Saturday, 8 October 2011

Plateau of Flowers

Kaas plateau or Kaas Pathaar in Marathi is the place to be during flowering season. The season lasts just for a few weeks at the end of south-west monsoon during which the plateau dons a different look. Kaas is about 25Kms from Satara in Maharashtra and about 300Kms from Mumbai.

It is something odd about this place and that perhaps is the the reason why Kaas was not known to many until recent years. I dare say that there is nothing beyond Kaas...literally. Once on Kaas road, one does not see any roadsigns to any known towns.

The road guide to Kaas was simple. I say this with confidence because I had Deepak for company and he was carrying a small guide that took us straight atop Kaas Pathar without an error. Many of you know Deepak, a blogger and familiar name through his travel blogs on Magictravels and MagicEye. On reaching the main circle in Satara which has both miniature Eiffel tower and a Shivaji statue, we kept to the left for another kilometer or two until we reached a Y fork with a tunnel entrance at about 30 meters on the left diversion. I was about to take the tunnel road when Deepak instructed me to take to right and very soon the road started climbing towards our destination. Later Deepak informed me that there was another popular spot - Thosegar waterfalls if we had taken the tunnel. There is also Sajjangadh fort close by for those spititually and historically minded. But for us it was Kaas, Kaas and Kaas.

Once we left Satara on this fine sunny Sunday, we forgot to keep track of the distance travelled and soon enough, we felt we were already there as we started seeing small groups deep into their study of some insignificant looking bushes and crevices. I wondered whether this is what we travelled 300 Kms for !  Here was one such students' group.

But soon the traffic pattern changed and started competing with worst road jams of Mumbai.  Sunday  was actually meant to be our reconnaissance visit but after overcoming the torturous traffic, we still managed about 2-3 hours amidst flowers before the sun set. 

We even spent some time at Kaas lake - Kaas Talav which was downhill about 2 Kms on the other side of the Plateau. A very peaceful place indeed !

A roadside 'fast food' place near the lake offered 'Dabeli' which I ate for the first time before returning to the flowers. Our immediate task was to find a parking space. There was enough police vigilance that did not allow any parking on the plateau itself and we were directed to a parking area about fifteen minutes away by walk. We parked the car and joined the 'pilgrims' in their walk to the plateau.

The plateau of Kass is home to millions of flowers - tiny in size and I read that more than 300 varieties of wild flowers, shrubs,plants etc. could be seen here. We were attracted to the place more with photography interest than botany in mind. As I am writing this blog, I am promising myself  to visit this place to pursue botany which I had left more than 3 decades ago. Will that day come with so many other beautiful spots beckning elsewhere in the country? For now, let us enjoy the colours :

From the north end to the south, the plateau stretches just over 1 Km and it abruptly descends into a steep valley beyond the plateau. What is seen in the following picture is the traffic on the road that splits the plateau.

Our Sunday sight seeing came to an end with this picture of the crested lark which are found in large numbers on the plateau. I was also eager to see a crested buntings which were said to be abundant  here. But later we found one at lower heights.

Next day a Monday, we were out early and the blue skies on the way to Kaas was a pleasing sight. This pied bushchat was welcoming us at the start of the climb to the plateau. On the way we also came across several man-made flower plantations.

We reached the plateau much before 8 AM and it was heartening to see just a few tourists. We were even allowed to park the car on the road that splits the plateau of flowers. We decided to just roam around without any particular plan.

If I were to make a guess, the visiotors atop the plateau  on this particular Monday morning was much less than 1% of that on the previous day i.e. Sunday. This is the sight that greeted us on Monday morning :

The expert who had advised that early mornings is always the best time to be with the flowers was absolutely correct.

Surprinsingly the abundance of these tiny flowers is just over an area of about 4 square KM in my rough estimate. Am I right in my guess, experts?

As one climbs from Satara towards Kaas, there are enough other spots where one could take unscheduled stops. Some pictures on the ways :

The plateau offers 2 views - one, a green sky dotted with tiny colourful stars and the other, close-ups of the flowers.

We decided to call it a day after about 3 hours on Monday morning and started our walk back to the spot where the car was parked. The sentry now was in fact looking for us as his job was only to look after the discipline on the road and probably had enough of flowers. Still the crowd was just about 100 on the whole of the plateau at about 11 AM.

As we left the plateau, another of the crested larks was sitting on the rock to say good-bye. This time the bird was very tolerant probably because we were in the car and allowed us a good shot just from  3 meters from the car window.

Birds was not our subject on this expedition but we did not ignore those that came our way. Here is a Crested Bunting and a Yellow-Eyed Babbler.

Hope you enjoyed reading. Hope to see you some day atop Kaas Pathar.


  1. The beautiful photos gave me a virtual walk through of Kaas plateau. Will visit it next year

  2. Your photos are a great treat to the eyes. The place looks amazing. Wish we could also smell the place from your blog!

  3. Beautiful photos and nice description. The place looks out of the world.Thank you Nandan

  4. It was indeed wonderful!!
    Lovely pictures!!

  5. I remember Deepak posting about this trip. We had gone around the same time. In fact in the same week!

  6. Thanks for the virtual walk through Kaas. Next year if you happen to be in Mumbai let us make a trip together.


  7. Hi.....had been to Kaas on 20 09 15.....I had missed a small bird pair at the plateau thinking to photograph afterwards This was at the main road on the right side of the fencing near a smallish water fall towards the lake...It was a size of sparrow with yellowish vent...Do you happen to know such bird at Kaas? p,