Eastern Ghats

The Eastern Ghats are the hill ranges lying on the Eastern side of the Deccan plateau. They form a discontinuous range of mountains passing through Odisha in the north and Andrha Pradesh to Tamil Nadu in the south traversing some parts of Karnataka. They are cut through by four major rivers of southern India, the Mahanadi, Godavari, Krishna and Kaveri. As with the Western Ghats, these mountain ranges also have their local names, e.g. the Velikonda range of Andhra Pradesh, Kollimalai and Shevaroy hills of Tamil Nadu.

North of the river Kaveri in Tamil Nadu are higher mountain ranges of Eastern Ghats, namely Kollimalai, Shevaroy, Kalrayan, Chitteri, Palamalai and Mettur hills. The climate of the higher hill ranges is generally cooler and wetter. The Biligiri hills, which run east from the Western Ghats to the river Kaveri, form a forested ecological corridor that connects the Eastern and Western Ghats.

The Eastern Ghats region falls under tropical monsoon climate recieving rainfall from both South-West monsoon and North-East retreating monsoon. Eastern Ghats are rich in floristic diversity. Vegetaion varies considerably with altitudes and show a distinct zonation of forest types on all these Eastern Ghats. These are Scrub jungles, deciduous forests, evergreen forests and Sholas. More than 2500 species of Angiosperms occur in this region which constitute about 13% of the flowering plants of India. Ellis (1987-90) made several intensive collections from Nallamalais and enumerated 843 species under 419 genera belonging 109 families. Ranjitakaani (1998) who made a floristic survey of Kolli hills in Salem district reported 854 species of Angiosperms, 57 pteridophytes and 5 Gymnosperms. Senthil Kumar and Krishnamurthy (1993) extensively surveyed the flora of Shevaroy hills and reported 1184 species of flowering plants under 674 genera belonging 150 families. Professor T. Pullaiah of Sri Krishnadevaraya University and his team reported 328 species legumes (Pullaiah and Sriramamurthy, 2001), 69 species of Convolvulaceae, 14 species Boraginaceae, 16 species of Cordiaceae and 34 species of Solanaceae (Venkatappa et al., 1998, Venkatappa, 1998). Saxena and Brahmam (1994) gave detailed account of Flora of Orissa, while Pullaiah et al. (1997) gave an account of Flora of Andhra Pradesh and Nair and Henry (1983) gave flora of Tamil Nadu. These three floras cover most of Eastern Ghats.

The database of native and naturalized vascular plants of Eastern Ghats.