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Eastern Ghats

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Overview

Eastern Ghats
Malayadri Mountains
Highest point
Peak Arma Konda[1]
Elevation 1,680 m (5,510 ft)
Naming
Native name Purvaghat
Geography
Indiahills.png
The Eastern Ghats lie roughly parallel
to the east coast of India
Country India
States
Settlements Vishakhapatnam and Bhubaneswar
Biome forests


Godavari River at Papi Hills of The Eastern Ghats in Andhra Pradesh,Telangana - Eastern Ghats
Godavari River at Papi Hills of The Eastern Ghats in Andhra Pradesh,Telangana
Eastern Ghats during Monsoon in Andhra Pradesh - Eastern Ghats
Eastern Ghats during Monsoon in Andhra Pradesh
A view of Kanjamalai in the Eastern Ghats near Salem in Tamil Nadu - Eastern Ghats
A view of Kanjamalai in the Eastern Ghats near Salem in Tamil Nadu
Sanaghagara falls in Kendujhar district, Odisha - Eastern Ghats
Sanaghagara falls in Kendujhar district, Odisha
Araku Valley lies on the Eastern Ghats, Visakhapatnam District - Eastern Ghats
Araku Valley lies on the Eastern Ghats, Visakhapatnam District

The Eastern Ghats, or Pūrva Ghaṭ, also known as Mahendra Pravata are a discontinuous range of mountains along India's eastern coast. The Eastern Ghats run from West Bengal state in the north, through Odisha and Andhra Pradesh to Tamil Nadu in the south passing some parts of Karnataka. They are eroded and cut through by the four major rivers of peninsular India, known as the Godavari, Mahanadi, Krishna, and Kaveri.

The mountain ranges run parallel to the Bay of Bengal. The Deccan Plateau lies to the west of the range, between the Eastern Ghats and Western Ghats. The coastal plains, including the Coromandel Coast region, lie between the Eastern Ghats and the Bay of Bengal. The Eastern Ghats are not as high as the Western Ghats.

Geology

The Eastern Ghats are older than the Western Ghats, and have a complex geologic history related to the assembly and breakup of the ancient supercontinent of Rodinia and the assembly of the Gondwana supercontinent.

The Eastern Ghats are made up of charnockites, granite gneiss, khondalites, metamorphic gneisses and quartzite rock formations. The structure of the Eastern Ghats includes thrusts and strike-slip faults[2] all along its range. Limestone, bauxite and iron ore are also found in the Eastern Ghats hill ranges.

The Eparchaean Unconformity of the Tirumala Hills is a major discontinuity of stratigraphic significance that represents an extensive period of erosion and non-deposition. It is seen at the steep natural slopes, road scars and ravines in the TirupatiTirumala Ghat road in the Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh.[3][4]

Hill ranges

As with the Western Ghats, these mountain ranges also have their local names along the discontinuous hill ranges.

At their southern end, the Eastern Ghats form several ranges of low hills. The southernmost of the Eastern Ghats are the low Sirumalai and Karanthamalai Hills of southern Tamil Nadu.

North of the Kaveri River are the higher Kollimalai, Pachaimalai, Shevaroy (Servaroyan), Kalrayan Hills, Chitteri, Palamalai and Mettur Hills in northern Tamil Nadu state. The climate of the higher hill ranges is generally cooler and wetter than the surrounding plains and the hills are home to coffee plantations and enclaves of dry forest.

The hill station of Yercaud is located in the Shevaroy Hills. The Bilgiri Hills, which run east from the Western Ghats to the River Kaveri, forms a forested ecological corridor that connects the Eastern and Western Ghats, and allows the second-largest wild Asian elephant population in India to range between the South Eastern Ghats, the Biligiri and Nilgiri Hills, and the South Western Ghats.

The Malai Mahadeshwara Hills Temple is situated in Chamarajanagar District in the Karnataka state on the Eastern Ghat.

The Ponnaiyar and Palar rivers flow from headwaters on the Kolar Plateau eastward through gaps in the Ghats to empty into the Bay of Bengal; the Javadi Hills lie between the two rivers. There are waterfalls in remote areas, such as the Kiliyur Falls.[5]

Some 40 km from the south end of Javadi Hills starts the Kalvarayan Hill range. The name Kalvarayan comes from the native people known as "kalvar". This hill range brings much more rainfall to the eastern part of its surrounding areas during the northwest monsoon. The Thenponnaiyar River divides this Hill range from Javadi Hills in the north. The hills continue as the Shervarayon Hills further southwest divided by Manchavaadi Pass. The Komuki River originates in this range and flows into Bay of Bengal along with the Cauvery River.

North of the Palar River in Andhra Pradesh, the central portion of the Eastern Ghats consist of two parallel ranges running approximately north-south. The lower Velikonda Range lies to the east and the higher Palikonda-Lankamalla-Nallamalla Ranges lie to the west. They run in a nearly north-south alignment, parallel to the Coromandel Coast for close to 430 km between the Krishna and Pennar rivers. Its northern boundaries are marked by the flat Palnadu basin while in the south it merges with the Tirupati hills. An extremely old system, the hills have been extensively weathered and eroded over the years. The average elevation today is about 520 m which reaches 1100 m at Bhairani Konda and 1048 m at Gundla Brahmeswara.

The Tirumala Hills are located along the Seshachalam-Velikonda Range of the Eastern Ghats. The Palar River cuts through the ranges. The Velikonda Range eventually descends to the coastal plain in northern Nellore district, while the Nallamalla Range continues to the River Krishna.

The Kondapalli Hills are a range of low hills which lie between the Krishna and the Godavari rivers. These hills are located in the Guntur, Krishna, West Godavari and Khammam districts of Andhra Pradesh. The Krishna River bisects these hills of The Eastern Ghats. The main hill range starts from Nandigama to Vijayawada known as Kondapalli.

The Papi Hills (Papi kondalu) are distributed among Khammam, East Godavari and West Godavari districts of Andhra Pradesh and lie in Eastern Ghats.

Madhurawada Dome in the Eastern Ghats mobile belt is formed by a tectonic arrangement with the khondalite suite and quartz Archean rocks along the Eastern Ghats north of Visakhapatnam.[6]

The Maliya Range is located in the northern portion of the Eastern Ghats. The Maliya Range generally ranges between elevations of 900–1200 m, although some of its summits soar higher. The tallest peak in this range is Mahendragiri (1,501 m).[7]

The Madugula Konda Range is located in the northern portion of the Eastern Ghats. The Madugula Konda range is higher than the Maliyas and generally ranges between elevations of 1100–1400 m. Prominent summits include the highest peak of the Eastern Ghats - Arma Konda (1680 m), Gali Konda (1643 m) and Sinkram Gutta (1620 m).[7]

The highest mountain peak in the state of Odisha is Deomali (1672 m), which is situated in the Koraput district of southern Odisha. It is part of the Chandragiri-Pottangi mountain system. The region covers about three-fourth of the entire Odisha State. Geologically it is a part of the Indian Peninsula which was a part of the ancient land mass of Gondwanaland. The major rivers of Odisha with their tributaries have cut deep and narrow valleys.

The Garhjat Hills region mostly comprises the hills and mountains of the Eastern Ghats which rise abruptly and steeply in the east and slope gently to a dissected plateau in the west running from north-west (Mayurbhanj) to south-west (Malkangiri). The Odisha highlands are also known as the Garhjat Hills. This region is well marked by a number of interfluves or watersheds. The Eastern Ghats is interrupted by a number of broad and narrow river valleys and flood plains. The average height of this region is about 900 metres above the mean sea level.
To the north of the Godavari the Eastern Ghats increase again in height, forming the boundary between Andhra Pradesh and Odisha. The Similipal Massif is considered the farthest northeast extension of the Eastern Ghats.[8]

Rivers

Eastern Ghats are the source points for many small and medium rivers[9] along the east coastal plains of South India.

Rivers flowing through Eastern Ghats

Rivers originating on the Eastern Ghats
Bahuda River , Rushikulya River , Vamsadhara River , Nagavali River , Champavathi River , Vegavathi River , Gosthani River , Sarada River , Varaha River , Tandava River , Indravathi River , Sabari River , Sileru River , Tammileru , Gundlakamma River , Penner River , Swarnamukhi , Kundu River , Papaghni River , Chitravati River

Ecoregions

The Eastern Ghats consists of different ecoregions along its range from south to north along the East Coast of India. The important ecoregions consist of Eastern Highlands moist deciduous forests, East Deccan dry evergreen forests, Deccan thorn scrub forests, Shrub lands and South Deccan Plateau dry deciduous forests.

view of Eastern Ghats at Kollimalai(Kolli Hills), Tamil Nadu - Eastern Ghats
view of Eastern Ghats at Kollimalai(Kolli Hills), Tamil Nadu

Flora

The southern tropical thorn scrub type forests consist of open, low vegetation that is characterised by thorny trees with short trunks and low, branching crowns that rarely meet to form a closed canopy. Typical grasses of the ecoregion include Chrysopogon fulvus, Heteropogon contortus, Eremopogon foveolatus, Aristida setacea, and Dactyloctenium species.The plant species that dominate the vegetation in these forests are Acacia species, Balanites roxburghii, Cordia myxa, Capparis spp., Prosopis spp., Azadirachta indica, Cassia fistula, Diospyros chloroxylon, Carissa carandas, and Phoenix sylvestris. There are also several other habitat types found in these forests.

Flora of medicinal and botanical interest include an endemic cycad (Cycas beddomei) and Psilotum nudum. A small patch of the tree Shorea talura also exists within the Chittoor forest division, part of which is being maintained as a preservation plot by the Forest Department of Andhra Pradesh. The area between the Nallamalla and Seshachalam Hills is well known for the Red Sandal (Pterocarpus santalinus), a rare, endemic tree species that is harvested for the medicinal value of its wood.

The Eastern Highlands moist deciduous ecoregion's forests are dominated by Sal (Shorea robusta), in association with Terminalia, Adina (plant)|Adina, Toona, Syzygium, Buchanania, Cleisanthus, and Anogeissus. The flora of the ecoregion shares many affinities with the moist forests of the Western Ghats and the eastern Himalayas.

The original vegetation of the Deccan dry evergreen forests ecoregion consisted of forests with an understory of evergreen trees and an emergent canopy of taller deciduous trees, including Sal (Shorea robusta), Albizia Albizia amara|amara and Chloroxylon spp. Intensive human use of the forests over the centuries has mostly eliminated the deciduous canopy species, and the ecoregion's remaining forests are now characterized by areas of leathery-leaved evergreen forest, with a relatively low (10-metre) closed canopy.

Predominant species are Manilkara hexandra, Mimusops elengi, Ceylon Ebony (Diospyros ebenum), Strychnine tree (Strychnos nux-vomica), Eugenia spp., Drypetes sepiaria, and Flacourtia indica. A few small enclaves of deciduous Sal forest exist, but are under intensive human pressure. Most of the ecoregion's forests have been degraded into tropical dry evergreen scrublands, characterized by thorny species such as Ziziphus glaberrima, Dichrostachys cinerea, Catunaregam spinosa, and Carissa spinarum.

Fauna

The endemic fauna of the Eastern Ghats are Jerdon's Courser (Rhinoptilus bitorquatus) and Grey slender loris (Loris lydekkerianus). The rare geckos[10] found here are Indian golden gecko (Calodactylodes aureus), Rock Gecko (Hemiphyllodactylus aurantiacus), Sharma's Skink Eutropis nagarjuni

Mammals found in the Eastern Ghats[11]

Indian elephant (Elephas maximus indicus), blackbuck (Antilope cervicapra), Asian palm civet (Paradoxurus hermaphroditus), small Indian civet (Viverricula indica), Madras treeshrew (Anathana ellioti), common grey mongoose (Herpestes edwardsii), sambar deer (Rusa unicolor), Indian Crested Porcupine (Hystrix indica), Indian bison (Bos gaurus), Wild boar (Sus scrofa), common muntjac (Muntiacus muntjak), Indian leopard (Panthera pardus fusca), Bengal tiger (Panthera tigris tigris), Dhole (Cuon alpinus), Golden jackal (Canis aureus), Indian giant squirrel (Ratufa indica), Indian hare (Lepus nigricollis), Asian house shrew (Suncus murinus), Tufted grey langur (Semnopithecus priam), Indian flying fox (Pteropus giganteus), bonnet macaque (Macaca radiata), rhesus macaque (Macaca mulatta), Bengal fox (Vulpes bengalensis), smooth-coated otter (Lutrogale perspicillata), Jungle cat (Felis chaus), cheetal (Axis axis), striped hyena (Hyaena hyaena), Indian mole-rat (Bandicota bengalensis),

Birds found in the Eastern Ghats

Great Indian Bustard (Ardeotis nigriceps), Red-wattled Lapwing (Vanellus indicus), Spot-billed Pelican (Pelecanus philippensis), Blue Peafowl (Pavo cristatus), Indian Pond Heron (Ardeola grayii), Hoopoe (Upupa epops), Spotted Owlet (Athene brama), Greater Coucal (Centropus sinensis), Pied Crested Cuckoo (Clamator jacobinus), Oriental White Ibis (Threskiornis melanocephalus), Indian Pitta (Pitta brachyura), Asian Paradise Flycatcher (Terpsiphone paradisi), Red-vented Bulbul (Pycnonotus cafer), Red-whiskered Bulbul (Pycnonotus jocosus), Jungle Babbler (Turdoides striata), Painted Stork (Mycteria leucocephala), Black-rumped Flameback (Dinopium benghalense), Brahminy Kite (Haliastur indus), Jungle Myna (Acridotheres fuscus), Indian Spotted Eagle (Aquila hastata), Indian Vulture[12] (Gyps indicus)[13], Malabar Whistling Thrush (Myophonus horsfieldii)

Butterflies of the Eastern Ghats

As per Studies the Nallamalla Hills of the Eastern Ghats consists of nearly 20 species of Amphibians and 65 species of reptiles in their range[14]

Amphibians

Marbled toad Bufo stomaticus, Ferguson's toad Bufo scaber, Duttaphrynus melanostictus Asian common toad, Green Pond Frog Euphlyctis hexadactylus, Skittering Frog Euphlyctis cyanophlyctis, Cricket Frog (Fejervarya (Rana) limnocharis), Hoplobatrachus tigerinus the Indus Valley Bullfrog, Indian burrowing frog Sphaerotheca breviceps, Sri Lankan Bullfrog Kaloula taprobanica, ornamented pygmy frog Microhyla ornata, common Indian tree frog

Reptiles

Mugger crocodile (Crocodylus palustris), Indian black turtle (Melanochelys trijuga), Indian flapshell turtle (Lissemys punctata), Indian tent turtle (Pangshura tentoria), Indian star tortoise (Geochelone elegans), Leith's softshell turtle (Nilssonia leithii), Roux's Forest Lizard Calotes rouxii, Oriental Garden Lizard (Calotes versicolor), Peninsular Rock Agama Psammophilus dorsalis, Fan-throated lizard Sitana ponticeriana, Indian chameleon Chamaeleo zeylanicus, Oriental Leaf-toed Gecko (Hemidactylus bowringii), Giant Leaf-toed Gecko Hemidactylus giganteus, Termite Hill Gecko Hemidactylus triedrus, Jerdon's Snake-Eye Ophisops jerdonii, Günther's Writhing Skink Lygosoma guentheri, Keeled Indian Mabuya Eutropis carinata, Bronze Grass Skink Eutropis macularia, Bengal monitor (Varanus bengalensis), Eryx johnii Indian Sand Boa, Indian rock python Python molurus, Olive keelback snake Atretium schistosum, common cat snake Boiga trigonata, Bronzeback Dendrelaphis tristis, Nagarjun Sagar Racer[15] Coluber bholanathi, Indian cobra (Naja naja), Indian Rat SnakePtyas mucosa, Streaked Kukri Snake Oligodon taeniolatus, banded kukri 'Oligodon arnensis, Green Keelback Macropisthodon plumbicolor, Sibynophis subpunctatus Duméril's black-headed snake, Checkered keelback (Xenochrophis piscator), common krait (Bungarus caeruleus), Blind snake Ramphotyphlops braminus, Russels Viper Daboia russelii, Indian saw-scaled viper Echis carinatus, bamboo viper Trimeresurus gramineus,

Fish

Protected Areas

The list of sanctuaries and national parks of the Eastern Ghats

Buddhist culture

Left:Buddhist Stupas at Bavikonda, Right:Udayagiri along the Eastern Ghats - Eastern Ghats
Left:Buddhist Stupas at Bavikonda, Right:Udayagiri along the Eastern Ghats
Left:Rock cut Cistern at Pavurallakonda, Right:Rock cut Buddhist Monastery at Bojjannakonda along the Eastern Ghats in Andhra Pradesh - Eastern Ghats
Left:Rock cut Cistern at Pavurallakonda, Right:Rock cut Buddhist Monastery at Bojjannakonda along the Eastern Ghats in Andhra Pradesh

The Eastern Ghats are home to many Buddhist ruins, from Odisha to South Andhra. Andhra Pradesh has 140 listed Buddhist sites, which provide a panoramic view of the history of Buddhism from the 3rd century BCE to the 14th century CE. There are as many as 501 inscriptions engraved upon various media, including lithic, copper plates, crystals, pots, and conch, of which 360 are lithic records, 7 are sets of copper plates, and 134 are inscribed pots and conches.
Some of the famous Buddhist sites along the Eastern Ghats include:

Hindu pilgrimage sites

Left:Tirumala Venkateswara Temple, Right:Kanaka Durga Temple in Vijayawada are along the Eastern Ghats - Eastern Ghats
Left:Tirumala Venkateswara Temple, Right:Kanaka Durga Temple in Vijayawada are along the Eastern Ghats
Left:Srisailam Mallikarjuna Temple, Right:Simhachalam Temple in Visakhapatnam are along the Eastern Ghats - Eastern Ghats
Left:Srisailam Mallikarjuna Temple, Right:Simhachalam Temple in Visakhapatnam are along the Eastern Ghats

Some Hindu pilgrimage sites in the Eastern Ghats are

See also

References

  1. ^ Kenneth Pletcher (August 2010). The Geography of India: Sacred and Historic Places. The Rosen Publishing Group, 2010. pp. 28–. ISBN 978-16-1530-142-3. Retrieved 4 July 2013. 
  2. ^ Geology of Eastern Ghats in Andhra Pradesh - Springer. Link.springer.com (1967-11-01). Retrieved on 2013-07-28.
  3. ^ "Eparchaean Unconformity, Tirumala Ghat section". Geological Survey of India. Retrieved 2009-09-20. 
  4. ^ Geological Monuments of India. Eparchaean Unconformity (Tirupati Tirupati Road (Geological Survey of India). 2001. pp. 5–8. 
  5. ^ "Jungle Look". Chennai, India: The Hindu. 2006-02-11. Retrieved 2006-12-09. 
  6. ^ Jagadeeswara Rao, P.; Harikrishna, P.; Srivastav, S.K.; Satyanarayana, P.V.V.; Vasu Deva Rao, B. (October 2009). "Selection of groundwater potential zones in and around Madhurawada Dome, Visakhapatnam District - A GIS approach". J. Ind. Geophys. Union 13 (4): 191–200. Retrieved 4 April 2014. 
  7. ^ a b M.S. Kohli (August 2010). Mountains of India: Tourism, Adventure and Pilgrimage. Indus Publishing, 2002. pp. 36–. ISBN 978-81-7387-135-1. Retrieved 4 July 2013. 
  8. ^ "National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan profiles the Eastern Ghats of southern India" originally from http://sdnp.delhi.nic.in/nbsap/dactionp/ecoregion/eghatdraft.html
  9. ^ Flora of Eastern Ghats: Hill Ranges of South East India - Thammineni Pullaiah, D. Muralidhara Rao, K. Sri Ramamurthy - Google Books. Books.google.co.in. Retrieved on 2013-07-28.
  10. ^ http://threatenedtaxa.org/ZooPrintJournal/2010/July/o236026vii101109-1113.pdf
  11. ^ The Eastern Ghats. Archive of original site
  12. ^ Endangered vultures sighted in Raichur. The Hindu (2012-08-29). Retrieved on 2013-07-28.
  13. ^ Critically endangered vulture found in Adilabad district. The Hindu (2013-06-05). Retrieved on 2013-07-28.
  14. ^ http://www.asiatic-herpetological.org/Archive/Volume%2011/11_19.pdf
  15. ^ "Nagarjun Sagar Racer Coluber bholanathi". Indian Snakes Database. Retrieved March 22, 2013. 
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