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Old 21st September 2013, 08:32   #1
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Default The JetŪ is mesmerized by the plateau of flowers: A drive to Kaas valley and beyond

It was a rainy Saturday evening in July. I was munching on some hot pakoras and sipping some nice hot tea, laptop on my desk, staring at the heavy rain outside. As usual, I was browsing Team-BHP for timepass. I had just finished thoroughly going through one of Laluks's amazing travelogues on this magical place called Kaas valley of flowers.
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...y-flowers.html (Kaas - The Valley of Flowers)

The flowers bloom for roughly 3 weeks after the annual monsoon departs this part of the land. Shortly after, this quaint, green plateau is transformed into an imaginative fairyland world with endless carpets of colorful flowers, little streams playing hide and seek and bright blue skies to complete the too-good-to-be-true picture of natual beauty at its very best. Could paradise be so close to earth and still be unpolluted?? I had only one way to find out... by visiting this paradise myself.

September was the usual flowering season for Kaas plateau, as per whatever little research I did on the internet. I spoke to travel and route guru ampere who suggested me a good set of dates around the second week of September, when I could be assured of landing up there right in the middle of the flowering season timeframe.

I dialled in 2 of my usual travel buddies and informed them about this idea of visiting Kaas from Bangalore. Both of them instantly agreed. Soon another friend pitched in and we were 4 of us sold on this idea of visiting this 'temporary paradise' 800 km away from home.

The JetŪ conquers the Kaas plateau
The JetŪ is mesmerized by the plateau of flowers: A drive to Kaas valley and beyond-dsc_0520.jpg


Ampere helped me a lot in planning this trip's itinerary. I asked him when would be the right time to plan a visit to this flowering paradise. Him and another BHPian suggested I keep my visit to September 2nd or 3rd week when the monsoon just departs, and so I did just that. I am super thankful to Ampere for helping out even during the trip when I had a couple of doubts en route and at Satara.

The route map was pretty straightforward this time. I just had to follow NH4 up until Satara, and would retrace the route on the return journey.
The JetŪ is mesmerized by the plateau of flowers: A drive to Kaas valley and beyond-day1.jpg


I sketched out an initial version of our itinerary:

Day 1: Depart from Bangalore, reach Satara by evening and halt for the night.

Day 2: Visit Sajjangad, Thoseghar waterfalls and Chalkewadi windmill farm.

Day 3: Drive to Kaas valley, spend time till afternoon and drive further up to Bamnouli dam

Day 4: Petrolhead day! A visit to Volkswagen's factory at Chakan, Pune for a guided tour of the facility

Day 5: Drive back to Bangalore along NH 4


D-Day soon arrived in a flash. What does one plan for a 2000+ km road trip?? Nothing, apart from making sure the car is road-worthy and that we have all our essentials stashed away in the boot. It was time for my favourite highway steed to scorch and ignite the roads once again. Jet, Set, Go!

For long photologues, I should start posting in installments like other travelogues here, rather than attempting to do it in one shot. This thread took me way too long to complete, thanks to my laziness. The actual drive was done in September 2013. Anyway, better late than never!

Disclaimer: browser crash alert! There are 330+ pictures on page 1. Proceed with loading this page at your own risk

Last edited by KarthikK : 7th January 2014 at 08:26.
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Old 25th December 2013, 10:58   #2
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Default Re: The JetŪ is mesmerized by the plateau of flowers: A drive to Kaas valley and beyo

Day 1: The 800 km long drive to Satara along NH 4

This was going to be one boring long drive. 800 km of silky smooth tarmac sounded like fun in the beginning, but almost all of it is in straight stretches which made the whole journey train-like and not car-like. We had planned to leave the city by 5 AM at any cost. Invariably as with most of my trips, picking up people at far off locations set us back by an hour. We finally hit NICE expressway by around 5.30 and got out onto NH4 by only around 6 AM.


NICE Tumkur road toll plaza wears a deserted look at 6 AM
The JetŪ is mesmerized by the plateau of flowers: A drive to Kaas valley and beyond-dsc_0001.jpg


The T-Jet's boot space was impressive. That's 5 days worth luggage for 4 people swallowed with ease! In fact left room for some more!
The JetŪ is mesmerized by the plateau of flowers: A drive to Kaas valley and beyond-dsc_0004.jpg


Our route map was already crystal clear. We just had to plot the meal stops now. Davanegere was to be the breakfast stop (270 km), Belgaum for lunch (550 km) and Kolhapur (620 km) for a break at McDonald's. The target was to reach Satara by nightfall.
The JetŪ is mesmerized by the plateau of flowers: A drive to Kaas valley and beyond-day1.jpg


Some sights and scenes from the journey along NH 4
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The JetŪ is mesmerized by the plateau of flowers: A drive to Kaas valley and beyond-dsc_0014.jpg


An attempt to make the road look unnatural
The JetŪ is mesmerized by the plateau of flowers: A drive to Kaas valley and beyond-dsc_0016.jpg


Wait, that didn't go well. Here's a re-mastered version of peaceful NH 4 on a weekday, heavily post-processed. Most of the expressway is barricaded between Tumkur and Chitradurga, which means very few chances of stray animals and villagers running across
The JetŪ is mesmerized by the plateau of flowers: A drive to Kaas valley and beyond-dsc_0731_2_3_tonemapped.jpg



The road was very nice and we managed to cover distance quite swiftly. We stopped for a break at Chitradurga fort and spent an hour here. Here are some snaps from the visit to the famous Chitradurga fort atop a hill:

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Post this hour-long break, we proceeded along NH 4 towards Davanegere, which was our breakfast stop. We had decided to try out the famous Kottureshwara Davanegere Benne Masala Dosa shop in Davanegere town. MMI didn't have the shop listed in its dictionary, unfortunately. It was supposedly opposite a medical college, so we took the help of locals there to reach the eatery at roughly 10 AM.

More sights and scenes from NH 4 - Chitradurga to Davanegere
The JetŪ is mesmerized by the plateau of flowers: A drive to Kaas valley and beyond-dsc_0027.jpg


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The famous Benne Masala Dosa served at Kottureshwara stall was as delicious as it looks. The difference vis-a-vis the conventional Masala Dosa is that the Davanegere masala dosa Aloo stuffing is just composed of mashed potatoes (and little to no spices/ingredients), and the chutney is spicier. The stuffing is served outside of the Dosa and the Dosa itself is drenched in melted butter!
The JetŪ is mesmerized by the plateau of flowers: A drive to Kaas valley and beyond-wp_20130914_002.jpg


Continuing the journey from Davanegere : One of the many frequent reassuring signboards
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Sights and scenes from NH 4 window views (Continued...)
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Hubli-Dharwad bypass was a 2 lane stretch for 50-60 kms which actually slowed us down a bit due to the annoying truck traffic. Somewhere around Belgaum town, we stopped for lunch at a roadside Dhaba. The Dhaba was empty, and the staff were more than happy to welcome us. Although the menu was quite huge, everything we asked for was met with a horizontal nod from the waiter. We finally asked him to tell us what was available, and make that properly. The place didn't disappoint though. Whatever they managed to cook for us was lip smacking - from paneer tikka to dal makhni to garlic naan to jeera rice. The Dhaba guys were super elated when one of my friends joked that we had come all the way from Bangalore to have food at their Dhaba *lol*.

The diverse menu at a Dhaba near Belgaum. Don't be fooled by the large variety of dishes; 90% of the items were 'not available' . Prices were amazing though!
The JetŪ is mesmerized by the plateau of flowers: A drive to Kaas valley and beyond-wp_20130914_005.jpg


Post lunch, we resumed the journey towards Satara, taking in the amazing views of post-monsoon greenery on both sides. We even encountered vast stretches of sunflower fields, but unfortunately I haven't taken snaps of those.


Continuing the long journey towards Satara
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The JetŪ is mesmerized by the plateau of flowers: A drive to Kaas valley and beyond-dsc_0109.jpg

Last edited by KarthikK : 7th January 2014 at 21:39.
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Old 29th December 2013, 16:44   #3
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Default Re: The JetŪ is mesmerized by the plateau of flowers: A drive to Kaas valley and beyo

Day 1 : The 800 km long drive to Satara along NH 4 (continued...)

While the highway itself was boring to drive on, the views on either side kept us enthralled:
The JetŪ is mesmerized by the plateau of flowers: A drive to Kaas valley and beyond-dsc_0120.jpg

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A herd of sheep grazing close to the danger zone!
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The JetŪ is mesmerized by the plateau of flowers: A drive to Kaas valley and beyond-dsc_0129.jpg


Stopping for a break on the delightful 6-lane expressway
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The Jet parks alongside a view to the Suvarna Vidhana Soudha (similar structure to Bangalore city's famous Vidhana Soudha) just outside Belgaum
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A view of Suvarna Vidhana Soudha from the highway
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We resumed the journey towards Kolhapur after this stop, only to halt at McDonald's Kolhapur by 3.30ish for a refreshing iced tea and some junk food short-eats.

Most of the road between Belgaum and Kolhapur was concrete.
The JetŪ is mesmerized by the plateau of flowers: A drive to Kaas valley and beyond-dsc_0171.jpg

The JetŪ is mesmerized by the plateau of flowers: A drive to Kaas valley and beyond-dsc_0163.jpg


Entering Maharashtra
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After Kolhapur, the road quality deteriorated slightly and there were sudden potholes springing up from nowhere. The 2-wheeler traffic also increased as we crossed Kolhapur, so we had to slow down our pace and cruise at sub-normal speeds for quite a while.

Patchy part of NH 4 begins
The JetŪ is mesmerized by the plateau of flowers: A drive to Kaas valley and beyond-dsc_0214.jpg

The JetŪ is mesmerized by the plateau of flowers: A drive to Kaas valley and beyond-dsc_0213.jpg


Increased traffic = slowed down pace
The JetŪ is mesmerized by the plateau of flowers: A drive to Kaas valley and beyond-dsc_0212.jpg


Some of the things carried in trucks never fail to amuse us - these were some kind of horse-driven carriages
The JetŪ is mesmerized by the plateau of flowers: A drive to Kaas valley and beyond-dsc_0219.jpg


And some sights of greenery never bore us
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The JetŪ is mesmerized by the plateau of flowers: A drive to Kaas valley and beyond-dsc_0198.jpg


Especially scenic views like this one.
The JetŪ is mesmerized by the plateau of flowers: A drive to Kaas valley and beyond-dsc_01941.jpg


There was a mini traffic jam with a long train of vehicles crawling at 20 kmph. We wondered why...

And then found out the reason!
The JetŪ is mesmerized by the plateau of flowers: A drive to Kaas valley and beyond-dsc_0234.jpg

His cargo was occupying almost 2 full lanes of the highway! Wow!
The JetŪ is mesmerized by the plateau of flowers: A drive to Kaas valley and beyond-dsc_0235.jpg


The road quality improved once again and was very nice almost until Karad
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We were nearing Satara by roughly 5.30 PM. Around Satara town, the road became very patchy and there were some really massive pothole craters that even the Linea scraped on! MMI guided us to break off from NH 4 and enter a bypass road that would take us into Satara town.

The Satara bypass wasn't a very long stretch, but it was a picturesque road climbing the hills.
The JetŪ is mesmerized by the plateau of flowers: A drive to Kaas valley and beyond-dsc_0239.jpg

The JetŪ is mesmerized by the plateau of flowers: A drive to Kaas valley and beyond-dsc_0240.jpg


Some more random shots of the ascent to Satara during dusk, taken from our moving car
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We managed to reach Satara before nightfall despite all the foodie and photo breaks, mission accomplished! We had booked at Nivant hill resort for the next 3 days (on Satara - Kaas road), but for the first day we weren't able to get accommodation there. We had to make do with some small hotel in Satara town, called Sagar Deluxe. It was a decent place with basic AC rooms though, which was all we wanted.


Entering Satara town through this entrance tunnel
The JetŪ is mesmerized by the plateau of flowers: A drive to Kaas valley and beyond-dsc_0249.jpg


An overdose of meal breaks through the day meant we had very little space for an elaborate dinner. We took a walk around the hotel area by evening time, and surprisingly found many Ganesh Chathurthi stalls around Satara town, with huge idols;devotees thronging the stalls for "prashad" and loud music blaring in the background.

We had a very light dinner with some salads, and there was nothing interesting on TV, so we passed time with multiplayer team games played on our laptops. Day 1 came to a close.

Last edited by KarthikK : 7th January 2014 at 21:40.
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Old 1st January 2014, 23:14   #4
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Default Re: The JetŪ is mesmerized by the plateau of flowers: A drive to Kaas valley and beyo

Day 2 : Exploring the plateaus around Satara and Kaas - Sajjangad, Thoseghar and Chalkewadi

It was a gloomy September morning in the plateaus of Satara when we woke up after a good night's sleep. When I looked out of the window, I saw the city hadn't yet woken up by 6.30 AM.

Deserted town area as seen from the hotel window
The JetŪ is mesmerized by the plateau of flowers: A drive to Kaas valley and beyond-dsc_0250.jpg


This day's plan was to cover Sajjangad, Thoseghar and Chalkewadi, so we wanted to leave the town by 9 or so. The place we were staying at, Sagar Deluxe, didn't have a restaurant of its own. The staff instead told us to go to Hotel Rajtara for breakfast, that hotel being just a hundred metres away from our building. Hotel Rajtara was a clean and decent place to stay at too, pity that we couldn't manage room bookings here in time.


Checking out special Poha for breakfast at Hotel Rajtara, Satara
The JetŪ is mesmerized by the plateau of flowers: A drive to Kaas valley and beyond-wp_20130915_002.jpg


By the time we left Satara, the gloomy weather had disappeared and the sun was beaming down in full spirit, good news!

Departing Satara town through its narrow roads near our Hotel
The JetŪ is mesmerized by the plateau of flowers: A drive to Kaas valley and beyond-dsc_0252.jpg


We passed through that town's entrance/exit tunnel again, and this time MMI directed us to take a right turn to head towards Sajjangad. I was just blindly following its directions and just enjoying the heavenly views, leaving all the routing hard work to the device.

The road quality improved almost immediately when we got out of Satara
The JetŪ is mesmerized by the plateau of flowers: A drive to Kaas valley and beyond-dsc_0255.jpg


And so did the views of the lush green plateaus. Honestly for me this was the first time I had seen plateaus of this magnitude, although I'd read about them in my school geography textbooks. Huge mountain ranges with their tops chopped off and flattened abruptly had me gazing at them frequently in disbelief. Were they really 100% flat meadows on the top?? I would find out soon enough anyway.
The JetŪ is mesmerized by the plateau of flowers: A drive to Kaas valley and beyond-dsc_0256.jpg


And then there were some not-so-flat-on-the-top plateau hills as well, like this one for instance
The JetŪ is mesmerized by the plateau of flowers: A drive to Kaas valley and beyond-dsc_0260.jpg


There were tons of corners and twisties on the road to Sajjangad, with beautifully laid out tarmac. The driver in me was enjoying every bit of the drive

Ghat sections + drive in T-Jet = motoring nirvana
The JetŪ is mesmerized by the plateau of flowers: A drive to Kaas valley and beyond-dsc_0258.jpg


The black beast takes a breather at a meadow next to the winding roads
The JetŪ is mesmerized by the plateau of flowers: A drive to Kaas valley and beyond-dsc_0265.jpg


The other side view
The JetŪ is mesmerized by the plateau of flowers: A drive to Kaas valley and beyond-dsc_0266.jpg


Soon it was time to continue the journey. We were wasting too much time with car photography when something more exciting awaited us.

Hitting the roads again
The JetŪ is mesmerized by the plateau of flowers: A drive to Kaas valley and beyond-dsc_0291.jpg


Like I mentioned in my previous post, it was Ganesh Chathurthi time when we were visiting Maharashtra, and at every bend and every corner of the road in every village, we could spot stalls with huge Ganesh idols. Of course, there were devotees celebrating the festival amidst loud blaring music and delicious looking food.

Curious young devotees look at even more curious guests taking pictures of their work!
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We continued on with the journey, and the plateau views continued
The JetŪ is mesmerized by the plateau of flowers: A drive to Kaas valley and beyond-dsc_0293.jpg

The JetŪ is mesmerized by the plateau of flowers: A drive to Kaas valley and beyond-dsc_0296.jpg


So did the fabulous winding roads all the way through.
The JetŪ is mesmerized by the plateau of flowers: A drive to Kaas valley and beyond-dsc_0302.jpg


Somewhere suddenly, the MMI device suggested us to take a right turn into a hill road on our right. This was the entrance to Sajjangad hill all right!
The JetŪ is mesmerized by the plateau of flowers: A drive to Kaas valley and beyond-dsc_0299.jpg


We continued along that road. It soon became greener, then steeper
The JetŪ is mesmerized by the plateau of flowers: A drive to Kaas valley and beyond-dsc_0304.jpg


We reached Sajjangad by 11 AM or so, and had a tough time finding a parking slot for the car, what with a huge visitor population thronging the place on a Sunday afternoon. After that parking chore was done, we started our climb from the entrance. There was supposedly a temple on the top and also a fabulous view of the scenic panorama from atop the hill, but that reward was only after a tiring climb of a few hundred steep stone steps from where we parked the car and got in.


We spotted these small shrines on the climb up the hill along the stone stairway
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The JetŪ is mesmerized by the plateau of flowers: A drive to Kaas valley and beyond-dsc_0308.jpg


Looking out from the other side of the stone pathway was again a plateau and valley vista
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The JetŪ is mesmerized by the plateau of flowers: A drive to Kaas valley and beyond-dsc_0307.jpg


Making our way up the stone stairway in the scorching afternoon sun
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Fortunately, some spots of the pathway provided respite through tree shelters
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Finally, after a lot of huffing and puffing, we reached the entrance arch on the top. Phew!
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The first thing that we wanted when we spotted human activity and shops on the top.
The JetŪ is mesmerized by the plateau of flowers: A drive to Kaas valley and beyond-dsc_0319.jpg


No, wait! I saw something better, we had a choice of getting their refrigerated cousins!
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There were tons of small shops selling craft works, keychains, etc along the main alley leading to the shrine on the pinnacle.
The JetŪ is mesmerized by the plateau of flowers: A drive to Kaas valley and beyond-dsc_0322.jpg


We visited the shrine for a minute and then proceeded to our main target - the famous panorama spot atop Sajjangad overlooking a plethora of mountains, plateaus and a huge reservoir of water in the middle

We were thrilled at how unnaturally beautiful this looked
The JetŪ is mesmerized by the plateau of flowers: A drive to Kaas valley and beyond-dsc_0323.jpg


This place demanded a closer look, so we took this pathway on the top of the hill to get a better vista
The JetŪ is mesmerized by the plateau of flowers: A drive to Kaas valley and beyond-dsc_0326.jpg

Last edited by KarthikK : 7th January 2014 at 08:45.
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Old 2nd January 2014, 00:45   #5
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Default Re: The JetŪ is mesmerized by the plateau of flowers: A drive to Kaas valley and beyo

Day 2 : Day 2 : Exploring the plateaus around Satara and Kaas - Sajjangad, Thoseghar and Chalkewadi (continued....)

There were nothing but unhindered views of the surrounding panorama from the pinnacle of Sajjangad. I leave you with a few more snaps of the captivating sights as we walked along the pinnacle of the hill from one side to another

The JetŪ is mesmerized by the plateau of flowers: A drive to Kaas valley and beyond-dsc_0328.jpg

The JetŪ is mesmerized by the plateau of flowers: A drive to Kaas valley and beyond-dsc_0330.jpg


A closer view at some kind of barrier constructed against the water
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Looking down towards the bank of the reservoir
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Bird' eye view of the settlements around the bank
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Walking along the mountain top towards another side
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A wide angle shot from my standing position
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A serene natural pond on the top of Sajjangad hill
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Some more shots of other sides:
The JetŪ is mesmerized by the plateau of flowers: A drive to Kaas valley and beyond-dsc_0347.jpg

The JetŪ is mesmerized by the plateau of flowers: A drive to Kaas valley and beyond-dsc_0349.jpg

The JetŪ is mesmerized by the plateau of flowers: A drive to Kaas valley and beyond-dsc_0360.jpg


And a video of the panorama (I prefer this method over taking a panorama still shot which gets compressed and elongated)



This wild plant called Lantana was found in abundance around the walking pathway.
The JetŪ is mesmerized by the plateau of flowers: A drive to Kaas valley and beyond-dsc_0397.jpg


Aerial view of the road which brought us to this place
The JetŪ is mesmerized by the plateau of flowers: A drive to Kaas valley and beyond-dsc_0392.jpg


Interesting, almost chiseled-like pattern on an adjacent plateau hill
The JetŪ is mesmerized by the plateau of flowers: A drive to Kaas valley and beyond-dsc_0393.jpg


Departing wide-angle view shots of the panorama as we made our way back to the entrance of the viewpoint:
The JetŪ is mesmerized by the plateau of flowers: A drive to Kaas valley and beyond-dsc_0409.jpg

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Somewhere in between, we heard some heavyweight champions charging at us in full blast
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Fortunately, it turned out they were charging towards their cowshed, and not at us. Phew!
The JetŪ is mesmerized by the plateau of flowers: A drive to Kaas valley and beyond-dsc_0429.jpg


Making our way back to the entrance arch through another less crowded path
The JetŪ is mesmerized by the plateau of flowers: A drive to Kaas valley and beyond-dsc_0430.jpg


In 10 minutes, we were back at the main pathway from where we came up. There was a lake here right at the entrance (like in most shrine places) where we spotted some small water snake too. It was too quick for our cameras to get a decent shot though.
The JetŪ is mesmerized by the plateau of flowers: A drive to Kaas valley and beyond-dsc_0431.jpg


An unclear and unsuccessful attempt at shooting the water snake - notice the brown tail below the plant
The JetŪ is mesmerized by the plateau of flowers: A drive to Kaas valley and beyond-dsc_0311.jpg


We made our way back to car parking lot and started towards our next destination - Thoseghar falls. We were on the top of the plateau for a while I guess, since the roads became flatter and gave room for nice straightline action.

Perspective vision - The delightful greenery-filled road from Sajjangad to Thoseghar
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A view from a side window - the green looked very unnatural in the bright sunlight.
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Continuing the journey on these heavenly roads
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We reached Thoseghar falls without any fuss, and in fact with pinpoint accuracy, thanks to the MMI device once again. I found a decent place to park along the highway next to some lush green paddy fields. One couldn't help but take a shot of the oceans of green surrounding us.
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It must have been around 1PM when we entered Thoseghar falls. The place where I parked the car and got into Thoseghar, was some kind of back entrance pathway, and not the main one which was crowded by Sunday visitors. We purchased the entry ticket here and proceeded towards the falls
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The stone pathway disappeared and vegetation became dense in places.
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First sighting of one small tributary waterfall from a clearing in the vegetation
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Default Re: The JetŪ is mesmerized by the plateau of flowers: A drive to Kaas valley and beyo

Day 2 : Exploring the plateaus around Satara and Kaas - Sajjangad, Thoseghar and Chalkewadi (continued...):

Unfortunately for us that day, the main viewpoint to Thoseghar falls was shut off due to some maintenance activity. They asked tourists to wait a bit and were not allowing anyone there, so we started walking along the cliff in the opposite direction along the river.

Trying different options at a fork in the pathway
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One of the many boards put up by the authorities. Wish we could translate it though
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Miniature Thoseghar falls
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A video from this viewpoint. Ignore the noisy tourists and their chattering in the background.



Yeah, it really 'falls' from here
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After an hour of waiting in the scorching afternoon heat, we weren't going to wait anymore for the main viewpoint to open up. We were hungry too, considering it was almost lunch time, roughly 2 PM if my memory serves me right. Unfortunately, we gave up the main waterfall viewpoint and decided to turn back. Huge disappointment for us.

With 10-15 minutes of brisk walking, we were back at the spot where we had parked our car, the lush green grassy fields
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One of the advantages of having a black car when visiting tourist destinations and having to park for long durations: the car absorbs so much of heat under the sun that there is virtually no room for vandalism by passersby. Anyone who dares touch a parked black car will have his hands scalded!
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We spotted a nice, small Dhaba-ish eatery, actually a home converted into an eatery right opposite Thoseghar falls entrance. It was run by a small family who prepared and served the meals themselves. We had never eaten at a place like this in Maharashtra, and obviously we were tempted to try the simple Thali that they had on offer.

The following hour at the eatery was an amusing experience. The lady managing the eatery did not know Hindi, and we obviously did not know Marathi, so every request of ours had to be accompanied by animated gestures or sign language. Fortunately a little later, a younger woman possibly the older lady's daughter-in-law took over and could manage Hindi, putting us at ease. The hosts were very hospitable and kind, and did not let us go until we were fully fed! A few shocked faces cropped up when we said we had driven all the way from Bangalore in our car.


Sights from inside the small family-owned eatery at Thoseghar falls
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A simple, delicious, unlimited Thali. We thoroughly enjoyed experiencing the different taste of food in this region
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We enjoyed the home-made, delicious food and the hospitality a lot. After thanking the family and even the old grandma in Marathi (after a quick lesson by the daughter-in-law), we set off towards the last destination for the day - Chalkewadi windmill farm, to be found further up the same road.

When we stepped out of the 'Dhaba' into daylight, we found to our dismay that there was no daylight anymore! The clouds had converged on these mountains, and it was suddenly misty and overcast outside.


Overcast skies and mist beckon, uninvited!
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The greenery looked beautiful even when the weather was gloomy
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So did the twisties that begged us to drive more and more
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The road started climbing steeply up a hill, and we were now directly into the clouds that taunted us all along. After 3-4 km, we reached a roadblock. The silky smooth road ended, and what lay before us was a horrific, potholed stretch of mud roads which was quite impossible to do with the Linea.

The corner carver T-Jet is stuck without a proper road. This is one of those times you really wish you could temporarily convert your car into a SUV. But then, I would hate pushing (and rolling over) an SUV on good twisty roads such as the ones that we were on until now! Classic case of 'Can't have your cake and eat it too!'
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The view from the top where we had stopped was very picturesque. The mist had probably cut off some of the viewing distance, but mist and greenery form a very pretty combination too.
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A video of the view to accompany the pictures and enliven the experience partially



While we were still contemplating on what to do about visiting the windmill farm, a few cabbies passing by from the opposite direction at this 'dead end' advised us not to take the car on that road. One guy in a Tavera said in Hindi "aap ka gaadi vaapas nahi aayega" (your vehicle won't return if you go on this road). Apparently there were mammoth craters where a low car would not make it through to Chalkewadi windmill farm. We could still attempt it somehow, but the mist was way too much to even spot a windmill 10 feet away! So maybe it was not worth the trouble after all. What if we took the pains to offroad a sedan for 20-25 km and then find the place is covered in mist!

The hill where we had stopped was deserted and barring the few cars which passed by, we were the only people around for miles from what we could see.


Last few feet of tarmac that brought us here to the top
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The prohibitively bad roads towards Chalkewadi
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This fella was walking back home alone, undistracted, much to our amaze. Perhaps he was trained to do this everyday.
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We decided to park the car to a side and walk up the bad roads for a distance, and try to spot the windmills in the heavy mist.
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It was not only misty, but also very chill with the cold breeze up there. None of us had carried anything to keep us warm, who would have expected that with the scorching heat of the morning! We had no option but to return to our car after enjoying the ~1 km walk up those broken roads.


First windmill in action, excuse the poor visibility due to the cloud mist.


After returning from the windmill area on the top, we were passing time around the area where I'd parked the car. We entered the green area along the road, to get some nice shots of the green views in case the mist departed. Unfortunately, it only got thicker.


Enjoying the cool breeze amidst the misty meadows
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Ah! some flowers on the ground, eh?? Pretending to make preparations for Kaas valley. Are we there yet??
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A departing view
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The time was almost 4 PM by the time we were done with the place, so we decided to drive back, and cover the 25-30 km to our lodge in Satara before it got dark. Not to forget, we even had to shift to our actual resort - Nivant hill resort on Kaas-Satara road where we would be staying for the next 3 days. It was a quiet (without photo-stops) drive back to the lodge.

At the lodge parking lot: First wildlife spotting of the trip - a 1:10 scale model of a tiger!
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We checked out of Sagar deluxe, tanked up the car fully with petrol to suffice for the next 2 days of usage, and made our way out of Satara onto Kaas road. Roughly 5 km from Satara along the hill, we found Nivant hill resort, set on top of a cliff overlooking the deep ravine / valley beneath. The rooms we opted for had nice views from the balcony.

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After settling into the rooms, the next obvious destination was where food is served! Evening snacks and dinner menu were combined and devoured with ease by 4 hungry men, while watching the dusk fall over Satara from the open top restaurant on the cliff.

A bird's eye view of Satara town from the cliff of Nivant hill resort
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Default Re: The JetŪ is mesmerized by the plateau of flowers: A drive to Kaas valley and beyo

Day 3: The D-day arrives! Visit to Kaas plateau of flowers and Bamnouli dam

It was a cool morning at Nivant hill resort. We had hogged quite a bit the previous night and woke up after a very sound sleep, by around 7 AM. All rooms in Nivant are set along the cliff and have balconies facing the valley view.

This was the view as seen from our room window through the balcony:
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The full view from the balcony. Nice place to sip on piping hot chai on a foggy morning like this!
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I went downstairs to the car parking lot and decided I would give the T-Jet a wash and wax session. A friendly gardener at the courtyard lent me his water hose pipe for a few minutes, while I blasted away the dirt from the past 2 days and neatly dried up the car. Another 20 minutes of wax application and the JetŪ was back to its usual gleaming exterior looks. What a relief! Now the car was ready for a fancy photoshoot up in the plateaus, if I ever got time for that this day.

We didn't take too long to freshen up for the day and get ready for what would be my biggest onslaught with the camera for this trip. After a quick breakfast and loading ammunition for the camera (extra battery and memory cards), we finally set off by 8.30 AM or so, to Kaas and Bamnouli!


Some scenes along Kaas road from the window
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The road that lay ahead of us
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A lone silhouette of a bald tree
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After an hour of leisurely driving with photo breaks, we made it to the entrance checkpost of Kaas plateau by 9 or so. I could see the place was crowded with vehicles already parked on the side of the road and tourists thronging the ticket section. The place itself was beautiful, with flowery stretches on both sides. Guests were being allowed into only one side of the flower plateau, while another side was cordoned off with 'Restricted area' boards.

There were mesh railings on both sides and all these 'lazy' people were actually parking their cars in a No-Parking zone. The actual parking lot was 1 km ahead of the Kaas plateau entrance, and seemingly these guys didn't want to walk so much. How typical of our people! We were confused and asked one of the officials, who said the correct place to park was in that designated parking lot and not here. I continued down that road in search of the actual 'legal' parking lot. Later we found 4 cars (including mine) at the actual parking lot , and maybe 50-60 in this 'convenient' zone.

Reaching the entrance of Kaas flower plateau
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We continued down that beautiful road.
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The road wound around and headed downwards. Hey wait! Here was the deviation to the parking lot!
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Unfortunately, an absent minded professor was at the wheel (yours truly). We overshot the parking lot entrance and asked some locals who told us it was right at that very board (saw the board later when we made our way up *lol*). Since we had anyway overshot the parking lot by almost 2 km and had come further down towards Bamnouli, we thought we would just roam around a little, enjoy the green views here and there, take a few snaps and head back to the Kaas parking lot in an hour. We anyway had ample time for the day.

Passing by a Mangrove-swamp lookalike
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Stopping by for some nice views on Kaas-Bamnouli road
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Enjoying the cool breeze at a stream
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A mini-waterfall adjacent to the stream
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The stream water seemed to actually be a canal of some sort, probably supplying water to these interior regions
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A closer look at the tiny waterfall trickling down to the stream
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A view from where we'd parked our car
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Finally a video taken standing on the banks of that stream



We moved on from that canal/stream back towards Kaas. The vegetation was very dense on this particular stretch. We stopped again for a few shots of what could be some water supply lines cutting across forests here.


Taking a U-turn and heading back towards Kaas. We would come back on this road later in the afternoon, to complete Bamnouli
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Water supply canals, supposedly
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Just a few metres away in a clearing, there was another tiny waterfall trickling down the side of the road
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Warrants a closer look in motion, no doubt!
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It was a chill morning, and when we spotted a small eatery selling spicy roasted corn by the roadside, we decided to stop and have a quick snack!
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Spicy roasted corn with lime and mint 'barbeque sauce', anyone??
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Meanwhile, this dog was getting confused with his own reflection in the freshly waxed 'mirror-effect' black Linea!
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There was a small clearing behind the eatery shack, and that seemed to lead to a water reservoir a few hundred metres away - Kaas lake!
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The ruins of an old abandoned house spotted in the vicinity
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Looking around in the clearing, passing time
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A very pretty lavender colored flower adorned this stretch. I later found out this was one of the seasonal flowers that Kaas is quite famous for.
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Default Re: The JetŪ is mesmerized by the plateau of flowers: A drive to Kaas valley and beyo

Day 3 : Visit to Kaas plateau of flowers and Bamnouli dam (continued...)


A few more minutes of timepass around that corn seller's clearing in the woods
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A few more macros of those purple and white flowers:

This one is called (scientific name) Utricularia purpurascens, and it is a carnivorous plant
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I'm not a botany enthusiast, but here is some trivia I managed to fish out from the net after comparing the photos and identifying the flowering plants I spotted at Kaas.

Quote:
Utricularia, commonly and collectively called the bladderworts, is a genus of carnivorous plants consisting of approximately 233 species (precise counts differ based on classification opinions; one recent publication lists 215 species). They occur in fresh water and wet soil as terrestrial or aquatic species across every continent except Antarctica. Utricularia are cultivated for their flowers, which are often compared with those of snapdragons and orchids, especially amongst carnivorous plant enthusiasts.

All Utricularia are carnivorous and capture small organisms by means of bladder-like traps. Terrestrial species tend to have tiny traps that feed on minute prey such as protozoa and rotifers swimming in water-saturated soil.
This white one is called Button grass or Salt Pipewort, and its scientific name is Eriocaulon Carsonii
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These 2 flowers seemed to co-exist in large blankets at this place we were standing at. How could I not click some more pictures then? Here goes:
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After this timepass session, I recollect we came back to the actual Kaas visitor parking lot (yeah, the parking lot bundled with the 1 km walk back to Kaas), parked the Linea there and went to the entrance where other cars and visitors were. It must have been roughly 10 AM or so when we entered Kaas plateau after the uphill walk.

Only 4 car owners followed the proper parking method this day . A hundred others chose to break the rule
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Walking back to the actual entrance area
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Informative board at the entrance
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Entering Kaas plateau of flowers
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The plateau was covered in carpets of pink, and in some areas there were dashes of white too
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A lookaround video standing near the flower colonies



The pink one, in majority attendance here, is actually called (scientific name) Impatiens lawii
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Some more shots of the views as we walked along the flowering landscape
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Kaas lake was visible in the distance if we got too close to the plateau cliff
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Never mind that lake. That was too boring. Lets get back to the colorful flower carpets, shall we?
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Paradise on earth??
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Being there felt like a real-life rendering of Coldplay's 'Life In Technicolor', literally!

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Default Re: The JetŪ is mesmerized by the plateau of flowers: A drive to Kaas valley and beyo

Day 3 : Visit to Kaas plateau of flowers and Bamnouli dam (continued...)

All the 3 flower species seen in abundance so far join forces to form picturesque and colorful carpets.
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The place was full of marshy terrain and these flowers, as we went deeper and deeper along the plateau
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Combined forces!
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More tourists start flocking in by noon time
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A closer look at the colorful flowers
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Acres and acres of pink, even along the slopes!
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Impatiens lawii in full bloom
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Walking along the flower colonies
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It wasn't all pink. There were patches of green as well, in this wonderland!
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Some areas were marshy and squishy when we walked through them. Some areas had dark rocks which contrasted well with the bright colored flowers.
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And at places, there were pretty little streams flowing through the flower carpets, like this one
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Was I not lost in the charm of this wonderland?
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After walking a furlong, I spotted a strange looking plant with thorny leaves.
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In macro detail
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The loner
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The crowds were clearing up! Thank heavens!
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Tracing a path through the greenery
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Only to be met by a dead-end, in the form of this pygmy tree
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There were other views to be admired if one only looked around 360 degrees
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We were trying to stick to these paths and not step over the flowers as much as possible
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Hey! What's that bird on the rock??
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Heading closer for a better look. Birding experts, please help identify this species. I call it the 'Bad-hair-day bird'.
The JetŪ is mesmerized by the plateau of flowers: A drive to Kaas valley and beyond-dsc_0233.jpg

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Default Re: The JetŪ is mesmerized by the plateau of flowers: A drive to Kaas valley and beyo

Day 3 : Visit to Kaas plateau of flowers and Bamnouli dam (continued...)

We were strolling around for the past couple of hours or something, so we decided to rest under those trees for a while. You really had to watch where you were sitting; the entire ground was marshy and a wrong sitting spot would cause brown, wet patches on you know what! Fortunately there were a few rocks to take a break on.

It was soon nearing lunch time, and once we were sure we had covered most of what the flower plateau had on offer for our eyes, we decided it was time to head back to the car, albeit through another area of the flower carpet. After all, who doesn't want to see as many different sights and scenes in a paradise land like this, eh? I'll cut out as many captions as possible now and let the photos do their own talking unless absolutely necessary.


Departing sights of Kaas flower plateau:
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Making our way back to the entrance
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There were also small, shallow ponds like this one between the flower colonies. I was told this place is classified as a "very high rainfall zone".
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The skies had become overcast and it suddenly looked like it would rain. The sudden drastic change reflects in the lack of illumination in the next few photos, which I believe would have looked better if the sun was beaming down to enhance the striking purple and pink!

As we walked back along the road, there were sights on the other side of the road as well. These next few pictures were taken through the mesh railing of the opposite side of the road we entered from (which I mentioned earlier was out of bounds for tourists).

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A strange, cone shaped flower was spotted around mashy water puddles. I fished out the identity of this plant (scientific name) as Pogostemon Deccanensis

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There were also these yellow flowers growing along the road to add more contrast and color variety, but I don't believe this (yellow) plant is native to Kaas valley; it looked similar to a very common wild plant found in most parts of India's countrysides.

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Bidding adieu to Kaas flower plateau for 2013. Hopefully I can come here again next year and catch some more sights of the color-changing flora. Last few departing shots:

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The JetŪ is mesmerized by the plateau of flowers: A drive to Kaas valley and beyond-dsc_0321.jpg


We started the long walk to the parking lot along the narrow hill road dotted with dense vegetation
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Just around the corner, there was a small waterfall emanating from the flower plateau marshland and draining away somewhere into the side of the road. Was this natural or was it created as eye candy for tourists, I wonder.
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The JetŪ is mesmerized by the plateau of flowers: A drive to Kaas valley and beyond-dsc_0340.jpg


Sights from the long walk back to the 'legal' parking lot:
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View of Kaas lake and valley from the parking lot
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It must have been 2 PM by the time we got into the car and decided to head towards Bamnouli. Since our lunch was not pre-planned, we thought we would stop at some place en route, or even try something new if we spotted an interesting place.

Just as we crossed 4-5 km from Kaas towards Bamnouli, there was a small settlement of eateries, presumably serving local delicacies. We were literally starving by now, suggesting to wait any longer would have costed me my life, thanks to 3 angry (hungry) friends in the car. How one sight of food can reduce patience is astonishing!


Stopping at a bunch of eateries on Kaas-Bamnouli road
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Okay, so this was going to be our lunch stop, period. The setting was very kaccha and outdoors, but we didn't mind as long as it wasn't raining. Most shops were selling Vada Pav, Pav Bhaaji and Jowar Bhakri meals. All of us ended up ordering everything and enjoying the food to the core. The Jowar Rotis in particular were lip-smackingly delicious and I wouldn't mind driving all the way from Bangalore just to experience eating them again.


Placing our order for the Maharashtrian delicacies mentioned earlier
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The Jowar Rotis and the sabjis were extremely tasty! Easily one of my most enjoyed meals of this trip.
The JetŪ is mesmerized by the plateau of flowers: A drive to Kaas valley and beyond-wp_20130916_010.jpg

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Default Re: The JetŪ is mesmerized by the plateau of flowers: A drive to Kaas valley and beyo

Day 3: Visit to Kaas plateau of flowers and Bamnouli dam (continued...)

We left the eatery after a more-than-sumptuous lunch and headed towards Bamnouli. The weather was mostly overcast by then, but the sunlight was still playing hide and seek between the thick, threatening clouds. Kaas-Bamnouli road was an absolute delight to drive on, both for the drive as well as the breathtaking sights of greenery on either side. It was a pity though, that my friends decided to fall asleep as passengers in the car. The road did get narrow in stretches along the descent towards Bamnouli, but it wasn't a big deal since traffic was so sparse on this weekday when we visited.

Driving towards Bamnouli: sights captured from the car journey
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Deserted forest roads heading towards Bamnouli
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A waterfall right next to the road!
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First sights of Bamnouli dam from the hill descent route
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A Quaint little cottage set on the hillside
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A few more hairpins and the dam wasn't very far off now
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Brilliant hues produced by the diffused sunlight against the lush green meadows
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This was the final hairpin towards Bamnouli dam
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The time must have been around 3-3.30 PM or so when we reached Bamnouli, if I remember correctly. There was a bunch of buildings leading up to the water banks. We decided to take a boat ride on Bamnouli dam for around 45 minutes or so, and just take in the views of the valleys from the waterfront. Here are some pictures from the boat ride:

Awaiting our turn for the boat ride
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The first one was our motorboat
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Views from Bamnouli:
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A video of the motorboat ride was taken, but there is way too much wind noise for the video to be sanely watched



And then it started to get very dark with the rains lurking just around the corner. Needless to say, it wasn't long before the rains decided to unleash fury on the Bamnouli dam region

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The rains just did not stop through the entire duration of the boat ride. In fact even after we got back to the shores, we had to sprint across to our car for shelter. It was literally pouring cats and dogs there!

Amidst heavy rains, we started the return journey towards our resort near Satara. This was a tiring, but very memorable day for us. I don't ever remember seeing so many picturesque scenes of varying types in one single day.

Driving back from Bamnouli and Kaas amidst heavy rains lashing the mountains
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Take a look at the same Kaas road during heavy rains! We could hardly see 10 metres ahead of us when we passed by this stretch on the way back
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The JetŪ is mesmerized by the plateau of flowers: A drive to Kaas valley and beyond-dsc_0492.jpg


Last sight of the flower carpets for 2013. I will be back again soon!
The JetŪ is mesmerized by the plateau of flowers: A drive to Kaas valley and beyond-dsc_0497.jpg

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Day 3 : Visit to Kaas plateau of flowers and Bamnouli dam (continued...)

On the way back, we saw some visitors entering the flowering region wearing raincoats! Wow! Such enthusiasm even with heavy rains! I wonder what they managed to see or do there in the rains though.

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The rains soon subsided and the clouds started clearing away after we exited the Kaas region and proceeded towards Nivant resort, Satara. We found a fantastic pilot car in the form of this Honda City. The driver seemed to know the potholes and road undulations in this region like the back of his hand. I decided it was better to follow the expert for a while.

Following the pilot car on the way back to Nivant
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Somewhere on the plateau top, we stopped for a break to take in the panorama views of what surrounded us. I decided to also take the T-Jet offroading till the plateau cliff for that customary car photoshoot.

Stopping for a break; the clouds start to clear away
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I could take the car on either side of the road for the cliffside photoshoot. But on one side, this buffalo was staring at me menacingly like a police Rottweiler waiting to pounce on a prison escapee. I decided against infuriating her further, and settled for the other side.
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The Linea goes 'off roading' with Michelin Primacy LC 'soft sidewall' tyres!! The car came from the brown path you see on the top of the hill, over rocks, sharp stones and much much more!
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A closer look at the approach (where bikes can be seen)! Could the Linea really come from that point to here?? Yes it did, and without scraping its belly anywhere
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Cliffside photoshoot of the JetŪ atop Kaas plateau
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Tata Safari 'reclaim your life' moment with the car facing the cliff view *lol*
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The JetŪ conquers Kaas plateau: cover photo
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The last 8-10 km to the resort were largely uneventful. Daylight was diminishing, the time was almost 6 PM, and 4 tired souls wanted to just hit the sack and collapse.

Driving back to Nivant on Kaas road
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The answer to my stupid question in Sajjangad - are those plateaus really flat meadows on the top of the hill??? I certify now - Yes they are!!
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The JetŪ is mesmerized by the plateau of flowers: A drive to Kaas valley and beyond-dsc_0553.jpg


After reaching the resort, we had some piping hot tea and crunchy pakoras while enjoying the evening breeze and view of Satara from our balcony
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The JetŪ is mesmerized by the plateau of flowers: A drive to Kaas valley and beyond-dsc_0560.jpg


Boredom soon got the better of us and I remember we rigged up our laptops again and played multiplayer matches of Age of Empires and Counter Strike that night. Somewhere in between, I tried taking a night time view of Satara from our balcony, using a tripod.
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It was an overcast night. By luck, lightning bursts happened during my photo-taking experiments, and this one came out with a reddish sky by fluke! Wish I'd got the lightning bolt captured though.
The JetŪ is mesmerized by the plateau of flowers: A drive to Kaas valley and beyond-dsc_0564.jpg

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Day 4 : A visit to Volkswagen's factory at Chakan, Pune

The fourth day was a different experience altogether. I had requested for a factory visit to the Volkswagen plant at Chakan, Pune via the VW customer relations website.
http://www.volkswagen.co.in/en/volks...lant-tour.html

One coordinator from Volkswagen had already confirmed the date and time with me 1 week before our trip, so we knew when and where we had to go. After a quick breakfast, we left for Chakan, roughly 20 km northeast of Pune city where the Volkswagen plant was located.

The JetŪ is mesmerized by the plateau of flowers: A drive to Kaas valley and beyond-volkswagenlogo_key_6.jpg

It was a hot day and the Pune bypass road was quite crowded. I believe this was because of the office-going traffic on a typical rushed weekday. It must have been 12 noon when we reached the plant. We were disallowed from taking pictures of any kind (even pictures of the building from the parking lot), and in fact had to keep our mobiles and cameras in a locker before entering the facility. As a result, there are absolutely no pictures from the Volkswagen factory tour from me. This post will be a pictureless post.

The VW public relations coordinator who had spoken to me earlier, received me at the entrance and made sure my friends and I were well taken care of. We had an early lunch with the other VW corporate staff at a very nice cafeteria, and were then taken to a small meeting room where the coordinator briefed us about what was the agenda for the plant tour. They gave each of us one way communication devices (fancy name for headphones without a mic ) through which we could hear the VW representative explain the different processes as we walked through the noisy plant. We then set out into the main plant area itself.

What all did they cover in the plant tour?? A complete walkthrough of all the manufacturing processes from sheet metal to fully finished car, plus an extra section on their motorsports division (Polo R Cup, etc) and another bonus section on their Export segment vehicles and how they differed from their Indian counterparts. The complete tour lasted roughly 2.5 hours. I won't go into the intricacies of what we saw. I don't like to keep dragging my explanation paragraphs without accompanying pictures. Like they say, a picture speaks a thousand words. If there are no pictures, no point trying to explain with a thousand words, isn't it?? *winks*

I'd urge you to go check out the factory tour once yourself. It was a very nice experience and the VW staff were very hospitable, accommodative, knowledgeable and took care of every aspect of the tour with pin point precision. I wouldn't want to name the coordinator who took care of our group since this is a public forum, but rest assured, I believe all the reps who hold the plant tours for outsiders are quite knowledgeable and helpful. Thanks a lot for this initiative Volkswagen!

The plant tour started at roughly 2 PM and we were done by 4.30 - 5 PM. After the tour, we left Pune and retraced our route back to Nivant resort, roughly a 150 km return drive.

There wasn't much else we did that day after the factory tour. I guess we let the foodies in us take over after coming back to Nivant, whilst watching TV and gaming again. If there were 3 things I'd have to highlight about our stay at Nivant hill resort, it would be the food, location and service. Needless to say, this simple, no-nonsense resort will be my obvious choice if I ever visit Kaas again.

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Day 5 : Returning to home sweet home

We had already finished the payment formalities at Nivant resort the previous night and had even informed the staff that we would be departing the place very early in the morning, considering we had to travel ~800 km to get home that day.

We were ready to leave by 4.30 AM, but nature played spoilsport again. It started raining very heavily at the wee hours, so heavy that we couldn't even transport the luggage from the hotel room to the car boot! Finally it subsided by 5.30 AM or so, a good one hour delay over our planned schedule. When I went down to load the luggage, I found the car was unusually dirty, much to my annoyance - not only was it raining heavily, langurs were sitting above the parking lot on tall trees (this is a wild area) and they had littered the car's roof and bonnet which was stinking. I got the garden hose pipe and blasted away most of the langur trash away.

We finally departed Satara by around 6 AM. On the return route, the stretch of NH 4 around Satara bypass was heavily potholed and I really had to keep my eyes glued for massive craters on the highway, with rain puddles making it impossible to gauge the depth of the craters.

After we crossed Karad, the road improved a hundred fold and we could comfortably cruise at decent speeds. It was continuously raining throughout that morning, all the way upto Kolhapur. I could literally watch the car going from Black to Brown in the ORVM mirror. Our next break was a detour into Kolhapur town by roughly 8.30 AM. We visited the famous Mahalakshmi temple here and had a nice, sumptuous breakfast at a closeby restaurant.


NH 4 wears a deserted look on a weekday
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After crossing over the Karnataka border, we stopped once again for a break at Belgaum, overlooking Suvarna Vidhana Soudha

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By roughly 12.30 or so, we stopped for an early lunch at Kamat Upachar, Hubli which was on our (left) side of NH 4 highway, so we didn't have to deviate from the highway and go into the town.

Post that, we targeted to reach Davanegere in 2 more hours and stopped for refuelling the T-Jet's belly. A couple more breaks between Davanegere and Tumkur followed, as the day slowly aged from afternoon to early evening.

Frequent breaks on NH 4:
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It was probably 5 PM by the time we reached Bangalore city, well ahead of our estimate of 7 PM. Thank god the roads were so nice in September 2013. I dropped my friends and went back home, happy and contented with this rather longish excursion in the T-Jet. This trip will be a very memorable drive for me, and I'm quite sure I will cover many more places around Kaas when I head there next time, perhaps as early as this September. That just about completes my rather boring travelogue.

Wait, before I take leave, I can showcase the aftermath of that drive to Bangalore through heavy rains, and some offroading done for 'photoshoots' the previous evening.

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Check out the muck and dirt deposit on the sides! Yuck!
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The very next day of the trip, the car got a well deserved wash at my friendly neighbourhood detailer - 3m car care. What a relief to see the black sparkle again!

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The JetŪ gets back its original look and shine. All is well that ends well!
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Before I end this travelogue, it is customary for me to present the JetŪ logs for this drive

Total distance covered over 5 days = 1981 km
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Fuel efficiency for the entire duration of the roadtrip = 13.8 kmpl !! Not at all bad!
The JetŪ is mesmerized by the plateau of flowers: A drive to Kaas valley and beyond-wp_20130921_003.jpg


Average speed for this distance = 53 kmph
The JetŪ is mesmerized by the plateau of flowers: A drive to Kaas valley and beyond-wp_20130921_004.jpg


Total time spent driving in the roadtrip = 37 hours, 12 minutes!
The JetŪ is mesmerized by the plateau of flowers: A drive to Kaas valley and beyond-wp_20130921_005.jpg


Until my next travelogue, that's all from me! Thanks for reading!

Last edited by KarthikK : 7th January 2014 at 21:25.
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Old 8th January 2014, 11:16   #15
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Default Re: The JetŪ is mesmerized by the plateau of flowers: A drive to Kaas valley and beyo

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to the Travelogues section. Thanks for sharing!
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