What are Eastern Ghats? How many states do the Eastern Ghats cross? Which are the most important mountains in the Eastern Ghats? Read here to know more.
In the south, the Eastern Ghats are also referred to as Purva Ghat, Mahendra Parvatam, or Kizahakku Thodarchi Malai. Compared to the Western Ghats, they are much older.
They receive less rainfall than the Western Ghats since they are parallel to the Bay of Bengal monsoon.
What are Eastern Ghats?
The Eastern Ghats are a collection of irregularly shaped low ranges that typically run parallel to the Bay of Bengal’s shoreline from northeast to southwest.
With the isolated hill ranges lining the eastern edge of the Deccan plateau and coastal plain, they are “tors” of geological antiquity.
The Dandakaranya region between the Mahanadi and Godavari rivers is home to the biggest single sector, which is the relic of an old mountain range that was eroded and then revived.
Read more about western ghats here.
States and Union Territories under the Eastern Ghats
- The Eastern Ghats span an area of around 75,000 square kilometres as they cross the Coromandal between latitudes of 11° 30′ and 22° N and longitudes of 76° 50′ to 86° 30′ E.
- The river Mahanandi basin serves as its northern boundary, and the river Cauvery serves as its southern boundary. The Bastar, Telangana, and Karnataka plateaus’ tips, as well as the Tamil Nadu uplands, are located to the west.
- Its eastern portion is constrained by the Eastern Coastal area.
- The Eastern Ghats span southern Tamil Nadu, passing through sections of Karnataka, from northern Odisha through Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.
Mountains in the Eastern Ghats
- The tallest mountain in the Eastern Ghats is Jindhagada, located near Araku, Andhra Pradesh.
- Southwest, the hills become more gentle as the Godavari River cuts through a gorge that is 65 kilometres (40 miles) long.
- The Eastern Ghats can be seen as a collection of low ranges and hills, including the Erramala, Nallamala, Velikonda, and Palkonda, further southwest, beyond the Krishna River.
- The Eastern Ghats continue as the Javadi and Shevaroy hills to the southwest of Chennai (Madras), where they converge with the Western Ghats.
- Due to fractured hills, the Eastern Ghats’ altitude is uneven from a topographic perspective. The typical altitude is 600 m. (2000 ft).
Rivers flowing through
- The Eastern Ghats are intervein by major rivers like the Godavari, Krishna and Pennar.
- A number of small rivers rise in the Eastern Ghats and debit into the Bay of Bengal.
- Three major lakes present are Chilka, Kolleru and Pulicat lakes.
The climate of Eastern Ghats
- Red, Black, Laterite, and Alluvial soils are the most common types of soil in the Eastern Ghats.
- The region’s mean annual temperature ranges from a low of 14.5 °C to a high of 36.5 °C.
- The tropical monsoon climate can be seen in the Eastern Ghats. Both the South-West and the North-East retreating monsoons bring rain to the area.
- In the Northern Ghats, the mean annual rainfall distribution exceeds 1500 mm. In and surrounding the Nallamalai highlands, it progressively drops to 1000 mm. Along the East Coast’s Coastal plain, rainfall also tops 1000 mm.
Protected Areas in the mountains region
- Some major protected areas are Simlipal, Coringa, Satyamangalam, Sri Lankamalleswara wildlife sanctuaries and Satkosia Tiger reserve.
- The important ecoregions consist of Eastern Highlands moist deciduous forests, East Deccan dry evergreen forests, Deccan thorn scrub forests, Shrub lands and South Deccan Plateau dry deciduous forests.
Biological diversity in the Eastern Ghats
- Along its length on India’s East Coast, from south to north, this region comprises various ecoregions.
- Although the Eastern Ghats’ biospheres are not as well known as the Western Ghats, they are still significant because of their abundant forests, perennial and semi-perennial streams, and other natural resources.
- The forests include tropical dry scrub forests, dry savannah forests, semi-evergreen forests, and dry evergreen forests, among others.
- Here you may find valuable trees including Eetti, Mahagony, Semmaram, Vengai, Pala, and Rosewood.
- 2,500 flowering plants live in the range, protecting 13% of all flowering plants in India. Additionally, they serve as the homes for various bird, reptile, and insect species.
Biodiversity Crisis of Eastern Ghats
- Intensive agriculture: In these hills, large-scale monocultures of rice, coffee, tea, and orchards are being grown, which is weakening the delicate ecosystem and removing natural plants.
- Commercial activities: The natural topography of the Eastern Ghats is being dangerously impacted by large-scale mineral exploration for bauxite and iron ores, their transportation, and the transmission of power lines. For instance: Forests have been indiscriminately destroyed as a result of the massive quantities of bauxite and magnesite ore that have been removed from the Kolli Hills and Servarayan Hills.
- Over-exploitation: The over-exploitation of forests by plant-based industries, such as plywood, paper, and pulp-making facilities, illegal firewood collection, illegal grazing, and illegal tree cutting, is also contributing to their degradation. Denudation of hilltops is occurring on a large scale as a result of the Chenchu tribes’ nomadic lifestyle in search of arable land.
- Logging: Trees like the fragrant and priceless sandal and rosewood have been indiscriminately cut down and illegally removed by taking advantage of gaps in conservation laws and other government regulations.
- Invasive species: The number of species in the Eastern Ghats has decreased as a result of the invasion of alien species like Lantana Camara, which compete with native plants for nutrients and space.
- Forest fires: The ghats’ deciduous woodlands are particularly prone to forest fires. Large fires are destroying the landscape more frequently due to rare precipitation. Fire-cleared areas are further eroded by wind or become overrun by alien species.
- Climate change: By increasing the average annual temperature and the microclimate of flora to levels unfavourable for their physiological activity, delayed and infrequent monsoons and frequent forest fires have reduced the quality of biodiversity.
Article written by: Aseem Muhammed