If I say I spent a weekend in Maharashtra’s flower land, most of us would think of Kaas plateau and wonder if it’s worth a whole weekend.
But what if I tell you its neighborhood has beautiful forts, a windmill farm, waterfalls, a palace like step well, a lotus lake, a boat ride in backwaters, and a quiet spot on top of a hill all to yourself? If you’re intrigued to know further, read ahead.
Satara is a treasure chest of beautiful places short distances away (and pocket friendly at that!). It’s just 6 hours away from Mumbai, has scenic views of green hills and blue water bodies, and is every flower chaser’s dream!
Here are the places I could visit in a day-and-half:
I had never seen its picture, thank God for that! The trail is filled with flowers, and one can hear peacocks and see rare birds throughout the way up. Once the tree cover is gone, we were greeted with the view of Satara city, Kaas plateau and Sajjangad hill. The best part is once you walk up to the Manglai temple, you’re greeted with a huge installation which reads ‘Ajinkyatara’ in Devnagari. It looks like a crown atop the city, and I was fortunate to witness sunrise from here
Tip: It’s almost 2 km walk uphill, make sure you carry a water bottle with you. Also, you can clearly see Rajwada palace from here
(In pictures: Entry to Ajinkyatara fort, view point, ruin of the fort, view of Satara city)
Baramotichi Vihir in Limb
It has Agrasen Ki Baoli vibe to it. The signboard read ‘Ancient Baramotichi Vihir’, rightly so, it’s a step well built in 1646 by Virubhai Bhosale. It’s built like a small palace, and it’s kind of hard to imagine a place so beautiful being a step well. Limb is blessed with flower farms, so while you’re en route to the Vihir you have yellow farms on your either side. The step well was a water source to these farms.
Tip: Visit in August and you’re likely to see sunflower fields, visit in September-October and you’ll see Marigold fields!
(In pictures: Baramotichi Vihir, Limb, Satara)
Windmill farm at Chalkewadi
A part of Chalkewadi Wind Energy Project, Chalkewadi windmill farm is one of the largest windmill farms in Asia. We could spot windmills everywhere, on the same hill, on the adjacent hills – a panoramic view of countless rotating windmills against the backdrop of greenery, dotted with yellow flowers – that’s Chalkewadi’s windmill farm for you.
(In pictures: Chalkewadi windmill farm. We stood near a windmill on the way for a picture – and we looked like ants!)
It’s the resting place of saint Ramdas Swami, and attracts a hoard of devotees. However, the hill that it is situated on, is a very peaceful place, with views of Koyna Dam, wave mountains, windmills, and Satara city. You can peacefully walk the entire perimeter of the hill or select a spot for the same
Tip: Highly recommending staying in the Bhakt Nivas on the hill – it’s a basic accommodation that’s free of cost. There’s crowd during prasad time – pithla and rice – but catch one sunrise/sunset from here and you’ll never feel like leaving!
(In pictures: Entry to Sajjangad, views of neighboring hills and Satara city from Sajjangad view point/machi)
Boat ride at Bamnoli
This small village is known for ferry rides to some of most touristy locations like Tapola, Vasota fort, Triveni Sangam and Datt mandir. The ride to Bamnoli is the most scenic one – magnificent green hills surrounded by Koyna river backwaters (I guess they are a part of Mahabaleshwar hills), with small ferries dotting the water body – it’s breathtakingly beautiful!
Tip: Please don’t sleep during this ride
(In picture: Bamnoli boating point)
Kaas plateau, Kaas lake, Kumudini lake
When you lay eyes on one of the wonders of Maharashtra, you’ll know why it’s called that – it’s heaven on earth!
It changes colors every few weeks, starting from August. It’s pink towards the start, and yellow and white near September end. The plateau looks surreal, no matter the month.
If you walk 2 km ahead, you’ll find yourself at a beautiful lake filled with lotus – I’d never seen one before!
Kaas lake is a short distance away and is a quiet spot – try going here in the evening.
While you’re at Kaas plateau, you have Kanher Dam to your right, Kaas lake to your left and Kumudini Talao (Lotus lake) ahead – can it get any better than this?
Tip: Kaas plateau is a popular destination now, so it’s advisable to pre-book tickets online for the visit
(In pictures: Kaas plateau, Kaas lake, Kumudini Talao or Lotus lake)
Flowing between Chalkewadi and Thoseghar, the beautiful Thoseghar falls magnificently plunge to the depth of 350 meters. There’s a small waterfall too, some distance away, which has a fall of 110 meters. The first waterfall is the poster image of Thoseghar waterfall, but if you happen to look the other way on your left, there’s another huge waterfall with a backdrop of windmills. That’s right – 3 waterfalls!
(In pictures: Thoseghar waterfalls plunging to 350 m and 110 m respectively, height of third waterfall unknown)
I happened to visit Satara right when monsoon had ended, but it’s more beautiful in monsoon. Plunging to a depth of 260 meters, this 3-tier waterfall looks spectacular in rainy season. I’ve read it’s got small caves near it *waits for monsoon*
(In pictures: Vajrai waterfall and Kalyangad fort. Source: internet)
This one’s for the brave hearts! Kalyangad fort is known for its cave that’s filled with water (and has a fall of 30 m) and may require ropes to cross it. A secret path from here is said to be connected to Sajjangad.
If you’ve read so far, thank you very much for your time.
If you wish to know more or offer suggestion, you can shoot me an email at nidhi.thehappychapter.com or connect with me on Instagram: @nidhigupta_
(All pictures are taken by me, unless mentioned)