Kaas is popularly known as the Valley of Flowers of Maharashtra is a volcanic plateau with very rich bio-diversity. It is home to about 1500 species of plants including 450 species of wild flowers out of which 33 are endangered. It is also haven for a wide variety of insects, reptiles, butterflies, mammals and amphibians.
It’s a heaven for any nature lover or a photographer. The flowers are in bloom during the months of August to October. It looks like a vast expanse of a beautiful carpet weaved by nature. What more – the color of the carpet changes every week based on the predominant flower in bloom.
Till a couple of years back it was an unknown territory in a secluded place, but with the ‘UNESCO World Heritage Site’ tag, it is one of the most popular places among the tourists from all over Maharashtra and beyond.
The Landscape –
For more info on the flowers of Kaas, get a copy of Flowers of Kas by Shrikant Ingalhalikar
Group Shots –
Tips for photographers –
1. If you are interested in landscapes, carry a wide angle lens. If you don’t have one, the kit lens is good enough. If you are interested in macros, a macro lens would be helpful. If you don’t have one, try extension tubes which are much cheaper. You might like to read my articles on Shooting Landscapes.
2. Reach early – mornings are the best time for starting to shoot because of the angle and color of light. Also, you will find less people which will help you concentrate and shoot peacefully. Apart from this it also starts getting hot after 10am.
3. Carry a tripod. If you want to shoot waterfalls with the snowy blur, a tripod is must.
4. Try different angles – Try different angles for shooting until you get that ‘magic angle’. It makes a lot of difference.
5. Study the various species before you go. That will help you identify the flowers. If you cannot remember them, take a print.
Others places to visit – Sajjangarh fort, Thoseghar Waterfalls, Chalkewadi wind mills
Best time to Visit – Mid August to Mid October (depends on the onset of monsoon)
Where to Stay: Nivant Hill Resort, Maharaja Regency Hotel are the best options. Apart from these, there are some more hotels en route to Kaas from Satata which are overbooked on weekends. However, you will find plenty of options in Satara.
Kaas located at a distance of 25 kms from Satara and 250kms from Mumbai. It is just 110kms from Pune and takes a 4 hour drive. The roads are good enough.
Our Itinerary –
Friday evening – Train to Pune from Hyderabad by Mumbai Express
Saturday – Reach Pune at 9am. Visit Sajjangarh fort, Thosegar Waterfalls and Chalkewadi wind mills. Stay at Satara (en route to Kaas)
Sunday – Kaas Plateau at 7am – 11am. Leave for Pune and take the night train to Hyderabad.
A Humble Request –
Kaas is a ecologically sensitive region. With the huge popularity, the influx of tourists is increasing exponentially. Nature is there for us to enjoy but it is our responsibility to preserve it for the future generations to relish.
Please take care of the following points to help preserve it in its pristine condition –
1. Do not litter. Take back the garbage that you brought.
2. Take every effort not to damage the flowers by walking on the flower beds.
3. Do not pluck the flowers – they look best on plants.
4. Don’t make noises – listen to the sounds of nature.
5. If you have kids, please teach them the etiquettes to respect nature and preserve it.
This write-up would be incomplete without a note of Thanks to my friend Amit Panariya for his valuable inputs and to Dilip Bhojane sir for his great help.
Thank you for reading. I will soon be back with another interesting place. You might like to read my previous posts.
This article is written by Saurabh Chatterjee. He is a travel photographer and a photographer trainer. He strives to ‘make every camera-owner a great photographer through his photo tours and Photography workshops and Photo Tours.