Unexpectedly Awesome places in India #1: Western Ghats

westernghatsIt is fascinating to visit a place and find it unexpectedly awesome! Old thoughts, old expectations, understanding of the land, all get questioned. A new respect and appreciation for beauty grows in my heart every time I come across such a place. So here is a series of posts on the lesser known places which turned out to be one of the best places I have visited.

WESTERN GHATS

The ‘Ghats’ had always been an unpleasant word for me as it meant hours spent in a vehicle that keeps going around hilly bends in the road leading to nausea and motion sickness. Now a days that I am traveling out of passion this motion sickness has become much more bearable, as I am so excited about the place I am going to.

Yet I had not particularly noticed them – the brilliant Western Ghats. The beauty of these Ghats hit me to the core only at this secluded spot in the forest at Dandeli,

Sunset Point Panorama

Rows and rows of undulating hills could be seen in the distance. One after the other, every row becoming one shade lighter until it faded into the sky. A bright and striking sky above a huge expanse of lush forest. The scene spoke to me of untouched nature, ancient places and wilderness like nothing ever before. Since this day Western Ghats have become something sacred for me.

Now when I know that as many as 39 places in the Western Ghats have been allotted World Heritage Site Status by UNESCO I truly appreciate it, because this place is truly ancient! In fact these mountains are older than the Himalayan range and in these days of climatic imbalance, it is a very precious biosphere.

Here are some pictures of the western ghats taken from many different regions I have visited.

western ghats
In the Dandeli forest reserve….

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western ghats at dandeli
Panoramic view of the Western Ghats

Chikamagaluru

western ghats
Western Ghats, enroute Chikamagaluru
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Fields…. still enroute Chikamagaluru – 4hrs in a local ST bus from Mangalore to Chikamagaluru

Matheran hill station near Mumbai

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enroute Matheran – Asia’s only vehicle free hill station!
Western Ghats, Matheran
Toy train from Neral to Matheran
Western Ghats, Charlotte Lake, Matheran
Charlotte Lake surrounded by lush forests, Matheran

So much to explore in Coorg!

Western Ghats, Coorg
Iruppu Falls, Coorg
Western Ghats, Coorg
Harvest season in Coorg. The crops have been sheared already 🙂
Western Ghats, Coorg
Flora & Fauna – Coorg

Nilgiriswesternghats2

It was only when I was writing this post that I realized that the Nilgiris were a part of western ghats. I always thought they were at the eastern side of the country, but then I looked up a map of Western Ghats and realized the actual placement. I have spent quite a bit of time at the foothills of the Velliangiri mountains near Coimbatore which are a part of the Nilgiri biosphere of Western Ghats and done some interesting trekking there.

It was only at one of my last Coimbatore trips in 2013 I guess, that I realised Coonoor & Ooty the popular sister hill-stations of the Nilgiris were really nearby. So I went off for a few days to Coonoor. With a quick day trip to Ooty.

Western Ghats, Nilgiris
Toy train to Ooty
Western Ghats, Nilgiris
The beautiful Nilgiris near Ooty
Western Ghats, Nilgiris
Silver bark or Eucalytpus trees I guess, Nilgiris

It is amazing how one can keep traveling and just keep realizing how little you have traveled. I am really looking forward to traveling more in this area. Do more of nature trails and wild treks in this awesome biosphere of the Western Ghats!

Have you had any Western Ghats experiences?

  • Beautiful captures! Recently I had rode to Eastern ghats, don’t know when I can go to the west though 🙂

    • Where did you go in the Eastern ghats? They are also amazing… 🙂

      • Daringbadi to be precise 🙂

        • Wow, had never heard of it… Just googled it.. Looks amazing! Orissa is one state I haven’t been to at all! Totally looking to do a east coast trip for a while… Not managed yet 🙂

  • The western ghats are truly magical. All the more reason they must be saved.

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