Western Ghats, all the shades of green

Vinchu Kata
Come to India: you'll find a moustached guard with a turban eating curry, next to a temple decorated with Kama Sutra carvings, whilst some colorful Bollywood dancers jump in front of a Bengal tiger looking at the scene from the background (on the wild, nothing to do with what you can find on King Tiger's location).

No doubt, the country of Taj Mahal and the fictional city of Brahmpur is full of wonders, and also full of cliches. However, we'd like to introduce you to an India rare to find in the travel agency brochures. Below you'll find a few great scenic views from the large mountain range in the western coast, a wet symphony in green.

Since near 40 properties from the Western Ghats were recognized the past 2012 by the UNESCO as World Heritage, we wanted to pay them a visit. Also some filming locations of the Life of Pi were shot here, so this was the final excuse to collect the best photographic harvest from this land of tea plantations and monsoon weddings:

The Scorpion's Sting (Vinchu Kata) is a massive fortification that takes advantage of the topography in Lohagad Fort. Image by Amey Salvi and Nilanjan Sasmal

Varandha Pass
The Varandha Pass is a beautiful drive through a northern section of the mountains, in Maharashtra state.

You'll find a map at the end of the post including all the locations. Image by Vivek Athalye

Varandha Ghat
The mossy green makes this valley astonishingly gorgeous, especially in rainy season with its hundreds of waterfalls at full capacity.

Varandha Ghat is a lush misty kingdom of water, great for pictures.
Image by Rahul Bulbule

Striking shores of lake Dhom from Kate's Point, Mahabaleshwar.
Image by Nilanjan Sasmal

Needle hole rock
All along the same watchtower, near the Needle Hole rock.

Another essential section of the Western Ghats are the tea estates in Kerala.

Here is where Life of Pi was filmed. The movie includes a few panoramic scenes including these odd texture.
Image by Nilanjan Sasmal

Tea plantation house
Munnar is a hill station surrounded by vast plantations of tea. Beyond the tea plantations you have many national parks and reserves around Munnar, like Eravikulam.

This bungalow from the time of colonial India has now been transformed in a quiet bed and breakfast.

Valparai is also a picturesque hill station, in the Anaimalai range.
Image by Abraham Chacko

Wild Elephants India
You can even encounter wild elephants around Munnar. Just remember that the national beast is the tiger.
Image by August Gregg

Periyar Tiger Reserve
Periyar Tiger Reserve is a wildlife sanctuary characterized by these artificial lake of dead trees.
Image by Pranav Bhasin

Western Ghats Lake
It almost has the light of a Flemish painting.
Image by Dave Hilditch

Silent Valley National Park
Silent Valley National Park, one of the last virgin sections of rainforest in the south.
Image by Nara Simhan

Indira Gandhi National Park
Silent Valley is also known as Indira Gandhi National Park, as homage to the former Prime Minister who stopped the plans to flood the area under a new dam. Image by Nara Simhan

Silent Valley India
Atmospheric. Thanks to this decision, one of Earth's last unspoilt ecosystems still exist.
Image by Nara Simhan

Yellow and blue crickets
We almost forgot to tell you why Western Ghats are so valuable: According to UNESCO, they treasure one of the world’s eight ‘hottest hotspots’ of biological diversity. Image by Nara Simhan

Niagara of India
The Athirapally Falls, considered -a little extreme- the Indian Niagara, are our last stop.
Image by Dhimant Patel

Athirapally Falls
Image by Iriyas

View a larger map


All comments are reviewed prior to publication