Be it any city, town or village, India becomes even more beautiful during the monsoon season. Contrary to the popular belief, one does not have avoid travelling during the rainy season in the country or even stay indoor, when it is pouring outdoor.
In fact, monsoons are actually a great time to travel within the country and explore some of the great destinations in India. This is the time when these places are covered with lush greenery and are exceptionally breathtaking. What’s more, most of these places are usually less crowded and inexpensive and one can easily explore them without the hassle of long queues.
The rains bring the much needed relief from the scorching sun and hence, one can explore those areas that cannot be visited during the unforgiving summers. Monsoon season in India typically starts during late June or early July and lasts till the end of September.
Here are some popular monsoon destinations in India that one must explore:
1. Shillong, Meghalaya
One of the wettest places in the country, Shillong receives heavy rainfall during the monsoon season, which lasts longer than the other cities in India. Also called ‘Scotland of the East’, Shillong is a great place to visit during the monsoons. Surrounded by scenic valleys, breathtaking waterfalls, brimming lakes and immense natural beauty, Shillong is also the cleanest city in India during the rainy season.
Tourists can also visit Cherrapunji and Mawsynram in Meghalaya, both located just a few kilometers from Shillong, to experience the true splendor of rainfall in the state. Moreover, not just Meghalaya, the neighboring states are also known for their beauty and virginal forests during the monsoon season.
Although Goa is known more as a winter destination in India, many people do not know that Goa is as its best during the monsoons. While it is true that one may not be able to enjoy the golden beaches during the rainy season, however, Goa has a lot more to offer than just sun and sand. Not only does it become cheaper and less crowded, one can enjoy all the attractions that Goa has to offer, at their own leisure.
The glorious Dudhsagar Falls, situated near Mollem National Park
, becomes even more beautiful and is also a major tourist attraction during the rains. Talk a stroll through the historic lanes of Goa and enjoy a delicious meal at a Goan restaurant without waiting in long queues. Moreover, one can also enjoy the many vibrant monsoon festivals that are celebrated here during these months including the exciting Bonderam Flag festival.
3. Coorg, KarnatakaCoorg
is not just a popular honeymoon destination in India, it is also one of the rainiest places in the country. Even though Coorg is beautiful throughout the year, it becomes the prettiest during the monsoon season. The cool breeze, verdant surroundings, high waterfalls, soft mist and the holy river beautifully combine together to make this place, literally, heaven on earth.
Coorg is known for its coffee, honey and orange plantations and one should definitely visit them, especially during the rains. Between the months of July and September, the valleys and mountains over here cover themselves in beautiful shades of green, which when combined with the vibrant flowers growing over here, becomes a very soothing sight to the eyes. One can even visit the second highest waterfall in the country – Jog Falls in Shimoga district in Karnataka during the monsoon season
4. The Valley of Flowers, Uttarakhand
The spectacular Valley of Flowers
in the state of Uttarakhand literally comes alive as soon as the monsoon season begins in India. Covered in a blanket of snow the rest of the year, the best time to visit this place is between the months of July and September. It is home to almost 300 varieties of alpine flowers, ranging from exotic to wild. Blue Corydalis, Wild Roses, Saxifrage, you name it, this picturesque valley has it all. The stunning view of colorful flowers against the backdrop of snow capped mountains will leave you mesmerized and wanting for more.
This valley is a paradise for trekkers and adventurists. To reach here, one has to trek for 13 kilometers from Govind Ghat to the base camp at Ghangaria. From there, the valley is another 3 kilometers walk. The Valley of Flowers requires a demanding trek but once you reach there, every step will definitely be worth it. For more information about the trek, click here. (http://www.UttarakhandOnline.in/About/Tourism/Top-Treks-in-Uttarakhand.html). The entry charges for The Valley of Flowers is 600 Rupees and 150 Rupees for foreigners and Indians respectively.
5. Munnar, Kerala
One of the most popular hill stations in Kerala, Munnar is also a great place to visit during the monsoon season. The deep valleys, picturesque scenery and dense forests make it an ideal destination for quiet and relaxing vacations with your loved ones. Moreover, since monsoons are an off-season, Munnar becomes highly inexpensive during this time.
Kerala, in itself, is a very beautiful state. It receives heavy rainfall, which can be seen from the lush greenery surrounding the state. The monsoon season over here starts during the month of May and continues till late November. Kovalam Beach
in Kerala is one of the first places in the country to receive rainfall and is also a great place to visit before the storm rolls in. Other monsoon destinations in Kerala include Pallivasal, Alleppey, Periyar National Park
6. Kodaikanal, Tamil Nadu
Literally meaning the ‘Gift of Forest’, Kodaikanal
is surrounded by dense green forests, which become even more beautiful during the rainy season. The enchanting waterfalls, placid lake and a rocky terrain, makes it one of the finest hill stations to visit in the country. Also, the wonderful fragrance of rain washed mud after a heavy downpour will definitely leave you wanting for more. Other popular places to visit in Tamil Nadu are Conoor, Ooty
7. Lonavala, Maharashtra
When we talk about heavy rains, one cannot forget Mumbai. However, just a few kilometers from the land of Bollywood
is Lonavala. To escape the waterlogged streets, many Mumbaikers travel to Lonavala to enjoy the rains in peace. This small town has quickly become a hot spot for nature lovers. Covered in a thick carpet of greenery and surrounded by dazzling waterfalls, Lonavala is one of the most beautiful monsoon destinations in India.