The Kaas Plateau or Kas Pathar is situated in the Western Ghat Sahyadri range, 25 kilometers from Satara city in Maharashtra state of India. The name Kaas originates from Kaasa tree (Elaeocarpus glandulosus). Leaves of this tree turn green to red as they mature. It gets white flowers only for 15 days in the month of March. The area of plateau is approximately 1,000 hectar.
The Kaas Plateau is full of wild flowers during the months of August and September. These flowers bloom on their own and stay for about 2–3 weeks (depending on the monsoon and other weather factors). Recently it has been declared as Biodiversity World heritage site by The United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). It has an small lake nearby, as you drive down the curves climb down from Kaas Plateau you see a signboard on the left “Kaas Talav”. It is a natural lake surrounded by dense forests. To the left of the lake lies Sajjangad fort and to the right lies Kanher Dam. Its a famous picnic spot with the locals. The place has more than 850 different species of flowers and other plants including Orchids, Karvy and carnivorous plants such as Drosera Indica. If any one wants to visit Kaas Plateau, then one has to register (Rs. 10 entry fee) on their website www.kas.ind.in. Best time to visit the Kaas Plateau is between Aug 15 and Oct 10.
Other Places of Tourist Attraction:
Thoseghar Waterfalls: Thoseghar waterfalls is a scenic spot located 20 km from Satara city, at the edge of the Konkan region, in Western India. There are a series of waterfalls, some of them 15 to 20 metres and one of 500 metres in height. People come from all over Maharashtra to visit the area, especially during the rainy or monsoon season, July to October. Heavy rain falls during that season, and because of this the falls have more water and are more spectacular. There is a newly constructed Platform to stand and take a good view of the waterfall.
Pateshwar: Pateshwar is a village in Satara district of Maharashtra, known for rock-cut caves with shrines of Lord Shiva. Pateshwar is located about 11 km from Satara on the Satara-Solapur state highway in Maharashtra. While there are two ways of approaching Pateshwar, the most popular route is through Degaon village by vehicles. The other route is from the South through a village called Borgaon. This road is preferred by the locals, however tourists prefer the Degaon route. Pateshwar has 8 ancient caves and many ancient stone carved deities of Lord Shiva and other deities. The place is known for having more than 1000 Shiva-lings (Also known as Pinds). Most important amongst these is the Maha Shiva Lingam which has intricate carvings. Many of the deities find references in the ancient Hindu Vedas and Puranas.
Ajinkyatara Fort: Ajinkyatara meaning “The Impregnable Star” is a fort on one of the seven mountains surrounding the city of Satara in the Sahayadri Mountains of Maharashtra, India. It is a 16th Century fort and now also holds the television tower for the city of Satara. The fort is located at Ajinkyatara Mountain, which is 3,300 feet high. As the fort is in the higher altitude, visitors can enjoy a magnificent view of the entire Satara city. There are number of water tanks inside the fort for storing water. So, there is no scarcity of water even as the fort is in the higher place. In 1708, Shahu Maharaj won Ajinkyatara, remained with the Marathas till 1818. The Ajinkyatara fort is a major historic place of Maharashtra, and was very vital as one could keep watch of the entire South Maharashtra.
Bamnoli: Bamnoli is situated 35 kms from Satara city. It is a very small village. This village lies on the shore of Shivsagar lake formed by Koyna dam lies the sleepy village of Bamnoli. The dense forest and the smartly shining roads washed under showers of rain make the drive enchanting. Once you reach the village the breathtaking view of expanse of the lake that spreads for hundreds of square kilometers amazes you. Shivsagar is the back water of Koyana dam. You can enjoy boating here. This place is Free from the city crowd, pollution and noise. A boat ride deep inside the lake would do wonders if you have time.There are 2-3 eateries out here but hardly offer anything to eat except Vadpav and Omlette. You will have to go back to Satara for food. Bamnoli has a great potential of becoming a tourist destination. But sadly with that there is always of risk of being spoilt with litter and garbage. The road continues further to Tapola which is 30 Kms from Bamnoli. Bamnoli and Tapola both are situated around backwaters of Koyna Dam.