Kaas plateau is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Maharashtra. A UNESCO World Heritage site in Maharashtra, Kaas is known for its colorful wild flowers that make a wonderful sight. But do you know what’s the best time to visit Kaas plateau?
Known as the Valley of Flowers of Maharashtra, Kaas plateau in Satara is one of the most scenic places to visit in the state. It makes for an amazing getaway for people living in cities like Mumbai and Pune. Located near the popular hill station of Mahabaleshwar, the Kaas plateau, or Kaas pathar as it is called in Marathi, is a UNESCO World Heritage site. The rains make the flowers bloom and the breathtaking landscape of the plateau comes to life making Kaas a popular attraction.
A UNESCO World Heritage Site and a biodiversity hotspot, the Western Ghats ecoregion is a storehouse of natural treasures found nowhere else in the world.
The Western Ghats is a mountain range running parallel to peninsular India’s western coast. A UNESCO World Heritage Site and a biodiversity hotspot, the Western Ghats ecoregion is a storehouse of natural treasures found nowhere else in the world. The Western Ghats separates the eastern Konkan coastal region of India from the Deccan Plateau. 39 protected areas including national parks, reserve forests, and wildlife sanctuaries are present in the region
Why Is It One Of The “Hottest biodiversity hotspots”?
The Western Ghats is not only a biodiversity hotspot but also one of the “hottest” of its class because of the incredible biological diversity exhibited here.
The Western Ghats scattered from the mount of the river Tapi to the cape of kanyakumari for a distance of 1600 kms. Its average height is 1200 metres. It is not a real hill range; rather it is arift side in the peninsular plateau. The height of Western Ghats increases from north to south whereas height of Eastern Ghats increases from south to north. Western Ghats are also more continuous than Eastern Ghats.
Location of Western Ghats:
Facts about the Western Ghats:
1. The Western Ghats are scattered from the mount of the river Tapi to the cape of kanyakumari covering a distance of 1600 kms.
2. Its average height is 1200 metres.
3. The height of Western Ghats increases from north to south whereas height of Eastern Ghats increases from south to north.
4. Western Ghats are also more continuous than Eastern Ghats.
5. The Western Ghats Coastal Plain extends from Surat to Kanyakumari which is divided into four parts:
The Gujarat Plain- Coastal area of Gujarat
The Konkan Plain- Between Daman and Goa.
The Kannad Plain- Between Goa and Mangalore.
The Malabar Plain- Between Mangalore and Kanyakumari
A surgeon-ecologist duo lead conservation efforts in the Kaas plateau.
Some 25 km away from Satara in Maharashtra is a place which is as unique as it is beautiful. Locals call it Kas Pathar, while others know it as Kaas plateau. Kaas showcases nature in its magnificent glory, but this precious ecosystem is a fragile one, with heightened tourism in the last few years disturbing its ecology. NGOs, the government and locals have now chipped in to conserve Kaas.
Leading the conservation efforts are Satara-based gastrointestinal surgeon Dr Sandeep Shrotri and Dr Aparna Watve, an ecologist with Tata Institute of Social Sciences in Maharashtra’s Tuljapur. Their efforts proved fruitful when in 2012 Kaas was included among UNESCO’s 39 World Natural Heritage Sites along the Western Ghats.
Growing up in Satara, Shrotri’s love for nature manifested itself in cycling trips to nearby vales and mountains with school buddies, with him setting up the NGO Ranwata Nature and Environment Conservation Society in 2002.
Ayurvedic doctor Dr Sanjay Limaye sparked Shrotri’s interest in Kaas.
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.