The Nilgiris or the "blue mountains" is an international biosphere reserve and is a part of the western ghats mountain range running across the west of peninsular India. The region is a world heritage site.
The area is one of the world's ten "Hottest biodiversity hotspots" and has over 5000 species of flowering plants, 139 mammal species, 508 bird species and 179 amphibian species. It is likely that many undiscovered species live in the Western Ghats. At least 325 globally threatened species occur in the Western Ghats.
The region is dotted with charming colonial architecture, extensive tea & coffee plantations, and horticulture. The Doddabetta Peak, near Ooty, at a height of 2,637 metres (8,652 ft) is the highest point in the Nilgiris.
The area is well known for its exotic fruits, vegetables and its thriving floriculture. Its uniquely optimal combination of soil, climate, orientation, altitude etc has encouraged plantations in the area to experiment with various new crops.