Rising like an impassable bulwark from the north of Mumbai to the tip of Tamil Nadu, the Western Ghats forms the major tourist attraction of India. Also known as Sahyadris and the Benevolent Mountains, they run parallel to the western coast of Indian peninsula. Spreading over 1600 Km across the states of Maharashtra, Karnataka, Goa, Tamil Nadu and Kerala, it is also called the ‘Great Escarpment of India.’ Since the mountains intercept the rain-bearing winds, they receive heavy rainfall. The precipitation is responsible for dense forests in the region. The region is dotted by thick forests of various types ranging from sholas to evergreen and semi-evergreen forests and montane forests. These forests have a scenic beauty of their own. The splendid sunrise and sunset, mist playing hide and seek in the forests, coooing of birds tend to attract tourists. These forests are a home to a wide variety of flora and fauna. A huge variety of orchids and endemic flowers are found here such as impatiens found close to small streams along hill slopes. The region is also a home to myriad fauna such as lion tailed macaque, large spotted civet, Asian elephant, sloth bear, tiger, leopard, wild boars, sambar and black panther. Western Ghats comes alive with the twittering of various birds such as Niligiri wood pigeon, white bellied shortwing, broad- tailed grassbird, grey breasted laughing thrush which are endemic to the region. From majestic hills to spellbinding waterfalls, from mesmerizing hill stations to splendid plantation towns, from tanquil wildlife sanctuaries to dense forests- this UNESCO World Heritage site has all treasures in its kitty. Among the hill stations well known for natural beauty is Coorg in Karnataka. Referred to as ‘Scotland of the East’, the pristine landscape of the region attracts travelers from all over the world. Chorla Ghat is another destination where one must head to in summers to behold the picture perfect waterfall of the region. The spectacular Jog falls in Western Ghats and mesmerizing lakes such as Vembanad fills one with awe. And how can one forget the fascinating wildlife safaris of Dandeli and magnificent forts and temples of Mahabaleshwar! In all, a trip to Western Ghats comes with a complete package making your trip a fun- filled one.
When to go
September to October is the best time to visit Western Ghats. The weather is pleasant and there is greenery all around.