Friday, May 6, 2016

Feast To The Eyes! Maharashtra's Valley Of Flowers, Kaas Plateau!

Kaas plateau, The Valley of Flowers of Maharashtra! The place is full of wild flowers which are rare to be seen elsewhere.  People come here from far off places for enjoying and research purposes.

We had been here, at the Kaas Plateau, last September...I had never heard of this place before our visit.  Son wanted to have a look at this famous (for Botanical students and nature lovers) place, during our road trip to Maharashtra. We started from Satara at 6 am. Couldn't have even tea, so early in the morning.  The route was good, weather was good and so we enjoyed the ride.

We had reached here at the right time of the blooming of flowers (the season is from August to September...monsoons).  Let me quote some facts about this place from Wikipedia and  their website, Kaas website :

The Kaas Plateau also known as the "Kaas Pathar" is a plateau situated in the Western Ghat Sahyadri range, 22 kilometers from Satara city in Maharashtra and is known for various types of wild flowers which bloom during August-September every year.   The area of plateau is located at a height of 1200 mts. and is approximately 1,000 hectare. It has been declared as Biodiversity World Heritage Site by The United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The place has more than 850 different species of flowers.

The flora of Kaas i. e. the entire flowering plants and their related plants are typically restricted to that particular locality only. This is because the plateau is largely formed of basalt which is directly exposed to atmosphere. The basalt is covered almost entirely by a thin cover of soil formed due to erosion and has accumulated a layer of not more than a inch or so. This soil is neither black nor lateritic. At certain places water gets accumulated because of uneven surface. Such places appear like small puddles which harbour a typical marshy flora. Because of this particular situation of soil, the plants growing on Kaas plateau are typically of herbaceous nature of like grasses. Botanically the flora is labeled as “herbaceous”. The small shrubs and trees are located at the periphery of the plateau.

Heavy fog, drizzle, little sun were taking turns to entertain us! That is me walking in the drizzle!

We came here by car.  We can't use cars here, it seems, only jeeps.  We have to hire/book for them before coming here and it is better to hire a guide too. I and son enjoyed walking nearly 3 Kms. on this road. Tab was the guide! Husband was reluctant to walk in this road!

This patch is yet to be covered with flowers and the next one has got flowers!

Karvi flowers, which bloom once in 7 years. We were lucky to see them. 
We met some nature enthusiasts like Mr.Kulkarni who are regulars here.  He said that every year the plants are depleting.  We may not recognize this place after another 5-6 years, he said.  Felt very sad.

Click on the pictures to have a good impact pl.

The plateau seems to change the colours after every 15- 20 days as the cycle of flowering plants progresses with the monsoon progress since June to October. We saw buds of different coloured flowers in between these plants.  They take turns to pop out, I think! Once the whole area will be pink, then white and then yellow!
Carnivorous flower?!        

A Botanist who was there, said that this flower is called Hanuman's mace!

This is the famous 'lotus pond' at Kaas.  Missed to add this yesterday.  We were too early to see them in full bloom.  They need Sun to open themselves.  It is a beautiful sight, we were told.  We were a bit early and the drizzle and fog didn't help them to bloom, bad luck!
We roamed in this area until around 10.30.  Had to drive for another 15mts. to locate a vegetarian hotel.  Poha and masala chai were good!

We could see boards at many places asking people not to walk on the meadow, but our people would not bother to follow them.  Could see some plastic bags and bottles on the sides of the path.  Nothing is given importance here.  We might lose this place soon.  What can government do, if people are indifferent.  

Visit this beautiful place as early as possible and enjoy! Week ends will be crowded, we were told!

P.S.: You can have a look at a beautiful video of the flowers here!


Destination Infinity said...

Nice to know of a place that has so many varieties of flowers and is accessible, in spite of the 3 KM walk/swim on that puddled road :P I've heard valley of flowers in the himalayan mountains is very beautiful, but I don't want to go to himalayas for that. Maybe I can settle for this place. Will plan a trip sometime :)

Destination Infinity
PS: The picture with you in fog is too good.

SG said...

I have never heard of this place until I read your post. Thanks for the nice intro. Also, thanks for sharing these beautiful photos.

pallpakk said...

Lovely pictures Sandhya. All of the more poignant because so many places in Maharashtra and are facing drought right now. Fervently hoping that the beauty captured in these images stay intact and spread to more places.

Sandhya said...

DESTINATION INFINITY: Thank you, Rajesh! Go there as early as possible. This place is also leaving us like many other greeneries. Did you see the video in the end?


SG: I have added one more picture now! Did you see the video from their website. I have posted it in the end. We should have visited this place a few years earlier. Thank you!

PALLPAKK: We were already late to visit this place. Check the video I have posted in the end. It is their website. You can see flower carpets beautiful! Another few years and this place will be barren. Feel very sad. Thank you, Pallavi!

Shail said...

Omg. A place to treasure! I am so glad you went and so I could come to know about it. Lovely pictures too.

Onkar said...

Beautiful pictures. The place looks stunning.

Vishal Bheeroo said...

It's heaven on earth. Gorgeous pictures. Hope the place is preserved and showcased as our rich asset:)

Rama Ananth said...

Even I have never heard of such a place. Good to know about it.Lovely pictures.

Sandhya said...

SHAIL MOHAN: Thank you, Shail!

ONKAR: Yes, Onkar, thank you!

VISHAL BHEEROO: I hadn't heard about this place until I visited this place. Hope some action is taken to preserve it!

RAMA ANANTH: Thank you, Rama!

Rahul Bhatia said...

A lovely place and wish I travel there someday!The pictures are very enticing.

Locomente said...

Looks so mesmerising... I am sure that you would have had a great time there..
Thanks for sharing!

sm said...

beautifully written
like the photos
now going to see the video

Sandhya said...

RAHUL BHATIA: Thank you, Rahul! It is worth visiting!

LOCO MENTE: Yes, we enjoyed the walking, watching the scenery, drizzle, fog everything! Thank you!

sm: Thank you, sm!

Pradeep Nair said...

Very interesting. Didn't know about this till now. Nice pics as well. Just goes to show that there are many such attractive places in our own country, which we don't know about or haven't visited.

Pooja Mahimkar said...

The pictures are beautiful!

Zephyr said...

This is a beautiful place. Vinni has gone there several times on his bike and always waxes eloquent about it. It has to be experienced in person. Hope you were able to go there when it is in full bloom. It is our own mini Valley of Flowers that is there in Uttarakhand.

ashok said...

a real feast to the eyes!

Linda said...

What a lovely place! Beautiful photos!

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