Difference Between Western Ghats and Eastern Ghats – Western Ghats and Eastern Ghats

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: November 22nd, 2023

Western and Eastern Ghats: The difference between Western Ghats and Eastern Ghats is that these are the two mountain ranges separated from the shores of the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal, respectively, by swaths of relatively level coastal ground. The word “ghat,” originally meant “river landing stairs” or “mountain pass” in Hindi. One of India’s main landmasses and a physiographic divide of the nation is the Deccan plateau.

Difference Between Western Ghats and Eastern Ghats PDF

The Eastern Ghats and the Western Ghats form their eastern and western boundaries, respectively. The Western Ghats and Eastern Ghats are biodiversity regions that offer ecological rich. Though they are of the same nature, there are some differences between them. Apart from being on the opposite coastline of India, the article will elaborate on the fundamental difference between Western Ghats and Eastern Ghats.

Difference Between Western Ghats and Eastern Ghats

The Eastern Ghats and Western Ghats form the boundary of the Deccan plateau of India. The most prominent difference between Western Ghats and Eastern Ghats is that the Western Ghats stand 600 – 1200 meters tall comprising numerous forests, whereas the Eastern Ghats are just 150-300 meters in height with fewer forests.

To distinguish between western ghats and eastern ghats, go through the geographical features given below.

Western Ghats vs Eastern Ghats

Difference Between Western Ghats and Eastern Ghats
Factors Western Ghats Eastern Ghats
Elevation 600 – 1200 m, still higher in the South 150-300 m
Rocks Rock System – Chernochete Gneiss, Khondalite, Dharwar
Geographical Feature Due to tilting, further upliftment Further subdued
Watershed Feature The most important watershed in southern India – all east-flowing rivers emerging. Poor Watershed
Mountain Type Treppen – Like formation, look like block mountains in the west. Ancient fold mountains and presently mountains of denudation.
Types of Forest Found Densely Forested Less Forested – Mostly dry deciduous to moist deciduous
Types of Soil Laterite Soils found Red Sandy soil
Rainfall 100 cm isohyet is the crest of Western Ghats. It rains 150 cm+ all along the west coast Rainfall 60-100 cm

Western Ghats and Eastern Ghats

The western coast of India is parallel to them. Due to their continuous nature and lack of discernible pauses, they are rather difficult to navigate. The eastern lowlands of India run parallel to the eastern ghats. As UNESCO recognized, Western and Eastern Ghats are extremely important biodiversity hotspots.

  • Important rivers, including the Krishna, Godavari, and Tungabhadra, originate in the western ghats.
  • Unlike the western ghats, they are fragmented in nature and traversed by rivers that empty into the Bay of Bengal.
  • The western ghats of India substantially impact how rain falls during the monsoon at the country’s western border as compared to the Eastern Ghats.

What are Western Ghats?

The Western Ghats were created by the Arabian basin being subducted, and the peninsula tilted northeast and east during the Himalayan uplift. Because of the staircase and escarpments formations on the hill, it appears as though mountains towards the west are blocked.

  • The Western Ghats spans six states: Maharashtra, Gujarat, Goa, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, and Kerala.
  • It has been considered a UNESCO World Heritage site as one of the eight “hottest hotspots” for global biological diversity.
  • According to UNESCO, the Western Ghats are older than even the Himalayas.
  • Blocking rain-filled Monsoon winds from the southwest in the late summer impacts the weather patterns associated with the Indian monsoon.
  • It spans the entire distance from Kanyakumari to Tapi Valley. Up to 11° N, it is referred to as Sahyadri.
  • The Western Ghats are home to various habitats, including montane grasslands and tropical wet evergreen forests.
  • These habitats contain a variety of medicinal plants as well as essential genetic resources, including wild cousins of fruit, cereals, and spices.
  • They also have the peculiar shola habitat, which comprises sections of evergreen woodland mixed in with highland meadows.
  • The Western Ghats are important watersheds for hydrology.
  • Millions of people depend on the land and water in the area for their livelihoods.
  • No other region touches the lives of as many people as the Indo-Malayan region.

It is split into three sections.

  • Middle Sahyadri(Central Western Ghats)
  • Northern Western Ghats
  • Southern Western Ghats.

Northern Western Ghats

The Northern Western Ghats lie between the Tapi Valley and the 16° N latitude. It has basaltic lava all over it. Below are some important factoids about the same;

  • The highest point is Kalsubai.
  • Rivers cut through mountains.
  • The horizontal sheets of Deccan lavas make up the northern Ghats, extending from Tapi Valley to the north of Goa (Deccan Traps).
  • Although some peaks reach greater elevations, the average elevation of the Ghats in this section is about 1,200 m above mean sea level.
  • Kalasubai (1,646 m), Salher (1,567 m), which is located around 90 km north of Nashik, Harishchandragad (1,424 m), and Mahabaleshwar (1,438 m) are significant peaks.
  • The Konkan Plains in the west and the Deccan Plateau in the east are connected by road and rail through the passes known as Thal ghat and Bhor ghat.

Middle Sahyadri (Central Western Ghats)

The Nilgiri hills are located in the Middle Sahyadri range, which extends from latitude 16°N. Some key facts about them have been listed below;

  • Gneisses and granites make up this part.
  • There is a lot of woodland in the area.
  • The western scarp has been extensively fractured by headward erosion caused by westward moving streams.
  • Although many peaks top 1500 meters in height, the average elevation of the place is 1200 meters.
  • The Vavul Mala (2,339 m), Pashpagiri (1,714 m), and Kudremukh (1,892 m)are significant peaks.
  • Around the triangular intersection of Kerela, Karnataka, and Tamil Nadu, the Nilgiri Hills rise abruptly to more than 2,000 meters and link to the Sahyadris.
  • They serve as the juncture where the Western and Eastern Ghats converge.
  • This region’s two most prominent peaks are Makurti (2,554 m) and Doda Betta (2,637 m).
  • It is in the Central Western Ghats and has a granitic structure.
  • Karnataka’s tallest peak, Mullayanagiri, is located on Baba Budan Hill. Along with waterfalls like Gersoppa/jog Falls across the Sharavathi River, this area has developed nick sites.
  • This area is marked by two distinct characteristics: the Malnad hills and the Maidan plateaus.
  • The Talakaveri Lake is fed by the Kaveri River, which originates in the Brahmagiri Hills.

Southern Western Ghats

The main Sahyadri range and the southern portion of the Western Ghats are divided by the Pal ghat Gap. Some factoids about the same have been listed below.

  • A different name for it is the southern mountain complex.
  • The high mountains abruptly stop on each side of this gap.
  • Pal Ghat Gap is a rift valley.
  • The lowlands of Tamil Nadu and the Coastal Plains of Kerala are connected by many motorways and railway lines that take advantage of this gap.
  • Through this opening, moist-bearing clouds from the southwest monsoon can travel some distance inland and provide rain to the Mysore region.
  • There is a complicated network of steep, uneven slopes on the western and eastern sides of the Ghats south of the Pal ghat Gap.
  • Southern India’s highest point is Anai Mudi (2,695 m).
  • Three mountains that extend in opposing directions surround Anai Mudi: towards the north, the Palani (900-1,200 m) range; towards the northeast and south, the Cardamom Hills or Maalaimalar range.
  • The Nilgiris, Annamalai, and Cardamon ranges, as well as the Palani Palghat gap, which is situated between the southern part of the Western Ghats and the main Sahyadri range, are the three parallel ranges to the coast that make up the southern Western Ghats.
  • The elevation of these mountains varies from 1600 to 2500 meters. The tallest peak in Nilgiris is Doddabetta.
  • The highest peak in South India and Annamalai is Anamudi. Agasti Malai is the highest point in the Cardamom Hills.

What are Eastern Ghats?

The Eastern Ghats run alongside India’s east coast, separating the sea from their base with vast open plains. The Eastern Ghats are in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, and Odisha. It greatly affects the environment, food production, biodiversity, and tree energy storage.

  • Both the South-West and North-East Monsoons depend on them heavily.
  • Numerous creatures, including elephants and tigers, call these discontinuous woods home.
  • There are about 400 bird species and 2600 plant species living here.
  • It is a fragmented and disjointed hills chain from Mahanadi in Odisha to Vagai in Tamil Nadu.
  • They almost disappear between Krishna and the Godavari.
  • Both structural cohesion and physiographic continuity are absent.
  • These hill clusters are so frequently acknowledged as distinct entities.
  • The Mahendra Giri (1,501 meters) is the tallest peak in the Maliya range, with peaks and ridges ranging from 900 to 1,200 meters.
  • In the Madugula Konda range, higher elevations range from 1,100 to 1,400 meters, with many summits above 1,600 metres.
  • Prominent peaks in the Araku Valley include Sinkram Gutta (1,643 m), Arma Konda (1,680 m), and Jindhagada Peak (1690 m) (1,620 m).
  • Between the Krishna and Godavari rivers, the Eastern Ghats become less steep and are home to Gondwana formations.
  • The Nallamala Range, also known as the Eastern Ghats, is a more or less continuous hill range found in the Andhra Pradesh districts of Kurnool and Cuddapah.
  • The southernmost part of this range is known as the Palkonda range.
  • Only the Shevroy-Kalrayan Hills and the Javadi Hills, two distinct 1,000 m height peaks, may be found among the low-lying hills and plateaus to the south.
  • Karnataka’s Biligiri Rangan Hills, which are close to the Tamil Nadu border, is 1,279 meters high.
  • Further south, the Eastern Ghats and the Western Ghats converge.


Key Difference between Western Ghats and Eastern Ghats

The key difference between Western Ghats and Eastern Ghats is that Western Ghats are elevated continuous ranges of mountains, whereas Eastern ghats are a discontinuous low-height mountain range.

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