Long long ago… When there was no craze over ‘flooding-scenic-locations-without-caring-about-whatever-happens-to-the-nature’, there was a place which was untouched, serene and happier than today. Today in 2016, Kaas Plateau still stands at the same place. But it is crying from within. Unable to hold the enthusiasm of today’s weekenders. This was my third visit in the past 6-7 years and I Can see so much has changed. Kaas has become one of the most sought-after place to visit on weekends near Pune and Mumbai. Since August 2016 only 3000 visitors are allowed on the plateau at a time. It is extremely well managed by the forest department of Government of Maharashtra. Now may the universe give power to the visitors to preserve the beauty.
8 Things You should know before you plan to visit Kaas Plateau
1. UNESCO Heritage
Kaas has a number of unique, rare and endangered species of plants and flowers which are found no-where in the world. Kaas Plateau is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We are lucky to have it in India and it is also our responsibility as visitors to preserve it and prevent from causing any harm.
2. Three trails
The Forest department has constructed three beautiful trails to enable visitors to witness the beauty of the plateau. The first two trails are on the right and left hand side of the main road right after just after the ticket booth. For the third trail, you have to walk a little further ahead. You can pre-book tickets on the official website of Kaas. To know other details, please click here Currently the charges are Rs.100 per head (Weekends) and Rs. 50 per head (Weekdays). Parking is Rs. 50 per car to be paid at the ticket booth.
There is a designated parking area which is assigned for visitors around a kilometre ahead from the ticket booth. It is strictly not allowed to park or even wait in the vehicles on the road near the plateau. It is a pity to see some people struggling to follow such simple rules.
4. Natural Wonder
The plateau is a natural phenomenon and does not have a timer for the flowers to bloom. Each visitor will have his or her own unique experience of seeing the bloom. The Plateau is said to change colours and you can see patches of flowers all over. The best time to visit is towards the end of the rainy season,from the end of August onwards, as suggested by the locals.
The plateau is to be explored on foot and requires a decent amount of walking. It is suggested to wear shoes or appropriate footwear while visiting Kaas. The flowers are tiny and extremely fragile. You need to be immensely careful while walking and make sure you don’t accidentally step on any flowers.
6. Explore = Nature – (Eat + Drink )
There are (thankfully) no eating joints inside the premises of the plateau. Even if you carry your own food or water, please make sure to put the trash in the dustbins provided in the trails. The forest department is seen making a huge effort to keep the plateau clean and closest to its natural form. It takes little to compliment the efforts.
7. Enjoyment = Seeing + Photographing – Sound pollution
Kaas is an experience. The teeny-weeny flowers swaying to the tune of the cool breeze is a sight to be enjoyed amidst the serene silence (especially human silence) It is a photographer’s delight. From macro photos to landscapes this place has a lot to offer. If you really want to enjoy the Kaas Plateau as a traveller and not as a tourist, weekday and early morning is the best combination to avoid the mad crowds and to get some privileged preview of the flowers.
8. Food options
There a number of restaurants on the way back to Satara from Kaas Pathar where you can enjoy simple village style vegetarian and non-vegetarian food. Most restaurants also have a nursery to sell some beautiful flower plants. If going on a weekend, maximum 8 am is a good time to reach there to be able to explore the place at ease. Post 11am, usually most of your time is wasted in the traffic jam of vehicles trying to flood in and a few of them trying to go out.
Kaas is a ecologically sensitive area and is already known to almost everyone, but there is a dire need to create awareness about its preservation.
KAAS CONSERVATION as per official website of Kaas :
As an individual what you can and must do.:
- Do not walk on the plants, flower beds.
- Do not pluck any plant, flowers. Remember, the plants can survive at the unique ambient of this plateau, and can not be grown in your garden.
- Do not litter. Do not throw the plastic bottles, food wrappers or any sort of plastic/ papers/ chocolate wrappers/ Gutkha pouches on the plateau.
- Avoid eating on the plateau. Do not throw and food items, chewing gum etc. on the plateau. It is harmful for the various fauna/ beetles, pollinating bees etc.
- Avoid use of any music systems, however small it may be. We are here to see the wonder of nature, and need not follow things we do in cities daily.
- Avoid microphotography, going too close to the flowers. If doing microphotography, be sure, you are not harming plants around, by putting feet on them/ knees on them.
- Do not take your vehicles on the plateau. The smoke of vehicles is damaging element for the plants. Also the seeds foreign to the plateau get introduced through the tires of the vehicles, which are threats to the unique flora of the plateau.
- Do not kill any animal of the plateau including snakes and scorpions. Just take care from and of them.
- Be careful while driving, avoid any road kill of any animal.
- Do not consume alcoholic drinks on the plateau.
- Avoid smoking on the plateau, which also adds to the litter and pollution, though at small level.
- Avoid staying on the plateau between 6 pm to 6 am. Let the wild life have their space and privacy during night time at least.
- If you find some one damaging, plucking the plants/ flowers, sitting on the plants, be bold and do resist him/ her in good convincing words. If he is not in mood to listen to you, draw the attention of forest guard around.