As some of you may know I’ve been laid low by a bad knee injury off late. The road to recovery hasn’t been too smooth either. Though being confined at home gives you time to reflect. One of those reflections was to continue writing whenever I can.
After almost two months I finally felt comfortable doing another trip. A trek was out of the question but a photography trip was the best option available. The destination chosen was Kaas Plateau in Maharashtra, also known as the plateau of flowers. This trip had been on the card for some time but never materialised.
A blow-by-blow account of our trip isn’t the most exciting. What I would like to share is the stuff you should look forward to if you happen to visit this place, especially as a photography enthusiast.
First and foremost, the ideal time to visit is mid to end September. We were a couple of weeks late to visit. I’m not complaining though. I was just happy being back on the road.
The closest town to Kaas is Satara. Any bus going from Bangalore to either Pune or Mumbai should pass through Satara. Just make sure it stops there. Due to the festive rush we were forced to book an overpriced and rather crappy bus (Manowj Travels) that reached Satara 3 hours late.
We had left Bangalore at 8pm the previous night and Reached Satara at 1pm. Our Team comprised of Neelima and Me from B’lore and Vivek and Dhanashree, joining from Pune and Mumbai Respectively. On arriving we dumped our bags at a hotel and headed straight to Kaas.
Public transport is available on the route. But rickshaws are also available, costing Rs 500 for a return journey totalling about 40 kilometers.
The road to Kaas is a pleasant ascent but rather bumpy in patches. On reaching the plateau we were rather disappointed to see that peak season was over and the flowers were on the wane. The two most common species present were the yellow ‘Sonki’ (Senecio grahamii) and the small white Tuberiferum.
We alighted near the Kaas Lake, hoping to get images of a sun set. This was not to be though due to dicey weather. Though I did get enjoy myself stalking the lakeside doves.
We then headed towards the plateau. The light was fading fast. We barely managed a few shots when rain began pouring forcing us to run for cover. A rather disappointing session, nevertheless we decided to return next morning and try our luck.
Our plan for the next day was to set off at 4am and view the sunrise from the plateau. Alas, this was not be as our rickshaw was late. By the time we started our ride the sun and began its ascent. Making the most of the golden hours, we stopped along the way snapping away at the glorious sunrise.
We made it to the plateau a little after 8am. I set off alone along a path to the south. Macro shots seemed to be the most fruitful during the session. Though, I ended up missing a few birds due to my inability to remove my macro filter fast enough.
We decided to leave back for Satara at around 11am, as the light got too harsh to take any more images. The ride back was rather uneventful apart from a pit stop for taak. We did have plans for going to other nearby locations but those got scrapped as plans for a Dusshera lunch materialised.
So that about concludes this short trip. The rest of the team headed off to their respective cities as I decided to head to Sangli to meet a few relatives and awesome home cooked food.
A few tips if you are planning to do this trip:
Inquire about the abundance of flowers shortly before your trip.
A weekday is your best bet as not many tourists will be present.
Try making it to the plateau at dawn and spending the day there. If the weather gods oblige you may be in for a treat. Or better yet, camp at one of the villages on around the plateau. I inquired and found out that they were willing to accommodate travellers.
The sight of flowers may be exciting but try not to damage the flowerbeds and life forms dependant on them by accidently trampling them. I for one initially made the same error.
In peak season cops petrol the plateau and can be a nuisance at times.
Geographical Co-Ordinates: 17°43’21.59″N, 73°49’27.08″E.