The Western Ghats
run north to south for about 9,941 miles (1,600 km) and have peaks of many different heights up to 8,841 feet (2,695 m). The hill ranges of the Western Ghats, running from the river Tapti in the North to Kanyakumari in the South, stands as a great barrier between the West coast of India and the rest of the peninsula. This positioning influences rainfall patterns and the high precipitation of the Western slopes makes the Western Ghats biologically rich and geographically unique.
Steep canyons and countless small streams cut across the mountainsides that face west, but to the east there are gentle slopes and wide valleys. Several major rivers run either inland or toward the Bay of Bengal, including the Bhima, Godavari, Krishna, and Kaveri.
The small rivers and streams draining the old, isolated, and relatively stable Western Ghats host a highly endemic aquatic biota with over 100 fish, about 20 per cent of mollusc species, and 100 amphibian species endemic to this ecoregion.