Monsoons are often equated with dampness, hassle, and just plain old’ everyday inconvenience that is hard enough to deal with when you are in the comfort of your home. To think about traveling during such a time?
Nope – is the usual response.
But there is another side to monsoons in India – lush greenery, dreamy atmosphere, and surprisingly, amazing travel destinations that take on a whole other level of beauty when the rains begin. Here are my top five picks for a monsoon travel bucket-list!
Malshej Ghat, Maharashtra
There are many places in Maharashtra that become more beautiful when it starts raining. Mahabaleshwar, Lonavala, Matheran – I could keep naming places all day. But hidden among all of these well-known spots is the small, yet dreamily inviting hill station of Malshej. Once the monsoons arrive, the place simply overflows with waterfalls, the one situated at the mountain pass being the most impressive sight. The whole place turns green, and looks untouched by civilization – outside of some resorts, there is nothing there. A great place for some trekking and camping, and also a lovely place for some quiet time to just unwind and rejuvenate with the sound of water surrounding you all day long!
Dudhsagar Falls, Goa
Yes, Goa. Goa in the rains is a whole other Goa that you’ll never get to see if you go during the winter or spring seasons. Empty of tourists and the humidity and heat softened to an astonishing degree, this is a Goa that you can enjoy at your own pace, far from the madding crowds. And if you step away from the beaches and markets, there are several little natural glories that make the visit worth your time. Dudhsagar falls is my favorite of them – the water gushes down a thickly forested mountain slope with such vividness that it looks like milk. The forest itself is beautiful and can be trekked through, if you have the appetite for some physical activity.
If you’re going to travel during the rainy season, why not go to the one place in India where you are guaranteed to find rains – and more rains, in all their glory! I could write an essay on how utterly gorgeous Meghalaya is during the monsoons – the lush, thick forests, the waterfalls, the treks and homestays that combine activity and relaxation for the perfect, dreamy vacation. Try it – it’s not a week you’ll ever regret.
Pushkar is usually the site of the gloriously colorful and gorgeous Pushkar Mela, but when the monsoons arrive, there is a whole other world waiting to be explored here. Aside from being able to enjoy the town without the crowds of the mela everywhere, you would also be able to go camping in the desert, take camel rides, and much more!
Hampi is one of India’s most underrated and beautiful archaeological sites. Spread over a few kilometers, it is in fact, the remains of the capital of the mighty Vijayanagar empire. A major attraction for foreign tourists during autumn and winter, the ruins are a joy to explore when the rains are just beginning. The gathering monsoon clouds and light drizzles take the edge off the heat, making it easier for you to handle the day-long walking and cycling that is required of anyone wanting to see Hampi in all its beauty.