Yes, there are. I was surprised for the first time as well. Then I did the usual, opened google images, and hit the search. And I could not believe my eyes. Just 20 kilometers from Satara city, the Sahyadri range of Western ghats has a magical garden, a wildflower wonderland. The plateau is in full bloom during the month of September and October, just after the monsoon. But that’s enough, for now, let’s start from the top.
We cannot talk about Kaas Plateau/ Pathar without mentioning Satara. Satara is one of the large cities in Maharastra. But its historical significance goes much beyond its current population and infrastructure. Satara gets its name from the seven forts (Sat-Tara) which are around the city. The city had been the Maratha capital for the longest time and a symbol of their pride and strength. The best time to visit Satara is during the monsoon. The entire city goes green.
The road to Kaas Plateau
Kaas Pather is just 20 kilometers from the city. But you don’t need to keep your eyes lingering that long. Right after you cross the city and take the right towards the hilly road, the surroundings will take over your senses. The only comparison that comes to my mind is the set of Skyfall in Scottland, a James Bond movie. We went during the peak monsoon. So it was raining throughout. Yet whatever glimpse we managed to get only made us crave for more. The road quality is just outstanding. You cannot get enough of this experience. I’d recommend you to keep 3 hours only for this drive, keep your speed under 15 and enjoy the ride. And take videos if possible.
Where to stay in Kaas Pathar?
We stayed at Nature Plateau Paradise which was only 1.5 kilometers from the plateau. In fact, I walked to the spot with my friend. But I saw multiple places on the route. Some special mentions are Red fort and the Heritage Wadi.
During peak seasons you need to book tickets online, only 1000 visitors are allowed per day to preserve the beauty. We did not need that because it was during the monsoon. The plateau is huge. Though we did not see the full bloom, I could clearly imagine how beautiful it must look. You walk through this thick layer of grass and go as deep as possible. A plateau means a flat hilltop. Though you see some plateaus in Mahabaleshwar as well, flat tops and sharp edges make this a perfect example for a geography student. As far as the eye can see there is grassland. A small lake inside the plateau only adds to its beauty.
18 kilometers from Kaas Pather there is Bamnoli village beside the humongous Shivsagar lake. Dense forests and farmhouses surround the entire lake. It is a perfect place if you are looking for a peaceful and lazy day. Boating and water sports facilities are also available. The road quality was okay. But some areas a particularly bad, especially we Indian drivers make driving dangerous on such roads. I believe construction is going on and expect the road to improve in a couple of years.
There are a couple of waterfalls around, but we did not go there. The locals warned us about wild animals and leaches.
Where to eat?
A trip is incomplete without local cuisine. Heritage Wadi was highly recommended. I tried their mutton thali. Experts say they have kept the Maratha flavor. It was spicy, juicy, and in good quantity – everything that I like. We also tried their pakodas. Heritage wadi has accommodation as well. Their huts or mud houses looked promising if you are here for an authentic cultural experience. The local food at Nature’s Plateau Paradise was also good.
What was the best part?
If I have to choose one, it would be digital isolation. There was no mobile signal at all. During the three days that I spent there, I just looked around and filled myself with greenery and moisture. I used to sit near our window overlooking the valley and the sunlight playing hide and seek with clouds. The visuals were changing every second. It was unexpectedly peaceful.