The Western Ghats or the Sahyādri constitute a mountain range along the western side of India. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is one of the eight "hottest hot spots" of biological diversity in the world. It is sometimes called the Great Escarpment of India.The range runs north to south along the western edge of the Deccan Plateau, and separates the plateau from a narrow coastal plain, called Konkan, along the Arabian Sea. A total of thirty nine properties including national parks, wildlife sanctuaries and reserve forests were designated as world heritage sites - twenty in Kerala ten in Karnataka five in Tamil Nadu and four in Maharashtra
The range starts near the border of Gujarat and Maharashtra,south of the Tapti river,and runs approximately 1,600 km (990 mi) through the states of Maharashtra, Goa,Karnataka,Tamil Nadu and Kerala ending at Kanyakumari, at the southern tip of India.
These hills cover 160,000 km2 (62,000 sq. mi) and form the catchment area for complex river drainage systems,that drain almost 40% of India. The Western Ghats block rainfall to the Deccan Plateau.The average elevation is around 1,200 m (3,900 Ft.).
The area is one of the world's ten "Hottest biodiversity "hot spots" and has over 5000 species of flowering plants, 139 mammal species, 508 bird species and 179 amphibian species; it is likely that many undiscovered species live in the Western Ghats. At least 325 globally threatened species occur in the Western Ghats.