The long haul of summer has finally come to an end and most of India is enveloped in a dense refuge of rains. The coming month of August is packed more than a few breather long weekends. We highly recommend you to cash this opportunity to discover some of the hottest monsoon destinations in the country. There are more than a few places to visit during monsoon, as most holiday destinations are less chaotic and offer great deals to travelers.
1. Leh Ladakh
Julley! This Ladakhi word works like magic in breaking ice with the locals. Couple it with a smile and you could ‘Julley’ your way through this place that is unique in its beauty and unparalleled in its serenity. Geographically speaking, Ladakh is in the rain shadow area, which is why it is an ideal monsoon destination. But a few rain-laden clouds do break through the mountains and the spectacle of clouds embracing the Himalayan peaks in the backdrop of the barren splendor of Ladakh is a sight to behold. The various shades of Pangong Lake or the journey across the Khardung La pass or the stop over at Kargil, Ladakh will never disappoint you. Don’t Miss the Hemis Festival.Plan your Trip to Ladakh
2. Valley of Flowers, Uttrakhand
The name says it all. Why would you not want to be surrounded by flowers of every variety and color possible? Housing the rarest kind of flora, it is also a great choice for someone who is an ardent nature lover. It’s on this list because the flowers attain full bloom in the months of July and August. The high-altitude Himalayan valley has around 300 different varieties of flowers, which seem as a bright carpet of colour against the snow-capped mountains. It has been said that many spiritual masters lost and found themselves on this 17km trek trail. If you’re a nature lover then Valley of Flowers is one route you should definitely explore in this lifetime.
That India’s royalty was smitten by the monsoon is clear from the many special palaces they built to highlight the splendor of the weather. Life in Udaipur, pretty much resembles its beautiful lakes, which are in full bloom during these magical spells of clouds. Walk in the footsteps of royalty, a must visit for the romantic souls, this city surrounded by mountains gives a glimpse of its local flavor with monsoon festivals celebrating the rainy season in style.
Spread in ribbons over a steep mountain ridge, surrounded by emerald-green tea plantations and with a backdrop of pristine Himalayan peaks floating over distant clouds, the classic hill station of Darjeeling is rightly West Bengal’s foremost attraction. From July to September, it’s high cropping time at Darjeeling’s tea estates when the hillsides look fresh and green. Early morning fog covers Darjeeling in a beautiful haze and gives it a mystifying element. While there, you could take a tea-tasting tour and experience how teas differ from hill to hill or visit Nathmull’s Tea room which houses more than 50 varieties.
If you want to truly understand the meaning of the term ‘Joie De Vivre’ then you should definitely think about coming to Puducherry. During the monsoon, the rain here is not incessant. You can catch the sun often. Start the day by the sea with croissant and coffee at Le Cafe. Take a ferry ride to Paradise Beach; visit Auroville with its population of 50,000 people from around 45 countries; hire a bicycle from the Park Guest House and explore. It’s hard to imagine that just over forty years ago, Auroville was a barren wasteland. Until a visionary French woman, Mirra Alfasa, reverently referred to as “the Mother” decided to bring in a spiritual revolution and transformed the region into forests and farms, grown organically. The pace in Puducherry is more French Riviera than big city. The food is a bit Creole-influenced. The drink is Vin Rouge.Top 10 Activities to do in Pondicherry
Let the whiff of coffee awaken you. Famously known as the Scotland of India, Coorg has all the elements of being an idyllic holiday destination for this season. Situated in the southern part of Karnataka in the Western Ghats, Monsoon in Coorg is the most quixotic season of all. You could visit one of the many coffee, cardamom and pepper plantations, down to a river with a hanging bridge built by the village folk. Fields and forests covered in spectacular greenery, gurgling streams and the Kodava populace offer enough incentives to take a gentle stroll. Head to the Talakaveri pilgrim centre from where Kaveri originates in the Brahmagiri Hills, Omkareshwar Temple or the Nagarhole National Park.Plan your Trip to Coorg
So you like relics, monuments and all things that have history written on them, then you owe yourself a trip to Khajuraho. Unreal and bewitching, the place celebrates sexuality and talks about glorious liberal Indian history like no other textbook. These temples are recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. They are warranted both for their age (700-1100years old) and for the amazing quality of the sculptures there - European artists would not even begin to approach such life-like quality, beauty or expression for at least 500years! So you must consider Khajuraho for a short trip during this monsoon season as the place is not its usual hot self and would surely enthrall the history buffs.
Every Mubaikar’s true love, Lonavala is the most popular weekend getaway for the city folks. This tiny hill station is a favorite monsoon picnic spot for Mumbaikars and Pune-ites and is located on the western ghats of Maharashtra. The mountain ranges of Sahyadri have some of the most mesmerizing waterfalls in the country along with awesome climate and beautiful natural scenery to capture. The Tiger Point is one of the many sunsets points in Lonavala. You must go here in the evenings to witness the breathtaking sunset which casts many hues over green mountains with waterfalls. Do this while you eat your hot and spicy ‘bhutta’.
Nashik is often referred as India’s very own Napa Valley.Warmer days and cooler nights, gentle slope, fertile landscape - all these make a perfect setting for a great wine country. Under an azure blue sky and surrounded by picturesque Western Ghat mountains, Nashik is home to some of the finest Indian wines. Lavish vineyards and well-developed winery infrastructure make Nashik the perfect wine tour destination. So, whether you are a true wine enthusiast or a common nature loving tourist, Nashik would fascinate you for sure. If you want to experience first-hand the Indian wine growth story and taste some of the finest Indian labels, your quest would certainly bring you to Nashik.
If anyone told that Goa just dead and dry during monsoons then trust us they never stepped out. If you’re not too fond of rains, you’ll probably like Goa’s rains even more because they are not incessant and don’t go on for hours. During the day there will be a few showers that usually last for 15 minutes (30 minutes is uncommon).Plan your Trip to Goa
You can’t fully experience Goa’s wild side without exploring its wildlife. Goa has several national parks, bird sanctuaries and zoos like the Bhagwan Mahaveer Sanctuary and Mollem National Park near Panjim, Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary in Canacona, Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary in Chorao and Bondla Wildlife Sanctuary near Margoa. Another great place to visit during the monsoon in Goa is the acclaimed spice plantation in Savoi, reached by an enchanting drive through dense jungles and hills from Ponda. An evening boat cruise up the Mandovi River from Panaji is enjoyable, and Goa’s historic character-filled buildings provide for much interest. Fishing in any of Goa’s rivers is also fun, as too is white water rafting!
And that’s how you enjoy the Indian monsoon!!