- They are discontinuous range of mountains along the Eastern coast of India.
- They are spreaded across the five states (Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka).
- They are eroded and cut through by the four major rivers (Godavari, Mahanadi, Krishna and Kaveri) of peninsular India.
- They run parallel to the Bay of Bengal.
Characteristics of Eastern Ghats:
- It is an important physiographic area with immense bio-geographic, environmental, socio-economic, cultural and spiritual significance.
- They are the watershed of many rivers as they get higher average rainfall.
Fauna of Eastern Ghats:
- The diversified ecological niches and environmental situation provide habitat for rich fauna.
- They are home to largest number of Asiatic elephants in the world.
- The large number of animals such as Nilgiri Tahr, Sambar, and tigers also found in the landscape.
- Apart from this, these ghats are also known for the wide variety of birds species.
Flora of Eastern Ghats:
- They also have a rich floral system.
- It is a region where large number of medicinal plants are found.
Tribal Population of Eastern Ghats:
- They are occupied by quite a few tribes such as Savara, Jatapu, Konda Dora, Gadaba, Khond, Manne Dora and Mukha Dora etc.
- These indigenous people have their own unique cultural heritage.
- They follow the age old customs and traditions.
- They are still dependent on the forest produce and hunting for their livelihood.
- These tribes have good knowledge about the region and its produce and thereby make a good use of its medicinal plants.
Comparison to Western Ghats:
- The Eastern Ghats are older than Western Ghats.
- Their elevation is lower than the western ghats.
- They are discontinuous and dissected by many rivers in comparison to Western ghats.
- The Western and the Eastern ghats meet at the Nilgiri hills.
Factors damaging the ecosystem of Eastern Ghats:
- Haphazard mining
- Construction of dams
- Rapid land use changes
- Forest fires
- Temple tourism
- Agricultural and industrial encroachments
- Burn cultivations etc
Previously asked question in UPSC prelims:
From the ecological point of view, which one of the following assumes importance in being a good link between the Eastern Ghats and the Western Ghats?
(a) Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve
(b) Nallamala Forest
(c) Nagarhole National Park
(d) Seshachalam Biosphere Reserve
Correct answer: a
Section : Environment & Ecology