Kaas plateau – Carpet of Flowers
Kaas Plateau locally known as Kaas pathar in Marathi, is situated in Sahyadri Ghat ranges close to Satara city of Maharashtra. This place as been declared as Biodiversity World Heritage Site by The United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco). This plateau and near by locations hold various species of flora and few are endemic to this region. There are around 850 species of flowering plant observed from this plateau. Not only that, as per red data book about 6.25% of 624 species of flora is found in Kaas.
Image credit: Saravanakumar G
Which, ranks this plateau high on the top biodiversity hot spots in India. Who knows, there might be lot of other flora yet to be discovered. I would not take too much of time writing about the place, but I would leave you with images with which you can make up your mind.
If one pays attention to the detail, you can see many beauties including carnivorous plants on the laterite soil in Kaas.
Kumudini flower (Water snow-flakes) in the Kumudini pond. Kaas has more to offer if you sweat a little bit. Just few miles ahead of Kaas, there is a pond in which you can see this flower in numbers. The pond also gets it’s name due to this flower which is in abundant.
There are some interesting flowers in Kaas. The three flowers below are from the Apocyanceae family (Ceropegia) are very rare to find. You need someone local an botanist/naturalists to locate such hidden treasures.
So, some facts about these. They are not carnivorous but they kind of kidnap the insects and traps them in the long tubular corolla. The tip of the tube is fused with five petals, thus arresting the exit. Another interesting part of this flower is the tube itself. The tube has small hairs that point downwards which prevents the insect climbing up.
Once inside, the insect is trapped as the tube is lined with stiff unidirectional hairs. The more the insect tries to escape the more it goes downwards to the bulb portion of the flower where the pollen is stored. Once the pollen are stuck on the insects body, the flower soon looses it’s stiffness. It droops down and the insect escapes. Job well done!
We would want to showcase more flowers from this region and we might do so as part 2 of the blog. But hey, here are the important points that you need to keep in mind if you’re visiting Kaas.
- Don’t drink or/and Smoke.
- Don’t pluck flowers
- Don’t stamp flowers
- Don’t walk on the flower bed
- Don’t make noise
- Don’t party
- Don’t LITTER – Bring your food, but don’t throw them everywhere. Take it back with you.
This beautiful place can be reached by air and by road.
- From Bangalore to Pune by KSRTC bus, you can get down in Satara.
- From Bangalore to Pune by flight and take a cab to Satara which is 120KM drive.
Some more images for your visual treat: