Have you heard of Kaas Plateau or Kaas Pathar in Satara, Maharastra better known for its floral diversity during a short period during the monsoons? A must-visit for nature lovers.
Kaas Plateau or Kaas Pathar – Valley of Flowers
Kaas Plateau is also called the Valley of Flowers – Maharashtra’s answer to Uttarakhand’s famous valley of flowers. Both valleys bloom around the same time during the late monsoon season in India i.e in the months of August and September.
While the latter requires you to trek through the tough Himalayan terrain after reaching the foothills, you can drive right up to the plateau that lies on one of the many hills of the city of Satara.
Our first encounter on the way to the biodiversity area was with a 2-meter or so-long snake that just appeared on the road and took its time to cross the road. The 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 mongooses 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.
Changing Colors of Flowers
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 a lot of micro flowers that needed an eagle eye and a sturdy camera to capture them.
Kaas Lake had some blue flowers in its bed. This is also a place where you can get something to eat.
UNESCO Heritage Value for Biodiversity?
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 cutouts in those barricades to allow people in. On the plateau, there were paths marked for the people to walk around.
Take a walk around this beautiful natural low-lying lake walkable distance away on the road from atop the hill. Here, by the lakeside, you will find several miniature buds/flowers blooming. The vastness of the water body is also a refreshing change from the floral treats.
Tips for Kaas Plateau Visitors
- The place tends to get cold and strong winds do blow so pack warm clothes accordingly.
- There are lots of mosquitoes & flies, so cover yourself as much as possible. They tend to get into your eyes. Between the two of us, one person fanned away the mosquitoes while the other clicked pictures.
- Wear closed shoes – snakes and other reptiles are in abundance during the season in this region.
- Carry a magnifying glass. There are lots of micro flowers that are difficult to see with the naked eye.
- MTDC has a small 5-room resort at the base of the plateau from where you can walk to the plateau of 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 the 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. It seems that for those few days, 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 a lot of similar flowers on other hills of Satara. Do venture out and look for flowers in the vicinity of Kaas too.
Local Transport and Floral Bloom Time
- Public transport is very limited and unpredictable from and to Satara city. There are no local buses plying after 5 PM.
- Check the bloom time before you head to the biodiversity heritage site. Though in general mid-Aug to September end is a good time.
- The hills and mountains here are essentially made of laterite.
- The laterite mountains can be very slippery during the monsoons. Take care and definitely do not walk too close to hill/mountain edges wherever they are too steep.
- The region is also popular for a variety of butterflies, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fungi, mammals, waterfalls, caves & caverns, heritage temples, and fantastic landscapes. Obviously, if there are wildflowers the rest of the dependent nature too flourishes.
- If you are looking for more places to explore there is the Koyna Dam about 80 KMs away.
- The region is close to the western ghats in Maharastra, wildlife and wilderness enthusiasts can find a lot of reasons to explore this place. However, winter may be a better time for such explorations.
- Don’t forget to try out local cuisines, they can be a bit spicy, but you can always ask them to moderate the spice level.
- There are also a few heritage places to visit on the eastern side of the city’s outskirts.
- If you can plan well, you can spend a few days exploring the beauty of nature, historical places like the forts, and heritage places at Satara.
Read my posts on places to visit near Satara and other Tourist Places to visit in Maharashtra.