Monday, August 21, 2017

Asiatic Lions at Gir

Asiatic Lions are found only in Gir Forests of Gujarat. They have been marked as Endangered in the IUCN Red List of threatened species. The approximate population of the lions is between 300 - 400.

In Gir Sanctuary went for Jeep Safari in an open jeep and we could see some birds flying around. We spotted pride of Asiatic Lions in a small open area in the forest.

They are very similar to the African lion in physical size and appearance, though they are somewhat smaller. The height at the shoulders is approximately 3.5 ft The mane of the male lions is short, sparse and darker in color. 

The fur ranges in color from ruddy tawny, heavily speckled with black, to sandy or buff-grey. They have a very unique longitudinal fold of skin that runs along their belly. 

They live in prides, that include only two to five females each. The different jeeps in the Safari take different predefined routes inside the forest. We were one of the few lucky ones who could spot the lions in our route.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Pandava Caves, Aravelam

The ancient Caves in Aravelam is must visit place for history buffs. These 6th century caves are small that have 5 compartments. The Buddhist monks have carved these caves out of a single hard laterite rock. 

These caves are also known as the Pandava caves as it is believed that Pandavas have stayed here at some point during their 12 year exile as described in the Mahabharata.

At a later period these caves have been converted to shaivite caves. 

Shivlings carved out of granite of different shapes and sizes have been placed in each of these caves. These Shivlings are placed on raised platforms.