As a pluviophile (someone who finds joy and peace of mind during rainy days) I can never think of any city outside Mumbai when it comes to cherishing rains. Yes, within the city, life gets maddening, but once outside, there is an indescribable beauty of the bleeding green hills perforated at places by doting waterfalls. There’s a sense of redeeming solace in the clouds, that though pregnant with darkness, urge the inner romantic to smile with rejuvenated cheeriness. I can never stop writing about the unending list of monsoon-magical places around Mumbai, but no, today I will write about something different – the post monsoonal bounty in Kaas – the plateau of flowers
Come September, as the indigo clouds start thinning away to the warmth of autumn, the Kaas plateau near Satara (280 km south east of Mumbai) gets intoxicated with an over-abundance of flowers. These are minute in size but blossom in such numbers that the plateau gets carpeted endlessly as if it a pretty pointillist painting. Mile after mile, the lush green grass gets covered in shades of yellow, white and pink. While there are common flowers in general, botanists have also found quite a few rare species endemic to this part of the country.
The plateau is quite long – hence, even with the usual throngs of tourists, one can easily find a cosy spot of his own. There is no dearth of vantage points, each giving spectacular views of the green hills, while the wind sings and whistles and the afternoon sun plays a cheery hide and seek with the retreating clouds. Keep a close eye and you can even spot a few magpie robins fluttering away in the flower beds. The beauty overall keeps you cheerfully occupied – some turn a poet, others a philosopher.
The journey from Mumbai is a bit long taking around 5 hours, but the journey is worth making. For a large part of the way, the hillscapes of the Ghats keep you mesmerised. I still remember, on the way back, we had stopped to catch the sunset on the hills and were enchanted. There was a sense of solitude and inner peace within each one of us – all together, yet each on his own, lost in the golden hues in the green hills, gathering ourselves after the ebullience of the day. It is in such times that one hears his inner self speak.
Overall, a wonderful day trip from Mumbai worth making – this is Kaas proudly telling you that seasons come and go, but even within those vagaries, Spring can come in the Autumn of one’s time