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Old 1st August 2011, 22:27   #1
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Default Kaas - The Valley of Flowers

Kaas
Maharashtra's own Valley of Flowers

Kass Plateau located around 26KM from Satara is an amazing plateau with a wide variety of wild flowers which bloom in September give the place a heavenly feel. Travellors have noted that indeed with every passing weeks the colors of the plateau changes with the flowering cycle of the wild flowers. The place was indeed beautiful and it was nothing short of heavenly. I have heard about Kaas, and had it in my list of must visit places.


Prologue

One fine day in July 2010 Starvegabond floats a thread on a TBHP meet at Kaas. http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/team-b...s-pg-27-a.html (Drive and Meet: Kaas. Report and Pictures from Pg. 27).

He was inspired by the thread by TBHpian Genesis. http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...u-flowers.html (Kaas (Maharashtra) -The Plateau of flowers).

The idea was an instant hit.

TBHPian Ashish Pallod and MX6 set the pace and many more pitched in. The thread ran into 42 pages, and over 600 posts, and nearly 30,000 views. A lot of TBHPians from Pune and Mumbai loved the idea of a drive, and led the idea forward. Ashish with his knowledge of the area sets the date of our visit to the last weekend of September 2010, 25.09.2010 and 26.09.2010. TBHPian Turboholic from Satara was very kind in helping the out of towners in securing a booking at good hotels in Satara. So with the dates and stay options frozen, it was time for roll call.

The usual confirmation, dropouts, etc..etc.. happened for a while from July till mid September. By mid September 2010 the meet had the aura of a mega one. TBHPians from Bangalore, Mumbai, Pune and Delhi for the Kaas drive. At this point the confirmations were 40 plus.

Then uncertainties struck. On 17th September 2010, Allahabad High Court refused to defer Ayodhya verdict on 24th September 2010. Allahabad HC refuses to defer Ayodhya verdict - Times Of India. This means we were unsure about the scenes after the verdict and the entire drive was in question for the first time just 7 days before the decided date.

To add to that, there was the threat of a petrol pump strike too. Due to these uncertainties, many confirmed TBHPians backed out. Some TBHPians did the visit the previous weekend too to avoid missing the beauty of Kaas.

Ashish stood his ground, the meet is still on. If the verdict is on 24th, see the reactions on 25th, and go on 26th if all is well. That inspired me and Starvegabond from Bangalore. TBHPian Khoj left from Delhi on 21.09.2010 for the meet. Inspired me and Starvegabond had a chat on 22.09.2010 Wednesday - a short one too at that.

Starvegabond : "Schools are closed on 24.09.2010 Friday, does that give you some ideas?"
Me : "Yes, why not we drive early and reach Satara before the verdict?"
Starvegabond : "Yes, let us do that. We'll travel on 23.09.2010 Thursday afternoon, reach Satara by midnight"
Me : "Good idea, that makes us reach Satara, and we are not in transit when the verdict is announced. Then based on the scenes we can decide ahead. Anyway we have Friday, Saturday and Sunday at our disposal."
Starvegabond : "Let us do that."
Me : " Yes, I'll meet you at your place by 13:00PM tomorrow."
Starvegabond : "That's the plan then."
Me : "Yes"

And we were decided on doing the trip. TBHPians from Bangalore dropped out, except anainar and us.

We started from Bangalore on 23.09.2010 Thursday by 14:00PM. And by 15:00PM supreme court defers the verdict by a week. All is well once again, and we were on the roll already.


We reached Satara by 02:00AM the next day. From TBHP we came to know the Mumbai and Pune TBHPians are meeting as planned and the meet is on as planned on Saturday. And we have already reached Satara by Friday. So we decided to have a short sight seeing on our own on Friday and attend the TBHP mega meet on Saturday. We met many TBHPians. Now I have a face to their handles. Ashish, MX6, Khoj, nomadabhi, turboholic, anainar, gostel, pjbiju, f1fan ....


Starvegabond wrote about the trip here http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...smiri-way.html (Flower Power : Celebrating nature, the mini KAASmiri way)


I was quite busy and was not keeping pace with his log, and mostly since I was not able to capture the beauty of the place in my camera. Starvegabond caught me many times sitting near the flowers with my camera switched off, and lost in thoughts.

Such was the beauty of Kaas plateau.
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Old 1st August 2011, 22:30   #2
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Default Protect the flowers at Kaas for the future generations

Why almost an year after our trip I'm writing all these?

1 ) It is because the next season is due in September 2011.

2 ) I saw some posts again on the meet thread last week from nomadabhi, that a TV9 news line said Kaas is going to be closed for the public by the Forest Department. Being such a fragile environment, such an action is welcome. A restriction is a requirement, the place cannot handle the amount of visitors, and the wild flowers were not cared for by many of the visitors. A vigilant forest department with clear restrictions and dos and dont's are welcome. I'll leave that to the authorities to decide in the best interest of the place and ecosystem.

Through this log I want to only let all the future visitors be sensitized towards the environment at Kaas. Please don't pluck those wild flowers nor stamp them while you're there. That much alone will let that place be alive for our next generations.
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Old 1st August 2011, 22:33   #3
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Default Disclaimer and a help

Please note that I am ashamed at my inability to capture the beauty of the place through my camera. Also I am learning the finer bits of the vast subject called photography.

Recently I came to understand a lot about colors and have understood that my previous two or three travelogues had pictures which looked weird, either washed out, lacking color, overly saturated etc..etc.. I have read a few details on the same and came to understand the importance of choosing the right color space to edit and present to the web. But with the vastly changing technological jargon's I still feel I am inexperienced. So a request to my readers is, please feel free to criticize the pictures I post if it looks weird. Also, please help me with some data from your end - which Operating system and Browser you used to view the picture and how is the picture weird to give me a clear understanding of the topic called color space. Let us not discuss this topic of photography beyond that feedback in this thread, we can take such deep technical discussions to the photography thread.
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Old 1st August 2011, 22:45   #4
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Default Some Info

This trip was done in 2010 September - 23.09.2010 to 25.09.2010.

I was a co passenger in Starvegabond's ANHC, along with his family. My family did not join me in this trip. How much I wanted them to see this place - I only know. Hopefully I'll take them there this year.

The beautiful ANHC which took us to Kaas
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We started from Bangalore on 23.09.2010 at 13:45PM. We reached our Hotel at Satara by 02:00AM on 24.09.2010.

The mega multi city TBHP meet was on 25.09.2010

We started from Satara on 25.09.2010 at 17:15PM and reached Bangalore by 05:00AM on 26.09.2010



This year Kaas meet is on. Ashish already has hinted the same. More on that in the meet thread.
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Old 1st August 2011, 23:08   #5
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Default The Trip

Day 01, 23rd September 2010
Bangalore - Satara

After finishing my last minute priorities at office, I drove to Starvegabond's place, parked my Civvy there and got into his ready ANHC and started the best drive that we ever had by 13:45PM.

Starvegabond usually beats the traffic till Tumkur by an interior road via Dobbaspet from his place. I was new to that route and since he usually uses that road I pretty much relaxed and started enjoying the scenes outside the window.

The roads in front of us
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Starvegabond was on some discussion with his senior colleague and missed the turn towards Dobbaspet. I was ignorant of the detour. We landed up in a place called Gauribidanur.

Everything in life happens for good. What else do you need than to just land up in a beautiful sunflower field and find that such a beautiful place existed within 30 minutes of where you stay? Amazing. I was spell bound by the beauty of the place.

Some pictures from the beautiful Sunflower fields near Gauribidanur.
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continued...

Last edited by laluks : 1st August 2011 at 23:10.
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Old 1st August 2011, 23:24   #6
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Default re: Kaas - The Valley of Flowers

Day 01, 23rd September 2010
Sunflower Fields near Gauribidanur

We ran berserk with happiness of the most unexpected sight that we just encountered.

The sunflower fields
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Surprisingly all the flowers were facing away from the sun giving me a tough time photographing them against the back light.

Seeing our enthusiasm the farmer decides to gives us some information on how the seeds are taken out from the sunflower to produce oil.

See the seeds under the flower
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The Farmer shows us the sunflower seeds which is ready to be picked
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The seeds are quite heavy that the entire flower hangs down
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The entire sunflower flowering to seeding cycle takes 3 months, and happens once per year. Gives an yield of around 100KGs per acre of land, and gets twice the amount invested in producing the crop normally.

Castor is also cultivated in between
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By 16:00PM we decided to move on from there.
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continued...

Last edited by laluks : 1st August 2011 at 23:26.
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Old 1st August 2011, 23:32   #7
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Default re: Kaas - The Valley of Flowers

Day 01, 23rd September 2010
Sunflower Fields near Gauribidanur

Some artistry from my end
- please bear with me

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Old 1st August 2011, 23:43   #8
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Default re: Kaas - The Valley of Flowers

Day 01, 23rd September 2010
Tumkur - Satara

We reached Tumkur by 16:45PM and drove on. We stopped for tea break at VRL Chitradurga around 17:30PM. We started our journey again by 18:00PM.

The sky was already painted in different hues. Took some picture while we were on the move - a rare luxury for me

Blessings
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Windmills at Chitradurga

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Sun sets for a change from the highway
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We drove on and reached our favourite hotel Sankam at Belgaum for dinner by 22:00PM. After a decent dinner we started our journey by 23:30PM.

We eventually reached Satara by 02:00AM and checked into Hotel Maharaja Residency. They were expecting us, we just signed the register took our keys, and went directly to our rooms in 10 minutes and crashed.
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Old 1st August 2011, 23:57   #9
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Default re: Kaas - The Valley of Flowers

Our detour on day 1
Kaas - The Valley of Flowers-kaas.jpg

This detour made us find the hidden sunflower fields near Bangalore
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Old 2nd August 2011, 00:10   #10
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Default re: Kaas - The Valley of Flowers

Day 02, 24th September 2010
Kaas

We had a very good sleep till 09:00AM, got ready finished breakfast and got out for our Kaas visit by 10:00AM.

We took the route towards Kaas Plateau. We had to stop every few minutes to get out and enjoy the beauty of the place.

Some clicks from the road towards Kaas. Let pictures speak.
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Old 2nd August 2011, 00:21   #11
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Default re: Kaas - The Valley of Flowers

Day 02, 24th September 2010
Kaas

More pictures

The beautiful road that takes us to Kaas
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Beauty amidst the beauty
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The Plateau with yellow flowers
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But one of the yellow hue was not a flower
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Enjoying the beautiful views
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View further down
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Old 2nd August 2011, 00:30   #12
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Default re: Kaas - The Valley of Flowers

Day 02, 24th September 2010
Kaas

We continued onwards only to be stopped in the next five minutes.

This time it was a pink hue
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These little flowers give the plateau its pink color
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More such flowers

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The prominent ones give the Plateau its color, and travellors have noted the plateau changes its color often due to these flowers. Wonderful isn't it?

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Old 2nd August 2011, 00:49   #13
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Default re: Kaas - The Valley of Flowers

Day 02, 24th September 2010
Kaas

A little later the place was all foggy

We parked the ANHC
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We went to the nearby Koyna, and sat on the banks.
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This picture is from Starvegabond. I really missed my PPGs there. But Starvegabond's cute angel never let me feel that.

After sitting there for almost half an hour we left towards Bamnoli
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We reached Bamnoli by 13:30PM

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Old 2nd August 2011, 01:09   #14
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Default re: Kaas - The Valley of Flowers

Day 02, 24th September 2010
Kaas

It started raining cats and dogs. Undeterred we walk upto the boat counter and asked if there is a possibility to have a ride on Koyna. Yes was the answer and we booked a boat to go to Triveni Sangam and Datta Mandir.

Booking Office

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Waiting for the boat
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Koyna reservoir was at its maximum capacity - such were the rains
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Our Boat
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The Boat Engine
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Half an hour ride and we reached the Temple, and the Triveni Sangam.
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Nandi
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Siva Temple - Underground
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Ganesha temple

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Datta Guru temple
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Audumbar Tree - Datta Guru is fond of this tree as per Starvegabond
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Some peculiar looking ant holes
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After a 15 minute visit to the temple, we started back on our journey by 14:30PM.
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Old 2nd August 2011, 01:23   #15
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Default re: Kaas - The Valley of Flowers

Day 02, 24th September 2010
Kaas

On our conversation with the Boat driver, we decided it would be ideal to visit Tapola also by boat. So off we went to Tapola.

Some pictures from the boat ride.
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