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Anamudi

Anamudi

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Anamudi is located in the Indian state Kerala
Kerala
or Keralam is an Indian state located on the Malabar coast of south-west India. It was created on 1 November 1956 by the States Reorganisation Act by combining various Malayalam speaking regions....

. It is the highest peak in the Western Ghats
Western Ghats
The Western Ghats, Western Ghauts or the Sahyādri is a mountain range along the western side of India. It runs north to south along the western edge of the Deccan Plateau, and separates the plateau from a narrow coastal plain along the Arabian Sea. The Western Ghats block rainfall to the Deccan...

 and South India
South India
South India is the area encompassing India's states of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu as well as the union territories of Lakshadweep and Pondicherry, occupying 19.31% of India's area...

, at an elevation of 2695 metres (8,841.9 ft), and a topographic prominence
Topographic prominence
In topography, prominence, also known as autonomous height, relative height, shoulder drop , or prime factor , categorizes the height of the mountain's or hill's summit by the elevation between it and the lowest contour line encircling it and no higher summit...

 of 2479 metres (8,133.2 ft). The name Anamudi literally translates to "elephants forehead," a reference to the resemblance of the mountain to an elephant's head.

The first recorded ascent of the Anamudi was by General Douglas Hamilton
Douglas Hamilton
General Douglas Hamilton was a British Indian Army officer, gazetted to the 21st Regiment of the Madras Native Infantry from 1837 to 1871. He was a well known surveyor of the early British hill stations in South India and a famous sportsman, shikari, big-game hunter and trophy collector. He was an...

 of the Madras Army on May 4, 1862, but it is likely that there had been earlier ascents by local people.

Climatic zones and biomes


Anamudi is the highest peak in the Western Ghats in India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

, having an elevation of 2695 metres (8,841.9 ft). Anamudi is also the highest point in South India, and also the highest point in India outside the Himalaya-Karakoram
Karakoram
The Karakoram, or Karakorum , is a large mountain range spanning the borders between Pakistan, India and China, located in the regions of Gilgit-Baltistan , Ladakh , and Xinjiang region,...

 mountain range
Mountain range
A mountain range is a single, large mass consisting of a succession of mountains or narrowly spaced mountain ridges, with or without peaks, closely related in position, direction, formation, and age; a component part of a mountain system or of a mountain chain...

. This gives Anamudi its relatively large topographic prominence of 2479 metres (8,133.2 ft), the associated key saddle being 2000 kilometres (1,242.7 mi) away at 28°35′20"N 76°27′59"E.

The peak is not exceptionally dramatic in terms of steepness or local relief and is a Fault-block mountain
Fault-block mountain
Fault-block landforms are formed when large areas of bedrock are widely broken up by faults creating large vertical displacements of continental crust....

. It is located in the southern region of Eravikulam National Park
Eravikulam National Park
Eravikulam National Park is a 97 km² national park located along the Western Ghats in the Idukki district of Kerala in India, between 10º05'N - 10º20'N latitude and 77º0'E - 77º10'E longitude...

 at the junction of the Cardamom Hills
Cardamom Hills
Not to be confused with Cardamom Mountains in Cambodia. For other uses, see Cardamom The Cardamom Hills are part of the southern Western Ghats located in southeast Kerala and southwest Tamil Nadu in South India. Their name comes from the cardamom spice grown in much of the hill's cool elevation,...

, the Anamala Hills and the Palni Hills
Palni Hills
The Palni Hills are a mountain range in Tamil Nadu state of South India. The Palni Hills are an eastward extension of the Western Ghats ranges, which run parallel to the west coast of India. The Palni Hills adjoin the high Anamalai range on the west, and extend east into the plains of Tamil Nadu,...

. The nearest town is Munnar
Munnar
Munnar is one of the most popular hill station in Kerala and in southern India. Munnar is located on the Western Ghats, situated in the Idukki district....

, 13 kilometres (8.1 mi). The easiest route to the summit of Anamudi is a technically easy hike on grass slopes, starting from a rolling hill plateau with a base elevation of about 2000 metres (6,561.7 ft). The north and south slopes are gentle, while the east and west slopes are steeper, with more difficult rock faces. The heavy evergreen forest
Evergreen forest
An temperate evergreen forest is a forest consisting entirely or mainly of evergreen trees that retain green foliage all year round. Such forests exist in the tropics primarily as broadleaf evergreens, and in temperate and boreal latitudes primarily as coniferous evergreens.-Tropical evergreen...

s are present with bamboo
Bamboo
Bamboo is a group of perennial evergreens in the true grass family Poaceae, subfamily Bambusoideae, tribe Bambuseae. Giant bamboos are the largest members of the grass family....

s, black-wood (Dalbergia latifolia
Dalbergia latifolia
Dalbergia latifolia is an economically important timber species native to low elevation tropical monsoon forests of eastern India...

), and teak
Teak
Teak is the common name for the tropical hardwood tree species Tectona grandis and its wood products. Tectona grandis is native to south and southeast Asia, mainly India, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Burma, but is naturalized and cultivated in many countries, including those in Africa and the...

 growing in abundance. The heavy forest with which the range is clothed is the source of the most valuable of the rivers which traverse the drier country to the east, namely the Vaigai
Vaigai River
The Vaigai is a river in Madurai, Tamil Nadu state of southern India. It originates in the Periyar Plateau of the Western Ghats range, and flows northeast through the Kambam Valley, which lies between the Palni Hills to the north and the Varushanad Hills to the south. The Vattaparai Falls are...

, and Thamirabarani
Thamirabarani River
The Thamirabarani River originates from the famous Agastyarkoodam peak in the hills of the Western Ghats above Papanasam in the Ambasamudram taluk and flows through Tirunelveli & Tuticorin districts of the Tamil Nadu state of southern India...

 ; and the waters of the Periyar
Periyar River
Periyar is the longest river in the state of Kerala, India, with a length of 244 km. The Periyar is known as the lifeline of Kerala; it is one of the few perennial rivers in the region and provides drinking water for several major towns...

, which flows into the Arabian Sea
Arabian Sea
The Arabian Sea is a region of the Indian Ocean bounded on the east by India, on the north by Pakistan and Iran, on the west by the Arabian Peninsula, on the south, approximately, by a line between Cape Guardafui in northeastern Somalia and Kanyakumari in India...

.

Anamudi and the Eravikulam National Park
Eravikulam National Park
Eravikulam National Park is a 97 km² national park located along the Western Ghats in the Idukki district of Kerala in India, between 10º05'N - 10º20'N latitude and 77º0'E - 77º10'E longitude...

 surrounding it is home to the largest surviving population of the Nilgiri Tahr
Nilgiri Tahr
The Nilgiri Tahr, Nilgiritragus hylocrius, known locally as the Nilgiri Ibex or simply Ibex, is an ungulate that is endemic to the Nilgiri Hills and the southern portion of the Western Ghats in the states of Tamil Nadu and Kerala in southern India. It is the state animal of Tamil Nadu...

(Nilgiritragus hylocrius). Asian Elephant
Asian Elephant
The Asian or Asiatic elephant is the only living species of the genus Elephas and distributed in Southeast Asia from India in the west to Borneo in the east. Three subspecies are recognized — Elephas maximus maximus from Sri Lanka, the Indian elephant or E. m. indicus from mainland Asia, and E. m....

s, Gaur
Gaur
The gaur , also called Indian bison, is a large bovine native to South Asia and Southeast Asia. The species is listed as vulnerable on the IUCN Red List since 1986 as the population decline in parts of the species' range is likely to be well over 70% over the last three generations...

, Bengal tiger
Bengal Tiger
The Bengal tiger is a tiger subspecies native to the Indian subcontinent that in 2010 has been classified as endangered by IUCN...

s, and the Nilgiri Marten (Martes gwatkinsii) are some of the species of animals found here .. The summit of the Anamudi is vegetated with patches of stunted Arundinaria
Arundinaria
Arundinaria, commonly known as the canes, is the sole genus of bamboo native to South Africa and eastern North America and the only temperate bamboo in North America. The genus is endemic to the eastern United States from New Jersey south to Florida and west to Ohio and Texas...

 densifolia
and Gaultheria
Gaultheria
Gaultheria is a genus of about 170-180 species of shrubs in the family Ericaceae. The name memorializes Jean François Gauthier of Quebec, a mis-spelt honour bestowed by the Scandinavian Pehr Kalm in 1748. These plants are native to Asia, North and South America, and Australasia...

 fragrantissima
(wintergreen), Anaphalis sp., Impatiens
Impatiens
Impatiens is a genus of about 850–1,000 species of flowering plants, widely distributed throughout the Northern Hemisphere and tropics. Together with the puzzling Hydrocera triflora, this genus makes up the family Balsaminaceae...

and some species of Eriocaulon.