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Old 5th December 2009, 11:05   #1
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Default Half day trip to Sasan Gir. (Everything but the lion)

Hi,

I have been deputed to Baroda in my current role and am on the verge of being redeployed in a different location. My mom and aunt decided that while I was in Gujarat they would like to do a Pilgrimage of Dwarka, Porbandar and Somnath. (2500 km in 7 days). Now, I am afraid I am not as religious as my parents, but dutifulness does not always call for cheerfulness. So I added two of my long time wishes to the list - Sasan being one of them. Now I had never seen the lion in the wild. So while I was in Somnath and Diu, it made perfect sense to detour to Gir for half a day. We reached Sasan late at night, rested in the Guest house. Wish I could have stayed for longer but mom had a flight to catch. And office duties beckoned me.

The RFO Guest house was booked well in advance and morning passes for a Gypsy Safari were taken. I thought I didnt want to risk being stuck in mud at the wheel of a TCiC 4x2 in the middle of the jungle with the king staring at me anticipating breakfast. Managed to say hi to all the king's courtsmen and ladies, but the king somehow did not give me the honour of his 'durbar'.

Hailing from a place like Assam where no Govt machinery works, I must say I am pretty impressed with the Gujarat Govt. The guest house was much more comfortable than the hotels we stayed in during the entire trip. The passes were given out at 6 in the morning. Gates to the forest opened at 7 sharp and all Gypsies are given designated routes. 700 was the cost of a Gypsy, 400 the forest pass, and 50 was the cost of a forest guide. Surprisingly no guns were given to the forest guards - in Kaziranga all carry guns (don't know if they work though). What is surprising is that I had to officially pay another 100 bucks as my camera was 7.2 megapixels (Sony H5). Any camera higher than 7.1 megapixels attracts the extra feel. Missing by .1 megapixel, how does that sound?

I will let pictures to further talking. I am no pro at photography, but the jungle is so beautiful and the contact with the animals so close that the pictures turned out well. Also had I taken my Safari (the Tata one) to the safari, I could not have taken these pics.

I NEED to go there again. Anyone wishing to join in please feel free to pm. Also if there are any better places in and around that area, request fellow BHPians to please post.

Mods - Please feel free to delete any picture you think is insubstantial.
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Old 5th December 2009, 11:22   #2
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A few more pics...

This was only a half day trip - 7 AM to 11 AM. Just imagine what can happen in 2-3 days.
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Old 5th December 2009, 17:58   #3
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very very good snaps. i was feeling as though i was seeing NGC pic.you can see so many animals is amazing. Even in bandipur/nagarhole you won't get this much animals to see.nice snaps and thanks
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Old 6th December 2009, 13:38   #4
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Realized the handicap of not having a full SLR when it always focused on the wrong object on zoomed objects. Now I have to buy the best DSLR I can afford after doing the necessary research.

I thought a Sony H5 was pretty cool when I got it in 2006. Let me see if I can do a manual focus. Will save me a good 40K.
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Old 6th December 2009, 20:05   #5
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Excellent pictures. Please post a detailed travelogue.

Do we need any special permit for visiting the forest. I think we went there couple of years back but could not go inside due to permit issues. Also, any contacts for booking the guest house will be helpful.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 7th December 2009, 10:24   #6
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Have more snaps of the wild safari. If yes then post some,and if not then vist the place once again and post them.
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Old 7th December 2009, 14:33   #7
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Can hardly write a travelogue on a half day trip. But sure, booking the guest house is simple.

1. Call up RFO Guest House and ask if rooms are available for date X. Tel: 02877 285540/1
(Its a listed number of a Govt. office, thought I could post it)
2. Send fax (to the same number - ask for fax tone) requesting accommodation.
3. Make draft for Rs.1500/night in the name of RFO GUEST HOUSE, SASAN GIR drawn at SBI Talala (Please mention the IFSC Code 60066, else you will find a draft made for SBI Talaja - 60026, which will not do).
4. Mail the draft to RFO Guest House, Sinh Sadan, Sasan Gir.

Oranising a Jeep (Gypsy) safari is pretty simple. The counter opens at 6AM when we make the payments. I have already mentioned the rates:

Gypsy - 700/-
Permit - 400/-
Camera >7.1 Megapixels - 100/-

The Guide then then take you to the designated Gypsy and the safari starts. The Guide has to be paid 50/- fee after the trip. They don't ask for tips, but if you had a good trip, its nice to be a little generous.

If you need to have breakfast after the trip at the canteen, mention it beforehand.

Have a great trip.
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Old 7th December 2009, 15:31   #8
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Your title suggests that you didn't get to see lions. Try going there before dawn and hang around some watering holes. Lions come there after their kill to quench their thirst.
Lions eat once in 20 - 22 hours. Once they had their food, it's all rest. They resign to a cool corner to digest that heavy food!
I have been to Gir 7 times. Seen lions on around 4 occasions. I even saw a stand-off between a lion and a nilgai.
Will post some photos from my old album later.
Talala is famous for mangoes. I used to buy basketfull of mangoes for under 100 bucks every week during the mango season. Go over to Diu (the watering hole for humans in a dry state), famous for scenic beaches.

Also check out the junagarh fort and take the 9999 step climb up. This is the perfect weather to climb up. There are over a 1000 temples there (you are not a temple guy, but these temples are amazing). And another place which I heard is amazing (but I missed) is palitana.

Last edited by MX6 : 7th December 2009 at 15:34. Reason: Adding more places to see
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Old 7th December 2009, 15:52   #9
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Hey nice one. It reminded me my old days.... I had been to that place lot many times. As I am from Junagadh.

There are many many places there just to name few: Tulsishyam, Kankai, Banej, Jamjir, Sataadhar etc. Though all are religious one, you will find a good wild life near by. TulsiShyam is the place from where, if you are lucky you can see lions daily evening or early morning as nearby water spot is there.

Anyone, pls. do PM me if you need any help in that area. Though I am in Bangalore, I can help you out a bit .
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Old 7th December 2009, 21:06   #10
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I have been there in june and was lucky enough to spot a lion . It was a single day trip since i was posted at rajkot.Will post pics on sunday
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Old 8th December 2009, 00:05   #11
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Here's me in front of the king of the jungle. On my feet. On the ground. around 8 - 9 ft away.
Was stupid. But I was young and crazy when this happened!
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Old 8th December 2009, 22:30   #12
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@HKB: Finally, a travelogue of a Sasan Gir trip! Been planning to post my own triplog (October 2007, way before I joined T-BHP), but too lazy to get things going, I guess. Now that yours is here, may I take this opportunity to post a link here, to the pictures of our trip. I hope you won't mind, nor consider this an attempt to hijack your thread!

Here's the link: Sasan Gir/ Gir Forest pictures from india photos on webshots.

Coincidentally, I also use a Sony - an H3. Try using spot focus, half press with subject in centre and hold shutter, then adjust your subject in the frame. The H3/H5/H7 are good cameras, and I am still learning to master all the settings and tweaks.
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Old 25th December 2009, 14:11   #13
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some pics from my visit to gir last summer
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Old 25th December 2009, 15:42   #14
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few more pics, this time its the big cat
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