Everything That You Need to Know About Kaas Plateau
Kaas Plateau or Kaas Patthar (local name) is located in the Satara district of Maharasthra. Satara is approximately 140 Kms away from the main Pune city. Kaas Plateau is a biodiversity hotspot in the Western Ghats. Not just this, it also boasts the coveted title of UNSECO Natural World Heritage Site. Kaas Plateau houses unique varieties of fauna. This site is also known as Valley of Flowers of Maharashtra, not to be confused with the Valley of Flowers in Uttarakhand. During the season when the plateau is on full bloom the site looks as if it is carpeted with colorful flowers.
The best time to visit Kaas Plateau is either September end or October beginning. This is the time when the monsoon become less ferocious and flowers bloom with the best of their colors. If you live in Pune or nearby and haven’t been to this place then you still have good two weeks to plan a trip to Kaas Plateau. It is just four hours drive from Pune city.
My Kaas Plateau Experience
I don’t live in Pune so it wasn’t just a random weekend plan for me. I visited Kaas Plateau on 24th September. It was a very well thought of trip and I landed in Pune just to see this unique site. Call me crazy if you want to. It was late Friday night (Saturday morning) when I embraced some Pune chill. I wasn’t expecting such chill and nip in the air. After a tiring flight with a snoring uncle and a quick ride to my abode I retired to bed. A kind friend Varun came to pick me at the airport and things got more sorted for me. I had already convinced him to give me company for the Kaas Plateau visit.
Saturday started very early and after a ride of three hours in a rickety old government transport bus we reached Satara. From Satara it was another good 25 kilometers to go. We hired an auto and confirmed him for the return journey as well. From Satara till Kaas Plateau the ride is uphill and not so smooth, though the bumpy ride was scenic enough to keep us engaged throughout. Never seen before shades of green, fleeting rains and clouds all around, a prefect scenery as a travel companion. Couldn’t have asked for more.
Kaas Plateau and its floral magic
We reached Kaas Plateau within an hour and I could see the flowers from the main road itself. The barbed wire reminded me of Border movie, not related I know but that’s what popped up in my head. The valley was pretty much what I had expected it to be. Spread across various acres this site has the best postcard scenes to offer. The entrance was blooming with the Topli Karvi in abundance. Now this flower is not just pretty but very special too. It is said that it blooms in every seven years and I felt fortunate to witness it live. We walked through the lush lanes of Topli Karvi. Clouds and winds played a significant role in getting down the visibility. At times we felt there is nothing ahead but as we walked ahead steering through the clouds the nature kept amazing us more and more.
As we left the blue Topli Karvi zone and walked ahead, we saw the plateau layered with yellow Smithis, locally known as lahan kawla. Every turn we took, there were chilling wind and random cloud formations to surprise us. Every now and then the sky used to get clearer and the colors of the valley looked even more pleasant.
After the yellow carpeted area just when we were about to make a move back we saw what one sees when you google “Kaas Plateau images”. We saw a balanced mix of pink and red hues spread across the valley till the horizon, and that for me was a perfect postcard moment.
Looking at the flowers and buds of Kaas Plateau I realized that maybe I was a week early. I could see a lot of buds as well so a week later the valley should be at its maximum bloom. After being content with the visuals and consuming enough memory in the data card we decided to head back.
How to reach Kaas Plateau
- Kaas Plateau is four hours drive from Pune and can be easily reached by one’s personal vehicle. You can also choose to ride till the Plateau but it is going to be a long ride.
- Kaas Plateau can also be reached by public transport. Take the bus from Swargate bus stop to Satara and then from Satara hire an auto/car till plateau. The bus ticket costs Rs 121 per person and the auto will cost around Rs 600-800 (haggling skills would help here).
Things to take care when you visit Kaas Plateau
- You need to pay an entry fee of Rs 100 on weekends and public holiday and Rs 50 on weekdays. You can pay the fees and get the registration done in advance on the official website of Kaas Plateau. The official website can be accessed by clicking here.
- Carry water bottles and few eatables along as there are no shops near the plateau.
- Carry a jacket preferably water resistant. It is quite windy and there are high chances of drizzling and rains.
- If you are carrying a camera make sure you have water proof cover for it just in case it rains.
- If you hire an auto/cab from Satara till plateau, book the same for the return journey as well. You might not get a auto while returning, the few that will be available will ask for a fortune.
- If nature interests you and you want to know more about the flora and fauna go with a naturalist. I couldn’t find one, paucity of time is to be blamed.
- This is not a tip but a request, don’t litter in the plateau.
Hope this post makes you plan a visit to Kaas Plateau soon. If you have been to Kaas before do share your experience, I am all ears.