The ghats of India become one of the most liked areas for questioning in the civil services examination by the UPSC. It is an important segment of the Geography portions in the UPSC syllabus. This is because this region is rich in its natural beauty, natural resources and carries a big population of the country. 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 :
- The Great Himalayas
- The Northern Plains
- The Indian Desert
- The Peninsular Plateau
- The Coastal Plains
- The Island groups
The peninsular plateau which lies to the south of Narmada river is a triangular landmass which is bordered by both sides from the ghats. On its western border it has the western ghats and on the eastern border are the eastern ghats. We can further understand the western and eastern ghats of India one by one.
Difference between Western Ghats and Eastern Ghats UPSC
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. The highest peak is the Anai Mudi.
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 western ghats is the Mahendragiri. The difference in the elevation levels of the highest peaks in both the ghats can also be compared. Anaimudi which is the highest peak of the western ghats has a height of 2695 mts whereas Mahendragiri of eastern ghats is of 150 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 the Rice, which is also the staple food of the people living in the region.
Eastern Ghats and Western Ghats meeting point
It must be noted that the Western and the Eastern Ghats meet at the Nilgiri hills.