For my recent visit to Kaas, our base was the city of Satara. Though I have lived in Maharashtra nearly all my life, this was my first visit here. Satara is a city located in Southern Maharashtra and is part of the Maratha heartland. There are seven hills surrounding this city and hence the name – Satara (Saat meaning seven and Tara meaning hills). This is a historic city as it was the capital of Maratha Empire in 17th century and still has a lot of remnants of the erstwhile era. Though today is it majorly a pensioners city it’s quite scenic too.
In Satara, we had stayed at the Nivant Resort that is the only option for stay atop the hill with a view of the entire valley below. However the best part was the early morning sight when the entire city was covered in smog; and we actually saw the houses from which the smoke was coming and joining the floating layer on top.
The fort of Ajinkyatara Fort (meaning the Impregnable Star) was also visible from here. Though it is in ruins today, it is easily recognizable from the TV towers for the city.
We went for a local village walk wherein we saw some of the local village sights, people, birds, a long and recently shed snake-skin, insects, etc etc. Faces of Satara.
But best of all was the Jangam tribe, which is a unique ethnic group found in these parts of Maharashtra. Unlike their neighbors, they bury their dead and then pile stones over the spot, much like gravestones. It’s not clear whether they were influenced by the practice of the English (after they took over Mahabaleshwar) or whether this is an ancient practice of the tribe.
Driving around this area we always saw beautiful green hills all around, gorgeous valleys and terrace farming at various levels. We also saw various farmers going about their daily lives and saw some of them still ploughing their fields with bullocks.
On our way to Thoseghar Fall, we also saw the Koyna Dam catchment area, which was a beautiful sight.
Thoseghar Fall is worth a visit too and you can read more on it here. Thoseghar Fall in Satara.
From Thoesghar Fall, we reached Asia’s largest windmill farms, called the Chalkewadi Windmill area that despite all controversies does provide some good photographic opportunity and sighting of some flowers. You can read more about it here.
We also spent the evening under a beautiful star studded sky, something that I never see in Mumbai (as they are all hidden by a thick layer of pollution).
But best of all was the sighting of flowers and views at Kaas. A truly mesmeric sight that will leave everyone agape in wonder at nature’s creativity and imagination. Myriad colors or Kaas.
We also tried the Kandhi / Kendhi peda, that is famous for this area.
There are numerous other things to do around here too but I didn’t get a chance due to limited time. However I’ll write a detailed email for anyone else who is planning to visit and has time.
Overall, I loved my trip to Satara and its truly worth a short holiday trip or for a break from the regular everyday routine.