Discovering India’s little known African tribe

Junagadh, Gujarat: It was a much-awaited trip to the Gir National Park, abode of the majestic Asiatic Lions. At the end of the two-day visit, not only did I come back enthralled at having spotted a pride of lions feasting on their kill in the wild but also fascinated at learning more about India’s little known African-origin tribe, the Siddis, living right outside its periphery.

At first, nothing seems out of the ordinary. Ashif, our guide for the jeep safari in Gir, was a friendly youngster, eager to answer questions and speaking fluent Hindi, while breaking into chaste Gujarati every now and then with the driver. There was no giveaway whatsoever.

As we drove through Talala, a little town nestling against Sasan in the Junagadh district of western Gujarat, it was hard to miss the marked…

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