The best part of living in Mumbai is the plethora of weekend getaways it offers to travel enthusiasts. Some destinations are so obscure, resting amidst the wilderness of western ghats that one has to dig deep on the internet(got the irony! 😉 to unearth them. Kaas Plateau is one such place. Maharashtra’s very own valley of flowers and one of Unesco’s World Natural Heritage sites.
Every year when monsoon starts receding, the whole plateau gets decked with wide variety of flowers giving it an elegant appeal. A new specie of flower bloom and wilt every week over a particular period of time over the period of mid-September to early October giving the plateau an entirely new color and even if you manage to reach there in this short window, it’s fairly possible that you won’t get as beautiful pictures as this awesome photographer whose photos are making rounds all over the internet.
One can either drive all the way from Mumbai / Pune or catch an overnight train to Satara, the nearest railway station which again is in the outskirts of the city. But don’t worry, it is perfectly safe. Autos are available for bus stand even in the wee hours of morning. There is one small problem – a total of only nine buses ply on the route during the day and the first one, (Bus No 7176) to gogowe leaves Satara bus stand at 5:45 am and the last bus while returning leaves around 5-5:30 pm(from the plateau).
Auto from station to bus stand – INR 200 | Bus fare from Satara to Kaas – INR 28 per head | Kaas Entry fee: INR 10/- per head | Camera chargers at Kaas: INR 50 for Normal camera and INR 100/- for DSLR
Dos & Don’ts
- Rocks are slippery because of the monsoon so wear shoes accordingly.
- Don’t litter and don’t pluck flowers.
- Camping is prohibited on the plateau.
- Needless to say, don’t forget the camera, micro lens, extension tubes and tripod.
- Carry a torch in case you are visiting the Plateau during the evening.
- The sun is too bright over there so carrying a sun screen would be a good idea to prevent tanning.
- There are no food outlets at the plateau. However there are few down the road near kaas lake.
Kaas is fenced on all sides and usually travelers are not allowed to enter the area but in order to satiate the needs of photographers among you, supervised entry is allowed in some sections (trail 1). It opens at around 7 am and tickets can be purchased from guards standing at the gate.
The plateau is divided in two parts by the highway, the part to right, trail 1 is more touristy than rest but the I found trail 2 to be more photogenic and peaceful. Trail 3 was virtually non existent during my visit. There are few organized tours as well which one has to pre book.