The Western Ghats: a gem of Indian nature and UNESCO heritage

By Tychyna TetianaJan 27, 2024 13:11 PMNews
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The Western Ghats: a gem of Indian nature and UNESCO heritage
The Western Ghats. Source: wikipedia

The incredible Indian mountain range, the Western Ghats, stretches parallel to the west coast and extends for about 1600 km. This picturesque area is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the largest biodiversity hotspots on the planet.

The Western Ghats mountain range has long been characterized by many unique features, as noted by the Times of India. It is important to highlight that a large number of plant and animal species found here are endemic and are not found anywhere else in the world.

This unique region is home to many endemic species. Some of the most famous are the Malabar great spotted civet, the Nilgiri tahr, the lion-tailed macaque, the purple frog, and the endangered Amboli frog.

The Western Ghats are known for their evergreen forests, which create the overall green cover of the region. These forests are vital for maintaining ecological balance and supporting diverse wildlife.

Along with the evergreen forests, the Western Ghats have unique Shola grasslands and montane forests. These ecosystems are characterized by large grassy areas and low-growing forests.

Another well-known fact is that the Western Ghats are the source of several major rivers in the Indian subcontinent. The rugged terrain also gives rise to numerous waterfalls, such as Jog Falls and Dudhsagar, and they are among the most famous waterfalls in India.

However, it would be a mistake to think that the Western Ghats are all about forests, mountain ranges, and rivers. The region is also of great cultural and historical importance. Several ancient temples and settlements are located in this area.

In addition, another feature of the region is its agrobiodiversity. This includes traditional farming methods and numerous crop varieties adapted to the local climate. From tea and coffee to various spices, this diversity contributes to the sustainability of the region's agriculture.

A climatic feature of the Western Ghats is the particular influence of the Indian monsoon, which acts as a barrier to trap moisture-laden winds from the Arabian Sea. This interaction leads to heavy rainfall on the windward side of the Ghats, contributing to the rich vegetation and biodiversity of the region.

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