Omus’s Weblog

Politics, Trekking, Environment & Personal

Kaas Plateau: 31stDec’16 – 1st Jan’17 January 1, 2017

onward-journey

ONWARD JOURNEY : DAY 1: 31st Dec-2016

return

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

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Right on Kaas plateau, Behind the railings, flowers grow during the season

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On Way to Kaas from Satara

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On Way to Kaas from Satara

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:

https://www.kas.ind.in/

https://www.maharashtratourism.gov.in/treasures/heritage/kaas-pathar

Kasbe Bamnoli:

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.

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Kas lake, on way from Kaas plateau to Kasbe Bamnoli

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.

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Kasbe Bamnoli

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Bike right on Koyna River

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KASBE BAMNOLI VIEW FROM SURROUNDING HILL TOP

SUMMARY:

  1. Total Distance covered: ~700 kms
  2. Total driving time: ~6-7 hrs, one way
  3. Roads are good by Indian standards. Mumbai to Satara is part of 6 lane golden Quadrilateral.
  4. In my opinion, Kaas plateau is better option than near by Mahabaleswar, may be because I love less crowded & thus a more clean place.
  5. 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.

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NH4 or AH47…My Mumbai Entry December 26, 2012

On way to Mumabi fron Bangalore

NH4: Bangalore-Mumbai: Photo in Belgaum, Karnataka

This is the blog about my bike trip from Bangalore to Navi Mumbai via NH4, which recentlyhas been renamed as AH47 . The highwayconnects two metropolis city: Chennai & Mumbai.

My journey: Bangalore to Mumbai ( 12+ 6=18 hrs of biking).

Driving time: 12+6 =18 hrs.

Total distance: 950 kms

Bangalore to Mumbai is part of Golden Quadrilateral & so throughout it’s a 4 lane highway, with some exceptions. It is to be remembered, NH4 from Bangalore to Chennai is not part of Golden Quadrilateral, but nevertheless, that section of road is also superb, of which you can find more details in my blog: https://omus.wordpress.com/2010/11/23/bike-trip-bangalore-nellore-bangalore/

Bangalore-Mumbai-NH4 route

Bangalore-Mumbai-NH4 route

Coming back to my journey from Bangalore to Mumbai on my Avenger 200cc, it has my personal record of travelling maximum distance in one day: ~750 kms from Bangalore to Satara. It took me 12.5 hrs. of driving from 5:30AM to 6:00PM.

I will describe the whole leg of journeys in sections:

DAY1: Bangalore to Satara (~750 kms-12.5 hrs.)

1)      Bangalore to Tumkur (~90kms-2 hrs.): With completion of expressway, once a hell road has turned into a sexy driving experience. But it’s best to drive early morning, when traffic is least. It’s not easy to exit for food or toilet or fuel.

2)      Tumkur to Chitradurga (~150kms:2.5 hrs.): Again a very sexy road with most part became or becoming 6 lane highway. Good thing is that the village section of the roads cemented on both sides, there-by increasing safety. Also good nos. of skywalks have been provided for pedestrians to cross the road.

3)      Chitradurga-Davengere-Ranebenur-Hubli (200kms-3.5hrs): Here some construction is going on, to convert to 6 lane or provide safe underpasses & so frequently service road turns into highway. Nevertheless, the service roads were also good enough to drive 40-50 kmph speed. Nearing Chitradurga, one can see miles of wind farms, a good site to see in India.

4)      Hubli- Belgaum (100 kms- 1.2 hrs): Hubli bypass is a 2 lane highway & got decent traffic because of industrial areas in & around. But once out, a very sexy cemented highway starts. One can easily zip on 100kmph. I was on outskirts of Belgaum around 2 pm (against my plan of 6pm). The new Karnataka assembly of Belgaum, is standing right on highway & is a sight to watch the majestic palace like building in middle of vast grassland. After having lunch & some rest, I started towards Kolhapur.

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Karnataka assembly-Belgaum- right on NH4

5)      Belgaum to Kolhapur (~110kms-1.5 hrs.): Again most part of the 4 lane highway is cemented, allowing good speed. This is where my mobile went on roaming mode, as I crossed over to Maharashtra. Quality of road somewhat is somewhat inferior compared to that in Karnataka. Anyways I reached Kolhapur by 4:30PM. I was remembeing all that famous Kolhapuri: Chappal & veg Kolhapuri. I decided to continue towards Satara.

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My lunch in a highway Rajasthani dhaba on a jute khatiya

6)      Kolhapur to Satara (~130kms-2 hrs.): I started from Kolhapur targeting to stretch till Pune. But as sun went down & heavy traffic on road, coupled with some inferior quality of road & drive fatigue, I decided to drive till Satara & stop for the day. I reached Satara by 6:15PM & stopped on a highway hotel (Raju hotel: Rs. 600 per night).

 DAY 2: Satara to Navi Mumbai (Nerul) (~220 kms-6 hrs)

7)      Satara to Pune (~100kms-2hrs): I started around 6:30AM, a foggy chilly morning in Satara. As I was close to my destination, with lot of time in hand, I decided to drive lazily & get some feel of Maharashtra. I was amazed to real estate development in & around Satara, which I think is because of Mumbai-Pune proximity effect. After having a heavy breakfast on Maharashtrian dish of Missal-Pav & Poha, I continued my journey & reached Pune around office going hours of 9 AM. I was expecting lot of traffic in Pune, but because of no signal on bypass, I zipped through the city & reached on other side of Pune by 10 AM.

8)      Pune to Nerul (Navi Mumbai) (~120kms-3.5hrs): Bikes are not allowed on Mumbai-Pune expressway & I had to stick to NH-4. But it turned out to be a good one, as there was hardly any traffic on road (as all traffic went to expressway). I would suggest all to drive on NH4, if speed driving is not the requirement + it saves lot of toll money. At some part quality of road is inferior & also some part is a 2 lane highway. Nevertheless, this is a picturesque part of the whole journey, with hills, tunnels to be crossed. I think, in my career of Biking, it’s first time I (personally) drove in a tunnel. There are 3 tunnels on way from Pune to Mumbai. Also one passes through the Bollywood made famous, “so called hill stations” of Matheran, Khandala, Lonavala. I reached Panvel, entry point of Navi Mumbai by 11:30AM. Now traffic starts getting worse here, with some bad roads & signals & some careless driving.

Most interesting part happened here, when I entered the expressway in Panvel, & then after entering 100 mtrs, there was a board reading “No-Entry” for 2 wheelers & living 4 wheelers. It was like putting ladies toilet board inside the toilet. Foolish authorities.

Like a long distance train slowing down just before the destination, I also decreased my speed to 20-30 kmph, as I had to search my way to Nerul. Finally I reached my friend’s house around 1:30PM & most interesting incident of my 950kms journey happened here. My bike won’t start in-front of entry on my friend’s housing complex. I had to pull my bike for last 60 meters ;-). GOD is indeed Humorous, but he is GREAT.THANK YOU GOD.

I will remember this journey for following reasons:

–          It marked my entry of Indian city of dreams, Mumbai.

–          My personal record of driving longest in a single day (750Kms surpassing 650Kms of Dec-2009)

–          When authorities give warning of “No-entry” after you have entered expressway…Ridiculous.

–          My bike won’t start & thus I had to pull it for last 60 meters of the journey. Thank God, it didnot happen in between the journey.

On a highway dhaba- near belgaum

On a highway dhaba- near belgaum

Cemented NH4..also seen is Belgaum's Karnataka assembly.

Cemented NH4..also seen is Belgaum’s Karnataka assembly.