Anubhav for Class XI

Gir Forest- Outdoor Lab

Gir National Park & Wildlife Sanctuary is a 1412 sq km hilly tract of dry deciduous forests, acacia scrub, evergreen and semi-evergreen flora and grasslands, fed by rivers and streams. Gir forest is the only place in the world, outside Africa, where the lion can be seen in its natural habitat. The forest also harbours a variety of smaller animals and birds. Other predators are the powerful Panther and the ungainly striped Hyena. The largest Indian Deer, Sambar, Chital (spotted deer) Nilgai (blue bull), Chinkara and the unique Chowsingha (four horned antelope) are found here, along with the bear and the long tailed langur. The beautiful Peacock, India's national bird, with its resplendent plumage is among the common birds in Gir. Another attraction is a crocodile farm developed in the forest.

Learning Opportunities

Gir forest is the only home for the surviving small population of Asiatic Lions in the world. Students would get a chance to probe the prevailing situation, the conservation efforts by the forest department and the need to do more for the guaranteed survival of this magnificent animal.  A special session would be utilized to discuss the issue of development ( need for farming, water for drinking, & agriculture and expansion of industry) at the cost of environment.  A trip to the Interpretation Zone, Devaliya, 12km from Sasan Gir would guarantee a breathtaking sighting of the lions.

Gir is the home of the Maldharis, a term used for the many Hindu and Muslim pastoral groups of the area. The Maldhars live in traditional settlements called nesses and tend Jafrabadi buffalos, Gir cows and other livestock. Some of them also have camels, sheep and goats. Among the best-known pastoral groups of Gir is the Sorathi Rabari.

Student would visit one of the nearest villages and probe in to the situation, ask questions, gather information on most relevant issues of life in a village like hygiene, education, health, economy etc. Proper guidance would be given to the students before they visit the village. However the students are expected to do visit the village without any preconceived ideas, with a clean slate. As per the prescribed syllabus, the pupils at the higher secondary education level must be provided motivation and training opportunities to develop proper attitude towards rural development and community service.

Based on the results of the first visit to the village, students would be encouraged to take up sessions with the village children and women for enhancing their hygiene and health conditions. It is expected that students would identify hygiene and health as the major cause for concern during their visit. If they identify any other issue as more relevant, this session would be utilized to make awareness regarding such issues among the village children and women.

Students would be taken to Somnath Temple, one of the most ancient temples of India that is also known for the frequent invasions from foreigners. Home to one of the 12 Jyotirlings of India, the temple city of Somnath or Prabhas Patan is situated the coast of Arabian Sea. This visit would enable them to understand the cultural values and also about the historical importance of religion, wealth and invasions.

Siddis are a community with African origins. Believed to have come from African countries as mercenaries, slaves and labour force, the Siddis grew to become powerful generals; some of them even became rulers. In Gir, there are villages of the Siddis, who are well known for their dances and other performances. Learning about life style and people of a particular area can be done through cultural interaction. Artists and youngsters would be invited from the nearby villages to perform the Dhamal Dance at the campsite. Students would also be encouraged to participate along with the villagers.

Image Gallery Class XI