Kuch Khaas hai Kaas – Maharashtra’s Valley of Flowers

Did you ever wish to visit heaven prior to death? Yes it is possible and is situated in a very close proximity to Mumbai. I am talking about “Kaas plateau” aka “The valley of flowers.” The Plateau has been recognized as “bio diversity heritage site” by UNESCO.


A car, 3 friends, a DSLR, some beer and kickass music what else do we need for a road trip! All of us being fresh graduates did not own a car but we hired a self-drivediesel car from Girikand cars and headed straight to Mumbai-Pune expressway and reached Satara town in about 6 hours(it’s not that far but we took a couple of breaks to enjoy the journey). Being a national highway, the roads were smooth and there was no scarcity of eateries. We halted at one of the dhabas to fill our tummies and kept moving. It was an uphill journey from Satara to 1 of the 7 wonders of Maharashtra – The Kaas Plateau. This 22 KMs ghat is not a very tough one to drive on and its full of scenic beauty. As we went closer we could seethe blossoms and suddenly it started drizzling making the journey more pleasing. Car parking space is after you cross the valley of flowers and you have to walk back to the valley. Once we reached on the plateau, all we witnessed was an endless carpet of colorful blooms on both sides of the road. It seemed as if the rainbow has been laid on the ground.

The whole stretch was so refreshing and rejuvenating that for once, we thought of quitting our jobs and stay in the valley forever. It is a surely a paradise for shutterbugs and can be an inspiration for poets and painters. Kaas also endorses a breathtaking aerial view of Shivsagar lake. The Kaas plateau is known to be home to around 850 varieties of plants of which around 600 are flowering plants and about 40 of which are only found in Kaas. The volcanic soil i.e. rich in natural minerals is the reason for such wide floral diversity. This plateau is surely an ocean of learning for botanists and researchers. Being a weekend it was crowded.We were luck to visit the heaven in the days when there was no entry fee but now a days, a very minimal fee of Rs 100/- is charged per person. We are sure you won’t mind this once you soak yourself in the carpet of flowers.

Humble Suggestion: Do not pluck or disturb the blossoms and walk only on the pathways marked with stones. Also, buy some stuff(snacks, etc) item from the local vendors as tourism is probably the only source of income.

When to Go: Best time to visit is end august to November as the flowers bloom during these months. Do check this website https://www.kas.ind.in/ before visiting Kaas to see the current pictures of Kaas.

Where to stay: There are a few stay options on the way to Kaas plateau but we went further downhill to a laid back village called Bamnoli and stayed at a local home stay on the lake side. Check our story on this pretty lazy village.

Must carry stuff on a roadtrip: Aux cable, cigarette point charger, knife, water, jacket, extra pair of shoes, sunglasses, sunscreen, old newspapers, mat, bedsheet, nail cutter, mug, DSLR, football, snacks,  beachwear (if the place you heading to has a beach)and hell lot of great music.

After experiencing Kaas and staying at Bamnoli, we headed to an un-touched white sand beach on the Konkan coast. Stay tuned for next story to know more about this virgin beach.

Story by: Abhimanyu

Pictures by: Utkarsh

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Matheran: A no-honking hill station

What can be a better escape on a rainy weekend from Mumbai or Pune than Matheran. Matheran is the only hill station in India, where vehicles are banned and you can clearly listen the sound of breeze rustling leaves and that of the horseshoes.


It is the one hill station that is so close by that one can visit it at the drop of a hat. One can commute and explore the hills either on foot or on horseback. This is a perfect place for Digital detoxification as one can call it, to enjoy in the lap of mother nature.


As far as travel to the hill station is concerned, Matheran can be reached by road from Mumbai or Pune via Road or Train with ease.

We stayed at Hotel Cecil which is a very calm place and fits in the budget. It is a heritage building and is about 100 years old. The rooms were very spacious, the washrooms were okay but the food was really good. Even though they do not serve any nonvegetarian food or alcohol, still I would say that the quality of food and variety was good.The rent on a weekend for a single night was Rs 3000/- for a double occupancy room, inclusive of all meals.

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As for tourist activities, Matheran has about 22 points which are listed below. These were all developed by Britishers.


Important points are Alexander Pt., Rambag Pt, Little Chowk Pt, Big Chowk Pt, One Tree Hill Pt, Belvedere Pt, Olympia Race Course, Lords Pt, Charlotte Lake,Celia Pt (a waterfall mouth), Echo Pt., Porcupine Pt (Sun Set Pt), Panorama Point (Sun Rise Pt), Khandala Pt, Madhavji Garden & Point, Matheran Railway Station, Louisa Point, Mayra Point, Pisarnath Temple.


It takes about 3 days to cover all the points and since we had a time constraint we decided to visit only the important places. We decided to visit all the scenic points but if you are an adrenaline junkie, you can try Valley crossing from echo point. High on the hills, when you witness the fog and feel the cold wind against your face nothing can taste better in that weather than hot maggie and corn. It’s advisable to reach back your resort before it gets dark as the hill terrain is not equipped with street lights. So to reach in time, we decided to hire horsebacks with funny names such as hawa hawai. After sound night’s sleep and a  delicious morning breakfast, we left for Mumbai. Took a Toy train (15 mins journey) from Matheran to Aman Lodge, then shared taxi to Neral and then Local train to Thane and finally back home after experiencing a much needed Digital Detoxification.

Matheran says,”Horn NOT OK Please.”

Photo Courtesy: MTDC website and Abhimanyu


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Guest Post || Five Things With Kids: Kuala Lumpur – by Ben

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia’s bustling capital city, is a fantastic destination for a short break or a longer holiday. However, unlike many of Malaysia’s popular tourist hotspots, there isn’t a beach in sight. Crammed full of trendy bars, shopping malls and hotels, it would be easy to think that this South East Asian hotspot wasn’t the best place for a family trip. Listed below then are our 5 top picks for things to do with children in Kuala Lumpur.


5. Batu Caves

Located just outside of the city, Batu Caves is a significant Hindu holy site built into a large complex of limestone caverns. One of the most important Hindu sites outside of India, the shrine is dedicated to Lord Murugan, the deity of war and features the world’s tallest statue of the god standing 42.7m tall by it’s entrance.

Characterised by the huge flight of 272 steps leading up to the shrine caves, it’s an arduous slog to the top and small feet will get tired (we carried our youngest and, to his credit, our 5 year old managed the entire flight without a single word of complaint).

The draw for families besides the impressive caves and statue of Lord Murugan however, has got to be the families of monkeys that populate the stairs. From the top to the bottom, they are everywhere. Our two children had a great time alternately laughing at their antics and screaming in terror if they came too close.

4. KLCC Park

Situated in the heart of KLCC, at the foot of the iconic Petronas Towers, KLCC park is a natural haven in the centre of a busy city. Full of green space and with literally hundreds of pieces of playground equipment, it will keep children entertained for hours.

Towards the Suria Mall side of the park, there is also a large padding pool area featuring waterfalls and smaller pools for younger children. These are complemented by small changing facilities which make a lengthy, comfortable day out in the park possible. All of these facilities are also free to use.

My only reservation about including KLCC park in the list comes in the form of the viciously vigilant security guards who patrol the park. They take their jobs incredibly seriously and as such it is impossible to relax over the sounds of their zealously blown whistles at busier times. Walking on the grass, playing with a ball, sitting on a see-saw with your 3 year old. All are crimes that will result in a loud blow of the whistle and a stern telling off. Bizarrely, the rule is that as an adult you literally cannot touch the equipment, even if your reason for doing so is to ensure the safety of your child.

If you can cope with this then it’s a great place to spend an afternoon. And if you can’t, we discovered a see-saw out of sight towards the back of the park and played to our hearts content!

3. Hop-on, Hop-off, Bus Tour

We joined this bus tour by chance after it stopped next to us by the KL Aquarium and were very glad that we did. Incredibly reasonable (RM45 per adult, no charge for our 3 year old or our 5 year old) and thorough, this open-top bus tour features 23 stops conveniently located next to most of the cities main tourist attractions. The ticket also last for 24 hours (48 hours also available) meaning you can continue using the ticket the following day depending upon time of purchase.

All of the buses feature a large open-top section with air conditioned seating available towards the rear of the bus upstairs and downstairs.

During busy times the bus does get full and we did witness passengers at the Petronas Towers stop being told to wait for the next bus (a 20/30 minute wait) as the one we arrived on was full.

Similarly, when it rains, the inside of the bus can be very full and vice versa, when the weather is good, outside seating is at a premium.

Courtesy of MyHopOnHopOff.com

2. Petrosains Discovery Centre

A surprising diversion at the top of Suria Mall, Petrosains Discovery Centre is a fantastic attraction for children of all ages from the very young, to young adults.

A dark ride, dozens of interactive experiments, building areas, a large dinosaur and volcano diorama and more. Check out our full review of Petrosains here.

This is definitely one not to be missed.

1. Kidzania Kuala Lumpur

Just outside of the city center by The Curve, Kidzania offers a world of fun for young people of all ages.

For those unfamiliar with the concept, Kidzania is an entire indoor city designed for children. Kidzania KL is based around 2 main streets on the ground floor and one winding thoroughfare upstairs. The streets on all sides are populated by business’ and services, which are sponsored by familiar, real-world business’ and all of which provide fun activities for children.

From fire fighting and driving an ambulance to stocking shelves in a supermarket and constructing their own burgers at McDonalds; families will love Kidzania. The sheer variety of things to do and value for money present in the ticket price is the reason this takes the number one spot when choosing things to do with Kids in Kuala Lumpur.

About the author

Benjamin Burgess fondly know as Ben is an fantastic human and fellow travel blogger. He is an avid traveler and always encourages yatripandit.com.

He describes his blog as “MyExpatFamily.com is a travel blog, specializing in family travel, written by an expat couple based in China. We travel with our two young children and share our experiences around the world with a 3 and 5 year old in tow.”

Ben with his lovely family

Disclaimer:  *Contents in this story is Authors personal views and presentation.

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