(Last Updated on : 09/09/2010)
Eastern Ghats mountain ranges are a series of discontinuous low ranges along the Bay of Bengal
coast running from the Mahanadi River
valley for about 500 metres up to the Nilgiri Hills
in the south and forms the eastern edge of the divided Deccan plateau
.The Eastern Ghats start from the state of West Bengal
in the north and culminates in Tamil Nadu
in the south. On the way Eastern Ghats mountain ranges cover several states including Orissa
and Andhra Pradesh
. They are swept by the four major rivers of southern India, the Godavari River, Mahanadi River, Krishna River
, and Kaveri River
. These major rivers cut the Eastern Ghats into various discontinuous hills. They are separated from the Bay of Bengal by the coastal plains. The elevation of the Eastern Ghats is comparatively lower than the Western Ghats mountain ranges
. They have an average height of 450 metres and rarely exceed 1200 metres.
The low Sirumalai and Karanthamalai hills are at the southernmost part of the Eastern Ghats mountain ranges Tamil Nadu. Further, to the north of the Kaveri River are comparatively higher hills like Kollimalai, Pachaimalai, Shevaroy (Servaroyan), Kalrayan Hills, Chitteri, Palamalai, and Mettur hills in the north of Tamil Nadu. The higher hill ranges experience a generally cooler and wetter type of climate than the surrounding plains. These hills harbour several coffee plantations and dry forests. The popular hill station of Yercaud is also situated in the Shevaroy Hills
. In the Biligiri Hills
, which run east from the Western Ghats to the Kaveri River, there is a wooded ecological strip that connects the Eastern and Western Ghats. This region has the second-largest wild elephant population in India. Two significant rivers - Ponnaiyar River and Palar River traverse through the gaps in the Eastern Ghats and they ultimately drain into the Bay of Bengal .These two rivers are separated by the Javadhu Hills. Some isolated areas have waterfalls. The Kiliyur Falls is one of them.
In the north of Palar River in the state of Andhra Pradesh
, the middle section of the Eastern Ghats comprises two parallel ranges running around north-south. The higher Palikonda-Lankamalla-Nallamalla ranges are in the west and the lower Velikonda Range is in the east. The Velikonda range eventually descends to the coastal plains in the northern Nellore district
. The Krishna River and the Godavari River in India
are separated by a range of low hills. To the north of the Godavari River, the Eastern Ghats record an unexpected increase in height, acting as the boundary between the two states Andhra Pradesh and Orissa. Moreover, the region has fertile soil.
Comparatively, the Eastern Ghats mountain ranges are elder than the Western Ghats mountain ranges. The history associated with the origin of this range is complicated and takes off from the congregation and disintegration of the ancient super continent of Rodinia and the assembly of the Gondwana super continent.