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Pania Wildlife Sanctuary

This is a sanctuary established towards the northern section of the existing Gir forest. This sanctuary was accorded its status mainly to provide protection to the dwindling Chinkara numbers.  While the Gir Sanctuary towards its south and east boundaries form the habitat of the Chinkara, the northern half was exposed and needed protection.

This sanctuary got notified in 1989 and many of the Maldhari tribes are being evacuated from their places and shifted to other places so that the sanctuary is totally free of any human intervention and disturbance.

It is therefore not an exaggeration to say that the Pania Wildlife sanctuary is an extension of the Gir Sanctuary and that is good news since the lions and other animals would have a greater area to move about and feel protected.

This demarcation has been a master stroke by the park authorities.


One of the main reasons for notifying this area of the Gir Sanctuary into the Pania Sanctuary is t he undulating and hilly forests laden with thorny foliage. This kind of topography along with enough fodder is ideal for the Chinkara and though lions too can move about here, the thorny foliage is not something they would prefer and that increases the chances of the Chinkara breeding and increasing in numbers. This meets the objective of setting up the Pania Wildlife Sanctuary and the 40 sq kms of forest is more than enough for these animals to feel secure. The area is rich in fodder and grass but the lack of natural water resources has become an issue that the park authorities are trying to solve.


Plants like the catechu, bauhinia, lantana, bamboo and acacia abound here in plenty. There are depressions which hold thick vegetation and that suits animals like the Chinkara. A variety of animals and reptiles have been found here. Civets, fox, pangolin, porcupine, peafowl, python, hyena, blue bulls, wild boars and spotted deer roam about this forest with the leopard and lions visiting the forest occasionally. When you are on your vehicle doing the rounds, it would be quite a sight to suddenly spot the odd lion or leopard when you least expect them.

One of the dangers that are faced by these animals is intervention from humans due to their close proximity. Though they are being educated and told not to transgress into the forest, the Maldharis do venture into the forest for wood and for allowing their domestic animals to graze the thick vegetation. Invariably, there are conflicts which need to be managed. That is one of the main reasons why the park authorities are making a concerted effort to move these Maldharis out of the core areas.

How to Reach

You can get here by plane from Porbandar which is just 5 kms away. The nearest railway stations are Visavadar and Dhari which are 10 and 35 kms away respectively. You can also take the bus from Visavadar if you wish to travel by road.

Best Time to Visit

You would do well to visit this place in the period between November – March. Do not try to come here during peak summer which is April-May or during the monsoons from June – October. Sighting of animals during these times can be difficult and you may have to wait a long time. The park authorities also do not allow visitors to venture deep into the park during these times.

It is advisable to anyways carry lot of water when you are on safari inside the park. There is no point making a hasty visit and returning when you may be required to wait out time to spot animals. Moreover, taking in the jungle sounds and the environment is a unique experience that you must soak in and that is why sufficient food and water needs to be taken on the trip.

There are some points to remember when we are in the forest such as not smoking as cigarette butts have been the cause for many forest fires. We must also not carry a music system or any other sound making device as that can startle the animals. Do not carry pets as well into the park.

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Pania Wildlife Sanctuary
Pania Wildlife Sanctuary
Pania Wildlife Sanctuary
Pania Wildlife Sanctuary
Pania Wildlife Sanctuary
Pania Wildlife Sanctuary

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