The Western Ghats, which are also known as the Sahyadri Hills, are well known for their rich and
unique assemblage of flora and fauna.
The range is called Sahyadri in northern Maharashtra and Sahya Parvatham
in Kerala. In this article, we will know what is the difference between Western Ghats and Eastern Ghats.
While eastern Ghats are the mountain range that covers the eastern coastline of India. Eastern Ghat mountain range goes through Odisha, Andhra, Telangana, Karnataka, and Tamilnadu states. There are many difference between Western Ghats and Eastern Ghats as per climate, Geography, and wildlife.
Geology of the Western Ghats
There are two views regarding the Geology of the Western Ghats.
The mountains of the Western Ghats are blocks that are formed due to the
downwarping of a part of the land into the Arabian Sea.
The mountains of the Western Ghats are not true mountains but are the faulted
edge of the Deccan Plateau.
Major rocks found in the region include Basalt, charnockites, granite gneiss, chondrites,
leptynite, metamorphic gneisses, and detached occurrences of crystalline limestone, iron
ore, dolerites, and anorthosites.
The Western Ghats extend from the Satpura Range in the north, go south
past Goa, through Karnataka, and into Kerala and Tamil Nadu, ending at
Kanyakumari, embracing the Indian Ocean.
A chain of mountains runs parallel to India’s western coast, approximately 30–50
These mountains cover an area of around 140,000 km2 in a 1,600 km-long
Difference between Western Ghats and Eastern Ghats
|Western ghats are a series of mountains covering the western part of India.||Eastern Ghats are the mountain range that covers the eastern coastline of India.|
|Goes through Gujrat, Goa, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Kerala, and Tamilnadu.||Covers Odisha, Andhra, Telangana, Karnataka, and Tamilnadu.|
|Periyar, Bharathappuzha, Netravati, Sharavathi, Mandovi, Godavari, Krishna, and Kaveri are major rivers that originate from Western Ghat.||Major rivers are Brahmani, Godavari, Kaveri, Krishna, Mahanadi etc.|
|The arriving monsoon is felt by the western ghats.||Monsoon strikes in October, and November.|
|Nilgiri, Annamalai, and Cardamom Hills are the major mountains of the Western Ghats.||consist of Mahendra Giri and Malaya Giri ranges.|
Highest peaks in western Ghat
The Niligiri ranges, southeast of Mysore in Karnataka, meet the Shevaroys
(Servarayan range) and Tirumala ranges farther east, linking the Western
Ghats to the Eastern Ghats.
The peak of Anamudi in Kerala is the highest peak in the Western Ghats, as well
as the highest peak in India outside the Himalayas.
Famous hill station: This range is home to many hill stations like Matheran,
Lonavala-Khandala, Mahabaleshwar, Panchgani, Amboli Ghat, Kudremukh, and
Rivers in western Ghat
The rivers that originate in the Western Ghats and flow towards the
west are Periyar, Bharathappuzha, Netravati, Sharavathi, Mandovi, etc.
The west-flowing rivers of the Western Ghats are fast-moving in speed, owing to
the short distance traveled and steeper gradient.
This makes the Western Ghats more useful in terms of the production of
The rivers that originate in the Western Ghats and flow towards the
east includes the three major rivers Godavari, Krishna, and Kaveri, and many
smaller in size or tributary rivers such as Tunga, Bhadra, Bhima, Malaprabha,
Ghataprabha, Hemavathi, and Kabini.
Climate and Vegetation:
The forests of the site include some of the best representatives of non-
equatorial tropical evergreen forests anywhere and are home to at least
325 globally threatened flora, fauna, birds, amphibians, reptiles, and fish
species high montane forest ecosystems influence the Indian monsoon weather pattern.
The Nilgiri marten, brown palm civet, stripe-necked mongoose, Indian
brown mongoose, small Indian civet, and leopard cat are the small
carnivores living in the forests of the Western Ghats.
Many species are endemic, such as the Nilgiri tahr
(Hemitragus hylocrius) and the lion-tailed macaque (Macaca silenus). At least 325 globally threatened (IUCN Red Data List) species occur in the Western Ghats.
The globally threatened flora and fauna in the Western Ghats are
represented by 229 plant species, 31 mammal species, 15 bird
species, 43 amphibian species, 5 reptile species, and 1 fish species.
The Western Ghats are home to India’s two biosphere reserves, 13
National parks, several wildlife sanctuaries, and many Reserve
The Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve is the largest contiguous protected
area in the Western Ghats.
It comprised the evergreen forests of Nagarahole,
the deciduous forests of Bandipur National Park
and Nugu in Karnataka, and the adjoining regions of
Wayanad and Mudumalai National Park in the states of
Kerala and Tamil Nadu.
The Silent Valley National Park in Kerala is among the last tracts
of virgin tropical evergreen forests in India.
What are the Eastern Ghats? How many states do the Eastern Ghats cross? Which are the
most important mountains in the Eastern Ghats? Read here to learn more.
In the south, the Eastern Ghats are also referred to as Purva Ghat, Mahendra Parvatam, or
Kizahakku Thodarchi Malai. Compared to the Western Ghats, they are much older.
They receive less rainfall than the Western Ghats since they are parallel to the Bay of Bengal
What are the Eastern Ghats?
The Eastern Ghats are a collection of irregularly shaped low ranges that typically run parallel to
the Bay of Bengal’s shoreline from northeast to southwest.
With the isolated hill ranges lining the eastern edge of the Deccan plateau and coastal plain, they
are “tors” of geological antiquity.
The Dandakaranya region between the Mahanadi and Godavari rivers is home to the biggest
single sector, which is the relic of an old mountain range that was eroded and then revived.
States and Union Territories under the Eastern Ghats
The Eastern Ghats span an area of around 75,000 square kilometers as they cross the
Coromandel between latitudes of 11° 30′ and 22° N and longitudes of 76° 50′ to 86° 30′
The river Mahanandi basin serves as its northern boundary, and the river Cauvery serves
as its southern boundary. The Bastar, Telangana, and Karnataka plateaus’ tips, as well as
the Tamil Nadu uplands, are located to the west.
Its eastern portion is constrained by the Eastern Coastal Area.
The Eastern Ghats span southern Tamil Nadu, passing through sections of Karnataka,
from northern Odisha through Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.
Mountains in the Eastern Ghats
● The tallest mountain in the Eastern Ghats is Jindhagada, located near Araku, Andhra
● In the southwest, the hills become more gentle as the Godavari River cuts through a
gorge that is 65 kilometers (40 miles) long.
● The Eastern Ghats can be seen as a collection of low ranges and hills, including the
Erramala, Nallamala, Velikonda, and Palkonda, further southwest, beyond the Krishna
● The Eastern Ghats continue as the Javadi and Shevaroy hills to the southwest of Chennai
(Madras), where they converge with the Western Ghats.
● Due to fractured hills, the Eastern Ghats’ altitude is uneven from a topographic
perspective. The typical altitude is 600 m (2000 ft).
Rivers flowing through
● The Eastern Ghats are interwoven by major rivers like the Godavari, Krishna, and
● A number of small rivers rise in the Eastern Ghats and drain into the Bay of Bengal.
● Three major lakes are present: Chilka, Kolleru, and Pulicat lakes.
The climate of the Eastern Ghats
Red, Black, Laterite, and Alluvial soils are the most common types of soil in the Eastern
The region’s mean annual temperature ranges from a low of 14.5 °C to a high of 36.5 °C.
The tropical monsoon climate can be seen in the Eastern Ghats. Both the South-West and
northeast retreating monsoons bring rain to the area.
In the Northern Ghats, the mean annual rainfall distribution exceeds 1500 mm. In and
surrounding the Nallamalai highlands, it progressively drops to 1000 mm. Along the East
Coast’s Coastal plain, rainfall also tops 1000 mm.
Protected Areas in the Mountain Region
Some major protected areas are Simlipal, Coringa, Satyamangalam, Sri Lankamalleswara
wildlife sanctuaries, and Satkosia Tiger Reserve.
The important ecoregions consist of the Eastern Highlands moist deciduous forests, the
East Deccan dry evergreen forests, the Deccan thorn scrub forests, the shrublands, and
the South Deccan Plateau dry deciduous forests.
Biological Diversity in the Eastern Ghats
● Along its length on India’s East Coast, from south to north, this region comprises various
● Although the Eastern Ghats’ biospheres are not as well known as the Western Ghats, they
are still significant because of their abundant forests, perennial and semi-perennial
streams, and other natural resources.
● The forests include tropical dry scrub forests, dry savannah forests, semi-evergreen
forests, and dry evergreen forests, among others.
● Here you may find valuable trees including Eetti, Mahagony, Semmaram, Vengai, Pala,
● 2,500 flowering plants live in the range, protecting 13% of all flowering plants in India.
Additionally, they serve as homes for various bird, reptile, and insect species.
The biodiversity crisis of the Eastern Ghats
● Intensive agriculture: In these hills, large-scale monocultures of rice, coffee, tea, and
orchards are being grown, which is weakening the delicate ecosystem and removing
● Commercial activities: The natural topography of the Eastern Ghats is being
dangerously impacted by large-scale mineral exploration for bauxite and iron ores, their
transportation, and the transmission of power lines. For instance, Forests have been
indiscriminately destroyed as a result of the massive quantities of bauxite and magnesite
ore that have been removed from the Kolli Hills and Servarayan Hills.
● Over-exploitation: The over-exploitation of forests by plant-based industries, such as
plywood, paper, and pulp-making facilities, illegal firewood collection, illegal grazing,
and illegal tree cutting, is also contributing to their degradation. Denudation of hilltops is
occurring on a large scale as a result of the Chenchu tribes’ nomadic lifestyle in search of
● Logging: Trees like the fragrant and priceless sandalwood and rosewood have been
indiscriminately cut down and illegally removed by taking advantage of gaps in
conservation laws and other government regulations.
● Invasive species: The number of species in the Eastern Ghats has decreased as a result of
the invasion of alien species like Lantana Camara, which compete with native plants for
nutrients and space.
● Forest fires: The Ghats’ deciduous woodlands are particularly prone to forest fires.
Large fires are destroying the landscape more frequently due to rare precipitation. Fire-
cleared areas are further eroded by wind or become overrun by alien species.
● Climate change: By increasing the average annual temperature and the microclimate of
flora to levels unfavorable for their physiological activity, delayed and infrequent
monsoons, and frequent forest fires have reduced the quality of biodiversity.