Sasan Gir is home to the world-renowned Gir Forest, the natural habitat of the Asiatic Lion. The Gir National Park and Sanctuary has a scenic charm and covers an area of 1412 square km of dry deciduous forest. The tranquillity of the Gir Forest, with its splendid flora and fauna, is a nature lover’s delight.
Although not well known, there have been Africans living in India for nearly 700 years. They are the African Sufis of Gujarat who arrived in India as slaves to the Maharajas and Nawabs in the 13th century. They were in high demand as they proved to be trusted servants and became something of a status symbol in many Indian and Parsi households. Some of them are believed to have come to India as special servants in the courts of Muslim Nawabs and Sultans while some came as herbalists and midwives. A few brought by Indian merchants returning home from Africa and a few brought as slaves, especially in the Portuguese territories.
Along the way, they lost their language, culture and the knowledge of their country’s lore. However, they have kept African traits and certain forms of rites and rituals of worship seen in their dance and music. Though they sing in Swahili, a lot of the time, they do not know the meaning, as the songs were passed down from their forefathers. There are about 250,000 Afro-Indians, i.e., Indians of African origin inIndia, settled in the state of Gujarat bordering Pakistan. Many of them still look African but speak Hindi and have Indian passports.