Saturday, September 22, 2007

Kas A.K.A Kaas Plateau Pictures

A little yellow beauty outside Satara
A typical Sahyadris landscape in late monsoon
Looking back enroute. Look at the winding road.
The scenic road. Right the edge of plateau

Kas lake waters
Part of a big blue carpet on Plateau
A purple one this time.
Taken from a chai shop. Typical red soil. The plateau to right.
My partner my Dhanno

Kas A.K.A Kaas Plateau

I don't remember how I set out for this one, neither do I remember any of the details. Since I am writing it down after almost a year. Although, the idea was to capture the late monsoon beauty of the Sahyadris, esp. the wildflowers. Places like Raireshwar, Kaas/Kas have always been much cherished places on the list.
I had almost completed the quote of 10+ this season plus an earlier outing to Thoseghar gave an additional familiarity with the Thoseghar-Kas region.
On the judgment day three more friends of mine and I set out towards Kas.

Edit: Courtsey - Mu a dear friend who was a partner in crime. We read about Kas in TOI. Typically come monsoon and you have these newspapers flooded with tips for monsoon outings and some such things for the wannabes. We latched on that piece of information and maybe set out with expectation that we are going to witness a spectacle a-la Valley of Flowers.

Now for the direction seeker from Pune :
* Reach Satara by NH-4 or whatever ways you prefer. Enter Satara by taking a left on NH-4. There are clear directions once you enter the city, else take the route towards Ajinkyatara. By the base of Ajinkyatara continue on right towards Kas. Memory beats me but must beAround 15 odd kms from here.
The road is absolutely absolutely fun for a drive, no potholes no problems. PMC has lot to learn from these guys.

Kaas/Kas is a volcanic plateau that becomes home to millions of tiny flowers in late monsoons. The whole spectacle is beyond words. There is a little lake thats formed by the catchment of rainwater. The road continues to Bamanoli towards Koyana backwaters from here. Thoseghar coupled with Kas is a much much recommended for anyone looking for a nice stress free drive, some good pictures and anyone looking to catch few leeches :D

Monday, September 17, 2007

Torna A.K.A Prachandgad Pictures

The Hone[y] Collector
Unknown to me - Flower of Sahyadris
My Dhanno - My partner in crime
Karvi flower - Blooms once every 7 years
Swades - HE the people
Torna framed - The way to top through Karvi
Sept - Oct is the time for numerous of these flowers
Another view of Fort Torna
Another unknown to me flower of Sahyadris
The entrance

Torna A.K.A Prachandgad

I have couple of places left on my agenda for the end of this monsoon. I am not one of the winter trekkers, mostly due to my work schedules and more since I have always believed that Sahyadris are at their best in monsoons. If you are keeping abreast with news related to Sahyadris, you might have noticed that there has been a lot of talk about Karvi blooming. This plant is abundant in Sahyadris and blooms once every 7 years, after which the plant dies to be born again from the seeeds. I had been to Lavasa last weekend for a ride and I did spot the flowers, though I wanted to see the flowers in the full glory which saw me and S ride towards Torna early Saturday morning. If you are looking for a piece of history etc. Google can be of great help. I wouldn't reinvent the wheel here, more so since most of us know it and its easy to get it and is out there.

Easy to reach here from Pune :
1] Take NH4 till Nasarapur [ A little past Natraj ] and take a right from here all the way to Velhe which is the base village.
2] A little secret : Reach Donje Phata [ Sinhagad ]. Take a right towards Panshet and just past Khanapur, take a left to Velhe. The road is not in a great shape so if you are looking for a boring ride, take option 1. If you are one who is always on a lookout for something new this is the way to go. Takes little time as well.

We started climbing 10'ish. To utter surprise, we found 3 chicks trying to figure their way to top. They were IT profressionals and had taken a bus from Pune here. Who said there was no incentive in hiking when you have damsels in distress to save :-) Last time I was to Torna was around in 2002, and lot has changed since then. The temple has been renovated, there is railing now at the rocky part. We ran into some weirdos from Mumbai here. Ran into an enthusiastic father from Pune with his kid who was here to witness Karvi. You can spot as well as identify Rajgad and Sinhagad from here clearly. We finished our Good-Days, visited Konkan Darwaja, looked around a bit, frowned over the drained camera battery and headed back. Took option 2 on the way back and I guess we made it back in 1.5 hr. The Karvi is in full bloom here, too bad to miss it if you care at all because the next bloom will be in year 2014.