Whether you are planning honeymoon after a monsoon wedding or just seeking solace to be one with nature, there are some destinations in India that are embellished with inexplicable beauty after rainfall. Do the storm clouds’ circling around, lightening flashes amidst a spell of torrential rains, and that fresh, earthy scent in the air after a drizzle elevate your soul?
Here are the best monsoon destinations in India to do singing in the rain with a happy refrain –
There is no better place to enjoy rainfall than the “Abode of the Clouds” – Meghalaya. Cherrapunji literally justifies the meaning of “when it rains, it pours.” The North East India is blessed with lush greenery year-round, but in monsoon the entire region wears a blanket that features myriad shades of green. In the last decade, Mawsynram – renowned for its spectacular live root bridges – has taken over Cherrapunji as the wettest place in the world.
Darjeeling, West Bengal
After spending a day in Darjeeling to visit Peace Pagoda, Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park and Batasia Loop, board the famous Darjeeling Himalayan Railway where monasteries emerge poetically from each curve as the sun rises over the mighty Kangchenjunga. Destinations such as Kalimpong, Kurseong and Mirik in the narrow Siliguri Corridor (commonly known as Chicken’s Neck) in the Lesser Himalayas of North Bengal are worth visiting in monsoon.
Between urban sprawls of Mumbai and Pune, Mahabaleshwar is a holiday resort with a year-round pleasant climate. The mild showers transform the surroundings with a green canopy on the Sahyadri hills. Witness both sunrise and sunset (maybe with a rainbow) from Willson Point or take a selfie with the Elephant Point, a unique needle-hole rock formation. Mount Malcolm, Pratapgarh Fort and Venna Lake are other popular nearby places to see.
For those looking for a royal rendezvous in the midst of the monsoon, Udaipur is the place to be. From historical sites to natural beauty, the “Lake City” offers plenty of thrills to explore. Hike up the Neemach Mata Temple for sweeping panoramas of the city, visit the Monsoon Palace (Sajjangarh Fort) or enjoy a boat ride in Pichola Lake. Do not leave without making a day trip to Dhebar Lake in Jaisamand and Mahi Bajaj Sagar Dam near Banswara.
Kodaikanal, Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu is one of the first states to welcome monsoon. Heavy downpour in coastal regions and the Eastern Ghats is a common occurrence. Nicknamed “Princess of Hill stations,” Kodaikanal is a popular retreat in South India. Kodaikanal Lake, Bryant Park, Coaker’s Walk, and the Pillar Rocks are worth a visit.
Nestled in a mist-shrouded verdant valley and whispering meadows encircling an emerald lake, Nainital emanates a paradisiacal charm. Whether it is a boat ride on Naini Lake, a leisurely stroll along the Mall Road, or a ride on the aerial Ropeway to the Snow View Point, Nainital won’t let you down. Visit Nainital in the late monsoon so you can also plan a trip to the Jim Corbett National Park for jungle safaris and camping experiences.
The nascent charm and indolent way of life are mesmerizing for the first-timers in Vagamon. In contrast to the backwaters of Kerala – which are thronged by many tourists – this idyllic hill station is replete with higher tea plantations and pine trees. An enchanting drive through these hills, covered with a vast sheet of mist, is an experience hard to forget. The Orchidarium, Palozhugumpara waterfalls and Dairy Farm are popular attractions here.
Patnitop, Jammu and Kashmir
Lying amidst the Chenab and Tawi river valleys and surrounded by softly curved meadows and giant deodars on gentle slopes, Patnitop is an ideal overture to the Kashmir Valley. Perched on a picturesque plateau at 2024 metres, it offers a taste of Kashmir’s culture and cuisine while being in Jammu region. Compared to summer and winter months, tourists don’t flock here in monsoon, which is a blessing in disguise.
From silvery stretches of sand on Havelock Island to the British-era Cellular Jail in Port Blair, the far-flung Andaman and Nicobar Islands is a treasure worth exploring. Grab a cocktail, relax in a hammock, watch palm trees bowing allegiance to the sea breeze and let your worries wash away with each tidal blow of the Bay.
This sleepy town in Karnataka transports travellers to the good old nostalgic times of Malgudi Days. With an abundance of trees and epiphytes in these scenic evergreen rainforests, Agumbe and its neighbouring villages are popular for trekking and photography opportunities. Located in the Shimoga district, it is often called “The Cherrapunji of the South.” Barkana Falls, Jogigundi Falls, and Onake Abbi Falls lie only a few kilometres away.
Aizawl in Mizoram, Gangtok in Sikkim, Mussoorie in Uttarakhand, Dimapur in Nagaland, and Kutch in Gujarat are other fascinating destinations to wet your soul with monsoon showers.