10 Incredible Natural Wonders of India’s Western Ghats

Western Ghats mountain range also called the Great Escarpment of India, runs parallel to the Arabian Sea at western coast of the Indian peninsula. The mountain range also known as Sahyadri is one of the 10 hottest biodiversity hotspots in the world and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The Western Ghats starts near Gujarat and ending at Kanyakumari, major gaps in the range are Palghat Gap,Goa Gap,narrow coastal plains Konkan coast the portion of Malabar. Sahyadri range is originating point of some of the large rivers of India including Krisha, Godavari,Periyar and Kaveri also home to largest waterfalls in India, Dudhsagar Falls and Jog Falls.

Anamudi Peak – Highest Mountain Peak

Anamudi-peak

Anamudi or elephant forehead is the highest mountain peak of the Western Ghats, at an elevation of 2,695 metres located in the region of Eravikulam National Park. The peak and the park is home to largest population of Nilgiri tahr,Nilgiri marten  and Indian elephants.

Meesapulimala
Doddabetta
Chembra Peak
Mullayanagiri

Palghat Gap – Low Mountain Pass

Palghat-Gap-Kerala

Palghat Gap is the low mountain pass between Coimbatore and Palakkad, runs along the entire eastern edge of Kerala. The gap is an important mountain pass in the Western Ghats, between the Nilgiri Hills to Anaimalai Hills.

Nilgiri Mountains

Kotagiri-Scenic-View-Nilgiris

The Nilgiri Mountains or Blue Mountains with Hills are part of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve and home to Doddabetta highest peak. Blue Mountains is home to 15 highest mountain peaks of Western Ghats, highest waterfall and highest number of flowering plants and wild animals.

Anaimalai Hills

Anamalai-Hills

Anaimalai Hills or Elephant Hills is a world heritage site under Anaimalai Sub Cluster and one of the main Hills or Western Ghats. The slopes of Anaimalai Hills have coffee and tea plantations region and the Sub Cluster is known for rivers, abundant wildlife and wild animals.

Cardamom Hills
Palani Hills
Agali Hills
Biligiriranga Hills

Kaas Plateau – Valley of Flower

Kaas-Plateau-Maharashtra

Kaas Plateau is the valley of flower, situated near the Satara city in Maharashtra under the Sahyadri Sub Cluster. This biodiversity hotspot is known for many species of butterflies,various types of seasonal wild flowers and different species of flowering plants.

Shola Kudremukh – Grassland

Shola-Forest-Nilgiri

Kudremukh mountain range and mountain peak of Karnataka is located located in Chikkamagaluru district. Shola Grassland found in the park and region of Kudremukh, also found in the higher altitude hill regions of the Nilgiris.

Savandurga – Rock Hill

Savandurga-hill-Rock

Savandurga Rock Hill is among the largest monolith hills in Asia, formed by two large hills known as Karigudda and Biligudda. The rock hill is home to many species of Butterfly, endangered bulbuls and vultures.

Kunchikal Waterfalls

Kunchikal-Falls

Kunchikal Falls formed by Varahi river, located near Udupi-Shimoga district in Karnataka. The Falls is a cascades type waterfall from a total height of fall is 455 meters, making it the highest waterfall in India and also in the Western Ghats, followed by Dudhsagar Falls near Goa,Meenmutty Falls and the most popular Jog Falls.

Dudhsagar Falls
Meenmutty Falls
Jog Falls
Barkana Falls
Thoseghar Waterfalls
Athirappilly Falls
Hogenakkal Falls
Shivanasamudra Falls

Protected Areas – National Parks

Nature-at-western-ghats

The mountains of the Western Ghats are the second most important shelter in the world for vulnerable species, including 325 globally threatened species. The area is ecologically sensitive and declared as world heritage sites, also a ecological hotspot.

Eravikulam National Park
Periyar Tiger Reserve
Silent Valley National Park
Mukurthi National Park
Kudremukh National Park

Wildlife Fauna

butterfly-Western-Ghats

The Western Ghats is home to large number of endangered animal species including Nilgiri tahr, Bengal tiger, lion tailed macaque,Nilgiri langur, Malabar large spotted civet,Indian elephants and major population of Reptiles,Amphibians,Molluscs,Insects and Birds. Almost five hundred species of birds are found in the region, 16 species of birds endemic to the Western Ghats including Nilgiri wood pigeon, Nilgiri flycatcher, Malabar blue winged parakeet and endangered rufous breasted laughingthrush.