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Eastern Ghats
  Eastern Ghats, the discontinuous range of mountains (also known as Malyadri ) set along eastern coast of India, is one of the important physiographic units with great environmental, socio-economic, cultural and spiritual significance in the peninsular region of our country.

Starting from West Bengal, the hill ranges pass through Orissa, Andhra Pradesh, touches Karnataka and ends in Tamil Nadu. They extend over a length of 1700 Km in a north-east south-west strike in the Indian Peninsula covering an area of about 2, 50,000 Sq. Km., with an average width of 220 Km in the north and 100 Km in the south. The Mahanandi basin marks the northern boundary of the Eastern Ghats while the southern boundary is the Nilagiri hills. Major portion of the mountain range falls in the state of Andhra Pradesh.

Epic Mahendra giri range of Orissa and Yarada, Papikondalu forms northern part of the ranges while Nallamalai, Yerramalais, Palakonda, Velikonda, Sheshachalam and Kambakkam forms the Central portion of the hills. North of the river Kaveri in Tamilnadu are Kollamalai, Pachamalai, Shevroy hills, Kalrayan hills, Chitteri, Palamalai and Mettur hills. The southern most Eastern Ghats are low Sirumalai and Karantha malai hills situated in southern Tamilnadu.

There are five ecological hotspots with endemic and endangered species in India, out of which two of them are in Eastern Ghats. For millions of years the Eastern Ghats have been cradles of life and civilization. The mountain ranges are rich in biodiversity, forests range from dry deciduous mixed forest to semi evergreen rain forest. Asia's biggest tiger reserve, Nagarjunasagar-Srisailam Tiger Sanctuary is located in the Nallamala range of Eastern Ghats.

It is home for a rich variety of minerals, rivers, wetlands, and several ancient places of worship like Simhachalam, Annavaram, Bhadrachalam, Srisailam, Mahanandi, Tirumala, and modern temples like Nagarjunasagar dam and Srisailam project. Many primitive tribal groups such as Chenchus, Koya, Savara, Jatapu, Konda dora, Gadaba, Khond, Manne dora, Mukha Dora etc., have been living in a symbiotic relationship with their habitats in the forests and hills. Major rivers of peninsular India i.e. Mahanadi, Godavari, Krishna, Penna and Kaveri pass through the hill ranges. Small local rivers and streams originate and emanate in hills also are the vital source of water in the region.

Challenges today

Today, unfortunately these prominent mountain ranges are under tremendous stress, degradation and damage due to human greed, population pressure, un-sustainable development, apathy by public, negligence by public servants, etc.

Haphazard mining, logging, poaching, forest fires, unsustainable harvest of forest produce, pilferage of rare species, smuggling and export of rare flora and fauna, encroachments of forest land and infrastructure development, myopic industrialization, springing up of habitations with an intention to colonize and devour the forest. The forest area in the Eastern Ghats has shrunk to half of what it was at the beginning of our republic. Exponential growth and development accelerated the decline of the natural glory of Eastern Ghats has to stop.

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