In general, advancing technologies and business enterprises may seem to increase the comfort in the lives of common people living in metropolitan cities. But, what the current lifestyle lacks is the experience of nature in its pure form. The 9 to 5 grind in closed cabins of concrete buildings filled with meetings, discussions and deadlines pushes people to the height of stress. The search for a change in the routine definitely ends with a travel package, weekend getaway plans and holiday ideas.
Be it for working professionals and their families with young children and elderly parents living in metro cities, young couples or travel freaks in wanderlust, a small lakeside town in the heart of Satara District called Koynanagar in the state of Maharashtra offers an all-in-one package for experiencing the best weekend getaway from Pune and Mumbai.
Just like any other popular hill stations and holiday destinations, the Koyna Dam, Koyna Wild life Sanctuary, Ozarde waterfalls and Ghatmatha sunset point does offer tourists with forest adventures and nature retreats, but something unique and different from other vacations will be your visit to Kaas Pathar – The beautiful plateau of flowers located 25 km west of Satara city in Maharashtra.
A part of the Sahyadri Sub Cluster, Kaas Pathar, also known as Kaas Sadas was declared a part of the UNESCO World Natural Heritage Site in 2012. The plateau is at an altitude of 1200 metres and is approximately 10 square kilometres in area.
Being a biodiversity hotspot with various varieties of seasonal and wild flower blooms and endemic butterflies, the Kaas Pathar is one of the best holiday destinations near Pune for nature lovers. The speciality of the flora of this plateau is that the entire flowering plants and its related species are restricted typically to that locality only.
This is because the plateau is made up of basalt rocks, which has around an inch depth of eroded soil layer on which these herbaceous flowering species grow, except for the marshy flora on the puddles at uneven surfaces in between. You can see that the small shrubs and trees are there at the periphery of the plateau.
About 850 species of flowering plants have been discovered here, and this area has developed into an important place of research for botanists and naturalists. Exploring the Kaas Pathar and its nearby local places of attraction is one of the best things to do near Pune, for all who believe in falling back to nature as the theme of meaningful vacation.
The major portion of the plateau is reserve forest and Kaas Lake, built almost 100 years ago is the primary source of water for western part of Satara city by natural gravity flow. The unmatched beauty of the flower bloom during the monsoon season (August to early October) attracts tourists from all over for weekend getaways near Pune. During this season, the orchids bloom for 3 to 4 weeks which is an inexplicable wonder for visitors.
To protect the place and as a preventive measure to minimize damage to the ecosystem, the number of visitors to Kaas Pathar is limited to 3000 per day. The colour of flower bloom on the plateau seems to change every 15 to 20 days throughout the monsoon season starting from June. The other attractions here are the Kaas Lake which is at the south of the plateau. It is covered by dense forests and lies between Sajjangad Fort and Kanher Dam.
One of the India highest waterfalls – Vajrai Waterfalls is also situated near Kaas. Other areas of interest for tourists near Kaas are Kumudini Lake, Vasota Fort, Ghatai Devrai and Shri Kshetra Yewateshwar.
How to Reach Kaas Plateau
One can reach Satara from Mumbai by bus (approx. 5-6 hours) or train (around 8 hours) and from Satara a bus can take you to Kaas in 35 minutes, or there are auto rickshaws and taxis available in Satara which can be rented. From Pune, the time of journey to Kaas will be half of that from Mumbai, through the similar options of bus or train to reach Satara.
Another idea is to pack your bags to a long weekend travel to the best holiday destination near Pune – Koynanagar. Koyna offers you forest adventure, scenic beauty of hills and valleys, nature retreat on lakeside, exploration of wildlife flora and fauna with some of the best things to do near Pune like trekking, hiking, boating, camping, jungle safari, star gazing and forest trekking.
The weekend holiday tour to Koyna will be complete with a visit to the Kaas Plateau of Flowers. In addition to the wild flower bloom, another attraction at Kaas is the Wind energy Park. The overall travel experience would definitely change your perspective and definitions of best weekend getaway from Pune.
Stay Near Kaas Plateau
‘Agreen Hotels’, with its sprawling & amazing Hotel properties in Koynanagar, offers the best luxury or budget stay options in Koyna. Travelling Couples, Families or Corporate teams prefer Agreen Hotels in Koyna for a comfortable stay with planned activities in Koyna including fishing, trekking, birdwatching, camping etc.
Agreen Hotels also helps in scheduling visit to Koyna Wildlife Sanctuary & the views of Kaas Plateau. Contact Agreen Hotels to know more about the Safari trails in Koyna Wildlife Sanctuary.