If you’ve never heard of Kaas Plateau or Kaas Pathar before, you’ve definitely missed something! Kaas Plateau is located approx 25 kms from Satara in the Western Ghats of Maharashtra. It is a World Natural Heritage Site and has over 850 species of flowering plants that bloom for a few weeks during August-September every year. The flowers have bloomed a few days back and right now is the perfect time for you to visit! Here’s a lowdown on everything you need to know…
There are 2 routes to reach Kaas –
a) Preferred route is via Satara. If you’re travelling from Pune/Mumbai, exit NH4 to enter Satara city and follow Google Maps to reach Kaas. Kaas is approx 25 kms from Satara. Road condition is pretty decent except for few patches on NH4 where a 3rd lane is being added.
b) Alternate route is via Tapola Lake. This is generally used by the more adventurous folks coming in from Mahabaleshwar. I am not very sure of the road conditions so you should check with someone before traversing especially if you drive a car with low ground clearance.
Reservation, Entry, Parking, Guides
Kaas can get very crowded during blooming season. And haphazard parking leads to endless traffic jams and frustration for visitors. I suggest you reach Kaas by 7-7.30 am if you want to avoid the crowd and walk around peacefully. If you leave Pune by 4.30 am, you should get there in time.
To help with the unmanageable crowds, Kaas Plateau has an official site (Kaas Official Website) where you can register for the visit. This helps the authorities plan in advance for the crowd and restrict entry beyond 2000 visitors at any given time. There are a few entry fees that you’ll have to pay – Rs.10/visitor, Rs.50/camera and Rs.40/car when you visit. The entry fee counter doesn’t open till 8 am so make sure you do pay on your way out if you go earlier than 8 am. The fees help the authorities maintain the area!
Parking is a big hassle especially if you’re going past 9-10 am on a weekend or a holiday. The flower bloom is on both sides of the road so the only place you can park is on the side of the road. This is fine before the cops reach who will then ask you to park near Kaas Lake, a km down the road. Cars are towed if parked illegally so be wary of it.
A local guide is available on request for a small fee. The Kaas Plateau is quite big so the local guide will help take you to the spots with the best bloom. It also helps the local economy so do use this option. Guides may not be available on certain days owing to overwhelming crowds.
The Plateau of Flowers
There have been seasons with very very big blooms but 2015 is not close to it. It still remains a beautiful site by all means. The eye catching sea of pink, yellow and white spread across the entire plateau with a strong breeze blowing across your face guarantees a wide smile. The variety and colours change as you go farther away from the main road. It also changes across the 2-3 months of monsoon. The small ponds that form on uneven surfaces also attracts a lot of birds in this area. Basic walkways have been created for visitors (some with barricades) to help protect the flowers. Locals are very helpful so ask for directions before stepping into the vast plateau – people do get lost here!
Essentials to Carry
- Rain-wear – jackets, umbrellas, waterproof covers for your phone, money etc.
- Camera – phone cameras are great, but a good DSLR will help!
- Cash – no ATMs nearby
- Shoes with a good grip – do not wear running shoes, use shoes that stay put on wet surfaces
- Light snacks – no food available nearby so carrying light food helps
- Waste bag – carry a bag to dump all your trash in
- Spare clothes – will help to keep you dry
- Water – walks are long and tiring even in rainy weather
Other Places of Interest
If you have time to spare, there are more places you can visit and still get back to Pune on the same day –
- Sajjangad Fort
- Chalkewadi Windmill Farm
- Thoseghar Waterfalls
- Kaas Lake
Hope this post will help you plan your trip to Kaas Plateau! Do visit the place and let me know how you liked it 🙂