5 Places to Visit Around Western Ghats
The world’s making unthinkable progress. Along with the several upsides, one of the major downsides in environmental degradation. And that is why everything being rightfully eco-friendly nowadays, including tourism. As such, the Western Ghats of India are one of those rare desirable tourist spots which combine beauty with ecological value. Branded a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it has everything, ranging from hills to grasslands, forests to waterfalls, flora to avifauna and much more. Following are five of the best places to visit in and around the Ghats.
1. The Anamudi Mountain Peak
The highest point in South India, Anamudi is one of the must-visit destinations in Kerala. Read ‘10 Surprising Reasons Why You Should Visit Kerala‘ here. Offering glimpses of the nearby spectacular Munnar and tea plantation at an elevation of 2,695 metres. It is famous for being a place which provides remarkable trekking experiences to tourists, and was named for “Elephants’ Foreheads”, being home to one of the largest populations of elephants, Gaurs and Nilgiri Tahrs. It is also home to rare and beautiful plant species like Arundinaria densifolia and Anaphalis sp. Bamboos. The best time to visit Anamudi, or Anai Mudi, is from November to February each year.
2. Nilgiri Hills
These mountains form a part of the Ghats and are spread out over the states of Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka. Comprising of around 24 peaks, the major ones being Doddabetta, Mukurthi and Anginda, this is a definitive tourist attraction of Tamil Nadu. The range also boasts of grasslands towards the top of a lot of the mountains, and lakes and tea-plantations quite near at hand, to add to the mountain-top views and increase the perfection quotient of the ambience.
3. Ooty Avalanche Lake
This lake is a hidden gem, with a magnificent view to offer, but sadly unexplored by the majority of travellers arriving around the Ghats. It is located in the Nilgiris District of Tamil Nadu and is a major tourist attraction of Ooty, just at a distance of 28 kms. This lake offers a number of tourist experiences that are very far away from the beaten track. These include trout fishing along the length of the river (what can beat that?) and setting up camps along the banks. One can also trek nearby high-altitude hilly areas like Upper Bhavani, or indulge their eyes on the flower and foliage covered landscape encircling the lake’s topography on all sides.
4. Jog Falls
There are a number of spectacular waterfalls around the Ghats region, like Unchalli and Sivasamudram. One of the more notable among these is the breathtaking Jog Falls, alias Joga or Gersoppa falls, formed by the joining of four channels, Raja, Rani, Rover and Rocket to form a segmented waterfall, which changes variably to a plunge waterfall. It is located in the Shimoga district of Karnataka.
5. Eravikulam National Park
Eravikulam national park, home to wildlife, is located in the Idukki district in the state of Kerala. It is particularly noticeable for housing the Nilgiri Tahr, now an endangered species. Beside that, it houses other exotic plant and creature species. It offers views of nearby mountains and tea-gardens, and becomes all the more coveted a tourist site when covered in Neelakurinji, a plant species indigenous to these areas. Stretching along an area of 97 square kilometres, it has another credential under its belt to boast of- being the very first of its kind in Kerala.
Every region of the world has attractions unique to the place, each equally beautiful. Some are explored heavily, some not so much. Some are slightly more different than the others are. Thanks to the recent boom in eco-tourism, the Western Ghats, with all its obscure places, is now an important tourist attracting belt of India, and as seen from above evidence, it quite deserves that distinction.