Kaas – Where a thousand flowers bloom

Monsoon is waning and at this time, a remote plateau of the Western Ghats in Satara district of Maharashtra is ablaze with colours as millions of tiny flowers have suddenly burst to life. Kaas Plateau or Kaas Pather as it’s known locally, is a UNESCO world natural heritage site where thousands of wild flowers bloom for only a couple of weeks from August to October turning the plateau into a veritable rainbow.

Kaas is a biodiversity hotspot with 850 different species of flowering plants. Infact Wikipedia says that 624 species of this have entered in the Red Data Book and further 39 are only found in the Kaas region. But botanical jingbang aside, the reason thousands of smartphone wielding revellers flock to Kaas this time of the year is because not only is this annual natural phenomenon a treat for the eyes but it also makes for very Insta-worthy pics.

We had been to Kaas in September end last year and if you are still not convinced to make that trip, check out some of our pics below.

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Here are some close shots of the common flowers in bloom. Sadly I don’t know them by name but if you do, please let me know in the comments section.

Getting there and Around:

Kaas Plateau is 280 kms from Mumbai and 125kms from Pune. Best way to get there is by road. I would recommend doing a night halt at either Panchgani (50kms away) or Satara (25kms away) to ensure that you can reach the plateau early in the morning and beat the crowd.

It was a pleasant surprise to see that in Kaas, the government has taken substantial steps to preserve its ecology and yet make it accessible to public. While some part of the plateau is open to public, a large part is barricaded by wire mesh with pathways running through them. Tourists can use these pathways to go far into the plateau to view the bloom but not step onto it. The road to Kaas runs through the centre of the plateau but one cannot park or stop their vehicle on the plateau. Parking is available a few metres downhill from where tourists can take the shuttle service to come back onto the plateau and view the flowers.

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Barricaded sections with pathways for visitors
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A security personnel guards the blooms

Travel Tips:

  1. The flowers only bloom between August and October but even then it would be good if you check online on travel forums before visiting to ensure that you catch Kaas in it’s full glory.
  2. A lot of online posts will recommend that you reach early so as avoid the crowds but there is one more reason why going early can help. The flowers in Kaas are tiny grass flowers which lend a colourful hue to the landscape by virtue of their numbers. When we reached the plateau at around 3pm, the sun was blazing high in the sky. We clicked a few pictures but did not really get the feeling of being surrounded by a sea of flowers as online articles had suggested. We stayed a few hours but by the time we were leaving, Kaas revealed it’s true colours in the soft light of sunset. Far into the barricaded areas, we could see patches of violet, lavender, yellow and white float up like a waves in the sea. It was just beautiful and worth every bit of the long drive from Mumbai. So best to visit either early or late in the day.
  3. Not sure about the veracity of this website but it claims to be the official website of Kaas : https://www.kas.ind.in/index.php. Nevertheless, official or not, the information here seems to be correct and updated regularly. There is an entry fee of INR 100 to the plateau and the website says that online booking is mandatory for weekends and holidays. Although last year we could not get tickets online, we still decided to make the trip and were able to buy entry tickets on the spot.
  4. Once in Kaas, look where the crowd is going and walk in the opposite direction. Trust me on this. The farthest stretches of the plateau untouched by tourists are the most beautiful.

 

That’s all for now folks! Ciao and please travel responsibly.

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