|Nickname(s): Kaas Valley of Flowers|
|• Total||10 km2 (4 sq mi)|
|Elevation||1,200 m (3,900 ft)|
|Time zone||IST (UTC+5:30)|
The Kaas Plateau also known as the "Kaas Pathar" is a plateau situated in the Western Ghat Sahyadri range, 22 kilometers from Satara city in Maharashtra state of India and is known for various types of wild flowers which bloom during August-September every year. The area of plateau is located at a height of 1200 mt and is approximately 1,000 hectare. The name Kaas originates from Kaasa tree (Elaeocarpus glandulosus). It has been declared as Biodiversity World Heritage Site by The United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco). The place has more than 850 different species of flowers and other plants including Orchids, Karvy and carnivorous plants such as Drosera Indica. This falls under the Sahyadri Sub Cluster of Western Ghats which is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Kaas plateau is a plateau located near Satara. It is situated high hill plateaus and grasslands turns into a 'valley of flowers' during monsoon season, in the month of August. Kaas Plateau has more than 150 or more types of flowers, shrubs and grasses. The orchids bloom here for a period of 3–4 weeks during this season. Kaas plateau a World Natural Heritage site. For registration to visit Kaas plateau visit at http://www.kas.ind.in/
Formation of plateau
Plateaus can be formed by a number of processes, including upwelling of volcanicmagma, extrusion of lava, and erosion by water and glaciers. Magma rises from the mantle causing the ground to swell upward, in this way large, flat areas of rock are uplifted. Plateaus can also be built up by lava spreading outward from cracks and weak areas in the crust. Plateaus can also be formed by the erosional processes of glaciers on mountain ranges, leaving them sitting between the mountain ranges. Water can also erode mountains and other landforms down into plateaus. Computer modeling studies suggest that high plateaus may also be partially a result from the feedback between tectonic deformation and dry climatic conditions created at the lee side of growing orogens. To control possible damage by common tourist, Government Departments have restricted the number of visitors to 2,000 per day.
Kaas plateau is a plateau located around 25 km from Satara. There are two ways to reach Kas. one the more direct way from Satara and another from Tapola via the link road connecting Mahabaleshwar and Panchgani to Kas Pathar. The link road facilitates tourists in staying in Tapola or Mahabaleshwar after visiting Kas Pathar rather than the Satara town or cutting the weekend picnic short and making it a one-day weekend picnic. Kas plateau is 20 km away from Northern part of Koyana Sanctuary. The major portion of the plateau is reserve Forest. Kaas lake (built 100 years ago) is a perennial source of Water supply for western part of Satara city by gravity. The flora of Kaas are around the locality of that area. The plateau is largely formed of basalt which is directly exposed to atmosphere. The basalt rock is covered by a thin cover of soil formed due to erosion and has accumulated a layer of not more than an inch or so. This soil is neither black nor lateritic. At certain places water gets accumulated because of uneven surface. The plants growing on Kas plateau are typically of herbaceous nature of like grasses. The small shrubs and trees are located at the periphery of the plateau at Kaas plateau.
The various distances of Kas plateau are as follows:
- From Satara - 25 km
- From Pune - 125 km
- From Mumbai - 280 km
- From Kolhapur - 150 km
Bio-diversity on Kaas plateau
Kaas Plateau is rich in its Bio-diversity. Many species are observed on plateau which are new to the Botanical Science. Many of the endemic, endangered plants are found on Plateau. More than 850 species of flowering plants are reported on the plateau. 624 species have entered in the Red Data Book. Out of these 624 species, 39 are found only in Kaas Region.
Kaas lake is on the south of the Kaas Plateau and is surrounded by dense forests and lies between Sajjangad fort and the Kanher Dam.It is just like a bowl carved out of the Sahyadri mountains. Koyna project is around 30 km towards the south of Kaas Lake. Apart from these, there are number of other scenic places like caves, picnic spots, boating places, temples etc. which not only attract tourists from all parts of the world. The place is a hub of scenic beauty, wildlife and holy places. vajarai Waterfall is also near from Kaas which is India's highest waterfall now.
The following is a list of some of the flowers found on this plateau.
- Ceropegia Vincaefolia (local name Kandilpushpa)
- Ceropegia Jainii (local name Somada)
- Drosera Indica (local name Gavati Davbindu)
- Smithia hirsute / hirsuta (local name Kavala)
- Senecio grahami / bombayensis (Sonakee)
- Utricularia purpurascens (Seetechee aasawe)
- Senecio bombyensis (local name Sonki)
- Murdannia lanuginosa (local name Abolima)
- Pogostemon deccanensis(
- Dipcadi montanum (Deepkadee)
- Impatiens oppositifolia
- Wild Brinjal flower
- Aponogeton satarensis (local name Vaytura)
- Elaeocarpus glandulosus (local name Kaasa)
- Pinda concanensis (local name Pinda)
- Hitchenia caulina (local name Chavar)
- Paracaryopsis coelestina (local name Nisurdi)
- Nymphoides indicum (local name Kumudini)
- Cyanotis tuberosa (local name Abhali)
- Murdannia simplex (local name Nilima)
- Paracaryopsis malbarica (local name Kali Nisurdi)
- Begonia crenata
- Trichosanthes tricuspidata (local name Kondal)
- Chlorophytum glaucoides (local name Musali)
- Ipomoea barlerioides
- Ceropegia media
- Drosera burmanni (local name Davbindu)
- Habenaria longicorniculata
- Aerids maculosum
- Dendrobium barbatulum (Bharangee)
- Habenaria panchagnesis
- Memecylon umbellatum (local name Anjani)
- Habenaria heyneana (local name toothbrush Orchid)
- Habenaria grandifloriformis
- Smithia agharkarii
- Flemingia nilgheriensis
- Rotala ritchiei (local name Paner)
- Rotala fimbriata
- Adenoon indicum (local name mothi sonaki)
- Linum mysurense (local name Undri)
- Dioscorea bulbifera (local name dukkar kanda)
- Vigna vexillata (local name Halunda)
- Oberonia recurva
- Arisaema murrayi (local name Pandhara Sapkanda)
- Exacum tetragonum (local name Udi chirayat)
- "Kaas to bloom for only 2,000 tourists daily - Pune -DNA". Dnaindia.com. Retrieved 2013-05-01.
- "Mr. Rajendra Shende, Chairman, TERRE, United Nations Environment Programme, Technologies and Policies, Ozon Action Programme, Multilateral Ozone Fund, Global Environmental Facility, Technology support programme, Multilateral Environmental Agreement, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Indian Institute of Technology". Terrepolicycentre.org. 2013-04-15. Retrieved 2013-05-01.
- "Articles about World Heritage List by Date - Page 5 - Times Of India". Articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com. Retrieved 2013-05-01.
- Garcia-Castellanos, D., 2007. The role of climate during high plateau formation. Insights from numerical experiments. Earth Planet. Sci. Lett. 257, 372-390, doi:10.1016/j.epsl.2007.02.039 pdf
- Other attractions
- Vajrai Waterfall