Kaas Plateau - Valley of Flowers
Maharashtra’s answer to the Valley of Flowers, Kaas Plateau comes alive after the rains when the entire region is carpeted with flowers. Located 35 km from Mahabaleshwar, the plateau spread over 1000 hectare is a visual treat till October when the bloom lasts.
The name ‘Kaas’ originates from the Kaasa tree. The leaves of the tree turn red from green as it matures. During the month of March the tree sprouts white flowers.The plateau is known as Kaas Pathar in Marathi language. The plateau is full of wild flowers during the months of August and September and the blooms last for about two to three weeks.The whole plateau resembles a carpet with flowers of every hue from the colour spectrum. More than 450 different species of flowers, orchids and carnivorous plants such as Drosera Indica are found in Kaas.
Due to its beauty it attracts many tourists, scientists and nature lovers. Major portion of the Kaas Plateau is a reserve forest and it has received World Natural Heritage Site tag too.
Kaas Plateau was formed by volcanic activities and is covered by a thin soil cover as a result of which, no vegetation thrives in the region. Having peculiar volcanic rock soil, the plateau has become home to many endemic species of plants – those that can only survive in this region. It was absolutely amazing to see so many different flowers with the slightest differences in hue, making the plateau a Technicolor carpet. This area comes under very high rainfall zone. Due to this, the flora and fauna of the region is unique and endemic. Its unique ecological features make Kaas one of the hotspots of biodiversity.
Best time to visit Kaas Plateau
Trekking through the flower covered plateau is a gratifying experience. However, there is nothing much to do except taking lazy strolls through the meadows. Best time to visit Kaas Plateau is after the rains till October end. Many people visit Kaas during the rains; however, the plants bloom only in late August to September. Kaas also has around 33 endangered species. These species are only found in rocky lands and are on the brink of extinction due to the changes in climatic and geological conditions.