A Different Kaas Plateau - Photo Essay of Landscapes from surroundings!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Date of Journey – Oct 5-6th 2011

Kaas, Ghaas aur Bakwaas was how one of my friends described our recent trip to Kaas - Kaas because we went to Kaas, Ghaas because there was a lot of it around and Bakwaas not because it was Bakwaas but because we had so many PJs that kept us cracking even after a tiring day.  I cannot think of a more succinct yet appropriate way to describe my short photography trip to the plateau of flowers. For the uninitiated, Kaas Plateau is a table land in Sahyadris that plays host to a stunning variety of flora during the months of September and October. The entire plateau is covered in a spread of colorful flowerbed. 

So what do you do when there are no flowers at Kaas? First, you sulk, then sulk some more, then gear up and scout for locations around. I am pretty sure you will find something to suit your liking too, just like I did! ;)

I came to know of Kaas’ existence two years ago and being the landscape photographer that I am, it fared quite high on my must visit list. The catch being there was only a small window of a month when the flowers bloom and it so happened I couldn’t visit the plateau during the past two years. This year, however I was quite adamant on making the trip happen and at the right time. So much so that I kept a tab on all forums, asked people who had been there this year, made and cancelled multiple plans waiting for sunshine, pink bloom , rains, mist and what not. But as always with travel, you can be sure of nothing until you get there. 

One fine day it occurred to me, I have waited too long and it was time I made the visit. It has been observed that mid-September to mid-October is the time when the flowers arrive in full bloom spreading all across the plateau. I was in luck I thought, called up a few friends and reached Satara after a rather long journey during the Dussera holiday.

If you can’t outdo something then you could do the same thing different to set yourself apart. Now most of you would’ve seen these extremely awesome photos of Kaas by Nature Lyrics dude. Landscape photography is half talent and the other half luck, being at the right place at the right time. For me to take at least half as awesome photos as his, I really had to have some crazy super luck, which I obviously didn’t have, which is why the flowers were gone, there was no sunshine, there was rain and the few of flowers left were white in color and almost inconspicuous.  

So I had undertaken one of the longest bus journeys of my life to come to a plateau with no flowers which is famous only for its flowers. The first day when we all reached Kaas, my disappointment was quite visible. I wasn’t even photographing that evening. So much for a photography trip! Luck hadn’t abandoned me completely though, I was fortunate to be in company of other shutterbugs who thought it would be good to visit Kaas again early next morning. 

My thoughts on the way to Kaas the next morning were “Kaas betrayed me”! Then I thought “Challenge Accepted!”

The good thing that came out of our unsuccessful visit the day before was the knowledge that flowers weren’t there. While many other vehicles whizzed past the other table lands before the main plateau, we spent our time looking for locations around Kaas, there were many. The grass was green with few wild flowers scattered here and there. The morning light was lovely, sunshine brilliant with blue skies and scattered clouds. 

Often, with our minds set on something we ignore everything else around it. Unless forced we don’t see the beauty around. This trip taught me a valuable lesson that sun shines after it rains and you just have to wait for it. And to succeed as a Landscape photographer I need to keep looking for new perspectives of the same old. If there were flowers I wouldn’t have captured the photos that I now have and would’ve done something that has been done to death so far! I, for one, am quite happy with the photos that I managed to capture of Kaas and its surroundings. 

Fact File :

Location – Kaas Plateau, Maharashtra
Nearest Town – Satara, buses stop here and accommodation is also available
Distance – 25kms from Satara.
Suggested Time of Visit – The flowers bloom right at the end of monsoons. The spectacle lasts not more than a month. So far, it has been observed mid-September to mid-October is when the flowers are in full bloom.
Precautions – The heavy influx of tourists seems to have already taken its toll, the bloom retreated much early this season. Please refrain from trampling the flowers, plucking or littering the natural wonder that Kaas is.

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  1. Your photos are lovely! I'm glad that you returned the next day, and even if you're disappointed that you didn't find more flowers, I think that the wildflowers in your pictures are beautiful. Keep up the great work!

  2. Your photographs just took my breath away. I have not managed to visit Kaas in spite of living in Mumbai. I should definitely make it to Kaas next year before the flowers disappear completely and the palteau turns into one big, giant parking lot.

  3. lovely captures backed by sensible write up. Have lived in Mumbai, Pune, Goa for 7 years but never heard of this place :( ! Now that I have, hope to visit the next season :) . Thanks for sharing..

  4. [US Traveler] - Welcome to my blog! I am also so glad I returned back the next day. Surely where there is will there is a way. Thanks! :)

    [Sudhagee] - Welcome to my blog, tell me when you visit Kaas if flowers are in bloom. Will try not to miss the wildflowers this time. :)
    And what you said might be true about Kaas becoming a parking lot soon. :(

    [Nitin Jain] - It often happens, we tend to miss things close to home. Do visit soon and enjoy the awesomeness! :)

  5. Awesome pics and nice blog ! Keep up the good work ! And btw, it was great fun... looking forward to many more trips in the near future !

  6. ## Vivek - Thanks, it was a good trip. :)

  7. Same experience and same thoughts. Did Kaas on the 18th and 19th of August this year and was disappointed to find no flowers but extremely delighted with the landscapes!

    1. All the human intrusion is showing its effect probably! :(

  8. After 15th of August is also good but misty. Rains are also there. Overall very pleasant and one can really enjoy. No guarantee of good photography due to mist and rains.
    Mid Sept is better.

    1. Well as long as one can see the flowers! :)

  9. Awesome clicks Neelima....I will be going to this blessed plc day after tomorrow....Cam all set and fingers crossed for the glumpse of those colourful little tots.....Visiting on a full working day will hopefully work better than weekend...I m sure its all worth it!


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