During my recent trip to Maharashtra, the first evening was spent exploring the Ganpati Pandals in Koregaon Park, Pune; followed by some street food hunting. After looking through a few reviews, we went to Good Luck Cafe at Deccan Gym Khana.
Though I loved the Maska bun-omelette, however, I did not find the place too appealing for other vegetarian items. Seeing the non-vegetarian folks seated around us relish their delicacies; I guessed it must be a great place to eat for them. Nevertheless, I loved the crowd.
The next day was for Kaas Plateau – The plateau of flowers.
We boarded a bus at 6 AM in the morning from Pune. I slept till the bus stopped at a highway motel for breakfast; while Shyam read his book all the while without my disturbance. We had Maharashtrian breakfast – Misal Pao, Kandha Poha and Chai. Maharashtrians make good chai.
As the journey continued post breakfast, we enjoyed the beauty of Sahyadri’s [The Western Ghats] until we reached Satara. We got down on the highway – with no clue on how to proceed further and as the weather beautified by slight drizzle; we decided to have some more Chai at a nearby Dhaba. With some inputs from others around us, we reached Satara bus stand and we were excited.
However, our excitement didn’t last too long, when we figured out that the next bus to Kaas Plateau was after two hours. Wow!
The locals advised us to get to Rajwada which was a 15-minute ride; from where we could get jeeps to Kaas Plateau. Making our way through the narrow and cramped roads, we reached Rajwada; only to find that jeeps weren’t plying to Kaas Plateau due to bad weather. We were told – “Kaas Pathar math jao, aaj mausam bahut kharab hone wala hai” which translates to – Do not go to Kaas, the climate is going to worsen further.
I was losing my patience by now. It was beginning to rain, there was a lot of mess around and the roads were cramped. We just kept walking until we found an auto-rickshaw who agreed to take us to Kaas. It was a big relief. Without wasting any more time, we quickly purchased two rain coats and off we went. In no time we left the crowded streets behind and breathed fresh air.
The journey to Kaas took about 45 minutes and it was truly splendid. The faint smell of rain, the cold air, the sound of water splashing, the freshness, the greenery around and the changing landscapes – Oh! The Western Ghats is truly mesmerizing. And, the monsoon makes it even more magical. As we were approaching the top, we could hardly see anything. Mist was playing games. We reached Kaas Plateau, only to find it covered with mist. I could not see people standing close by, leave alone seeing the flowers!
We first went to Kaas Lake which was built 100 years back and serves as the main water supply to Satara City. The lake was serene but there was mist everywhere. For a few seconds, the mist did vanish giving us a beautiful view of the lake. The happiness did not last long, the whole place was soon covered with thick mist which refused to clear.
After a quick lunch, we moved on to explore Kaas Plateau. At the height of 1200 meters and spread across an area of 1000 hectares (approximately), Kaas Plateau in the Sahyadri’s, is on the UNESCO World Heritage Sites list. The flowers bloom from August to September every year. At the time we visited, the plateau was covered with pink and yellow flowers. If not for the mist, I am sure the view would have been gorgeous. We walked around breathing the fresh air and soaking the beauty of the place. I did not attempt to click many pictures because nothing was visible. Honestly, I was upset because visiting Kaas Plateau and photographing the place had a been a dream ever since I started writing about travel and reading travel stories. I thought I was lucky because we were visiting during the peak season. But, it just wasn’t my day. 🙂
Anyhow, I am happy that I got to experience the beauty of Western Ghats. I’m sure, someday I’ll return to the Ghats for a better experience.
Before you plan your trip to Kaas Plateau, The VITALS –
- The best time to visit Kaas Plateau is during August – September every year.
- Kaas Plateau is about 25 Km from Satara City. The best way to reach Kaas is through your own private transport. The roads are perfect for a bike ride.
- In case you opt for Autorickshaw’s ensure that you make him stay so that your return journey is taken care of. You just cannot rely on any modes of public transport to/from Kaas.
- Carry raincoats and umbrellas.
- If you are planning a day trip, Kaas Plateau is perfect. However, if you are keen on doing photography plan for an extra day. Though I am not sure, I do remember seeing a few hotels in Kaas. Alternatively, you can also spend a night in Satara.