ONWARD JOURNEY : DAY 1: 31st Dec-2016
RETURN JOURNEY : DAY 2: 1st JAN-2017
First leg of the trip: Tiger Point (some also called Lion point, depending upon one’s fav king of the jungle).
Tiger point, is some 10 kms from Lonavala towards Amby valley. Lonavala to Amby valley is very good drive, as one pass through dam, INS Shivaji, tiger point , few more view points & then to Amby valley. This being one of the favorite spots of all Mumbaikars & Punekars, much is written on this & so I would skip it.
Parking fees: No; Toilet availability: No; Swachh Bharat Score: 5/10 (My fellow youngsters are too busy in taking selfies, to take care of their trash). Only light snacks stalls available. Nearest lodging/restaurant eating option is Lonavala.
KAAS PLATEAU, SATARA, MAHARASTRA
Kaas plateau, also called Kaas Pathar in local language, is situated some 25 kms uphills from Satara town. As tourist place, it is famous as “Valley of flowers”, as wild variety of colorful flower grow here after monsoons, but it is for just few weeks. Thus, recommended time to visit is August, September. Nevertheless, in my opinion the place is also best visited in Winter, if one wants a very secluded place, a place to camp outdoors, a place for star gazing, a place to breakout from crowd, a place just to THINK.
Lodging options: There are few options on way from Satara to Kaas plateau, which are mostly private homes converted to lodging options. The nearest one to Kaas plateau is Kaas holiday. In winters, if you have a tent, best is to camp outdoors at Kasbe Bamnoli, on banks of river Koyna.
Eating options: The lodging facility only have eating options. Else there are none.
Kaas Plateau: The flowering area measuring few acres, comes under forest department & during season, vehicle movement is restricted between 7AM to 7PM.
Few important links to check before planning to go during flowering season:
The place is some 15 kms from Kaas plateau and drive meanders through a forest and is very sexy drive. On way is Kas lake, which has got eating outlets. One can camp on shores of the lake.
Kasbe bamnoli, sits on dams on Koyna river and has boating, camping & eating options. It is an ideal place for a new year party or a team/family picnic.
- Total Distance covered: ~700 kms
- Total driving time: ~6-7 hrs, one way
- Roads are good by Indian standards. Mumbai to Satara is part of 6 lane golden Quadrilateral.
- In my opinion, Kaas plateau is better option than near by Mahabaleswar, may be because I love less crowded & thus a more clean place.
- Although tourist season for Kaas is Aug-sept, it is equally good in Winters.
PLEASE be a explorative tourist, not an exploitative tourist. Use dustbins.