December 23, 2023: Hidden away in protected areas and national parks, some of India’s most treasured natural heritage is unveiled in the form of seasonal wildflowers, with the Kaas Plateau in Maharashtra standing out as “Maharashtra’s Valley of Flowers.” After a closure of six months, the Kaas Plateau has reintroduced the Kaas Darshan day safari, allowing visitors to witness the breathtaking beauty of the region.
Floral Extravaganza and UNESCO Recognition
Kaas Plateau, included in the UNESCO World Natural Heritage Site in 2012, transforms into a floral carpet during August and September, making it a biodiversity hotspot. Named “Kaas Pathar” in Marathi after the Kaasa tree, the plateau showcases numerous seasonal flowers, attracting tourists and nature enthusiasts every year.
The Kaas Darshan Safari
The Kaas Darshan day safari covers a 50-kilometer route, exploring various attractions such as Kaas Plateau, Sajjangad point, Mandapghal caves, Ghatai Devrai (sacred groves), Kumudini lake, Vajrai waterfall, Vanjulwadi, Andhari Sahyadri Nagar windmills, Venna river, Ekiw falls, and Navra-Navri hill at Attadi village. The unique landscapes of waterfalls, caverns, and sacred groves make this safari a captivating experience.
Preserving a Fragile Biodiverse Area
Since being declared a UNESCO heritage site, the Kaas Plateau has witnessed an influx of tourists, raising concerns about environmental impact. To address this, an executive council formed by settlements in the area, under the supervision of the Satara Forest Department, is working to preserve the biodiversity. Control measures have been implemented to manage the increasing number of visitors and protect the delicate ecosystem.
About Kaas Plateau
Situated 22 km away from Satara in the Sahyadri Range, Kaas Plateau abuts the northern part of Koyana Sanctuary. The 1,000-hectare region undergoes a fascinating phenomenon after the monsoon, turning into a riot of color with wildflowers. With over 850 species of flowering plants, the plateau is a paradise for nature enthusiasts.
Stays: Homestays in nearby villages set up by the Joint Forest Management Committee along with MTDC, or stay in Satara, the base town for visiting Kaas.
When to Go: After the rains, till October end. The plants bloom in late August to September.
Getting There: Nearest airport – Pune’s Lohegaon Airport (134 km/1.5 hours), Nearest railhead – Satara (25 km/40 minutes). Drive down the Mumbai-Pune Expressway and NH4 up to Satara.
As Kaas Plateau reopens its doors, visitors have the opportunity to witness the mesmerizing bloom of wildflowers and contribute to the preservation of this delicate ecosystem.