Mountain Ranges and Hills of Peninsular India, Map, Facts

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Immerse yourself in the enchanting world of Mountain Ranges and Hills of Peninsular India through our informative article, complete with maps and captivating facts.

The hills and mountain ranges in the peninsular region of India hold great ecological importance, providing a habitat for numerous rare and endangered species of plants and animals.

Peninsular India, situated in the southern part of the Indian subcontinent, is surrounded by the Arabian Sea to the west, the Bay of Bengal to the east, and the Indian Ocean to the south.

Encompassing the expansive Deccan Plateau, a raised landmass dominating South India, this region is flanked by the Eastern Ghats in the east and the Western Ghats in the west.

Renowned for its diverse geography, rich cultural heritage, and distinctive biodiversity, the area boasts tropical forests, varied wildlife, and numerous rivers weaving through the landscape. The ecological significance of these hills and mountains enhances the overall charm and environmental importance of peninsular India.

Read More: Northern Plains of India, Features, Map, States, Rivers, Importance

List of Major Hills of Peninsular India

Some of the major hills of Peninsular India:

  • Western Ghats
  • Eastern Ghats
  • Nilgiri Hills
  • Palani Hills
  • Anaimalai Hills
  • Cardamom Hills

Western Ghats

  • The Western Ghats, alternatively called the Sahyadri range, is a mountainous stretch running parallel to the western coast of India.
  • This extensive range extends from the northern state of Gujarat to the southern tip of the Indian peninsula in Tamil Nadu.
  • Acknowledged as one of the eight “hottest hotspots” of biodiversity globally, the Western Ghats has earned the prestigious designation of a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Here are some key peaks within the Western Ghats, each with its unique features:

Anamudi

  • Situated in the state of Kerala, Anamudi stands as the highest peak in the Western Ghats, reaching an elevation of 2,695 meters.
  • This peak is renowned for its distinctive montane rainforest ecosystem and serves as the habitat for endangered species such as the Nilgiri tahr and the lion-tailed macaque.

Mullayanagiri

  • Located in Karnataka, Mullayanagiri holds the distinction of being the highest peak in the state, soaring to an elevation of 1,930 meters.

Doddabetta

  • Found in Tamil Nadu, Doddabetta claims the title of the highest peak in the Nilgiri Hills, with an elevation of 2,637 meters.

Brahmagiri

  • A range of hills in Karnataka, Brahmagiri is an integral part of the Western Ghats and is renowned for housing the Brahmagiri Wildlife Sanctuary.

Agumbe

Nestled in Karnataka, Agumbe is a hill station recognized for its substantial rainfall and diverse biodiversity, earning it the moniker “Cherrapunji of the South.”

Matheran

  • Located in Maharashtra, Matheran serves as a popular weekend getaway for residents of Mumbai and Pune.

Eastern Ghats

  • The Eastern Ghats, a lesser-known counterpart to the Western Ghats, is a mountain range running parallel to the eastern coast of India, spanning from Odisha to Tamil Nadu.
  • Despite being less in the limelight, the Eastern Ghats play a vital role as an ecological hotspot, boasting several scenic hills.

Here’s a glimpse of some prominent hills within the Eastern Ghats, each with its unique features:

Mahendragiri

  • The highest peak in the Eastern Ghats, Mahendragiri, stands at the border of Odisha and Andhra Pradesh, reaching an elevation of 1501 meters (4928 feet). This sacred site is believed to be where Lord Parshurama performed penance, adorned with ancient temples and shrines.

Nallamala Hills

  • Situated in Andhra Pradesh, the Nallamala Hills are celebrated for their rich biodiversity, providing a habitat for diverse wildlife, including tigers, leopards, and sloth bears.

Javadi Hills

  • Nestled in Tamil Nadu, the Javadi Hills host ancient temples, shrines, and vibrant tribal communities, adding cultural richness to their natural charm.

Simlipal

  • Located in the Mayurbhanj district of Odisha, Simlipal is renowned for its biodiversity and conservation efforts. Home to the Simlipal National Park and Tiger Reserve, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it stands as a testament to wildlife preservation.

Kondakarla Ava

  • Found in Andhra Pradesh, Kondakarla Ava boasts waterfalls, streams, and lakes, creating a picturesque destination favored by nature enthusiasts.

Papi Hills

  • In Andhra Pradesh, the Papi Hills showcase unique rock formations and provide a home for tribal communities and traditional fishing villages.

Seshachalam Hills

  • Stretching across the Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh and the Tirupati district of Tamil Nadu, the Seshachalam Hills offer a blend of natural beauty and cultural significance.

Sispara Peak

  • Located in Odisha, Sispara Peak stands out for its rich biodiversity and distinctive montane rainforest ecosystem. It shelters rare and endangered species like the Nilgiri langur and the Malabar giant squirrel.
Mountain Ranges and Hills of Peninsular India
Mountain Ranges and Hills of Peninsular India

Nilgiri Hills

The Nilgiri Hills, gracing the southern Indian states of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, and Kerala, stand as a captivating mountain range celebrated for their enchanting natural vistas, diverse biodiversity, and cultural importance.

Explore the major hills of the Nilgiris, each offering distinct highlights:

Doddabetta Peak

  • The pinnacle of the Nilgiri Hills, Doddabetta Peak, situated in Tamil Nadu’s Nilgiri district, reaches an impressive elevation of 2,637 meters (8,650 feet) above sea level. The name “Doddabetta” translates to “big mountain” in the local Kannada language.

Mukurthi National Park

  • Nestled in Tamil Nadu’s Nilgiri district, Mukurthi National Park is a protected sanctuary boasting a unique shola-grassland ecosystem and diverse biodiversity. Among its residents is the Nilgiri tahr, an endangered mountain goat species.

Ooty Hill Station

  • Known as Udhagamandalam or Ootacamund, Ooty Hill Station is a popular retreat within the Nilgiri Hills of Tamil Nadu. Perched at an altitude of 2,240 meters (7,350 feet) above sea level, it offers a consistently cool and pleasant climate year-round.

Coonoor Hill Station

  • Nestled in the Nilgiri Hills of Tamil Nadu, Coonoor Hill Station is a picturesque town situated at an altitude of 1,850 meters (6,070 feet) above sea level. Renowned for its natural beauty, tea plantations, and colonial-era architecture, it’s a haven for serenity seekers.

Silent Valley National Park

  • Positioned in the Western Ghats of Kerala, Silent Valley National Park earns its name from the lack of cicadas, known for their persistent calls.
Cicadas are fascinating insects known for their loud singing, long lifespans, and unique life cycle. They belong to the superfamily Cicadoidea, with over 3,000 species identified worldwide!
  • This protected area harbors rare and endangered flora and fauna, including the lion-tailed macaque and the Nilgiri langur.

The Nilgiri Hills encapsulate a harmonious blend of scenic grandeur, ecological richness, and cultural significance, making them a treasure trove for nature enthusiasts and explorers alike.

Anaimalai Hills

  • The Anaimalai Hills, often referred to as the Elephant Hills, stand as a prominent range of hills in peninsular India, situated within the Western Ghats of Tamil Nadu and Kerala in South India.
  • A notable feature of this region is its highest peak, Anamudi, located in Kerala and ranking as the tallest peak in South India.
  • Anamudi holds significance beyond its elevation, serving as a crucial water catchment area in South India.
  • Originating from these hills are major rivers such as Parambikulam, Aliyar, Chalakudy, and Thootha, contributing to the region’s water resources.
  • Comprising various smaller ranges, each with distinct features, the Anaimalai Hills offer a diverse landscape. Here are key highlights of some of the notable hills within the Anaimalai range:

Anamudi Peak

  • Nestled within the Eravikulam National Park, Anamudi Peak stands as the highest point in South India, soaring to an altitude of 2,695 meters (8,842 feet) above sea level.

Meesapulimala

  • As the second-highest peak in the Western Ghats, Meesapulimala rises to an elevation of 2,640 meters (8,661 feet) above sea level. The peak offers breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding hills and valleys.

Mannamalai

  • Positioned in the Palani Hills range of the Anaimalai Hills, Mannamalai contributes to the diverse topography of this region.

Velliangiri Mountains

  • Known as the Kailash of the South, the Velliangiri Mountains are situated near Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu, adding a spiritual and scenic dimension to the Anaimalai range.

Thirumoorthy Hills

  • Within the Anaimalai Hills, Thirumoorthy Hills presents another facet of this diverse landscape, offering a unique blend of natural beauty and cultural significance.

The Anaimalai Hills, with their varied peaks and unique features, stand as a testament to the rich geographical and cultural tapestry of peninsular India.

Palani Hills

  • The Palani Hills, a significant range of hills in peninsular India, form a captivating mountainous landscape within the Western Ghats of South India.
  • Extending from the state of Kerala to Tamil Nadu, covering an expansive area of approximately 2,068 square kilometers, these hills derive their name from the town of Palani nestled in their foothills.
  • Renowned for their distinctive flora and fauna, as well as cultural and historical importance, the Palani Hills offer a unique tapestry of natural and spiritual elements.

Kodaikanal Peak (Palaniappa Peak)

  • Standing as the highest point in the Palani Hills, Kodaikanal Peak, also known as Palaniappa Peak, reaches an elevation of 2,133 meters (6,998 feet) above sea level.
  • Its summit provides breathtaking panoramic views, making it a notable landmark within the Palani Hills mountain range.

Palani Murugan Temple

  • Nestled in the Palani Hills, the Palani Murugan Temple is an ancient Hindu shrine dedicated to Lord Murugan, the God of War.
  • Revered as one of the foremost pilgrimage sites in South India, the temple adds a spiritual dimension to the cultural and historical significance of the Palani Hills.

Berijam Lake

  • A picturesque reservoir within the Palani Hills, Berijam Lake is renowned for its crystal-clear waters and scenic surroundings, making it a peaceful and beautiful destination within this mountainous region.

Palani Hills Wildlife Sanctuary

  • Spanning an area of 736.87 square kilometers between Kodaikanal and Dindigul, the Palani Hills Wildlife Sanctuary serves as a habitat for several endangered and endemic species.
  • Among its residents are the Nilgiri tahr, lion-tailed macaque, Indian rock python, and Malabar giant squirrel, as well as various species of birds and butterflies.

Perumal Peak

  • Positioned at an elevation of 2,440 meters (8,005 feet) above sea level, Perumal Peak claims the title of the highest peak in the Perumalai Hills, contributing to the diverse topography of the Palani Hills.

The Palani Hills, with their blend of natural wonders, spiritual sites, and ecological diversity, stand as a testament to the multifaceted beauty of the Western Ghats in South India.

Hills of the Western Ghats from North to South

Here is a list of some of the major hills of the Western Ghats, from north to south:

Sl. NoMountain Range/HillsLocation
1Satpura RangeMadhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, and Gujarat
2Satmala HillsMaharashtra
3Harishchandra RangeMaharashtra
4Baba Budan HillsKarnataka
5Nilgiri HillsTamil Nadu, Kerala, and Karnataka
6Anaimalai HillsTamil Nadu and Kerala
7Anai MudiKerala
8AgasthyamalaiKerala and Tamil Nadu
9Cardamom HillsKerala and Tamil Nadu

Hills of Eastern Ghats from North to South

Here is a list of some of the major hills of the Eastern Ghats, from north to south:

Sl. NoMountain Range/HillsLocation
1Mahendragiri HillsOdisha and Andhra Pradesh
2Simlipal HillsOdisha
3Ansupa HillsOdisha
4Dhauli HillsOdisha
5Nallamala HillsAndhra Pradesh
6Palakonda HillsAndhra Pradesh
7Papi HillsAndhra Pradesh
8Javadi HillsTamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh
9Shevaroy HillsTamil Nadu
10Pachaimalai HillsTamil Nadu
11Javvadhu HillsTamil Nadu
12Kolli HillsTamil Nadu
13Kalrayan HillsTamil Nadu
14Sirumalai HillsTamil Nadu

Key Facts / Summary

Western Ghats

  • Also known as the Sahyadri range, it runs parallel to the western coast of India.
  • Stretches from Gujarat to Tamil Nadu, covering a vast area.
  • Designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and recognized as one of the eight biodiversity hotspots globally.

Key Peaks in the Western Ghats

Anamudi

  • Located in Kerala, it is the highest peak at 2,695 meters.
  • Home to endangered species like Nilgiri tahr and lion-tailed macaque.

Mullayanagiri

  • The highest peak in Karnataka at 1,930 meters.

Doddabetta

  • The highest peak in the Nilgiri Hills (Tamil Nadu) at 2,637 meters.

Brahmagiri

  • Range of hills in Karnataka, known for Brahmagiri Wildlife Sanctuary.

Agumbe

  • In Karnataka, famous for substantial rainfall and diverse biodiversity.

Matheran

  • In Maharashtra, a popular weekend getaway for Mumbai and Pune residents.

Eastern Ghats

  • Runs parallel to the eastern coast of India, from Odisha to Tamil Nadu.
  • Despite being less highlighted, plays a crucial role as an ecological hotspot.

Prominent Hills in Eastern Ghats:

  • Mahendragiri: Highest peak at the Odisha-Andhra Pradesh border (1,501 meters).
  • Nallamala Hills: Located in Andhra Pradesh, celebrated for its rich biodiversity.
  • Javadi Hills: In Tamil Nadu, known for ancient temples and vibrant tribal communities.
  • Simlipal: In Odisha, is renowned for its biodiversity and is home to Simlipal National Park and Tiger Reserve.

Nilgiri Hills

  • Encompasses Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, and Kerala, known for captivating vistas and biodiversity.

Major Hills in Nilgiri Hills

  • Doddabetta Peak: Highest point in Nilgiri Hills, Tamil Nadu (2,637 meters).
  • Mukurthi National Park: Protected sanctuary in Tamil Nadu with unique shola-grassland ecosystem.
  • Ooty Hill Station: Popular retreat in Tamil Nadu at an altitude of 2,240 meters.
  • Coonoor Hill Station: Picturesque town in Tamil Nadu at an altitude of 1,850 meters.
  • Silent Valley National Park: In Kerala, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, known for biodiversity.

Anaimalai Hills

  • Also known as Elephant Hills, part of the Western Ghats in Tamil Nadu and Kerala.

Notable Peaks in Anaimalai Hills

  • Anamudi Peak: The highest point in South India, situated in Eravikulam National Park.
  • Meesapulimala: Second-highest peak in the Western Ghats, offering panoramic views.

Palani Hills

  • Range of hills in the Western Ghats, extending from Kerala to Tamil Nadu.

Highlights of Palani Hills

  • Kodaikanal Peak (Palaniappa Peak): The highest point at 2,133 meters, providing stunning panoramic views.
  • Palani Murugan Temple: Ancient Hindu shrine dedicated to Lord Murugan.
  • Berijam Lake: Picturesque reservoir known for crystal-clear waters.
  • Palani Hills Wildlife Sanctuary: Habitat for endangered species like Nilgiri tahr and lion-tailed macaque.
  • Perumal Peak: Highest peak in the Perumalai Hills at 2,440 meters.

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