Satara Surprise

This is my first post here at Ghumakkar.   It is about our recent visits to Satara.  Satara is a nondescript small town at approx. 750m AMSL, on the foothills of the Western Ghats, 120km south of Pune along National Highway No.4.    It is not on the tourist circuit.  More is the pity, for there is a lot to enjoy in and around Satara from September onward.


Our intention was to visit Kas [also spelt Kaas / Kass]  Maharashtra’s  now fairly well known “Plateau of Flowers“.

It was a pleasant surprise to discover a lot more to Satara than just Kas.

There are three scenic roads radiating from Satara which are worthy of exploration.  One is the road to Bamnoli which passes the Yevteshwar plateau, the Kas “Pathar”, the Kas Lake, ending up on the scenic shores of the Koyna lake [Shivsagar] at Bamnoli.

September and October see wildflowers in mass bloom on the Kas plateau.  It is truly overwhelming, a phenomenon that no photograph can ever do justice to.    Lateritic plateaus are found in several places in the Western Ghats range in Maharashtra, the better known Panchgani Table Land being one such.  Dusty and dry in the warmer months, these “Pathars” or “Sadaas” get transformed into vast carpets of colour from mid August onward, with different floral species varying the shade every ten days or so.  Nothing, but nothing, can prepare one for the sensual delight of mass blooming wildflowers on the never ending table land of Kas.

Regrettably, beauty always attracts the beast, in this instance uncaring tourists who callously drive their vehicles over the plants, leaving behind their unwanted souvenirs in the form of Bisleri – Lays and even worse, broken beer bottles.  The Kas Lake is locally renamed Kaanch Lake for the number of glass shards strewn all along the lakeside.   Periodically, the local authorities bring in school children from surrounding villages on a clean up drive.

At Bamnoli, local ferry boats ply to Tapola, Vasota, Koyna and other villages on the shores of the Shivsagar. One may take a short ferry ride to the Triveni Sangam in the middle of the lake.

The second route is the road from Satara to Thoseghar and Chalkewadi, bifurcating from the Bamnoli road at Nana Chowk, where you go through an old British tunnel in the mountain, below the Ajinkyatara Fort.  This route is very scenic, passing fertile fields with pretty valley and mountain views.   A good motorable side road goes upto the Sajjangad Fort .   Another side road leads to the scenic Urmodi  reservoir .    Just past Thoseghar village is the parking lot for the waterfalls of the same name.  A short walk leads to an observation platform from where a stunning view is obtained of the beautiful Thoseghar Waterfalls.  A few kilometres beyond Thoseghar are the vast windmill plateaus of Chalkewadi.     It is an extraordinary sight to see hundreds of windmills on these table lands.  From September onward, these too become wildflower fields stretching as far as the eye can see.  An excellent place for long, leisurely walks in absolute peace.

The third scenic route from Satara is the road to Maharashtra’s most famous hill station – Mahabaleshwar, barely 50km away via the pretty Kanher Lake, rural Medha and the winding Kelghar Ghat with its pretty waterfalls and forests.  It is an easy day trip to Mahabaleshwar from Satara.

Getting there:  ST and private buses run frequently between Mumbai and Satara but the journey time is a minimum 5 hours.   If you take your own vehicle or a private taxi and leave Mumbai before 6am, you can make it in just over 3 hours via the Mumbai Pune Expressway and NH4.  A third option is by train – the Koyna Express, though this is an unnecessarily long journey.   Hotels range from cheap lodges near the bus station to mid range hotels suited for families, many located on the New Radhika Road; to business hotels.  We stayed at the Radhika Palace and the Rajtara on separate occasions.  Both were clean and decent, with courteous service, tasty food and adequate place for parking.

Hope, Ghumakkar community likes my first story here.

18 Comments

  • Hi Gita,
    Welcome to Ghumakkar!
    What an excellent surprise of a travelogue on Satara, of all places! We have been to Mahabaleshwar and Panchgani so many times but never thought of taking a small detour to Satara.
    Thanks for sharing and bringing it to our notice; specially the Kaas Plateau.
    Excellent pictures too! Keep up the good work!

  • Mahesh Semwal says:

    Wow !!!!!!!!!!!!!

    What a collation of pictures, especially Kaas Plateau.

    In last couple of post we were blessed to see the beauty of Konkarn Belt. I too have been to Mahabaleshwar & Panchgani to attand a conference ,but not crossed to such a beautiful spots. If I am not wrong Mahabaleshwar & Panchgani comes under Satra District.

    Thanks for sharing your experiences with us.

    Looking forward to see some more write -up on unexplored areas of Western Regions.

  • Roopesh says:

    Hi Gita,

    Stunning post about Satara. You have captured everything in pictures – flowers, people, the lake, the fall, the rainbow. The double rainbow pic is just superb. This belt from Pune till Kolhapur really comes alive in Monsoon.

  • Mr Mobs says:

    Hi,

    your first post is a good one! Fantastic pictures, looks a beautiful place.

  • Gita AM says:

    Thank you for your kind words, Vijay, Mahesh, Roopesh and Mr Mobs.

  • Manish Khamesra says:

    Beautiful Pictures Gita. I think with this post you have put Satara next to Valley of flowers.

    Each picture has a class of its own.

    Superb :-)

  • Tushar Shedge says:

    gr8 gr8 collection.. proud to be an Satarkar…

  • amit says:

    Pehale to aapko badhai dena chahta hu is behatar photos k liye.

    Satara k bareme kaha jaaye utna kam hai. lekin ye aapka prayas bahot accha hai

    Aur bhi satareme bahot dekhne ki jaha hai,
    jarur dekhiye.

  • SUNIL SHEDGE says:

    very nice photo Ami Satarkar

  • Atul Pawar says:

    Beautifull location “My Satara” nd excellent photography….

  • Gita says:

    Thanks Manish, Tushar, Amit, Sunil, Atul. I did not realise these comments were there.

    Ive forgotten my password.

  • Sanjay says:

    Very good, helpful, inspiring.
    Today when came across a news about Kas Pather, got your post on net.
    We really miss many things near by us and look for out of our reach.
    Enjoy the life

  • Rajesh says:

    I would like to know more details of this place . if some one can drop their cell number i can get in touch with them and get my queries cleared .
    Rajesh – 9959977897

  • satish bedi says:

    Beautiful pictures.We plan to ghum KAS valley in september 12,next month. can yu advise where to stay.Reply to email.

  • Gita says:

    Thanks Satish
    I think posting weblinks are not permitted here so google for hotels in Satara and you will find the link which has most of the listed hotels there. Weekday should be okay but you will need a booking on weekends. If you are particular about a veg only hotel, try Radhika Palace.

    Thanks Sanjay

  • avinash says:

    i like to visit there to kas pathar but i want to know some points ….. how to go from aurangabad to there ….. is there any guide there to show alal the area of kas pathar….how about the stay arrangement ……

    if i go by car

  • Ankita says:

    Hi,
    i am in bamnoli and your first post is a good one i like it

  • Meghna says:

    Hi Gita, your description and pictures of this place is very luring. I was all set to visit Kaas Plateau and Thosegar falls this year but missed it due to my kids exams. Now I have to wait for the next blooming season but will definitely make it next year and your blog will help me to add more.

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