Munnar rain
Photo: Shutterstock/Vivek Pati

Experience the best of monsoon at these 8 spots in India

Rains in India have always been associated as the harbinger of hope, joy, peace, respite, beauty, ecstasy, longingness, love, and so much more!

The monsoon is one of the best times to explore the length and breadth of the country, see the cities come alive, watch the rivers and lakes swell and flow, and mountains become lush green, teeming with life. The rains bring with them a magical time that is difficult to resist.

We bring you a list of eight destinations to visit this monsoon season for an adventurous yet relaxing vacation in India.

1. Shillong, Meghalaya

One of the top destinations to visit during the monsoon, Shillong receives the heaviest rainfall in the monsoons. Shillong is known as the 'Scotland of the East', surrounded by the lush green Khasi and Jayanti hills. It is dotted with numerous waterfalls and scenic viewing points that offer spectacular panoramic views of the valley.

The Meghalayan Age fest - NohKaLikai Falls.
Image courtesy: IANS

Things to do:

• Visit the Elephant Falls and the Spread Eagle Falls, both fed by the rains and quite remarkable sites to visit.

• Go for a trek on the David Scott Trail, an old trekking route that is counted among the most famous ones in Meghalaya.

• Binge on the local delicacies or shop for hand-made shawls and stoles!

Nearest airport and railway station: Guwahati, Assam (149km)

2. Lonavala, Maharashtra

Located at a distance of 64km from Pune and 96km from Mumbai, Lonavala is a popular hill station in Maharashtra that is best visited during the rains for its beautiful waterfalls alluring greenery, pleasant climate and sightseeing.

Lonavala. Photo: Shutterstock/abhijeetsawant

Things to do:

• Lonavala is the perfect place for adventure lovers. It offers various fun activities, including rappelling and camping at Pawna Lake, hiking to the Tikona Fort, trekking to the Rajmachi fort, etc.

• Visit Tiger's Leap, a cliff top with a drop of 650m. The place offers a magnificent view of the western ghats as a popular tourist spot.

• Go back in time at the Karla and Bhaja caves- ancient Buddhist rock-cut caves from the 2nd century.

Enjoy a picnic at the Bushi Dam, built on the Indrayani River.

Nearest airports: Mumbai (96km) and Pune (64km)

Nearest railway station: Lonavala has its own railway station, which falls on the Mumbai-Pune route.

3. Coorg, Karnataka

Located 260km from Bangalore, Coorg is the most romantic destination to visit during the monsoons. The enchanting waterfalls of Coorg, its lakes, dense forests and vast coffee plantations make Coorg one of the most-visited places in Karnataka.

Take a road trip to this picturesque town in the rain to truly enjoy this place's beauty.

Representative image: Shutterstock

Things to do:

• Indulge in adventure activities like trekking, bird watching, horse riding and coffee plantation tours. Trek to the highest peak of Tadiandamol or to the Madikeri Fort and Raja's Seat for a beautiful view of the surroundings.

• Visit the nearby majestic Jog Falls, the second-highest waterfall in India, and the Abbey Falls or take a trip to the Kaveri to see the river in its full flow.

• Explore the wildlife at the Nagarhole National Park and the Pushpagiri wildlife sanctuary.

• Enjoy the delicious local cuisine to satiate your taste buds, and shop for coffee and Coorg wine!

Nearest airports: Mysore (120km), Mangalore (135km) and Bangalore (260km)

Nearest railway station: Mysore, Mangalore, Hassan (104km)

4. Goa, Goa

Goa, a popular tourist destination around the year, is also worth visiting during the monsoons to enjoy the overcast skies and greenery.

Indulge in some island discovery in Goa

Things to do:

• Indulge in local Goan dishes like vindaloo, cafreal and xacuti or binge on the famous Goan desserts like Bebinca and Cocada. Try the famous Goan port wine or the local Feni, made from cashews.

• Go on nature trails in and around Goa or on heritage tours of the city and visit the famous tourist spots like Bom Jesus, Vasco church etc.

• Take an evening boat cruise on the Mandovi river to catch the sunset.

• Shop for local crafts, cashews and wine.

Nearest airport: Goa International Airport, Dabolim

Nearest railway station: Madgaon and Vasco Da Gama

5. Udaipur, Rajasthan

Udaipur, nestled in the Aravalis, is dotted with numerous lakes and is known as 'The most romantic destination in India'.

Udaipur becomes even more inviting during the monsoon with the greenery around its lakes and palaces. The beauty of the place comes alive during this time with the heritage and royalty all around.

Things to do:

• Boating on the Fateh Sagar and Pichola Lake during the rains is an exquisite experience.

• Travel back to the glorious past of the Maharajas as you visit the city's tourist spots like the City Palace, Lake Palace, Bagore Ki Haveli and many others.

• Shop to your heart's content for Bandhani print, trinkets and miniature paintings.

Nearest airport: Dabok (22km)

Nearest railway station: Udaipur Railway Station

6. Orchha, Madhya Pradesh

Orchha, with its majestic palaces, forts and temples, is one of the best places to visit during the monsoons. The magnificent structures and their architectural wonders look awe-inspiring amidst the rains and bring an aura of divinity, royalty and nostalgia.

Orchha was built by Raja Rudra Pratap in 1501 and had been an important centre of political control for the Chandela and Bundelkhand rulers.

A new festival "Namaste Orchha", an initiative by the Madhya Pradesh Tourism Board to promote the state as a leading tourism destination in India, kicked off in the ancient and quaint town here, on Friday evening.

Things to do:

• Immerse yourself in the country's history and learn more about the legendary kings who ruled this place. Visit the famous Jahangir Mahal, Raja Mahal, the riverside cenotaphs, the Ram Raja Temple and the Chaturbhuj Temple.

• Take a day trip to Khajuraho (180km) to visit the famous UNESCO World Heritage site and its group of temples built in 885AD by the Chandela kings.

• Visit the historic city of Jhansi (17km) in the neighbouring state of Uttar Pradesh and pay homage to the brave queen Rani Lakshmibai.

• Shop for metal works of Dokra and wrought iron and gemstones

Nearest airport: Gwalior (100 km)

Nearest railway station: Jhansi (17km)

7. Valley Of Flowers, Uttarakhand

Considered to be one of the most beautiful places in India to visit during the monsoon, Valley of Flowers is one of India's most popular treks in the Himalayas. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the valley is a part of the National Park where you can enjoy the beauty of more than 400 varieties of flowers in spectacular shades of every colour in bloom at this time.

The perfect place to soothe your senses and take in the freshness of the mountains in the rains, Valley of Flowers in Uttarakhand is a must-visit!

Things to do:

• Trek to the Sri Hemkund Sahib Gurudwara nearby (5km); however, keep in mind that the climb to the pilgrimage site is quite steep and tests your endurance. But once there, it is the most beautiful and peaceful place to be in.

Nearest airport: Dehradun (303 km)

Nearest railway station: Rishikesh (267 km)

8. Munnar, Kerala

God's own country, Kerala, is one of the most beautiful places to visit around the year; however, come monsoon and the beauty of the state overflows. f Kerala looks stunning with its lush greenery everywhere and rain-splattered surroundings.

Munnar in Kerala offers you all of the above and great views of the misty green mountains of the western ghats and the verdant tea gardens, thus making Munnar one of the favourite tourist destinations to visit during monsoons.

Deepa article image

Things to do:

• Visit the Eravikulam National Park to chance a glimpse of the rare Nilgiri Tahr. The park is over 97 square kilometres and has many trekking and hiking trails.

• Trek up to Anamudi, the highest peak in the western ghats, or Echo Point, which offers stunning views of the valley below.

• Stay in a tree house amidst the tea and spice plantations in Munnar.

• Take a guided tour of one of the many tea estates here and understand the traditional tea production methods.

• Visit the famous Attukal and Lakkam waterfalls and have a lovely picnic!

• Indulge in watersports and boating at the Mattupetty Dam or the Kundala Lake.

• Enjoy an elephant safari at Carmelagiri Elephant Park – one of the most fascinating attractions in Munnar!

• Pamper yourself at the many spas and Ayurvedic centres here and feel rejuvenated.

• Be a part of Kerala's rich traditions and culture as you watch an awe-inspiring Kathakali or Kalaripayattu performance.

• Shop to your heart's content for tea, coffee, spices, homemade chocolates and natural oils. Binge on the best of Kerala cuisine here at the local eateries.

Nearest airports: Cochin (110km) and Madurai (140km)

Nearest railway stations: Aluva (110 km) and Ernakulam (126km)

We hope that our list of spectacular monsoon destinations in India have you excited and looking forward to planning a getaway to some of these places this season.

Happy travels!

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