Western Ghats, Mangalore

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Western Ghats is also known as Sahyadri range. It is a mountain range which is spread across the western part of India. It is one of the longest ranges running through almost 5 states. It starts from Gujarat and Maharashtra, passes through Goa, Karnataka, Kerala and ends at Kanyakumari which is in Tamil Nadu with a length of 1600 km.

The hills of the ghats form the catchment area for drainage of rivers and forms about 40% of the drainage. It is a hotspot of diverse species of flora and fauna with 325 globally threatened species. Western Ghat has an average height of around 1200 m. Geologically, the Western Ghats are not mountains but the edges of the Deccan Plateau.

Western Ghats has a large collection of man-made lakes and reservoirs. Ooty Lake in Nilgiri hills and Kodaikanal Lake in Palani hills are famous lakes among these. Western Ghats serves as the origin for three perennial rivers like Godavari, Krishna and Kaveri which drains into the Bay of Bengal in the east.

During monsoon, numerous streams and rivers striding down the ghats form spectacular waterfalls, of which Jog Falls in the state of Karnataka is one of the greatest in the country. Western Ghats also acts as the barrier to the west side, barring the moisture laden winds flowing westwards.

Western Ghats is home to many tropical ecoregions. The Western Ghats is an important ecological system in our country almost equivalent to Himalayas, as it is a point of balance for the environment and climate of the whole country.

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