Thursday, September 22, 2011

Flowers of the Kaas Plateau

It was absolutely like a dream walking through my dream. It was a long pending trip for me to this plateau and fortunately I managed to visit the place this time. It is a plateau of flowers located in the Sahyadris (Western Ghats). This plateau, Kaas, is about 135km from Pune, near Satara town. The plateau of Kaas has becomes home to millions of wild flowers in late monsoons. In monsoon the whole area transforms into an unbelievable carpets of flowers like yellow carpets of Smithia , Pink carpets of Impatiens, Purple carpets of Carvia etc

Because of its sensitivity around issues like mass tourism, destruction and commercialization, I was very hesitant to go to this place. But as a nature wonderer I could not resist myself without seeing this valley of flowers once in my life time. I was fortunate enough to get into BNHS, they organized the visit very well. Unlike tourists, we were a bunch of nature enthusiasts and some of us were interested in Botany as well. The botanist with us, Santosh, was at his best in giving us enough details about the plants and flowers. Many species of wild flowers are endemic to Western Ghats and several species are endangered too. However, till date no serious steps have been taken for protecting the Flora and Fauna of this place and very few organizations are committed to conserve Kaas. We also met with some volunteers who are seriously committed to work on Kaas conservation and it was a good time brainstorming with them on a lot of ideas.

And I could not stop wondering at what I witnessed for three days. 


Eriocaulon

Pogostemon

Senecio grahmii

Cyanotis


Utricularia 

Fungi

Butterfly enjoying the Paracaryopsis flower


Impatiens lawii

Impatiens oppositifolia

Eriocaulon

Smithia hirsuta - the mickey mouse

Ceropegia

Euphorbia

Murdannia

Exacum 

Drosera 

Eriocaulon

Pinda

Lichens
Phipson's shield tail snake

Green keel back snake

Indian Bull Frog
Based on my observations at the Kaas on several aspects, I sincerely request the fellow travelers to consider the following:

1. Flowers are not for you. Please do not pluck them. Enjoy them just by seeing, they look more beautiful. 
2. Kindly do not sleep/ walk / sit on the flower beds. It is not a garden. 
3. Do not try to take plants from the plateau thinking it might look beautiful in your garden. It will not survive and you will be cursed for its death.
4. Do not take your vehicles over the plateau. Park as soon as the plateau starts and walk around on the foot path. I know you have more energy to walk. 
5. Kaas is not a place to host parties or a picnic. Do not drink, eat and throw the garbage over the plateau. Be more respectful to nature, nature will respect you. 
6. Be careful while walking. You may step on a beautiful flower and cause its death. 
7. Avoid plastic in your travel bag. Do not even let your ignorance to spoil the place. 
8. Do not play football or any game over the plateau. It is not a play ground. 
9. Drive slow on the roads. You may hurt a variety of fauna. Watch out for road kills. 
10. Resist your temptation to allow the beauty to tempt you more. 

Thank you! 
More photographs of Kaas on my flickr here.

Srik

2 comments:

drtaher said...

Very good pictures, Shrikant. I don't think my snaps come anywhere near yours in terms of detail. I am posting them to my profile today, but I have already put up the album on the BNHS page on Facebook.

Loved those instructions for travellers and gawkers at Kaas.

Narasim said...

Great close up photographs.

A simple eye view is likely to miss the intricate details. Nature tests us to see if we are patient enough to observe, enjoy, and learn.

Your instructions on how to conduct oneself on the plateau are very helpful.