The Royal Orient

 

Day 4 SaturdayAsiatic Lion

Sasangir - The Gir Lions

It is not only one of the most important wildlife sanctuaries in India, but also the only place in the world outside Africa where the lion can be seen in its natural habitat. The Gir Lion is a majestic animal, averaging 2.75 meters in length, and with a bigger tail tassel, bushier elbow ufts and more prominent belly-folds than his African cousin, who has a larger mane. He is more shaggy and lighter brown than the African Lion. Though both have hunting habits, while the African Lion has no aversion to feeding on carrion, the Gir Lion is too dignified to do it. Today the Gir forest is home to more than 312 lions. It also harbors a variety of other animals and birds: panthers, hyenas, the Indian Sambar, spotted deer, blue bull and Chinkara.

A crocodile farm has also been developed in Gir, which is one of the few remaining forests that comprise divergent habitats.

Ahmedpur-Mandvi - A Romantic Rendezvous

The Nawab of Junagarh set up a haven for romantic rendezvous at Mandvi, in a grove flanked by lush greenery, cooled by winds from the shores and serenaded by seagulls. The Nawabs and Their Begums (wives) are history but their seaside pleasure palace, renovated and updated with modern amenities, is open to visitors. 12km from the resort lies a virgin beach. It is a safe area for swimming and there is a host of water sport facilities like scooters, skiing ,surfing, Para-sailing and speedboat trips that are on offer here. The beach is white and firm, ideal for walks and with the seemingly unending sands and shallow water, it is a great spot for a family holiday.

Diu

A Sun , Sand and Sea Getaway

Across Ahmedpur Mandvi lies the island of Diu, a sensuous blend of sun, sand and deep blue sea. It is one of the country's finest beaches. Another cynosure at Diu is the Fort - an imposing statement of power and ancient war craft.

 

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