Devaliya National Park also referred to as the ‘Gir Interpretation zone’ is an area carved out as a distinct eco-tourism locale allowing tourists to view lions as well as the other rare wild animals of Gir within a short time span and against cheaper charges. Devaliya, in other words, is a part of Gir National Park and it allows the facility of reserving the population of wild animals within an area segregated with Ha Chain linked fences. This attempt has been made by the eco-tourism department to lessen the tourist pressure on Gir as a whole and to increase the chances for tourists to view the wild animals.
It is an area carved out of Gir National Park to allow tourists with the exclusive privilege of viewing lions and other wild animals. It falls within Gujarat’s Junagadh district and in the vicinity to Sasan Gir village which is only about 12kms away from Devaliya National Park. Devaliya National Park remains open for tourists from Monday-Saturday. No safaris or visit are allowed on Sundays. In the morning hours the park services open at 8 am and close at 11 am while in the evening time the services open at 3 pm and close at 5 pm. To explore Devaliya National Park one has to get a permit first. Permits are generally issued from the tourist reception centre. These days however visitors can get their permits online and that saves them from the hassle of waiting in lengthy, serpentine queues for permits. By availing the services of the online Gir Permit booking system, one can book the permits quite in advance and pay easily for them via credit card payment. But it needs to be borne in mind that permits done online are non-refundable in nature. The ideal time to visit Devaliya is between months December and March. When the weather is too hot; i.e. around months April and May, it may be difficult for one to travel due to the blazing sun and scorching heat but that is actually the time when one can spot lions quite easily as those royal beasts would come out in the open in search of water. There are umpteen accommodation options around the Devaliya National Park. Accommodation options range from medium range to budget to luxury hotels and also to the forest lodges administered by the forest department. Lion shows at Devaliya National park are pre-arranged shows organized by the forest department. Lion shows heighten your chances of visualizing the much-awaited ‘big cats’. Spotting a prowling lion needs enough guts and patience on the part of the visitor as lions don’t always come out in the open and one may not be sure when they would. When you are embarking on a safari tour of Gir National Park, there’ll be many restrictions imposed upon you such as restrictions related to specific timings, speed limits, no-horn zones etc. But that is not the case with Devaliya National Park. In the Devaliya area, you can free lions anytime and every time during the lion shows!