Kas Pathar / Kaas Plateau
At a distance of 24 km from Satara, 37 km from Mahabaleshwar and 50 km from Panchgani, the Kaas Plateau, also known as the Kas Pathar, is a vast volcanic lateritic plateau situated in Satara district of Maharashtra. It falls under the Sahyadri Sub Cluster and is among the top places to visit near Satara.
Popularly known as the Plateau of Flowers, Kaas Plateau is one of the famous tourist attractions in Maharashtra and also a popular picnic spot among nature lovers during late monsoons. The plateau is situated at an altitude of 1200 m and is approximately 1,000 hectares in area. The name 'Kaas' originates from the Kaasa tree.
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. This area comes under very high rainfall zone. Due to this, the flora and fauna of the region is quite unique. These unique ecological features make Kaas one of the hotspots of biodiversity.
The Plateau is well known for its unique biosphere, high hill plateaus and grasslands. During monsoon season, especially in the month of August, the Plateau comes to life with various types flowers. Kaas has more than 850 different species of flowering plants of which 624 are listed on the IUCN Red List. These include orchids, shrubs such as the Karvy, and carnivorous plants such as Drosera Indica.
Kaas Plateau overlooks the dense evergreen forests of the Koyna Wildlife Sanctuary and serves as the catchment area of the Koyna Dam. This is also a haven for bird watchers, as many species of birds can be spotted here. There is a wonderful lake called Kaas Lake, which is situated towards the south of the Plateau.
Kas Pathar attracts many tourists, scientists and nature lovers. To control possible damage by excessive tourism, Government has restricted the number of visitors to 2,000 per day. Walking through the flowers covering the Plateau is a wonderful experience.
Best time to visit Kas Pathar is from August to October. Many people visit Kaas during the rains; however, the plants bloom only in late August to September.
Timings: 9 AM to 6 PM
Entry Fee: Rs. 50 per Person on Weekdays, Rs. 100 per Person on Weekends & on Public Holidays