Conservation Site No 5- Kaas Plateau, MaharashtraKaas is a beautiful Hill top near Satara that blooms up every year in the month of September-October. Its has more than 25 species of flowers and many butterflies that visit these flowers. The whole plateau is an array of colors with miniature flowers spread like a bedsheet in patches. This place is protected conservation site and only a restricted number of people are allowed access at a given point of time. You need to park your vehicle at the entrace and register at the the main centre. They then take you in the private bus to the allocated gate. There are 4 gates to different sections and all have the same set of flowers blooming. Kaas is also home to the Karvi flower, these pink beauties bloom once in eight years and are a stunning sight to see! How To Reach - From Mumbai you need to drive down to Kaas Pathar. It is very close to Satara and takes about 7 hours to reach.How Many Days- One day trip is good for Kaas but it is an overnight journey from Mumbai. Reaching Kaas early morning and enjoying the sunrise is advisable. Where to Stay- If you want to make it a full weekend trip, you can stay overnight in Satara or Mahabaleshwar or Panchgani and drive from there to Kaas Lake. It's just one hour drive from Mahabaleshwar.
1. Make Mumbai or Pune your base: If you're lucky enough like me to be residing in one of these cities then it's easy but if you're travelling from any other part of the country or world, then these 2 will be the best cities to start the trip from. Of course, you don't have to do that if you're doing a road trip, this is for people travelling via plane.2. Be prepared for an 6-8 hour drive: Yup, it's that far even from Mumbai or Pune, so be prepared for a long drive.3. Combine the trip with Mahabaleshwar: Many people don't realize this but it's very near from Mahabaleshwar, so if you're visiting this popular hill station during the blooming season, don't miss out on going to Kaas Plateau from here.
Soon enough we reached a little hotel where we freshened up, had breakfast and left for the Kaas plateau.40 min ride and we reached a parking space which was all empty. So you have to leave your vehicle here and further the authorities take you to the Plateau by their buses and so we did!
The next morning, the sky was clear and perfect to visit plateau. Generally, visitors reach the entry gate and then they can enter the narrow pathway covered with a wired net on both sides to see the flower beds. But, I wanted to get closer to flora and we decided to trek from another side of the plateau. In no time, we came to know it was a risky decision. We started from Kaas lake through dense jungle trails with no traces of human around. The small plants were reaching up to the chest and I can hardly see even my feet. Everything was waterlogged due to heavy rains and I was so scared to step on some creature down. After about an hour, we managed to hike the steep edge and reached to top.