It’s already been couple of months that I have taken my bike out from the shed, let alone going for a long drive. This trip has been a refreshing moment for the machine. After getting him treated with its medicines (engine oil) at his clinic (service center), all set for the day.
The night before this trip
All set and waiting for the day, it started pouring heavily and the weather doesn’t seem to look any good in the next 2 days. I was on the verge of dropping the trip for the fear of riding on wet roads. But well, travel is where you overcome your fears.
Via Panchgani and Mahabaleshwar
Generally, the route to Kaas from Mumbai is by NH4 cutting through Pune and Satara. But since there was a hill marathon planned for that weekend from Kaas to Satara, all the hotels/resorts were booked at Satara. So we had to stay at a small village called Tapola beside Koyna Reservoir. Fortunately for us we rode through the beautiful hill stations Panchgani and Mahabaleshwar. The ride was like stepping into clouds towards heaven. It was tricky; heavy pour on one side, smog on the other and hair-pin turns in addition. It was definitely one hell of a ride.
Finally! The Kaas!!
The Kaas Plateau, fondly called the Kaas Pathar in Hindi and Marathi, is the Maharashtra’s answer to Valley of Flowers. This is the place for natural seasonal flowers just like its counterpart in Uttarakhand. A small plateau formed over a hill near Satara is an abode of various flowers. The only time to visit is just after monsoons, around mid-Sep to end-Oct. These are actually shrubs which are at not more than one feet height.
The flowers there are seasonal, each flower will be dominant for around 14-15 days. It will get worn down after its duration and a new flower blooms.The plateau takes the color of the dominant flowers at that time. Hence the plateau changes its colors every 1-2 weeks even in that one month. There are 3 dominant colors observed on the plateau: Yellow, Pink and Purple.
All the flowers blossomed there are restricted particularly to that area. It is said that this is because of basalt, mixed in the soil and it gets exposed to atmosphere directly in that area. This unique feature makes this place special.
Also called as Kaas lake is the perennial source of water for Satara. It got its name from the flower Kumudini (Nymphoides Indicum) in the local language. This is white flower when observed closely looks exactly like snowflakes. This is also called water snowflake flower. This is one special flower found in this special location.
- Heavy downpour: This is also the low light. This had made the ride very tough and at the same time made it memorable. This had removed the fear I had for riding bikes in rains. Ultimately, travel is where one overcomes ones’ inhibitions.
- Ride through Mahabaleshwar and Panchgani: There are 2 routes to Kaas; one a direct route via Satara and another via the above places. This is a longer route, but definitely a memorable one. We had taken the longer one while going to Kaas and he direct one while returning.