Experience the best of the monsoon in these 8 spots in India

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

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 the mountains turn green and lush, teeming with life. The rains bring with them a magical moment that is hard to resist.

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

1. Shillong, Meghalaya

One of the main destinations to visit during the monsoon, Shillong receives the heaviest monsoon rains. Shillong is known as the ‘Scotland of the East’, surrounded by the lush green hills of Khasi and Jayanti. It is dotted with numerous waterfalls and scenic viewpoints that offer spectacular panoramic views of the valley.

Image Courtesy: IANS

Things to do:

• Visit Elephant Falls and Spread Eagle Falls, both rainfed and quite remarkable sites to visit.

• Hike the David Scott Trail, an ancient hiking route that is among the most famous in Meghalaya.

• Feast on local delicacies or shop for handmade shawls and stoles!

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

2. Lonavala, Maharashtra

Situated at a distance of 64 km from Pune and 96 km from Mumbai, Lonavala is a popular hill station of Maharashtra which is best visited during rainy seasons for its beautiful waterfalls, alluring greenery, pleasant climate and scenic spots.

Lonavala. Photo: Shutterstock/abhijeetsawant

Things to do:

• Lonavala is the perfect place for adventure seekers. It offers various fun activities including Rappelling and Camping at Pawna Lake, Trekking to Tikona Fort, Trekking to Rajmachi Fort, etc.

• Visit Tiger’s Leap, a cliff with a 650m drop. The place offers a great view of the Western Ghats as a popular tourist spot.

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

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

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

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

3. Coorg, Karnataka

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

Take a road trip through this quaint town in the rain to really take in the beauty of this place.

Representative image: Shutterstock

Things to do:

• Indulge in adventurous activities like trekking, bird watching, horseback riding and visiting coffee plantations. Hike to the highest peak of Tadiandamol or Madikeri Fort and Raja’s Seat for magnificent views of the surrounding area.

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

• Explore the wildlife of Nagarhole National Park and Pushpagiri Wildlife Sanctuary.

• Enjoy delicious local cuisine to satiate your taste buds and buy Coorg coffee and wine!

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

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

4. Goa, Goa

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

Treat yourself to an island discovery in Goa

Things to do:

• Indulge in local Goan dishes like vindaloo, cafreal and xacuti or rave about famous Goan desserts like Bebinca and Cocada. Try Goa’s famous Port or the local Feni, made from cashew nuts.

• Go on nature trails in and around Goa or on city heritage tours and visit famous tourist sites like Bom Jesus, Vasco Church, etc.

• Take an evening boat cruise on the Mandovi River to watch the sunset.

• Buy local handicrafts, cashews and wine.

Nearest airport: Goa International Airport, Dabolim

Nearest station: Madgaon and Vasco Da Gama

5. Udaipur, Rajasthan

Udaipur, nestled in the Aravalis, is dotted with many lakes and is known as “India’s most romantic destination”.

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

Things to do:

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

• Travel to the glorious past of the Maharajas by visiting the city’s tourist sites like the City Palace, Lake Palace, Bagore Ki Haveli and many more.

• Shop at your leisure for Bandhani prints, trinkets and miniature paintings.

Nearest airport: Dabok (22km)

Nearest railway station: Udaipur Railway Station

6. Orsha, Madhya Pradesh

Orchha, with its majestic palaces, forts and temples, is one of the best places to visit during monsoons. The magnificent structures and their architectural marvels are awe-inspiring amid 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 center of political control for the Chandela and Bundelkhand rulers.

A new party "Namaste Orchha"An initiative by the Madhya Pradesh Tourism Board to promote the state as a top tourist destination in India kicked off Friday night in the ancient and scenic city.

Things to do:

• Immerse yourself in the history of the country and learn more about the legendary kings who ruled this place. Visit the famous Jahangir Mahal, Raja Mahal, Riverside Cenotaphs, Ram Raja Temple and Chaturbhuj Temple.

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

• Visit the historic town of Jhansi (17km) in the neighboring state of Uttar Pradesh and pay homage to the courageous Queen Rani Lakshmibai.

• Buy Dokra metalwork, wrought iron and gemstones

Nearest airport: Gwalior (100 km)

Nearest train station: Jhansi (17km)

7. Valley of Flowers, Uttarakhand

Considered one of the most beautiful places in India to visit during the monsoon, the Valley of Flowers is one of India’s most popular treks in the Himalayas. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the valley is part of the national park where you can enjoy the beauty of over 400 varieties of flowers in spectacular shades of all colors in bloom at this time.

The perfect place to soothe your senses and enjoy the mountain coolness in the rains, the Valley of Flowers in Uttarakhand is a must visit!

Things to do:

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

Nearest airport: Dehradun (303 km)

Nearest railway station: Rishikesh (267 km)

8. Munnar, Kerala

God’s country, Kerala, is one of the most beautiful places to visit throughout the year; however, come the monsoon and the beauty of the state overflows. f Kerala is beautiful with lush greenery everywhere and rain splashed surroundings.

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

Image from Deepa's article

Things to do:

• Visit Eravikulam National Park for a chance to spot the rare Nilgiri Tahr. The park covers more than 97 square kilometers and has many hiking and hiking trails.

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

• Stay in a treehouse amid tea and spice plantations in Munnar.

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

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

• Enjoy water sports and boating at Mattupetty Dam or Lake Kundala.

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

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

• Be part of the rich traditions and culture of Kerala by watching an impressive Kathakali or Kalaripayattu show.

• Shop unlimited for tea, coffee, spices, homemade chocolates and natural oils. Taste the best of Kerala cuisine at local restaurants.

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

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

We hope our list of spectacular monsoon destinations in India has got you excited and eager to plan a getaway to some of these places this season.

Have a good trip!

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