Top Tourist Attractions Places To Travel In India | Western Ghats Destination Spot – Tourism in India
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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 kilometres 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 square kilometres 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.
The average elevation is around 1,200 metres.
The Western Ghats are home to thousands of animal species including at least 325 globally threatened species.
There are at least 139 mammal species.
Of the 16 endemic mammals, 13 are threatened and amongst the 32 threatened species include the critically endangered Malabar large-spotted civet, the endangered lion-tailed macaque, Nilgiri tahr, Bengal tiger and Indian elephants, the vulnerable Indian leopard, Nilgiri langur and gaur.
The major population of snake family Uropeltidae of the reptile class is restricted to the region.
The region has significant population of vulnerable Mugger crocodiles.
The amphibians of the Western Ghats are diverse and unique, with more than 80% of the 179 amphibian species being endemic to the rainforests of the mountains.
As of 2004, 288 freshwater fish species are listed for the Western Ghats, including 35 also known from brackish or marine water.
There are at least 508 bird species.
Most of Karnataka’s five hundred species of birds are from the Western Ghats region.
Of the 7,402 species of flowering plants occurring in the Western Ghats, 5,588 species are native or indigenous and 376 are exotics naturalised and 1,438 species are cultivated or planted as ornamentals.
At least 325 globally threatened species occur in the Western Ghats.
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