“The best thing one can do when it’s raining, is to let it rain”
Rain is the one natural phenomenon we all await zealously particularly after three long months of sweltering summer. The moment we hear the word ‘monsoon’, we muse over stuff like the cutting chai at a local tea stall, the scent of the earth after the first spell of rains, brightly colored umbrellas, a game of football or just snoozing away to glory. Besides uplifting moods of most people and soaking them in a puddle of romance, rains are a necessity to India’s agrarian sector. It’s that time of the year when nature seems to have woken up from a deep slumber and looks lively with the trees swaying, cool breeze gently blowing and the rain water pouring down like beautiful pearls. There are many beautiful places in India to visit during the monsoons and tons of activities that one can engage in. Monsoon Getaways are favoured amongst vacationers for the lush green foliage, waterfalls and adventure sports. Although, in some places, it’s considered to be an off season for tourism, many take that as an opportunity to go out and explore while Booking affordable stays and avoiding the tourist influx present during the peak season. Here are some ways you can have a lovely dalliance with the rains!
# Monsoon Mania! #
You could just drive to Lonavala, a pretty hill station which transforms itself during the rains and appears like a thick green carpet spread across acres of land. The drive in itself is extremely pleasurable with the sight of magnificent mountains and waterfalls and the cool breeze gushing through windows. You could also take pit stops for the very popular yummy masala chai available at the eateries on the highway to this heaven and on your way back.
Nosh on the piping hot, lip-smacking ‘Bhutta’ or ‘Bhajiyas’ at the local stalls affording spectacular views of the valley while you stay at one of the most affordable places like Valley Vista for large groups or Le Petite Maison for couples and families. If you are the fitness freak type, try out a delicious hot soup at one of the many good restaurants nearby and watch the rain pour. Explore this amazing place and make the most of your holiday.
The cascading waterfalls are another major attraction during the monsoon. Although, there are several places one may visit to see the waterfalls, Coorg tops my list. Situated in the Western Ghats, this little hill station, also known as the ‘Scotland of India’, is not only famous for it’s coffee plantations but also for it’s natural beauty. One may simply have a fun excursion around the Abbey Falls, admiring the blue water surging down or perform yoga on the stable rocks close to the falls while being sprayed with water constantly. This in my opinion is the ultimate stress buster! For the more adventurous traveler, waterfall rappelling is a very good option. This can be done at Chelavara Falls located near Virajpet in Coorg. Rappelling is the act of descending down a rock surface with the help of ropes. As you may have guessed, waterfall rappelling is also the same, except, with the forceful water escalating downwards making it a thrilling and challenging experience. You can choose to stay comfortably at Gowri Niwas or Eco Habitat while in Coorg. Plan a getaway now!
# Magic of the Monsoons #
If the above sounds fun, try your hand at the white water rafting on the Kundalika River at Kolad, which is only at a distance of about 2 hours from Mumbai. During the monsoon, the weather gets more pleasant and makes the flow of the river more powerful thereby making it the perfect time to go rafting. River rafting is a sport, which requires you to steer a ride on the river by means of an inflatable boat. It is quite an exciting activity and gives you that adrenaline rush much needed to break the monotony of life. Book your stay at Kundalika Cottages situated just by the river at the most affordable price. Post the blazing summer heat, the rains are welcomed ardently by the intrepid trekkers. Talking about trekking in India, one destination which can never be missed out is Leh-Ladakh. It is one of the best places to visit during the monsoon season since the snow melts down , making this region accessible by roads. Leh-Ladakh is literally a paradise on Earth especially for nature lovers and adventurists. As per its geographical location , Ladakh falls under the rain-shadow area making it an ideal destination for holidayers. This awe-inspiring place is speckled with Buddhist Monasteries which is one of the biggest attractions here. You can also marvel at the many colors of the Pangong lake or just ride across the Khardung La pass which is also, the highest motorable road pass. One can also experience a double humped bacterian camel safari at the Nubra valley. For people seeking a little more stimulating activity, you can trek across Zanskar valley or the Lamayuru to Chilling trek involving a climb up the Prinkita La Pass. Stay at Raku Guest house located at Upper Tukcha Road in Leh without it being too heavy on the pockets!
# Monsoon = Good Times! #
The monsoon magic has the power to light up a spark in the hearts of even the most practical and listless lovers. Grab this chance and take a little vacay to Udaipur with your significant other, refresh old memories & rekindle the romance that has been extinguished due to the busy schedules we all follow. The City of lakes, it is indeed hard to confine this royal city to one single term. An attraction worth visiting here is the Lake Palace which was also featured in the James Bond film, Octopussy. Experience royalty in its truest form here by choosing to stay at the Devra Homestay.
The type of travelers who are purely looking to unwind themselves and simply relax can head to Nashik. It is about three and a half hours drive from Mumbai and believe me, you will not be disappointed! Book a stay at Savana Agro Farms which is tucked away from the crowded city life and set right next to the Waldevi river. The rooms here offer a breathtaking, panoramic view of the verdant Sahyadris. One can simply engage in reading while sipping on a hot cup of tea in the balcony, or admire the pouring rain, even stretching out your arms to feel the raindrops, or just relish the delicious food and snuggle up in the comfortable beds while enjoying the cool atmosphere outside. They also have a lawn at the resort where you could play a game of football.
For our wine lovers, there is the famous Sula Vineyard located close to the resort where one can taste the different types of wine and also get a sneak peek into the method of wine processing. You are surely going to come back with your senses invigorated!
My preparations for a lovely monsoon holiday are done, you should prepare your itinerary soon. Happy Monsoons!