The Western Ghats are not true mountains, but are the faulted edge of the Deccan Plateau. They are believed to have been formed during the break-up of the super continent of Gondwana some 150 million years ago. Geophysicists Barron and Harrison from the University of Miami advocate the theory that the west coast of India came into being somewhere around 100 to 80 mya after it broke away from Madagascar. After the break-up, the western coast of India would have appeared as an abrupt cliff some 1,000 m (3,300 ft) in elevation. Basalt is the predominant rock found in the hills reaching a depth of 3 km (2 mi). Other rock types found are charnockites,granite gneiss, khondalites, leptynites, metamorphic gneisses with detached occurrences of crystalline limestone, iron ore,dolerites and anorthosites. Residual laterite and bauxite ores are also found in the southern hills.
A view of Anamudi, the highest peak of western Ghats 2,695 metres (8,842 ft) from Eravikulam National Park, Kerala. Hill ranges
The Western Ghats extend from the Satpura Range in the north, go south past Maharashtra, Goa, through Karnataka and intoKerala and Tamil Nadu. Major gaps in the range are the Goa Gap, between the Maharashtra and Karnataka sections, and thePalghat Gap on the Tamil Nadu and Kerala border between the Nilgiri Hills and the Anaimalai Hills. Sahyadhris
The major hill range starting from the north is the Sahyadhri (the benevolent mountains) range. This range is home to many hill stations like Matheran, Lonavala-Khandala, Mahabaleshwar, Panchgani, Amboli Ghat, Kudremukh and Kodagu. The range is called Sahyadri in northern Maharashtra, Karnataka and Sahya Parvatam in Kerala. Nilgiris
The Nilgiri Hills,also known as the Nilagiri malai, are in northwestern Tamil Nadu. The Nilgiri Hills are home to the hill station Ooty. The Bili giri rangana Betta southeast of Mysore in Karnataka, meet the Shevaroys (Servarayan range) and Tirumala range farther east, linking the Western Ghats to the Eastern Ghats. In the South, the range is or Nilgiris in Tamil Nadu. Anaimalai Hills
South of the Palghat Gap are the Anaimalai Hills, in western Tamil Nadu and Kerala. Smaller ranges are further south, including theCardamom Hills. In the southern part of the range is Anamudi peak 2,695 metres (8,842 ft) in Kerala the highest peak in Western Ghats. Chembra Peak 2,100 metres (6,890 ft), Banasura Peak 2,073 metres (6,801 ft), Vellarimala 2,200 metres (7,218 ft) and Agasthya mala 1,868 metres (6,129 ft) are also in Kerala. Doddabetta in...