Satara – a city located in Satara district of Maharashtra state of India.The city is popular for valley of flowers, yes you heard it right. Maharashtra state also have mini valley of flowers and it is known as ‘Kaas Plateau’, locals pronounce as ‘Kaas Pathar’.
Satara city is nestled between beautiful Western Ghats with several prominent forts.If we talk about the history; the name of the city is derived from the seven hills surrounding the city. Saat meaning ‘seven’ and Tara meaning ‘Hill’, thus forms the word ‘Satara’ which overlooks the city. The seven hills are Ajinkyatara, Sajjangad, Yawateshwar, Jarandeshwar etc.
The city is also famous for weekend treks and popular Satara Half Marathon. It is popular weekend gateway from Mumbai and Pune.
During the monsoon I decided to take a weekend break and visited this beautiful city with Kaas Plateau for 2 days; and trust me two days are not enough to give justice to this place. Here I am mentioning Top Places to visit in Satara with Kaas Pathar.
After reaching Satara, my first stop was Thoseghar Waterfall. It’s an incredible picturesque spot. It is 25 km from Satara and the roads that lead to thoseghar were like green carpet. It was one of the most scenic routes I have ever been.
There is a viewing Platform near waterfall. The waterfall has two nearby sights named Chhota Dhabdhaba (Little waterfall) and Bada Dhabdhaba(Huge waterfall). Thoseghar is mainly visited during monsoon season as otherwise one couldn’t see in its full glory.The surrounding area is covered in dense forest and walking down to the waterfalls is quiet a small trekking experience.The entry to the base of thoseghar is restricted but you can enjoy its forming at waterfall source near huge waterfall.
Chalkewadi is located 6 km from Thoseghar and it is one of the largest windmill farms in Asia. It supplies electricity to Satara and neighboring places like Mahabaleshwar and Panchgani. Chalkewadi is developed as a tourist spot, because the windmills and the hills offer a magical landscape together. Thoseghar waterfall can be seen from Chalkewadi. Set amidst lush green hills, valleys and the red soil these windmills make a beautiful sight.
Ajinkyatara fort is a fortress on one of the seven mountains surrounding the satara city. The fort is located at Ajinkyatara Mountain, which is 3,300 feet high. It takes almost half an hour to reach at the top from the base town. From the fort, you can have splendid views of the surrounding valley and Satara city. The trek to fort is easy.
Sajjangad fort means ‘fort of good’ people and is final resting place of saint Ramdas who was spiritual Guru of Chhatrapati Shivaji. The fort is approx 18 km from Satara City.It is possible to reach the top of the fort by vehicle. Once you reach the Parking, one has to climb around a hundred steps to reach the gate of the fort.
The fort is open from 9 AM to 5 PM all days.In the afternoon, trustees of Sajjangad servefood as Prasad to the devotees for free of cost.Recently they built a Bhaktniwas for the devotees for free of cost stay. It’s a popular pilgrim place for Maharashtrians.
Sajjangad fort offers breathtaking views of surrounding valley and small villages of Satara. The trek to sajjangad is easy but has patchy road at few spots.
Few years ago UNESCO has declared Kaas Plateu as World Natural Heritage Site. I was planning to visit here since last two years and finally I could make a visit this year.The plateau is situated at an altitude of 1200 meters and is approximately 10 square kilometers in area. Kaas has more than 850 different species of flowering plants including orchids,shrubs and grasses. The plain grasslands turn into ‘valley of flowers’ during monsoon season particularly from August end to Oct first week.
As I visited it in early September this year; due to harsh rain flowers were not fully bloomed. But still it was a pretty sight and treat to my eyes, with yellow and pink carpet of flowers. There were other areas near Kaas which bloomed with yellow carpet.
- As Kaas Plateau is UNESCO heritage site, so many tourists visit during blooming season;to control possible damage by tourists, the numbers of visitors to the plateau has been restricted to 3000 per day.
- You can book tickets online at https://www.kas.ind.in/ .The entry Fee charge is INR 100 per person.
- You have to park your vehicle at parking area and mini bus will take you to and fro to Plateau from parking which costs INR 20 for both ways.
- The flowers remain in full bloom for 3-4 weeks depending on monsoon and weather conditions; hence plan accordingly.
Kaas lake is on the south of the Kaas Plateau and is surrounded by dense forest. It lies between Sajjangad fort and the Kanher Dam. It is best place to be with serenity.
Other Points of interests:
- Vajrai waterfall which is considered as one of the highest waterfall of India.
- Bamnoli – This town is located on the banks of koyana river and is one of the wonderful destination with surreal landscapes.
How to Reach:
Satara is situated at a distance from 260 km from Mumbai and 110 km from Pune. Both the cities are well connected by air,train and road with the major parts of India.One can reach early morning to Satara from Mumbai by taking overnight train or bus.
Satara has well managed public transport and you can use MSRTC local buses to visit nearby sights; but I found less frequency of it.I highly recommend visiting nearby sights by hiring an auto which may costs you INR 1200-1500 per day.
Where to Stay:
There are many budget hotels at Satara but I recommend staying at hotels near Kaas road. The landscape is so inviting with its enchanting beauty. I stayed at SriLeela Kaas resort which was wonderful experience.You will be mesmerized by the beauty surrounding it and that too at low cost with tasty food.
Though there are not many places to visit nearby in Satara, but the city and surrounding valley turned to green carpet in monsoon. It looks paradise in every aspect. I had two wonderful days here and one should experience the charm of this place once for sure.