It was around 8 AM in morning and the urge to get to our destination was growing stronger, the last few kilometres felt longer than usual. A night ago I dreamt of being surrounded by thousands of flowers of different colours and clicking some amazing shots with them, I was now desperate to realize my dream at ‘Kaas – the plateau of flower’. Based on whatever I had seen and read about kaas on google, the place can beat any European location of a romantic song in Yash Chopra’s film.
Unlike most of the flower gardens across world Kaas is a natural phenomenon and occurs only for around a month during late August to End of September or beginning of October depending upon weather. The plateau is located around 22 km from the city of Satara and all of it goes through lush green heaven. These 22 km make The journey as beautiful as the destination !!
Despite planning this trip in the peak bloom season we got to see hardly 20-30% bloom as the monsoon arrived almost 2-3 weeks late in Maharashtra which pushed the bloom period further ahead by same period. Added to this we reached at 8:30 AM in kaas and everything was under a thick cloud cover. To see whatever we could and capture, we parked our cars and started walking on the pathways. On a day in peak season which we expected it to be, the Kaas is flocked by revellers and today we could hardly see anyone on the plateau. The empty plateau gave us the 1st sign of the foul play by the bloom and then onwards it was disappointment for not being able to see it at its best.
Despite a below expected bloom we thoroughly enjoyed the atmosphere and the other places we visited. Apart from the locations we also enjoyed travelling with some like-minded people who ensured that we had a great time in Satara. Apart from Kaas, Satara has many destinations for regular tourist circuit, Mahabaleshwar being most famous followed by Panchgani, Wai etc. In the district we visited some great locations which made up for the disappointment at Kaas.
Sajjangad literally means ‘The fort of good people’ and is the final resting place of Sant Ramdas, a saint and Guru of Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. While I included Sajjangad in our itinerary, I expected it to be a typical abandoned fort located on rugged mountain with fortification, temple or monument of Saint Ramdas but the fort surprised us. The followers of Sant Ramdas inhabit the fort even today and the fort provides them very basic facilities like food, water and shelter. In the pure atmosphere even these basics felt luxury and enough for lifetime. The very first thing we heard on the fort was chants of Shloka from the temple and the fort felt very much alive and vibrant, It seemed to be the daily prayer time for all the pilgrims staying on the fort. The fort influenced all of us and it was hard to leave but with setting sun we moved on to our resting place for the night in Satara.
Rugged Thoseghar :
Further ahead from Sajjangad is the waterfall at Thoseghar which is developed as a tourist point near Satara. Good arrangements have been made by govt. for having a good look at the waterfall. On the way to this waterfall a shop little ahead of Sajjangad offers tea with complimentary beautiful view of Umrodi dam, a must if you are travelling and have time!
This was a force fit in our travel plan just to add 1 more night to our original Kaas itinerary but this will qualify as the best place in our 3 day trip. You can spend hours at this place seating at the serene banks of Krishna river. The monsoon weather added magic to the place and made it more beautiful. On the bank there is a beautiful old palace which was inhabited by Nanasaheb Phadanvis, a top ranked executive of Peshve dynasty. The ghat, temple, Krishna river, palace make up a perfect setup to spend some quiet time. The Krishna Ghat has hosted many shootings of movies such as Kaak Sparsha, Singham, Swades, Bol Bacchan, Gangajal etc.
Due to last minute ditching by a homestay in Wai, we had to change our plan and spend a night in Panchgani. It is one of the most famous hill station in Maharashtra and has many interesting spots such as table land, Parsi point, MAPRO gardens etc. As it was not on our tour planned we did not carry warm clothes which are essential in Panchgani during this time and we were confined to our room after late evenings. Without stressing much on the sightseeing we enjoyed a night in Panchgani and visited MAPRO Garden and table top.