History & Culture in Gir

<div style="text-align: justify; ">Sasan Gir was known as Gir National Park in 1975. In the past it was the first forest which contained huge numbers of Asiatic Lions which were found in their natural habitat. However Sasan Gir was controlled by British people, Kings and Nawabs who were all very proud of killing lions before the Independence of India.&nbsp;</div><div style="text-align: justify;">The Gir national park is the only place apart from Africa where you can see wild lions. The history of Gir begins in the 19th century when the rulers of Indian states use to welcome British colonists for hunting expeditions. Later at the end of the 19th century, only a few Asiatic lions were left in India, and all of those lions were in Gir forest. Back then it was a part of Nawab of Junagadh’s personal hunting grounds. British viceroy noticed the drastic decline of the lions in Gir and brought it to the notice of the Nawab of Junagadh who was the one who established the sanctuary. And now at present it is the only area in Asia where Asiatic lions are found. Sasan Gir is now considered as the most protected areas in Asia. It has rich biodiversity. With its variety of flora and fauna, the Gir ecosystem is taken care of by the government forest department, wildlife activists and NGO’s. It is now known as the jewel of Gujarat’s ecological resource.&nbsp;</div><div style="text-align: justify;">In 2005, 52 Asiatic lions existed in the wild leaving the population on the verge of extinction. Fortunately conversion efforts have resulted in major population increase with around 500 lions now.&nbsp;</div><div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><b>Culture:&nbsp;</b></div></div><div style="text-align: justify;">The Gir forest culture follows a cycle with traditions and current lifestyle. The national park has more of nomadic culture. The local tribes reside in the forest for eight months and relocate to the close towns in the monsoon season. One of the important events celebrated annually is Krishna Janmashthami. Most of the weddings in the area take place on this day and it is more like a festival for the tribes.&nbsp;</div><div style="text-align: justify; ">Culture of Gir is majorly visible in its traditional customs, cuisines, art and architecture. There is a village called Sirvan where Siddhi people reside. Lately siddhi people chase some original traditions with the omission of Damal Dance. This dance form is actually similar to Ngoma drumming and dance form of Africa.</div>