KAAS – “The Mini-Switzerland of India”

I was walking on mud smeared wet earth bare feets amidst the carpet of colorful flowers, and my body felt like gliding through black-grey ombre clouds at altitude of 3500 feet above sea level with magical rain drops from heaven above washing my face and body alike, soaking my clothes wet. My lungs exploded with glee to inhale the freshness of air that mother nature was bestowing on me. The adrenaline rush pumped my heartbeat sky high.

As i was mesmerized in pleasure, a loud honking felt so traumatic that i opened my eyes. As Sahyadhri Express pulled out of station, i panicked realizing i was day-dreaming about the lush green countryside. I hurriedly reached for my handbag, tossed out my cell phone and dialed her but my mobile had no network (poor me 😥 )….My heart kept pounding thinking whether my partner in crime will be able to board the train or will train pull away before she boards…after few frantic moments i saw that familiar face and flashed her my brightest smile ever 😀  …

After working for rigorous 4 months i was in desperate need for a breather away from hustle and bustle of my beloved city and was pestering my bestiee to join me for a weekend outing. Kaas Plateau “The Valley of flowers” the UNESCO’s bio-diversity world heritage site also dubbed as the “Mini Switzerland of India” is where we decided to go berserk for this monsoon outing. A sight to behold that is abode to 850 species of flora and fauna that comes to bloom every monsoon between late Augusts to early Novembers.

In next 48 hours to go by we started our outing with impromptu gig of arriving at our destination at mid of the night at 2.30 a.m, meeting and experiencing the unconditional hospitality of humble Muslim family, braving the road side romeos, escaping the visual rape by hooligans at Thoseghar waterfall (3rd highest waterfall in India), waking up to my funny sore eyes, to bidding permanent adieu to my umbrella and temporary adieu to my MotoG mobile phone. But being this two little innocent and vulnerable looking girls we get lot of helping hand whenever venture out on a journey to discover happiness.

Our journey started with a bang when this Gujarati family (the well respected business community of India) travelling with their entourage of 25 persons created a rucksack over illegal occupancy of their reserved seats and a big fight ensued with hefty ladies showering the purest of cuss words. In next 6 hours, not a single soul in the compartment tried to cross their path, as even a single woman of their family was capable of bringing down handful of men with single blow….Me and my friend saw each other and in same breathe we said

“U can be rest assured our journey has started” because whenever we meet adventure has to happen.

The next morning started inside four wheeler Tata Indica Vista with heavy breakfast of freshest of apples, bananas and pear (which we apparently discovered is good hangover relaxer :p  ) in which Yusuf bhai took us to a unforgettable journey. Even though we missed on to witness the picturesque valley of flowers in its blossomed phase (as we were early for the season by couple of days) the journey was what made this trip worth it….The place, the journey, the path was exactly like i day dreamed about. Unfortunately i could hardly capture any images of Kaas as the path was treacherous one with continuous heavy downpour. Yusuf bhai a selfless man and our angel in disguise (owner of travel agency) volunteered to be our guide, keeping us glued to his travel stories, and listening to our little stories. The 48 hours of immense bliss concluded with Yusuf bhai‘s family hosting us to a lavish feast before we left for our nest in Mumbai.

Just as Paul Coehlo says “When a person really desires something, all the universe conspires to help that person realize his dreams”

Pointers for non-seasoned Travelers/ Tourist:

  1. Satara is the Central hub for tourist destination and is broadly divided into Kaas region and Mahabaleshwar Region. 4-5 days or utmost a week is sufficient to cover the entire region.
  2. Kaas region covers (Kaas Plateau, Kaas lake, Sajjangad fort, Thoseghar and Vajrai Waterfall etc..) and Mahabaleshwar region covers (hill stations of Mahabaleshwar, Panchgani, Wai etc..)
  3. Satara is the nearest railway station to reach Kaas. One can even drive the way from Mumbai at 259 kms. You can log on to http://www.irctc.co.in to book your travel plans.
  4. Satara is small township with good number of hotels (now when the place is declared a UNESCO world heritage site). You can even hire a bi-cycle to go about on cycle-hiking trail. But if you opt to stay in town is recommended to hire a private cab.

Hope you enjoyed  my little travel story. Need more information ? shoot me an email at namurites@gmail.com i would be more than happy to guide you.

Love,

Namu

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