It figures in Lonely Planet’s collection of 10 of the best destinations in Asia
Older than the Himalayas and well known for its rich and unique flora and fauna, the Western Ghats has figured in Lonely Planet’s top five “2018 Best in Asia” list, a collection of 10 of the best destinations to visit in the continent for the year.
One of the Hottest Biodiversity Hotspots and UNESCO World Heritage site, the Western Ghats has came fourth in the list of the Lonely Planet, considered a Bible by travellers worldwide. Neelakurinji (Strobilanthes kunthiana), which has started blooming after 12 years in the famed hill station of Munnar has found mention in report.
“India’s steamy southern highlands have never garnered the same column inches as the hill stations and Himalayan heights of North India, but the Western Ghats offer an atmospheric mirror to Shimla and Darjeeling, with added jungle appeal. Traversing Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka, Goa and Maharashtra, these rugged hills are UNESCO listed as one of the top spots for biodiversity in the world, protecting everything from wild elephants and tigers to the neelakurinji flower, which blooms only once every 12 years and will be painting the hills in purple livery from August to October 2018. Visit now and you’ll find coffee, tea and spice plantations, charmingly dated colonial outposts, thundering waterfalls, and even a steam-powered mountain railway,” says the magazine in its report.
Western Ghats supports the life of 7,402 species of flowering plants, 1814 species of non-flowering plants, 139 mammal species, 508 bird species, 179 amphibian species, 6000 insects species and 290 freshwater fish species.
“Asia is such a vast and diverse continent for anyone dreaming of an escape,” Lonely Planet’s Asia-Pacific Media Spokesperson Chris Zeiher has said. The panel of travel experts have named Busan, South Korea, Uzbekistan and Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam to the first three spots.
“Our experts have combed through thousands of recommendations to pick the best destinations to visit over the next 12 months.” Nagasaki, Japan, Chiang Mai, Thailand, Lumbini, Nepal, Arugam Bay, Sri Lanka, Sìchuan Province, China and Komodo National Park, Indonesia are the destinations listed after Western Ghats.