Top 7 Monsoon Destinations In India
Monsoons in India are welcomed by practically all Indians and whilst really important for our largely agricultural land, the rainy season is also considered to be good fun by children and teenagers and very romantic by the adults ! In fact, the film and television industry thrive on portraying this season as an enchanting, captivating, magical, and dreamy period.
In most parts of India, the rains transform the dry, brown landscape from the summer heat to a beautiful, deep and lush green, cooling the atmosphere completely. At such times, its pure heaven to be able to witness and experience the breathtaking beauty and climate of these locations.
So head out to the destinations listed below during the monsoons and enjoy the magic, beauty, fun and exhilarating weather ! And it can only get better, when you can avail of the discounts and benefits that most hotels, airlines and transportation companies extend during the off-season period. Also, less crowd to deal with during this period.
MUNNAR – KERALA
Munnar is situated at the confluence of three mountain streams – Mudrapuzha, Nallathanni and Kundala….. 1,600 m above sea level. Expansive tea plantations, long winding roads and story-book like towns, with great holiday facilities make this a popular resort town. Dreamy, mystical…. heavenly, are some of the adjectives that come to mind when one thinks of Munnar, especially during the monsoons!
This hill station is accessible only by road, so the ride to Munnar can be thrilling in the monsoon if you love road trips. Long, lovely walks in these mist-covered hills and tea estates (like walking in the clouds ), visual delights of cascading waterfalls amongst the lush green hills, trekking and the beauty of the rain in this region are just some of the joys this destination has to offer.
Munnar has abundant resorts and great inns for food and your comfortable stay and is regarded as an ideal place for a honeymoon or vacation. One can travel to Munnar from Bangalore, Ernakulum and Chennai by bus, so book your bus tickets online at AbhiBus.com and enjoy the scenic drive.
Check out the Top places to visit in Munnar
KODAIKANAL – TAMIL NADU
Located in the hills of the Dindigul district in the state of Tamil Nadu, Kodaikanal – which means ‘The Gift of the Forest’, comes to life during the monsoons. The scenic beauty is further magnified during this season and the entire experience is rejuvenating. The whole of Kodaikanal looks fresh and the delightful aroma of rain-drenched mud and trees wafts through the air.
Photographers find it enchanting to capture the hills and other surrounding landscapes during monsoon. This small, easy-going hill station is untouched by commercialism and hence, ranks high among India’s most flocked hill-stations.
One can experience the joy of being one with nature, explore the off-beat paths on foot and enjoy the wide variety of food options, ranging from South Indian to North Indian with steaming cups of amazing coffee ! You can also savour local delicacies made from hill-plantain fruits and plums. Whilst in other seasons, one can enjoy small treks in this hill station, monsoons are not the best time to undertake this activity as the rain-washed slopes become extremely slippery and there are risks of landslides too.
Kodaikanal also provides you the option of cycling and boating at the Kodai Lake. Coaker’s Walk and Brynt Park are the two most popular local points for hanging out. Other places of interest in Kodaikanal include the Bear Shola Falls, Echo Point, Green Valley View, Guna caves, Berijam Lake, and more.
To accommodate the tourists, there are various budgeted as well as luxurious hotels in the region which offer different sets of facilities like gym, swimming pool, cyber café and spas. Accommodations are really affordable here and cater to every class. Many varieties of ayurvedic oil made from tree leaves are available here, which acts as a healing balm for body pain and stress.
Chennai, Bengaluru, Puducherry and Trichy are cities from where one can avail of online ticket booking at abhibus.com to travel to Kodaikanal.
CHERRAPUNJI – MEGHALAYA
Cherrapunji is located 58 km from Shillong which is the capital of Meghalaya and is perched at the top of a cliff-like ridge of land or long steep slope of a plateau in the southern part of the Khasi Hills, facing the plains of Bangladesh. It is almost always enveloped in softly moving clouds, high above bubbling rivers and mist-covered valleys. Buses and taxis ply along a steep motorable road, leading upto Cherrapunji from Shillong.
This is a stunning location and the year-round rain earned Cherrapunji the title of ‘the wettest place on earth’ with an entry into the Guinness Book of World Records as the place where the rainfall can be recorded in feet rather than in millimeters. Cherrapunji is perhaps the only place in India, which has just one season – the monsoon ! The rainfall varies from heavy to medium to light, but there is no month without rain. Valleys around Cherrapunji are covered with lush and diverse vegetation containing numerous species of plants, including Meghalaya subtropical forests.
A notable feature of monsoon rain at Cherrapunji is that most of it falls in the night/ morning. Apparently, the winds that are trapped in the valley at night begin ascending upward only after they are warmed during the day. This partially explains the frequency of morning rainfall.
The landscape of Cherrapunji transforms with the changing pattern of rain. The heaviest downpours extend for approximately five long months-from May until September. During this period, the sky is covered with dark threatening clouds which burst into full blown and really heavy rain. So, if you love the fierce rains, then you have to visit this place during the monsoons. The double decker tree bridges are a rare experience that one can appreciate in the late monsoon, when the greenery is in full bloom.The unique orange flower honey can be found here and one must definitely try the Meghalaya tea which is very different from the Assam or Darjeeling tea.
Due to climatic changes now, nearby Mawsynram (barely 10km from Cherrapunji), has snatched away the distinction of the wettest place on earth from Cherrapunji which however retains its untouched beauty, perpetual clouds, mists and other distinct features. Tourists can enjoy the Nohkalikai and Nohsngithiang Waterfalls, Thangkharang Park, Nokrek National Park, Eco Park, and the double-decker living root bridge in Cherrapunji.
Towards the end of September, the furious rain changes to a gentle pitter-patter, the landscape is dotted with beautiful flowers and greenery and the sky is painted with soft, muted shades and further beautified with unexpected rainbows, which are a delight to capture on camera !
Check out the Best places to visit in Cherrapunji
Goa is a state in India within the coastal region known as the Konkan in Western India. It is bounded by Maharashtra to the north and Karnataka to the east and south, with the Arabian Sea forming its Western coast. This is one destination which has something to offer tourists throughout the year and I must say there aren’t many that can boast of the same !
There’s a lot more to Goa than just sun, sand and sea and monsoons are a great time to experience all that Goa has to offer. The springs and waterfalls flow in full force, there is greenery everywhere, the beaches are clean and practically empty and river cruises become even more romantic. Ayurveda, yoga, meditation, adventure and eco-tourism, stay in comfort and privacy, long walks along the beach and loving hospitality from the friendly locals is what tourists can experience during this period.
During the ‘off-season’ which is the monsoons, Goa gets even more lazy than it usually is and takes a break from the hectic tourist season. One is able to enjoy the beautiful palm beach roads, a relaxed pace of life and some really delicious food. Savour Goan delicacies such as Stuffed Crabs, Kalamari, Chicken Xacuti, Sol Kadi, Fried Mussels and Prawn and Vegetable Curries. Many domestic tourists flock to Goa because of cheaper deals on hotel accommodation offered in this season.
Because of this steady tourist inflow, adventure activities continue to remain operational from June to October. However, you won’t find the beach/adventure sports activities like Scuba Diving, which closes for the monsoons and reopens around October.
Sanctuaries in Goa are open all year round, unlike wildlife sanctuaries across the rest of India and they are worth visiting even more in the monsoons, when everything appears so green, clean and fresh because of the rains. Some of Goa’s popular wildlife sanctuaries are the Bhagwan Mahavir Sanctuary, Mollem National Park which is also a popular wildlife sanctuary and Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary, located in North Goa near Valpoi which is home to a large number of Bengal Tigers. Another sanctuary you must visit is the Bondla Wildlife Sanctuary, which is popular with tourists and school children. This wildlife park has a deer park, a mini zoo, and many beautiful nature trails which are perfect for hikes.
One must visit the Dudhsagar Falls, situated within the Mollem National Park, during the monsoon when the waters are in full flow. The milky white waters, from which these majestic falls derive their name, come crashing down a massive height of 301 metres (987 feet). Surrounded by dense forest cover, this is one of Goa’s most stunning natural beauty. Spice plantations are another attraction in this state and the one at Savoi-Verem is quite popular. The main spices grown are Cloves, Cinnamon, Cardamom, Nutmeg, Ginger and Pepper. Highly recommended by the locals, the Savoi Plantations are a sight to enjoy and the rainy season is one of the best times to visit them.
And at the end of the day, Goa is incomplete without its lively parties! Especially in this season, when most places are free from the endless crowd, people are offered great deals.
Goa is the only state in India where gambling is legal and there are many floating casinos where you can try your luck at the slot machines and roulette. Activities like fly-boarding, river rafting, trekking, jet-skiing, banana rides, bumper rides, kayakin and adventure boat-cruise are some of the other joys that one can avail of. The best of all is the Adventure Boat Cruise package, which is a perfect combo of adventure sports, sightseeing and leisure activities.Enjoy kayaking, snorkeling, stand up paddle boarding, fishing, dolphin sight-seeing and more.
Abhibus offers you bus services to Goa from Hyderabad, Mumbai, Pune, Bengaluru, Ahmedabad, Chennai etc. So hop on and admire the lovely, lush greenery rushing past you as you enjoy the ride to Goa !
PANCHGANI – MAHARASHTRA
This hill station at an altitude of 4242 ft above seal level, is a visual delight with its natural beauty and picture-perfect locations. Nestled in the middle of five hills in the Sahyadri mountain ranges, Panchgani is about an hours’ drive from kaas plateau, two hours away from Pune and 5 hours from Mumbai. Panchgani is also a great diversion for travellers to and from Goa.
It served as a summer retreat for British officials during the British Raj. This hill station has many beautiful colonial period cottages, is famous for international quality education and there are several school and boarding facilities for the kids. The beautiful forests, cool misty weather, woody regions and abundance of several plant species like silver oaks and poinsettia enhance the beauty of this place.
The five hills surrounding Panchgani are topped by a volcanic plateau, which is the second highest in Asia after the Tibetan plateau and this famous ‘table land’ has been the location for many indian movies. The fresh and unpolluted air of Panchgani make it a good place for convalescence (recovery from illness), especially for those suffering from tuberculosis or respiratory problems. Thus Panchgani has become famous as a health resort. The temperature in Panchgani is around 12C during the winter and sometimes reaches 34C during the summer, however the humidity level is very low. The monsoon rains hit here hardest and the rainy season spans between June and February, allowing the region three months of relatively dry and sunny spring and blessing the place with a pleasant, bracing climate throughout the year.
The Krishna River flows through tiny hamlets, farms and ravines, forming the lake of Dhom Dam, 9km from Wai. Other attractions in Panchgani are Sydney Point, Table Land, Parsi Point, Devil’s Kitchen, Sherbaug, Mapro Garden and Mala’s Fruit Products. Panchgani is also famous for cultivation of strawberries, which is done almost throughout the entire year. Tourists can see strawberry farms, some of which offer fresh, hand-picked strawberries.
There are various hotels, home stays and campsites at this hill station to cater to different budgets. Panchgani can be approached by road from Pune, Mumbai, Satara, Mahabaleswar and Mahad. One can travel economically by State transport buses or Luxury buses which ply to this destination regularly or enjoy the scenic view from your own private vehicles.
You can also book your bus tickets online from Mumbai and Pune to Panchgani at abhibus.com.
MUSSOORIE – UTTARAKHAND
Tucked away at the foothills of the Garhwal Himalayan ranges near the adjoining town of Landour, this green emerald beauty of Uttarakhand, also called the ‘Queen of hills’ must be included in your list of India’s monsoon tour. Mussoorie stands out as an ideal vacationing destination of North India and is located 34 km from Dehradun. The wide expanse of deep green rolling hills, amazing flora and fauna and magnificent views of Doon Valley and the Shivalik range make Mussoorie look truly amazing during the rainy period. It is a sight to behold, when one gets a glimpse of clear blue sky with green expanse.
It will take about a six-hour drive from Delhi to Dehradun and reaching the undulating hills of Mussoorie by road takes hardly an hour. Though a popular weekend getaway, especially for people residing in Delhi, Mussoorie still holds an old world charm unlike other tourist destinations. The place also seems to be the central point for Hindu pilgrimage places like Rishikesh, Kedarnath, Badrinath, and Haridwar to name a few.
There is a heavy downpour during the monsoon season (July to September) which makes the roads unsuitable for trekking and one has to drive very carefully. The sky changes to a purplish tinge and the mountains get enveloped with heavy mist. The landscape turns a heavenly green after being washed squeaky clean.
Lal Tibba, the highest peak of Mussoorie, and other spots like Bhatta Falls, Kempty Falls, Naga Devta Temple and several other churches add more beauty to the place. The Ivy Cottage at Landour Road is highly recommended and is home to one of Mussoorie’s most famous resident – author Ruskin Bond. Famous actor, Victor Banerjee also has a home there. A few other places of interest are Sister’s Bazaar and Mall Road — one of the more popular spots for shopping. Sister’s Bazaar, which is named after the nurses who lived here has stores that are known for the yummiest peanut butter. This place is also well known for a number of boarding schools where popular institutions like St George’s School, Woodstock School, Oak Grove School are located.
KAUSANI – UTTARAKHAND
Kausani is the perfect destination for those tourists who want to enjoy the beauty and serenity of nature. One of the most beautiful hill stations in India, located at an altitude of approximately 1890 meters above sea level, in the Bageshwar district of Uttarakhand, it is located 52 km north of Almora. Kausani is surrounded by beautiful pine, oak and deodar forests and provides an enchanting view of the mystic Himalayas. The freshness of the forests and unpolluted air, fill your mind and soul with peace and tranquility and refresh you from the damage done by a noisy, polluted and hectic city lifestyle.
This place is famous for its scenic splendor and the spectacular 300-km panoramic view of the majestic Himalayan peaks like Trisul, Nanda Devi and Panchchuli. Owing to its similarity with the landscape of Switzerland and being the lone hill town in India which show-cased such a view, Kausani was named ‘The Switzerland of India’ by Mahatma Gandhi.
The famous Kausani attractions are – Anashakti Ashram, Pant Museum, Lakshmi Ashram, Tea Garden, Pindari Glaciar and Kafni Glaciar,to name a few. Other attractions near Kausani are Rudradhari waterfall and Sumitranandan Pant Gallery.
Kausani receives torrential rain during July-September. And as this is not a peak season, one can escape from the tourist crowds and especially enjoy the wonderful play of nature during this season, in this quaint hill-town.
Kausani is well connected to other major cities of the country like Delhi (382 km), Nagpur (1237 km), Bangalore (2300 km), Almora (48 km) and Ranikhet (70km) via regular buses. One can also travel by taxis or buses from the nearest Pantnagar Airport or Kathgodam Railway Station to Kausani. Roads are spacious and well maintained and State owned as well as private bus operators are provide their luxurious range of buses to and from Kausani.
PICTURE CREDITS : Munnar – Kishore Ryali, Kodaikanal – Arun Kumar, Cherrapunji – Amita Pandey (India – Essel Group)
Goa – Priyanka Varma (Wandering Taste Buds), Panchgani – Michelle Santwan, Mussoorie – Vijayendra Thapriyal (Tour My India), Kausani – tourmyindia.com