Important features of Western Ghats:
- The Western Ghats run parallel to the western coast of India.
- Important rivers such as the Tungabhadra, the Krishna, the Godavari have their origin point in the western ghats.
- Although most of the peninsular rivers drain into the Bay of Bengal, their origin point is the western ghats.
- The site’s high montane forest ecosystems influence the Indian monsoon weather pattern. Moderating the tropical climate of the region, the site presents one of the best examples of the monsoon system on the planet.
- It also has an exceptionally high level of biological diversity and endemism and is recognized as one of the world’s eight ‘hottest hotspots’ of biological diversity.
- 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, bird, amphibian, reptile and fish species.
- The Western Ghats include a diversity of ecosystems ranging from tropical wet evergreen forests to montane grasslands containing numerous medicinal plants and important genetic resources such as the wild relatives of grains, fruit and spices.
- They also include the unique shola ecosystem which consists of montane grasslands interspersed with evergreen forest patches.
- Anaimudi is the highest peak of the peninsular plateau and is located on the Anaimalai Hills of the Western Ghats.