Kas Pathar, also known as Valley of flowers is situated 25 km from Satara city in Maharashtra. It has become part of UNESCO world heritage site in 2012
MAHARASHTRA VALLEY OF FLOWERS(KAAS PATHAR)-WHICH IS BEST TIME TO VISIT KAAS? What To know Before You Go.
ABOUT KAAS PLATEAU
I had never imagined a place where the land is covered with beauty of flowers. I was in thought that such kind of impressive beauty exists only in European countries, but I was wrong. When I came to know about such place from India, then I got excited to give visit as soon as possible. There are two such places in India where land is covered with variety of different flower and I got an opportunity to visit one of those “Valley of Flowers”.
Yes, “Valley of Flowers” which is known as Kaas Plateau (In Marathi Kaas Pathar) situated on the hills of Sahyadri range in the Western Ghats, and it is a Plateau located in Satara district of Maharashtra. Kass is made from volcanic rock on western Ghats of Maharashtra.
Satara is home to some of the most spectacular natural beauty spots. The city get its name from seven hills that lie close to Satara. Nature lover are quick to take a one or two day trek to this place. Satara has some historical monuments.
How To Reach:-
Nearest airport is Pune in Maharashtra state. One can take direct bus to Satara or can hire private cab to reach there.
Mumbai to Kaas Plateau distance -300 km (5 hours drive).
Pune to Kaas Plateau distance -140 km (3 hours drive).
One can reach by self drive vehicle.
Satara is the nearest railway station to Kaas Plateau. There are many trains available from the major cities like Mumbai, Pune and Bangalore.
Once you manage to reach Satara, Kaas is just 30 km away and it takes 1 hrs. to reach by road.
There are frequent state transport buses available for Kaas Plateau.
Otherwise one can go for private taxis as well.
The drive from Satara to Kaas Pathar is also very scenic. There are yellow flower landscapes on the way. when you go ahead through the winding Ghats you can see the backwaters of Tapola on the left side and Lake on the right side. Make sure to take few stops along the way. Because sometimes the journey is better than the destination. You may witness some waterfall on the way to Kaas.
In 2012, UNESCO declared Kaas Plateau as World Natural Heritage Site. I started searching more about this Valley of Flowers. I wanted to visit Kaas from the last couple of years and the photos about this places continued attracting me. I was looking for an opportunity to get in engaged with this place.
One day I had to go to Satara at friends place for some work. From there the distance to Kaas was not more than 40 km. Being enough time in hand I decided to give visit to this stunning place, as it was also a season to visit Kaas. Luckily we got his two wheeler that helped us more. Due to sudden plan we couldn’t book ticket in advance, but there was less crowd as we had visited on weekdays due to which we easily managed to get the ticket. After reaching base of Kaas we parked our vehicle and got inside the government bus as private vehicle’s not allowed to reach up to Kaas. It is hardly 2-3 km distance where those buses will take you through small Ghat road. As we started entering near Kaas, the valley was flourished with colorful flower on both the side and it was dream come true for me. As the “best of the journey comes when it is unplanned”.
What To See:-
KAAS AS BIODIVERSITY
Kaas is bio-geographical region for various seasonal wild flower bloom. Kaas has wide variety of flower range, some of them can not find in India also. This was the foremost reason for my visit to Satara. Kaas has more than 850 different species of flowering plant. Many species observed here which are new to botanical science. Out of this 850, around 624 species are entered in red data book, in which 39 are found only in Kaas region.
With Kaas Plateau been named as ‘UNESCO World Heritage Site’ tag, it has become very famous with individuals curious to visit the place. To secure the condition of the plants and flowers of Kaas, maximum 3000 visitors are permitted to visit Kaas Plateau every day. There are marking available for flowers as you go to any of the corner. Never miss to take camera along with you as the place is worth of camera and before that you will have strong feeling of capturing beauty in your camera. It takes around 4 to 5 hours to take round through surrounding of Kaas.
Apart from flowers, this plateau is even the home for many faunas as well. Many mammals, reptiles and birds reside in this place. On the other hand, there are a huge variety of Ayurveda plants which are hard to be identified by any layman.
Moreover, for the protection of this place, the Maharashtra Tourist Authority has allotted some guards who prevent anyone from stomping on the flowers. Kaas is one of those place which you can enjoy with family.
SOME OF THE SPECIES WHICH I FOUND AT KAAS PLATEAU
IDEAL TIME TO VISIT KAAS PLATEAU
The best time to visit Kaas Plateau is right after the monsoon gets over, that is in September to October. This is the season when flowers are in full bloom.
Other season is preferable to visit other places around kaas.
WHERE TO STAY
Valley of flowers is a restricted area of forest. Here, construction is not allowed because of which there is a less resources of hotels and resorts for the stay. Still, there are few options, run by local villagers Kaas Plateau. Apart from that, these are 5-10 km away from the valley of flowers.
One can go for adventurous home stays nearby Kaas Lake or Bamnoli village.
It is advisable to book your stay at Satara city, which is easily available and more reliable.
The hotel cost varies as per deluxe room to normal.
FOODS TO EAT AT SATARA
Kandhi Pedha is kind of sweet which is Satara’s famous.
One should not miss the opportunity to eat home-made food easily available at restaurants.
PLACES TO VISIT AROUND KAAS PLATEAU
- THOSEGAR WATERFALL- India’s highest waterfall
- SAJJANGAD FORT- Specially for trekkers
- VASOTA FORT- One of the historical adventurous trek
Satara city has a pleasant climate all year due to mountains surrounding the city and it also lies on Ghats.
THINGS TO REMEMBER ON VISIT TO KAAS PLATEAU
- While you are in the Valley of Flowers always remember that “beauty is to relish and not to ruin”, so don’t touch and pluck any of the flower.
- Take care not to litter the area.
- You can book the tickets online for each individual as they charge INR 100 for each. In the season time, make sure to book the tickets early, as the booking gets full quickly.
- A few kilometre away is the village of Bamnoli on the bank of the Koyna Lake, where you can take boat ride.
Author:- Sambhaji Patil