The Flowersome Kaas Plateau

We missed visiting Kaas last year, hence we were almost certain visiting it this year. We could not join the Wild India Eco Tours trip due to Ganesh Chaturthi but finally managed to visit Kaas on friday, 25th Sep 2015. We (Me, Sandip, Shraddha & Remya) had planned to start by 5 AM but a flat tyre right at start ensured we dirtied our hands right in the beginning of the trip and finally the journey began at 5:45 AM. We managed to reach Kaas by 8:45 AM with a quick stop for breakfast on way. After paying the entrance fees and parking our car, we started our 1st trail (2nd gate on right side). The place greeted us with numerous yellow and purple flowers; the Smithia bigemina and the Impatiens oppositifolia.

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Exploring the place for a good 1 hour, we came across different flowers like the Cynotis TuberosaEriocaulon (Gend), Neanotis LancifoliaRamphicarpa longiflora (Marathi name Tutari) and more. We also walked right till the end where we got some nice valley views.

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Just as we exited the trail from the same gate, we saw few guys photographing something next to the road; and as we approached the spot a stranger helped us in spotting an insectivorous plant – Drosera Burmanni. There was also Drosera Indica next to this plant which we realised only when we checked the clicks later.

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Coming back to the car, we drove a further away from the plateau, around couple of kms and stopped at a spot which had few hotels. We walked behind the hotels where we saw a good number of Pleocaulus ritchiei (Topli Karvy) – a plant that flowers in mass once in about seven years. Moving further, we came across the beautiful Kaas lake.

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It was around 11 AM and the weather was hot already. After having some refreshments, we came back to the Kaas plateau and the moment we reached Kaas; we could not feel the heat at all as there was a lovely breeze. This time we entered the 1st gate which is on the right side (while going to Kaas from Satara) and explored the trail. This time we got to see Murdannia lanuginosa (Abolima), Senecio Bombayensis (Sonki) and the Drosera Indica (the security guard helped us to spot this one). We also got some lovely landscape views of the Kaas plateau here.

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We did one last trail, which is next to the booth on left side. We had to start back by 1:00 PM so could not spend much time here, although we did get to see the Ceropegia JainiiExacum Lawii, Senecio BombayensisStriga gesnerioides (Purple Witchweed) and Pogostemon deccanensis (Jambhli Manjiri).

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For people who have not heard about Kaas; The Kaas Plateau (Also known as Kaas Pathar) is a plateau situated in the Western Ghats – Sahyadri range, around 22 KMs from Satara and is known for various types of wild flowers which bloom during August-September every year. This place has also been declared as Biodiversity World Heritage Site by the UNESCO (United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation). [Source – Wikipedia].

We had a fantastic time at Kaas and this place is surely a must visit for anyone who loves nature. The current bloom should be good for next two weeks or so, hence the best time to plan a trip is now. Thanks to Bhavesh and Rupali for all the help and identification.

– For directions, follow Google Maps; the directions are accurate.
– Reach Kaas as early as possible; by 8:00 AM should be a good time.
– Please do not stamp on flowers or get into the shrubs. We saw a lot of people ignoring what the forest security guards say and making their kids sit amongst the flowers for candid shots. Do note that there are venomous snakes so its better to stick to the trail.
– Follow the instructions while parking the car. The cars are parked next to the road and it gets very crowded; especially on weekends. Ideally park the car near to the booth and explore on foot.
– There are decent eateries once you go ahead from Kaas. Hotel Prakriti is also a good place for lunch between Kaas and Satara.
– While coming from Pune, one can break at Hotel Vithal Kamat; few KMs before Satara. This is a decent hotel with decent washrooms and good breakfast.
– If you have extra time, do explore Chalkewadi as well.
– Do not litter and keep the place clean.

Do let us know in-case we have identified any flower incorrectly and we shall make the required changes. 

Thanks for reading. Let us know in-case of any queries, suggestions, critics and we will be happy to respond.

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– Rudraksha & Shraddha

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