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Western Ghats

Mountain range running parallel to the western coast of India

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Western Ghats: Mountain range running parallel to the western coast of India
Western Ghats also known as Sahyadri is a mountain range that covers an area of 140,000 km² in a stretch of 1,600 km parallel to the western coast of the Indian peninsula, traverse the States of Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Goa, Maharashtra and Gujarat. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is one of the eight "hottest hot-spots" of biological diversity in the world. It is sometimes called the Great Escarpment of India. It is a biodiversity hotspot that contains a large proportion of the country's flora and fauna; many of which are only found in India and nowhere else in the world. According to UNESCO, Western Ghats are older than Himalayan mountains. It also influences Indian monsoon weather patterns by intercepting the rain-laden monsoon winds that sweep in from the south-west during late summer. The range runs north to south along the western edge of the Deccan Plateau, and separates the plateau from a narrow coastal plain, called Konkan, along the Arabian Sea. A total of thirty-nine areas including national parks, wildlife sanctuaries and reserve forests were designated as world heritage sites - twenty in Kerala, ten in Karnataka, five in Tamil Nadu and four in Maharashtra.

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