Maharashtra boasts of the ecologically rich Kaas plateau, which is akin to Uttaranchal’s Valley of Flowers. Gangadharan Menon documents the efforts of select conservationists who are trying to sensitise villagers and tourists to preserve Kaas
Kaas is considered to be Maharashtra’s own Valley of Flowers. But unlike its namesake in the Himalayas which is accessible only after an arduous trek, Kaas is at an easily motorable distance. Located just 300 km from Mumbai, and a mere 40 km from Satara, it is this easy accessibility, that’s also been the bane of this floral heaven.
And, it is in this context that the conservation efforts of people like Dr Sandeep Shrotri of Ranwata Society become extremely significant. Apart from getting Kaas included among the 39 World Natural Heritage Sites declared by UNESCO along the Western Ghats, he and his team are working day in and day out to conserve the place by sensitising the visitors and the villagers.
The Western Ghats are 1,600 km long, and run through six states from Gujarat to the peninsular tip of India, and is considered by geologists to be older than the Himalayas.