Western Ghats

Western Ghats is a mountain range that runs through the states of Gujarat, Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu. Running parallel to the western coast and along the western edge of the Deccan Plateau, the hills cover over 1,60,000 square kilometre. And it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Western Ghats (also known as Sahyadri, meaning The Benevolent Mountains) is a mountain range that runs parallel to the western coast of the Indian peninsula, located entirely in India. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is one of the eight "hottest hot-spots" of biological diversity in the world. It is sometimes called the Great Escarpment of India. The range runs north to south along the western edge of the Deccan Plateau, and separates the plateau from a narrow coastal plain, called Konkan, along the Arabian Sea. A total of thirty-nine properties including national parks, wildlife sanctuaries and reserve forests were designated as world heritage sites - twenty in Kerala, ten in Karnataka, five in Tamil Nadu and four in Maharashtra.

The range starts near the border of Gujarat and Maharashtra, south of the Tapti river, and runs approximately 1,600 km (990 mi) through the states of Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu ending at Swamithoppe, near Kanyakumari, at the southern tip of India. These hills cover 160,000 km2 (62,000 sq mi) and form the catchment area for complex riverine drainage systems that drain almost 40% of India. The Western Ghats block southwest monsoon winds from reaching the Deccan Plateau.[6] The average elevation is around 1,200 m (3,900 ft).

The area is one of the world's ten "Hottest biodiversity hotspots" and has over 7,402 species of flowering plants, 1,814 species of non-flowering plants, 139 mammal species, 508 bird species, 179 amphibian species, 6,000 insects species and 290 freshwater fish species; it is likely that many undiscovered species live in the Western Ghats. At least 325 globally threatened species occur in the Western Ghats.

Geological studies have found the west coast broke away from Madagascar 100 million years ago and appeared as cliff with an elevation ranging at 3,300 feet. Anamudi, the highest peak here, is located in Kerala. Outside of the Himalayas, the mountain at an elevation of 2,695 is also the highest peak in India.

Western Ghats has many peaks that rise above 2,000 meters with Anamudi (2,695 m (8,842 ft)) being the highest peak. 

The Western Ghats extend from the Satpura Range in the north, stretching from Gujarat to Tamil Nadu. It traverses south past the states of Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka and Kerala. Major gaps in the range are the Goa Gap, between the Maharashtra and Karnataka sections, and the Palghat Gap on the Tamil Nadu and Kerala border between the Nilgiri Hills and the Anaimalai Hills. The mountains intercept the rain-bearing westerly monsoon winds, and are consequently an area of high rainfall, particularly on their western side. The dense forests also contribute to the precipitation of the area by acting as a substrate for condensation of moist rising orographic winds from the sea, and releasing much of the moisture back into the air via transpiration, allowing it to later condense and fall again as rain.