If you’re on the lookout for your next nature trail or wildlife photography trail, then the pristine Western Ghats of the Indian subcontinent should be on your traveler bucket list. Stretching to almost 1000 miles from Mumbai to the southern tip of the sub-continent, the Western Ghats is a marvel of nature, and home to most of the rarest, near-extinct and unique species of flora and fauna.
The significance of the region has led it to be placed in the list of the ‘Leading biodiversity hotspots worldwide”. Here’s a quick look at the kind of flora and wildlife found in the Western Ghats.
Flora in the Western Ghats
The region is incredibly diverse in vegetation, with 4 major forest types and 23 sub dorset types being recognized. Depending on the level and areas of rainfall, both dry hill forests and moist forests have been discovered. There are also evergreen forests, with the famous Silent Valley region known as a true tropical rainforest in the Western Ghats.
Another type is the Shola forest, which is characterized by the high moisture levels, isolated yet compact evergreen patches and stunted tree growth. The Western Ghats is also called India’s emporium of medicinal plants. Ovr 150 species of medicinal plants have been discovered, with a majority of them holding significance in Ayurvedic healing practices.
In addition to these, there are over 5,000 species of flowering plants in the region, almost 2100 of which are endemic to the region and cannot be found anywhere else. There are also some truly beautiful natural phenomena that happen in the region such as the mass blooming of the Karvi flower, a blossom that blooms in a synchronized manner and turns the lush green of the Sahyadri ranges into a deep blue giving the region the name ‘Neelgiri’.
Fauna in the Western Ghats
With all that lush expanse to roam about, you wouldn’t be surprised to find some of the most exotic, rare and beautiful animal species.
Among mammals, the most photographed is the royal bengal – hugely popular tourist attraction that has led the country to set up and effectively run various conservation programs. Endangered species include the lion-tailed macaque and malabar large-spotted civet.
The Western Ghats is home to over 500 species of birds – the predatorial, the tiny, the colorful and even the wackiest of forms. Keep those binoculars of yours handy.
From majestic to creepy crawlies, the Western Ghats has some surprises lurking in the shadows and under the soil too. The infamous King Cobra is a common sight, while snails and frogs of various sizes and forms are also moving about.
Aquatic species are plenty too. Pufferfish, catfish and colorful ornamental fishes are found in the rivers in the region.
<h2>Best Nature Parks in the Western Ghats</h2>
Got trekking boots, a safari jacket and an intense desire to be one with nature? You’re in luck! With such a massive stretch of biodiversity, various regions along the Wedstern Ghats have been converted into wildlife preservation zones, with some of them open for public viewing. Here’s our pick of the 5 best nature parks you have to plan a visit to.
- Borivali National Park – Maharashtra
- Chorao Bird Sanctuary – Goa
- Nagarahole National Park – Karnataka
- Silent Valley National Park – Kerala
- Anamalai Wildlife Sanctuary – Tamil Nadu
Ready to explore the western ghats? Make your next trip a wild one, book your wildlife safari with us.
Flora and Fauna of Western Ghats
Western Ghats are one of the world’s ten “Hottest biodiversity hotspots” and have over 7,402 species of flowering plants, 1814 species of non-flowering plants, 139 mammal species, 508 bird species, 179 amphibian species, 6000 insects species and 290 freshwater fish species. At least 325 globally threatened species occur in the Western Ghats. It would be safe to say that this range is home to a lot of hidden gems.
These were declared an ecological hotspot in 1988, even though they cover only 5% of India’s land. The Government of India took a conscious effort to preserve the gem, by establishing two biosphere reserves, thirteen national parks, several wildlife sanctuaries and reserve forests, to protect this region enriched with wildlife.
the Western Ghats serve as important corridors to wildlife as they form an integral part of the Elephant and Project Tiger reserves. After Sunderbans, the Ghats are known to have the highest population of tigers, with an estimation of 336 to 487 tigers. From the 7,402 species of flowering plants found in the Western Ghats, 5,588 species are indigenous. Among the indigenous species, 2,253 species are endemic to India. And of them, 1,273 species are exclusively confined to the Western Ghats.
Western Ghats carry an abundance of wildlife, which needs proper care and preservation. You will be surprised to see the rich diversity only when you visit them yourself.
Born and brought up in New Delhi, it was Sharad’s childhood passion to play cricket for India. While on a holiday in 1990, he saw his first tiger. Little did he know that this one sighting would immerse him into a realm where forests and tigers were all that mattered.
Sharad’s experiences as a wildlife photographer have inspired him to observe the tiger’s behavior for over 30 years and motivated him on his own journey as an entrepreneur. He started Nature Safari India Pvt Ltd, with a focus on “Conservation through Tourism.” to align himself to the mission of saving the regal species and repopulating them in India’s forests. In 2006, he set up one of India’s premier jungle lodges in Kanha National Park.
Sharad believes that there are many lessons to be learned from a tiger that can be applied successfully to leadership—both in business and in life. Here’s a new book by Sharad Vats on management and leadership skills to learn from a Tiger.