir’s is best done by driving in a jeep around the forest. On the way you will get several other wild species too. Gir National park can be visited throughout the year, though the best time is between the months of November and June.
Sanjay Gandhi National Park, Maharashtra
Located in the northern part of suburban Mumbai city in Maharashtra, the main attraction of the Sanjay Gandhi National Park is the lion safari. It’s a large protected area and receives a regular influx of tourists since its inception. Other than a lion safari, which is the prime attraction, you can also experience a Tiger Safari which is a newly added attraction in the 20-hectare area in the recreational zone of the park. Other than this the forest area of the Park is a home to 251 species of migratory birds, 1000 plant species, land and water birds, 40 species of mammals and 38 species of reptiles.
Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary, Kerala
Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary is the most protected ecological piece of Anamalai sub unit of Western Ghats in the Palakkad district of the state of Kerala. Established in 1973, the sanctuary is one of the major Lion safari sites of Kerala and through out the country. Other than this it is also home to 4 different tribes of indigenous people. Parambikulam also houses the largest population of Gaur or Indian Bison. Crocodile Rearing Centre and a Deer Farm are the other wildlife conservation attractions of this park.
Nehru Zoological Park
Situated in Hyderabad, Nehru Zoological Park offers both Lion and tiger safaris. Also known as the Hyderabad Zoo, the park is also one of the largest zoos in India. The 380 acre zoo was established in the in 1963 and named after the first prime minister of the country, Jawaharlal Nehru.