Best Places to Visit During Monsoon in India
While braving the scorching summer months, we, Indians literally crave for rains. And when we get our share of relief in the monsoons, we simply waste it, spending the time in the comforts of our home. So, here’s a thing; instead of whining about how these continuous showers make your journey to work miserable, take a break and go outstation.
To help you in this, here is a list of some amazing destination for monsoon holidays which demands to be visited at this time of the year. Although this season is considered off season in India, yet these destinations are magical, even at this time of the year.
Monsoon season makes its first knock to the God’s own country, Kerala. Known as the south-west monsoon, it travels all the way over the Indian ocean, laden with precipitation, and brings a welcome respite from the intense heat of summers in India. However, monsoons season in Kerala are a little different from the rest of India. Starting in the beginning of June, it rains in spells here, rather than continuous showers for weeks. The locals call it,’Edavappathy’, as the southwest monsoon arrives in the month of Edavam of the Malayalam calendar. Most of the people tend to avoid traveling during the rainy season. They simply stay indoors, dry of the freshness the season brings. Kerala, being a state of nature’s splendors, blooms to a whole new form, like a fruit ripens to a juicy avatar. Lush palm greenery beautifully complimenting the placid backwaters, the virgin hills drenched all in rain, sun playing hide and seek amidst the clouds, glistening every piece of nature and providing a sort of equilibrium to the flow of nature, waterfalls and streams in full glory, plantations exploding with greenery, and what not. With a rough layout of Kerala like this in mind, its hard to stay indoors. Isn’t it?. There are some other reasons to visit Kerala in Monsoon season.
At this time Kerala turns into the land of ayurvedic treatments and massage therapies, which the people believe, work wonders at the time of monsoon. The moist, cool and dust free environment is just perfect for rejuvenating the body, mind and soul. There is a different side of Kerala as well, which celebrates festivals in its full swing. Topping on the list is the traditional festival, Onam, which is celebrated between August and September. The harvest festival lasts for 10 days and includes snake boat races, costumed parades and mega feasts. Venue being, the lush green setting of the monsoons, Onam is a festival to cherish upon.
Bounded by some of the world’s largest mountain ranges-Himalayas and Karakoram, Ladakh is a haven for adventure lovers. A region of extremes, a place which is ruled by heterogeneity. Settled almost at the roof of the world, Ladakh is a destination, which is utterly beautiful and at the same time, it is a tough nut to crack. Enchanting landscapes, rugged terrains, burning sun, chilling breeze, glacial lakes, motorable roads, mountain passes, and the list goes on and on. The topography here is such, one can get a sunburn and a frost bite, almost at the same time. Ladakh stays entirely snow covered during the winter months, with temperatures declining to the brink of the thermometer. Thus, winters are not for the usual travelers at any cost. However, there are some snow lovers and adventure hungry folks, for whom Ladakh is only about winters. Nevertheless, for the straight head vacation lovers, monsoon months offer the best time. Monsoons at this high altitude land does not exactly mean a rainy season, with spells of rains. Rather the season here is more about pleasant weather with rains in bits and pieces. It all starts at the onset of summers, in the month of April. By April, snow melts down, clearing every motorable route within the region.
The sun shines brightly everyday and the temperature stays within a comfortable range during these months. Sometimes, it gets much hot at the daytime. The coming of rains in the next month brings respite from this as well. Monsoon in Ladakh stays between July and August, and is highly suited for carrying out most of the adventure sports. Trekking, which is the backbone of adventure tourism in Ladakh, sets on for various high altitude expeditions during these months of pleasantries. And as it rains, even if not that much, river rafting in the Indus river becomes a rage among the young travelers.
Besides adventure, Ladakh has a spiritual side, which supersedes its quaint civilization with colors of religion and festivities. Coming first is the Hemis festival, which takes place between the months of June and July. The celebrations of this ancient festival include colorful mask dances and traditional music. You can even take home authentic and beautiful Ladakhi handicrafts, which are put on sale at the Hemis festival. The other one is the Ladakh Festival, the highlights of which are street processions, music concerts and dances.
if you wish to enjoy secluded time in Goa!, monsoon season is the best. Highly contrasting from the usual image of Goa, which is more about crowded beach holidays, monsoon time brings leisure to the forefront. Monsoons time in general are always a welcome respite from the heat. Same happens in the context of Goa. Scorched down in April and May, Goa takes a new birth during monsoon season. Making its way from downward South, Monsoon winds usually reach Goa in the first week of June. Then it starts raining cats and dogs, making the rivers run overflow, trees moving in sync with the winds, frogs croaking, the dance of the lightning, and finally spreading a lush green carpet on every corner of Goa. And as it rains heavily, the beaches stay deserted with mist and greenery settling everywhere. All this shifts the paradigm of Goa, from fun filled beach parties to nature admiration. Lazy and rain soaked, days in the monsoons are very much relaxing here, even for the urban skeptics. And those who want to move out and explore the lush green lands, which usually take a back seat, all credits to the popular beaches, now it’s the time.
Soothing to this very purpose are the picturesque wildlife sanctuaries, which are highly eventful, both for the adults as well as children. Mollem National Park and Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary, located in South Goa offer excellent nature trails. The protected areas are store houses of a huge variety of flora as well as fauna. Deer safaris, which include sighting of barking deer, Sambar and Spotted deer in the wild are a huge hit. Besides the wildlife safaris, the National park has other attractions to talk about. The Tambdi Surla temple which is a fine 12th century Lord Shiva temple, is a popular attraction, located in the northern part of Mollem. On its opposite direction, is the Dudhsagar Falls, located high on the Mandovi river. The waterfall which literally means sea of milk, is one of the best tourist attractions to visit in Goa during monsoons. At this time waterfall turns into its prime, which makes the sight of the fall highly enchanting. Plus, the gushing water down the fall in full force hypnotizes the atmosphere with its roar. Certainly feels magical.
Monsoon hardly affects the festive spirit of Goa. Sao-Jao, which is one of the most popular festivals in the state, is celebrated during the rainy months. The celebrations are traditionally marked with a fertility feast, in the name of Saint John the Baptist. This is then followed by merry-making all day long.
Truly an oasis in the desert, Mount Abu is one of the most favored destinations in Rajasthan. And why it wouldn’t be? An altitude of around 1220 ft, a pleasing temperature range, acres of green landscapes. These attributes are so unlike the real Rajasthan, which is hot, arid and sandy. The place is so blessed with natural splendors, imagine what use to be the picture of it when the black clouds come to raid the skies over it every year. Yes sir, monsoons are the icing on the cake for Mount Abu, and if statistics are to be believed, the hill station receives an average rainfall of around 70-180 cm during monsoon time. This is more than any other region in the whole of Rajasthan. With this, the temperature drops drastically from 34°C to 8°C.
Monsoons season in Mount Abu prevail more in the initial months, while in the second half i.e, August and September, the showers take a little backseat. With lush greenery incorporated with cascading waterfalls and breathtaking mountain stretches of the Aravalis all around, the beauty remains intact. This makes the later months of monsoons in Mount Abu, highly suitable for outdoor activities. From here, an adventure lover can only imagine trekking through dense jungles, then a wildlife sanctuary on a jeep, which has animals like the Jungle cat, Sambhar, Wild Boar, Jackal, Wolf and Indian Civet waiting to get clicked by his camera. If he is lucky, he might even spot a leopard in the wild.
The wildlife sanctuary is also a place for bird lovers. Besides adventure, Mount Abu talks about religion as well. One of the world’s finest Jain temples, the Dilwara Jain Temple has its address here. Need to mention again and again? that the temple like the other places of interest at Mount Abu is surrounded by hills, moistened by the ‘Green Monsoons’, as some would call it. Then there is the romantic sunset point, which looks awe inspiring, softly glistening the horizon and the hill station with its orange hue. Are you still wondering? Pack your bags and head straight to Mount Abu, as the monsoons have just arrived.
“Raindrops keep falling on my head”, certainly a classic to hum all the way, while driving from Mumbai to Lonavala. This song by BJ Thomas fits best in the joyous tip tap of the monsoons and when you are in Lonavala at that time, it simply cannot get better. Situated on the Mumbai-Pune expressway, Lonavala is a captivating green carpet, which has milky waterfalls, ponds and some spectacular nature’s splendors, that you will never wish to go back home. And the best time to visit lonavala is definitely the monsoon. Mostly monsoon arrives Lonavala in the first week June and continues till September. Heavy rains and mist mark the beginning of the monsoon season in Lonavala. In such a rejuvenating and invigorating atmosphere, adventure sports like trekking and hiking in Lonavala are the most enjoyable. Trekking to various hill forts like the Visapur fort, Tung fort and Tikona fort , which are surrounded by lush greenery, is amongst the preferred activities here. They say that the hills at Lonavala get alive during monsoons. Well, metaphorically speaking, lush greenery flows in every vein of the region, giving new birth to lakes and waterfalls, which were once the victims of the summers, one can say that Lonavala surely gets alive.
For a nature’s admirer, the hill station has so much to offer. Places of interest at Lonavala like the Bushy dam, Duke’s nose and Ryewood Park are best to be visited during the monsoons. Bhushi dam, which is amongst the most popular spots in Lonavala, gets flooded and its highly thrilling to watch the gushing flow down the river. Besides, Lonavala is also a place for cave explorers. The Karla and Bhaja caves are excellent for going through the rock cut architecture of the ancient India, and within the invigorating atmosphere of the monsoons, exploring deep caves is a lot fun. If you love fishing in a serene environment, then don’t contemplate and drive to this hill station near Pune. Fishing and angling are some of the best leisure activities one can possibly do here in this weather. The lakes are breathtaking, the environment is cool, waterfalls are in their full swing, greenery is exploding everywhere, well, this is Lonavala for you during the monsoons.
One of the best places to visit during monsoon in India, Malshej Ghat is the best place for outing during monsoon season. The hill station is nestled in the rugged hills of western ghats, and is well known for its intrinsic beauty, enchanting waterfalls, lakes and captivating mountains. Like the other hill stations on Mumbai-Pune highway, this one throws its best charm during the monsoons. The rains usually arrive here by mid June and continue to bless the region till September end. Although the region gets prone to landslides in the month of July, it is still a welcome retreat for nature lovers.
Its like the monsoons swung its magic wand, and the region turned into a paradise, where there is an explosion of greenery and the freshness of nature’s blue (lakes and waterfalls), gurgling streams flowing through the nooks and corners, all encapsulated in a romantic mist. This makes the ardent mountain trekking and hiking a wonderful bliss for the urban fellows.
Malshej ghat is also a historical landmark in the state of Maharashtra. Shivneri fort, which is the birth place of the great Maratha ruler, Shivaji, is located in the vicinity. Besides, the region also has Buddhist caves and Shri Vigneshwar temple as its major attractions. One has to trek through dense greenery to make it to these attractions. Monsoons are also a favorite for various migratory birds. During the rainy months, Malshej becomes the hot spot for exotic species of birds like Flamingoes, Cuckoos, Crakes and Quails.
Monsoons time in Darjeeling are full of beauty and adventure. The region is prone to heavy rainfall during monsoon months. But if rains are the thing for you, then Darjeeling must visit destination for you in monsoon season . It all starts in the month of July, characterized by heavy downpour of rains, which culminates into a new phase of beauty. The first month of monsoon receives heavy showers, thus, outdoors in Darjeeling get little restricted.
With the start of August, the situation gets less in control, leading to trekking and nature hiking. Well, walking through the aromatic coffee plantations, the surroundings of which are recently drenched in rain, is certainly worth experiencing. Have the taste of the finest coffee in the world, sitting in the verandah of a heritage cottage, as raindrops make the chatters on your roof. Besides, the weather feels best for enjoying hot and yummy Darjeeling cuisines.
Highly unspoiled and offbeat destination for monsoon season, Mandu in Madhya Pradesh has all the potential to be your next favored monsoon destination. Quite like Hampi, the place has an ancient charm that draws people from far corners. So, why not visit this historical city during the monsoons, when every other tourist destination in India is getting its share of exposure. Well, its not out of courtesy, but Mandu is certainly beautiful during the monsoons. “I know of no place so pleasant in climate and so pretty in scenery as Mandu during the rains”, these were the words of the great Mughal emperor Jahangir, when he made a visit here. Monsoons hit Mandu in July and continues till September. Being scorched up in the summer months, rains bring alive the region. During this time, the aerial view here looks a lot like a colorful scenery on canvas. Dried up lakes and ponds get filled up, vibrant greenery everywhere, sky with its cool shades turns magical, the sight of waterfalls in their full bloom. Well this is something that nature offers, but Mandu, is not only known for its picturesque location in Madhya Pradesh.
The place is a reminiscent of the rich heritage of India. Monuements like Jaami Mosque, Mandav Durg, Mausoleum of Hoshang Shah, Jahaz Mahal, Asharfi Palace, Hindola Palace and Baz Bahadur’s Palace. These historical sights are coyly nestled amidst lush green landscapes, which turn highly enchanting during the monsoons. The surrounding lakes act as perfect mirrors of this monsoon paradise. It feels like some palaces and forts like that of Prince Baz Bahadur and Roopmati, are specially designed as per the romantic setting of the rains. Moreover, the sight of the sacred Narmada river and a picturesque sunset from these structures add to the beauty of the region. Thus, Mandu has architecture, romance, mystery and beauty all inhaled in one breath, which can be observed the best during monsoons.
Puducherry or Pondicherry, a coastal land, which was once ruled by the French, Portugese and the British, is now an undisturbed world of its own. The union territory still savors its colonial charm, in its monuments, buildings, and town architecture. And above all this, Pondicherry has in its kitty, a handful of beaches which can give their counterparts in other regions of India a run for their money. Puducherry is often related to a calm, composed leisure filled holiday. Although the region is a largely visited one throughout the year, monsoon months in Puducherry present a different picture.
After braving the hot months of April and May, the coastal region takes a sigh of relief as the first showers hit the land. Cleansing and cooling the region, monsoons bring heavy rains, and the beaches who were once deserted, all of a sudden get a lot of activity. Serene beaches like the Promenade, Paradise and Auro suddenly become the magnets of tourism. White sand, windy atmosphere and waves crashing on the shore, a couple of migratory birds making their rounds, quite like the Hamptons in New York.
Monsoons not only bring delight to the beaches in Pondicherry, but other centers as well. Visit to Auroville, which is a lush green township near the city, in the monsoons, is certainly a unique experience. The invigorating atmosphere along with the flavors of Auroville, peace, harmony and spirituality, will bring out the yogi from you. And as Pondicherry still boasts of its colonial traditions, the drenched up atmosphere is always one of the best times to stroll through the city attractions.
Call it a nature’s gift, an inescapable charm of greenery, a paradise. Whatever be the words to describe it, Coorg is simply an experience worth experiencing. Away from the chaos of Bangalore, Coorg has encapsulated within itself different varieties of nature’s splendors that are ought to make the people surrender to them. The region treats its guests with a cool climate throughout the year, however, during the monsoon months, it goes slightly more cold. Monsoon winds quiver the region with strong wind and thunder. This results in heavy rainfall in Coorg during the months of June, July and August. Quite necessary to bring down the temperature from a little hot of 35°C to a cool 9 °C. This sudden drop in temperature is also a much needed criteria for Coorg to announce the onset of its blooming days.
Coorg, much like the other hill stations in India, gets famished of the rains by May end, and when it rains, it rains with all its strength, enveloping the entire region with mist and sparkling greenery. Much like the highlands of Scotland, Coorg demonstrates its incomparable beauty, which is characterized by exquisite coffee plantations, teak forests and contrasting blue mountains. Monsoons in Coorg generally stay till November and post August, the clouds get little easy. During this time of intermittent showers, various activities like trekking, camping, and rafting come in the limelight. Major trekking points during the monsoons are Kote Betta, Nishanimotte, Thadiyandamol and Pushpagiri.
Besides trekking, the frequent spells of rains also create a perfect setting for sightseeing. This not only includes the majestic waterfalls and emerald green streams , but scenic locales as well. Madikeri fort, Bhagamandala temple, Raja sea and Omkareshwar temple are amongst the popular ones. Monsoons also give a chance to get a glimpse into the local culture and tradition of Coorg. Festivals like Kaveri-Sankrama and Kailpod take place during these months, giving more reasons to make Coorg your abode in the monsoons.