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Western Ghats

The Western Ghats start near the border of Gujarat and Maharashtra and run about 1,600km through the states of Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala, ending at Kanyakumari, at the southern tip of India.

The Western Ghats are one of the world's hottest biodiversity hotspots, with over 5,000 species of flowering plants, 139 species of mammals, 500 plus bird species and 179 amphibian species. At least 325 globally threatened species occur here. The Western Ghats are a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Why visit the Western Ghats?

  • This is a region rich in vegetation which you can appreciate on trips to the evergreen forests of Nagarahole, and the deciduous forests of Bandipur.
  • Take a tour of Periyar National Park which is a tiger and an elephant reserve, and where there are chances to watch gaur, sambar, sloth bear and giant squirrel.
  • See lion-tailed macaques in Silent Valley National Park in Kerala, which was established to protect this endangered species.
  • Visit Eravikulam/Rajamalai National Park, the last stronghold of the Nilgiri tahr, a kind of mountain goat, whose innate friendliness meant that they had been hunted almost to extinction, but they are now making something of a comeback.
  • Do some bird watching: the variety of the vegetation attracts a wide range of birds and there are many specialist bird sanctuaries where you see the likes of Malabar parakeet, Malar grey hornbill and Nilgiri flycatcher.
  • Spend time in hill stations such as Munnar, Ooty and Coonoor, exploring on foot, taking in the scenery and panoramic views, strolling through parks and botanical gardens, visiting markets and enjoying the relaxed pace of life in the hills.

When to visit the Western Ghats

The monsoon months of June to September are best avoided. Rainclouds are forced to climb to clear the Western Ghats and in so doing they deposit most of their rain on the western side of the mountains. The eastern side receives less rainfall, but these are still wet months. Temperature vary according to elevation and distance from the equator.

Accommodation in the Western Ghats

There’s a variety of accommodation across this huge region, from elegant villas and suites on working plantations to Ayurveda retreats, and rustic-chic treehouses to atmospheric hill station estates

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Western Ghats accommodation

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facts and information

Time: GMT +5 hours

Flight time:

Flight time from London to Delhi is 8 hours 30 minutes and to Mumbai is about 8 hours.

Language: The official language is Hindi, which about 30% of the population speaks. English is very widely spoken and is used for official and commercial purposes.

Visas:

Required for British travellers. Other nationalities should obtain advice from their embassy.

Health:

There are no compulsory vaccinations.

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