Had gone to my home town Ludhiana during Dussehra Break as I knew this time won’t be able to make it during Diwali Holidays due to work. Had told my gang earlier that will be doing a ‘Road Trip to Kaas’ during Oct 8-9th weekend and also that I will go ahead with this Trip even if I have to go alone. While on my break had called up my friend (Navin) to check his plans and weather he is comfortable doing Kaas Trip this weekend. Navin and me had enjoyed Road Trip to Jawahar-Dabhosa during monsoon, So immediately came the reply ‘Game On’ for Kaas Trip
Returned back from my home town on Oct 7th and the messages regarding the road trip were sent to other members of gang. Some initially said ‘Yes’ than later 'No' while others earlier said ‘No’ but next day 3-4 hours before the Trip said ‘Yes’. So Finally partners in crime with me for this road trip was Navin, Abhinav and Pooja. Day-1 October 8th, 2:30 pm Mumbai-Pune-Satara
We wanted to have an entire day to cover nearby attractions (Sajjangarh, Thoseghar, and Chalkewadi) and I wanted to spend atleast 2 hours early in the morning @Kaas Plateau and return the same day. So we decided to travel to Satara on Saturday afternoon and reach Satara by around 8:00 pm. I attended my office on Saturday and came back to my place by around 2’o clock and after quick shower grabbed my bags, my iPod and my new toy Canon 550D and left from Wadala by around 2:40 pm to pick my friends from Sion.
Got the Tank filled up and picked up my friends (Abhinav & Pooja) from Sion and left for Chembur where Navin was supposed to join us. We reached Chembur by 3:40 pm and it took us another 30-40 min to hit the Mumbai-Pune Expressway. Finally at around 4:15 pm we were crusing @140kmph on Mumbai-Pune Expressway en-route Satara.
Always enjoyed driving on Mumbai-Pune Expressway highway and this time hit a personal milestone (Touched 150 kmph
) But only momentarily and quickly reverted to normal 120-140kmph speed limit. Took us exactly 1 hr 30 min to reach Pune after hitting Expressway, but after exiting expressway we did encountered some city traffic till ‘Katraj Tunnnel’. But later on NH-4 was great fun to drive on and we were again cruising to our destination.
We decided to take a Tea break after Khedshivapur Toll (one of the worst managed toll on NH-4) last time had stopped at McDonald’s but this time carving for tea made me stop @ Hotel Natraj. Had Masala Tea and some snacks quickly and left for Satara by around 6:45 pm as our destination was another 88 km away. So after covering twisty turns of Khambatki Ghat and driving for another 1.5 hour reached Satara by around 8:15 pm.
Now the search for a good hotel begins as we didn’t had any prior booking. We did checked couple of Hotels (Hotel Sairaja and Hotel Sagar) but found these hotels bit shady. Had read about Hotel Maharaja Regency (only 3-Star Hotel in Satara) so we went and enquired about it and booked the Non-AC rooms immediately. Although, it is a pricey hotel but it is your best option in terms of good accommodation in Satara. We had our Dinner at the Hotel Restaurant only as we were very hungry although there is a good option in the nearby market (Big Bite).
I wanted to wake up quite early next morning by around 4:30 am and leave for Kaas by around 5:00 am but that plan was unanimously rejected by other members and finally we decided that will leave for Kaas by 7:00 am
My friend (Navin) had his relatives in Satara and we told them about our plans for next day to cover Kaas, Chalkewadi Thosegar Sajangarh, Vasota & Bamnoli. We were told that it is better to take a Satara registered vehicle (MH-11) to Kaas as others have to abandon their vehicles at a parking lot 5 km before Kaas Plateau they also told us that it would not be possible to explore Vasota in such a short trip. My friend (Navin) and his cousin conversed in Marathi about the plan for next day, All I understood that we will leave for Kaas by around 7:00 am in the morning.
We reached back to our Hotel by around 11:15 pm tired and exhausted although I still had time to read a piece on Kaas in Oct10 issue of Lonely Planet just to build the excitement. I went to bed by around 12:30 am with dreams of Kaas Valley in Full Bloom Day 2: October 9th, 7:30 am Satara-Kaas- Chalkewadi Thosegar and Sajangarh
Woke up at 5:30 am and I got ready quickly by around 6:00 am and clicked few pics of Satara Valley, Hotel and Eiffel Tower of Satara. Had a morning tea and after checking out from our Hotel left for Kaas Valley en-route changed cars with Navin’s cousin also joining us for local sightseeing.
Well drive through the valley was magical with breathtaking views. We got our first view of Kaas Valley by around 9:00 am and spend some 2 hours exploring it’s amazing ‘Flora and Fauna’
Here comes the Pics