Western and Eastern Ghats of India - UPSC GS-I Notes

The Deccan plateau of India is one of the main landmasses and is studied as one of India’s physiographic divisions. It is bordered by the Western Ghats on its west and the Eastern Ghats on its east. These ghats make an important section in the Geography syllabus of IAS Exam. While the Western Ghats are continuous mountain ranges called Sahyadri; Eastern Ghats are discontinuous mountain ranges.

This article will mention the difference between Western Ghats vs Eastern Ghats with key facts about both for UPSC.

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Relevant Facts about the Western Ghats and Eastern Ghats for UPSC

The important facts about the Western Ghats for UPSC are mentioned in the table below:

Western Ghats  
1. There are different local names of Western Ghats:

  • Sahyadri in Maharashtra
  • Nilgiri hills in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu
  • Anaimalai Hills and Cardamom hills in Kerala
2. The Western Ghats is an elevated and continuous range of mountains
3. The average elevation of Western Ghats is about 1,500 m
4. Western Ghat is the origin of various Peninsular rivers

Read in detail about the Western Ghats in the linked article.

The important facts about the Eastern Ghats for UPSC are given in the table below:

Eastern Ghats 
1. Eastern Ghat is discontinuous and low-height mountain ranges
2. Rivers like Krishna, Kaveri, Mahanadi, Godavari erode the Eastern Ghats
3. Javadi Hills, Palconda range, Nallamala hills, Mahendragiri hills make some of the important mountainous hills of Eastern Ghats

Difference between the Western Ghats & Eastern Ghats

Western Ghats

  • The Western Ghats are also known as Sahyadri in certain parts of India.
  • They run parallel to the western coast of India.
  • Since they are continuous without any major breaks, hence it is very difficult to pass through them. Although this difficulty has been reduced in the present times due to the advanced transport technology, however in the olden days, it was definitely a huge task to pass the ghats and get onto the opposite side.
  • However, the western ghats do have passes such as the Bhor ghat, Pal ghat, and Thal ghat which makes it possible to travel through the western ghats despite the fact that they are continuous.
  • Although most of the peninsular rivers drain into the Bay of Bengal, their origin point is the western ghats.
  • Important rivers such as the Tungabhadra, the Krishna, the Godavari have their origin point in the western ghats.
  • It must be noted that the western ghats of India play a very important role in the distribution of the monsoon rainfall on the western border of India.
  • It causes the orographic rainfall due to which the windward side of the mountains receives a lot of rainfall, however, the leeward side remains dry.
  • The western ghats consist of evergreen forests too, however, the main crop grown there is the Coffee.
  • Anaimudi is the highest peak of the peninsular plateau and is located on the Anaimalai Hills of the Western Ghats.
  • The highest peak in the Western Ghats is Anaimudi and its elevation is 2695 meters or 8842 ft. It is known as Everest of South India. The name Anaimudi translates as Elephant’s head. It is located at the border of Ernakulam and Idukki District of Kerala.

Eastern Ghats

  • The eastern ghats run parallel to the eastern coastal plains of India.
  • Unlike the western ghats, they are discontinuous in nature and is dissected by the rivers that drain into the Bay of Bengal. As discussed above, most of these rivers have their origin in the western ghats.
  • It must be noted that the eastern ghats are lower in elevation than the western ghats.
  • The highest peak of Eastern Ghats is the Jindhagada peak (1690 meters). It is also known as Arma Konda or Sitamma Konda.
  • The difference in the elevation levels of the highest peaks in both the ghats can also be compared. Jindaghara of eastern ghats is of 1690 mts. This gives us a fair idea of the differences in elevation levels of the hills in both the ghats.
  • The main crop produced in the eastern ghats is Rice, which is also the staple food of the people living in the region.

Physiographic Divisions of India

India being a rich and diverse country is also diverse in its landforms. India’s landmass can be divided into different physiographic divisions such as :

  1. The Great Himalayas
  2. The Northern Plains
  3. The Indian Desert
  4. The Peninsular Plateau
  5. The Coastal Plains
  6. The Island groups

Read about Physiographic Division of Great Plains of India in the linked article.

To understand differences between other Geography related topics visit the given below links.

Difference between the Western Ghats and the Eastern Ghats – UPSC Notes:-Download PDF Here

Candidates reading about the difference between the Western Ghats & Eastern Ghats, are suggested to also read a few other important Geography topics linked in the table below:

Monsoon in India Structure of Atmosphere Types of Rainfall Highest Peaks in States of India
Rainfall Distribution in India Exogenic Processes Geomorphic Processes

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