Gir also has places of Hindu worship and pilgrimage and
sulphur springs at Tulsi Shyam and Kankai Mata. At
the edge of the park there are good populations of Indian Gazelle, protected by the religious sentiment
of the local people. The Kamleshwar Lake has a few Marsh Crocodiles. Birds in the park include the Paradise
Flycatcher, Bonelli’s Eagle and Painted Sandgrouse. Three unusual reserves, the Nalsarover Lake and Sanctuary,
where a large numbers of water-birds can be seen; the bare saline flats of the Rann of Kutch, incredibly
the home of the Indian wild ass and the spectacular Flamingo Island where nesting colonies of flamingoes
are to be seen, make Gujarat an exciting place for wildlife enthusiasts. Gir has some of the largest
panthers imaginable. Other wildlife to look out for are the Four-Horned Antelope (the only four-horned
ungulate in the world), Indian gazelle (chinkara), Spotted Deer (Chital), Blue Bull (Nilgai), Wild Boar,
Wolf, Hyena, Jackal, Jungle Cat, Hare and other mammals found in the forest.
Apart from spotting a wide array of birds and animals, Gir is also a great place to interact with local tribes.
The main tribe is a nomadic pastoral community called
Maldhari, who live in scattered settlements called nesses. Gir is also home to a Negroid community
known as Siddis, who are African in origin but speak the local language of Gujarati. Gir with its lakes,
open scrub country, dry deciduous and tropical thorn forests is a complete wild-life lover’s paradise.