Kaas Plateau is also called the valley of flowers – Maharashtra’s answer to Uttarakhand’s famous valley of flowers. Both the valleys bloom around the same time during late monsoons season in India i.e in the months of August and September. While the later requires you to trek through the tough Himalayan terrain after reaching the foothills, you can drive right up to the Kaas plateau that lies on one of the many hills of the city of Satara.
Our first encounter on the way to Kaas Plateau was with a 2 meter or so long snake that just appeared on the road and took its time to cross the road. Next morning when we walked to the Kaas from MTDC resort where we were staying, we met many of them – peacefully loitering around. Unfortunately many of them were dead, probably under the wheels of some vehicles but we spotted some mongoose too, so you never know. There are lots of butterflies to spot and enjoy. Due to spread out vistas, capturing them needs a lot of patience.
We were told the color of the flowers at Kaas changes every week or so. In the third week of August it was white flowers that dominated the plateau. Some of them carried hues of pink. There were lot of micro flowers that needed an eagle eye and a sturdy camera to capture them.
Kaas lake had some of the blue flowers in its bed. This is also a place where you can get something to eat.
Kaas being a part of the Western Ghats is a part of the UNESCO world heritage site. UNESCO has taken the initiative to barricade the main plateau so that flowers are protected and visitors remain at a safe distance. We were told that before this, tourists would play football in these fields and destroy the small flowers and flower beds. Unfortunately, we could see enough cut outs in those barricades to allow people in. On the plateau, there were paths marked for the people to walk around.
Some tips for Kaas Visitors:
- Place tends to get cold and strong winds flow so pack accordingly.
- There are lots of mosquitoes, cover yourself as much as possible. They tend to get into your eyes. Between two of us one person fanned away the mosquitoes while the other clicked pictures.
- Wear closed shoes – snakes and other reptiles are in abundance
- Carry a magnifying glass. There are lots of micro flowers that are difficult to see with naked eye.
- MTDC has a small 5-room resort at the base of the plateau from where you can walk to the flowers – it is like a light trek that allows you to see the flowers on the side and the valley views on both sides of the plateau.
- In a book on Kaas plateau there are about 80 varieties of flowers mentioned – on close study we found that most of these flowers are found around the country. So, be prepared for that.
- En-masse flowering happens for a very small period and it seems that week the place is too crowded. For the rest of the season – you do see some flowers and flower beds. The week we were there, there were ample white flowers and other regular flowers. So, keep that expectation in mind.
- We found lot of similar flowers on other hills of Satara, so do venture out and look for flowers in the vicinity of Kaas too.
- Public transport is very limited and unpredictable from and to Satara. There are no buses after 5 PM.
- Check the bloom time before you head to Kaas, though in general mid Aug to Sep end is a good time.