Satara area is mostly a hinterland but during monsoon and immediately thereafter it transforms itself into a land of flowers and water falls. That appears to be true.
I visited Satara in July 2013 to have a look at the flowers at Kas Plateau but on reaching the place I was told that the flowers had not yet bloomed due to incessant rains this year (2013).End of August or first week of September was likely to be the period when the flowers would start blooming.
Flowers at Kas Plateau
How to reach?
I travelled by Car from Pune. The route was Pune->Satara on NH4 (took a left turn on the service road 1.9 kms from Nagewadi on the NH4, going under the bridge and taking a right turn) to SH58 onwards to Radhika Road and Rajpath junction within the city till Rajwada circle and take a right turn to Kaas Road (road to the left goes to Bogda). Continue on the Kaas Road for about 25 kms till the intersection of Kaas Mahabaleshwar Road. Road to the left goes to Bomnali and to the right goes to Mahabaleshwar. Kas Plateau is located right next to this intersection.
The flowering area is located on both sides of the road that goes to Bomnali about 2.5 kms before Kaas Village. 18 kms from Satara on the Kaas Road, you get beautiful photographic mountain view on both sides with lakes full of water. The total distance from Pune to Kas Pathar is 151 kms.
Kas Pathar can also be accessed from Mahabaleshwar by using the Tapola link road which to some extent is a hilly terrain. But if you are travelling from Pune to see the flowers during season, then Satara route through NH4 is preferable.
What to see?
The Valley of flowers :
Located on both sides of the narrow road, barricaded to restrict entry of visitors into the flowering area, it’s an awesome sight to see different variety of small flowers spread over the entire hinterland. It is said that the plateau houses 150 variety of flowers, shrubs and grasses during the flowering season. The orchids of different colours (prominent among them lavender, red, yellow, white) spread over acres of rocky land bloom for a limited period of 3-4 weeks at the end of the rainy season.The climate here in first week of September was quite cool with clouds and intermittent drizzle. I saw a number of visitors carrying umbrellas. This could be the reason why these natural flowers bloom in that rocky area at the end of monsoon season.
Flowers at Kas Plateau
Where to eat?
There is no accommodation available anywhere near the Kas Plateau.
The nearest place you can stay is either Tapola or at Satara (25 kms).
No eatables are available in a radius of 10 to 15 kms.
There are a few road side restaurants 10-15 kms. from the plateau like Maratha or Skyblue on the Satara route or at Tapola.
Any other activity?
Parking of vehicles is not permitted on the flowering stretch as the road is narrow and full of visitors during season time, particularly during weekends and holidays. Hence, parking place is provided on the lower stretch of the road at Kas Pathar after the end of flowering area.
Parking at Kas Plateau
Entry fee per person Rs.10/- for person above the age of 12. This can be paid online through Forest Department site www.kas.ind.in or at the spot. In addition to the per person entry fee, other fees payable from 2012 are : (these could be subject to change)
Camera charges : Professional camera - Rs.100/-, Normal camera Rs.50/-, Mobile Camera - Rs.10/-
Parking of Vehicles : Buses : Rs.150/- for big buses, Rs.100/- for mini buses, Rs.40/- for cars and jeeps, Rs.10/- for two wheelers.
(These tariffs are subject to change).
Places to see around
KAS VAJRAI WATERFALL:
2.5 kms from Kas Pathar is the village Kas. After reaching the village, park your vehicle near the temple on the main road and walk a distance of 2-3 kms on the narrow rocky kutcha road through the village to reach the Vajrai Water fall.The waterfall is at a height of 260 metres is not visible unless you reach a certain point. Except for the waterfall, there is no other attraction or eating facilities nearby in the village.
This is one of India's tallest waterfalls at a height of 853 ft.(260 metres).
It is the birth place of Urmodi river.
There is an entry fee is Rs.10/- per person. This is subject to change.
Kas Vajrai Waterfall
THOSEGHAR WATER FALL :
Located at 20 kms from Satara city, this waterfall consists of 3 falls. One for its height and beadth, the other for its small size and the third for its force of water.
The water falls can be seen only from a distance from the constructed platforms. The steps and gangway are tiled and well maintained. From the water level in September, I feel during the monsoon season, the falls have more water and are more spectacular to watch. The water falling from the mountains at a height of 500 metres, makes loud noise in the otherwise calm atmosphere. The place is now developed as a picnic spot also.
How to reach there?
You can drive through Satara City and after the Samarth Mandir Road, you can take the road that leads to Sajjangad and Thoseghar. There are buses and autorickshaws available from Satara City.
Best time to visit Kas Plateau is immediately after the rains i.e., by end of August or 1st week of September.