The Western Ghats or Sahyadri mountains is a chain of highlands that runs along the western coast of India through the states of Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu covering an area of 159,000 sq km. The average elevation is around 900 m and the highest point is reached at Anamudi peak(2695 m).
Konkan Coast comprises the northern portion of the ghat and Malabar, the southern part. The hilly region east of the Ghat in Maharashtra is Desh, while the eastern hills of central Karnataka are known as Malnad region.
Scrub jungles, grasslands, dry and moist deciduous forests, semi-evergreen and evergreen forests are the variety of vegetation along the Ghats. Agasthyamalai hills and the Silent Valley are the two main centers of diversity. The only biodiversity reserve in the Western Ghats is the Nilgiri biosphere reserve. It is estimated that about one-third of the flowering plant species in India is found in this area. The complex terrain and heavy rainfall have helped preserve the flora and fauna in this region.The ancient Sanskrit name, 'Sahyadri', suggests 'benevolent mountain' and this is a pointer to the mountain ranges' capacity to absorb monsoon rains and release them gradually over the rest of the year, thus keeping the regions of south India sufficiently wet.