Kaas Plateau of Flowers: Maharashtra’s splendour

Kas Valley | Photo credit : kas.ind.in

The Neelakurinji bloom which offers a purple spring in the valleys of the Western Ghats is a stunning sight. Once in twelve years, there is a steady flow of tourists to the full-blown Kurinji Hills. Similarly, the Valley of Flowers in Uttarakhand is another popular tourist destination for flowers. There is another flower valley in India that is not known to many; That is the Kas Valley in Maharashtra.

Kas is located near the Western Ghats, at a distance of 24 km from the city of Satara in Maharashtra. It is a plateau spread over an area of about 10 sq km. Situated at an elevation of 1200 m above sea level, this place is home to some of the most endangered flora and fauna.There are more than 850 flowers here! Orchids and even carnivorous plants like Drosera are found here.

Spring is celebrated all over the valley during the months of August to October. Flowers of various colors bloom in clusters and adorn the valley as a paradise. Many visitors from the surrounding areas come to see this sight. Another feature is that the color of the valley changes each week, depending on the plants that bloom at different times.

For these reasons, the valley of Kas is nicknamed the 'Valley of Flowers of Maharashtra'. The lion's share of the Caspian Plateau is protected forest. In 2012, UNESCO declared the area a World Heritage Site. As it is a protected area, only a maximum of 3000 people is allowed to enter here a day. Admission is open to those who register online. 1000 people can enter in 3 slots from 7.00 am to 11 am, 11.00 am to 3.00 pm, and 3.00 to 6.00 pm. The charge is Rs 100 per person. Admission is free for children under the age of five.

Another attraction of the place is the Kass Lake, which is located in the middle of the forest on the southern side of the Kass Plateau, between Sajjangad Fort and Kanher Dam. Koyna Wildlife Sanctuary is located at a distance of 30 km south of the lake. Vajrai Falls which is considered one of the tallest waterfalls in India is also situated near the lake.

How to reach there
There are two main ways to reach the Kas Plateau. It can be reached directly by road from Satara. The distance is 24 km. Tapola can be reached via the link road that connects Mahabaleshwar and Panchgani. For more information visit https://www.kas.ind.in/ ....

Valley of Flowers | Shutterstock images

Top 10 flower valleys in India
Valley of flowers in Uttarakhand:
Widely regarding as India’s most mesmerizing flower valley, this is also a UNESCO world heritage site. The valley is flourishing in the middle of Bhyundar Valley, up in the western part of the Himalayas at an elevation of 3,658 mts above sea level. It is popular for its verdant valleys of endemic alpine flowers and the unbelievably mesmerizing scenic beauty. When you trek to Valley of Flowers, you see rare flowers, including Brahma kamal, Yellow Cobra Lily, Jacquemont’s Cobra Lily, Wallich’s Cobra Lily, Elegant Slipper Orchid, Himalayan Slipper Orchid, Himalayan Marsh Orchid, etc. The best way to reach this flower valley is by trekking. You can take a taxi to Govind ghat, which is where the trail starts. After the 6.2-mile trek, you’ll reach Ghangaria, where you can stay overnight. From Ghangaria, the trek to the Valley of Flowers is moderate and the scenery on the way is magnificent. You can do this trek on your own or with a guide.

Dzükou Valley, Nagaland: This little-known gem located near the Nagaland-Manipur border is far away from hustle and bustle of city life and is a fantastic spot to revel in the beauty of nature. Look out for the rare Dzükou lilies that are found only here while soaking in the beauty of other flower varieties like aconitum’s, euphorbias, rhododendrons, and more! There are two ways to get to this valley - a trek from Viswema village or one from Zakhama village, and we can’t decide which of these is more beautiful! Dzukou valley derives its meaning from the Angami/Mao(Naga tribe name) word which translates to "Cold Water" referring to the ice-cold stream that flows through the valley.

Yumthang Valley in Sikkim: This one here is truly a nature lover’s paradise! If you are looking for sheer bliss, some quiet time, and nothing but pretty blooms to give you company, pack your bags right away to Yumthang valley in Sikkim. Situated at 3596 mts above sea level, this stunning valley boasts of spectacular flower landscape, yaks, hot springs, and what not! It features exotic varieties of flowers including Cinquefoils, Rhododendrons, Iris, Poppies, Louseworts, Primroses, and Cobra-lilies among others. Interestingly, the valley also consists of the Shingba Rhododendron Sanctuary, and hence you’ll find more than 24 varieties of this beautiful flower here. Please note that this place remains closed from December to March due to heavy snowfall; however, it makes for the perfect travel destination during summer.

Tulip Garden, Kashmir: Frolic around among lush tulip fields at the largest Tulip garden in Asia! With various flower species like hyacinths, narcissus, daffodils, muscaria, and iris paired with the show-stealer variety of tulips, this makes for one picturesque location in Kashmir. It overlooks the Dal lake and is surrounded by the Nishat Bagh and Chashma Shahi Mughal gardens. A visit to this place is sure to make your day bright and colourful! Located on the foothills of the Zabarwan mountain range, it gets thousands of visitors daily. Spread across 35 acres of land, the garden has around 15 lakh varieties of Tulips.

Munnar Valley | Shutterstock images

Munnar Valley, Kerala:  Of course God's own country i.e. Kerala had to be home to a flower valley of its own. It comes in the form of the Munnar Valley which is located in the Western ghats mountain range of Kerala. It is most famous for the strobilanthes kunthiana flower, commonly known as Neelakurinji. Approximately every 12 years, the flower blooms and covers the valleys and adjoining mountains in a hue of lavender. It is a phenomenon tracked keenly by those in the field of biodiversity and sees a rise in tourism during the blossoming season which last occurred in 2018. The best time to visit Kerala's Munnar Valley is between July and October.


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