The Western Ghats, is a mountain range that covers an area of 160,000 km² in a stretch of 1,600 km parallel to the western coast of the Indian peninsula, traversing the states of Karnataka, Goa, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Kerala, and Tamil Nadu. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is one of the eight hotspots of biological diversity in the world. It is sometimes called the Great Escarpment of India. It contains a very large proportion of the country's flora and fauna, many of which are only found in India and nowhere else in the world. According to UNESCO, the Western Ghats are older than the Himalayas. They influence Indian monsoon weather patterns by intercepting the rain-laden monsoon winds that sweep in from the south-west during late summer. The range runs north to south along the western edge of the Deccan Plateau, and separates the plateau from a narrow coastal plain, called Konkan, along the Arabian Sea. A total of thirty-nine areas in the Western Ghats, including national parks, wildlife sanctuaries and reserve forests, were designated as world heritage sites in 2012 – twenty in Kerala, ten in Karnataka, six in Tamil Nadu and four in Maharashtra.