Kaas plateau or the Kaas Pathar is a plateau located 25 km from Satara, Maharashtra. It is actually a reserved forest that was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2012. In the Sahyadri Sub Cluster of the Western Ghats, the Kaas plateau is home to various types of seasonal wildflowers. It is also known as the Valley of Flower of Maharashtra.
The plateau welcomes many species of endemic butterflies during the August-September period. At an altitude of 1,200 metres, the plateau is spread across an area of 10 square kilometres. Over 850 species of flowering plants, including orchids, Karvy and several carnivorous plants like Drosera Indica, are found in the plateau.
The special thing about Kaas plateau is that it comprises volcanic rocks and is largely formed from basalt, a substance directly exposed to the atmosphere. The flowers found in the plateau are limited to this region only because of unique geologic features of the plateau. Therefore, the visitors limit has been capped to 3,000 per day in the valley to protect it from getting damaged.
How To Reach?
There are 2 ways to reach Kaas plateau. One is directly from Satara and the other one from Tapola via the link road that connects the plateau to Mahabaleshwar and Panchgani. The plateau is just 20 km from the Northern Part of Koyna Sanctuary. Kaas plateau is 125 km from Pune, 280 km from Mumbai and 150 km from Kolhapur.
Kaas plateau can be easily explored in 2 days. However, if you have just one day, you can still explore the plateau comfortably, given that you start early. The valley is well connected to different parts of Maharashtra by road and you can take a bus or drive to Kaas plateau.
While travelling to the Kaas plateau, do not forget to carry multiple IDs, trekking gear, common medicines and a water bottle.
Few Things To Keep In Mind While Exploring Kaas plateau
- Smoking and drinking are strictly prohibited
- Only vegetarian food is available.
- You must hire a trek leader to guide you through unknown trails.
- Wear comfortable clothes like tracksuits or joggers to avoid inconvenience.
- Always Carry a water bottle (at least 2 litres) as you won’t find water at every stop.
- Do not go for a trek without proper trekking gears.
Exploring Thoseghar Waterfall
The waterfall gets its name from a village of the same name that is located 20 km from Satara. The cascading waterfall is among the best places to visit in the plateau apart from the mesmerising flowers in the valley. Thoseghar comprises a series of waterfalls, with some falling from a height of nearly 200 metres. From the waterfall, one gets a spellbinding view of the nearby Chalkewadi Plateau, which is famous for windmills. The best time to visit the waterfalls is during light rains, when it is surrounded by fog, making it look even more beautiful.
The Kaas plateau is a great place to hone your photography skills and click some Instagrammable pictures. There are a few other spots to explore in the valley. One of the key spots that you must visit is the magnificent Kumudini lake that is famous for Kumudini flowers.
A visit to Kaas plateau is not complete without taking a walk to Kaas Lake, which is also known as Kaas Talav. It is a very well known tourist attraction in Satara. The lake was built in 1875 and is located very close to the Kaas plateau. Situated 1060 metres above the sea level, the lake is a perfect spot to visit for adventure junkies. The lake can be visited between 9 am and 7 pm and the entry fee is Rs.100 per person.
If you are traveling solo, or totally new to the terrains of Maharashtra, it is advisable to book a tour guide or get an itinerary package from a trusted travel and tourism agency, to save your time and money. Do not forget to carry your camera to click some memorable pictures in the valley.