Kaas Plateau or Kaas Patthar is located in the Satara district of Maharashtra. Located at a distance of 25 km west from Satara City, the plateau is a biodiversity hotspot in the Western Ghats, also known as the Valley of Flowers of Maharashtra. This plateau is rich and unique with its flora and almost 70% of the flowers of Maharashtra are found here.
It is one of the largest concentration of endemic flowering plants because of which the plateau is given the status of Natural World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The plateau presents a breathtaking colourful picture with the blossoming of thousands of innumerable tiny flowering plants which bursts into a riot of colours in the shade of yellows, pinks, blues, purples and more.
PC : Parabsachin
The blooming of flowers starts sometime late in July and changes dramatically, throughout August and into September. The blossoming of flowers during the monsoon season, makes the plateau covered in sheets of flowers of different shades.
How To Reach Kaas Plateau
It can be reached through two routes, the first one also being the most preferred one, from Satara. The second from Tapola via the link road which connects Mahabaleshwar and Panchgani.
PC : Sumit Magdum
The plateau is part of the Deccan Plateau which had 29 volcanic lava flows many years ago. With every eruption, a new layer of lava flowed from the land's fissures and spread horizontally over the older strata.
When the flow of magma finally stopped, many water streams and huge rivers began eroding the flat land mass and which contributed to the formation of deep valleys and gorges which gave rise to the present form.
During the monsoon, the region receives up to 2500 mm of rainfall in about three months. The water that accumulates from this catchment finds its way into the Kaas lake. It is due to this life-giving rain that the thin layer of red soil suddenly erupts into a profusion of flowers.
The Riot Of Colours
PC : Apoorva Karlekar
The first set of flowers covers the land in the shades of gold, with the blooming of the golden-hued Smithies and Sonkis, along with Balsams which bloom in the shades of pink, lavender and purple. After which there is a splash of white with blooms of Gend (Eriocaulon sedgwickii).
To add some colour amidst the dashing white, there comes a splash of purple with the bloom of Sita's Tears or Utricularia, this particular plant has small bladders in their roots, which attracts tiny insects.
To take forward the show, the next is ground orchids, including Habenaria digitata with its greenish yellow flowers. There are many unique species that are found here, one amongst them is the Ceropegis, the lantern-like appearance gives it an appropriate vernacular name of 'Kandi Kharchudi'.
Kaas would remain incomplete without the ubiquitous Pelocculus ritchie, known as Topli Karvi in the local language which translates to 'basket kept upside down'. The plant blooms only once in its lifetime of eight years, when it blossoms, it is a sight not be missed. You would come across baskets of purple flowers swaying in the breeze.
With so many plants coming to life, the landscape witnesses a lot of buzzing by the bees, butterflies, insects and frogs.
PC : Himanshu Sarpotdar
The ruins of Sajjangad Fort is located at a distance of 15 km from Satara. It encloses a complex which holds the tomb of Saint Ramdas Swami. The complex has several temples, a prayer hall and places to stay for devotees.
To reach the top of the fort one has to climb 250 steps, one can walk towards the cliff and have a panoramic view of the Sahyadris and the Urmodi river.
Chalkewadi is a village with thousands of windmills installed by numerous power companies. The windmills are massive and their sheer number attracts visitors.
PC : Maheshsalvi
Pateshwar is an old Shiva temple complex located atop a hill. There two main temples and several small caves with idols of Hanuman, Nandi and Shiva Lingas of various sizes.
Formed by the Koyna Dam, the lake is popular for its boat rides of long durations.