Experience the grand spectacles of nature by living in a tent, indulge in activities like bird watching, trekking or even exploring nearby surroundings. India, with its beautiful locations, diverse forests, plains and mountains, offers a variety of choices for monsoon vacation. If you are an adventure enthusiast, here is a list of the right places to head to during the season.
fter the sweltering heat of the summer months, when the first rains lash the earth, nature is awash with joy. The perfect time to enjoy long bike rides to sipping hot tea in the evening along with a plateful of fried goodies, monsoon is one season everyone looks forward to. The skies darken, thunder calls and streaks of lightening flash across the swelling clouds, the season of monsoon is here and always welcome. With every drizzle and deluge, the rising heat of summer is quickly forgotten. This is a period when one gets drenched in the rain while enjoying the gusty wind; when you go back to being a kid again, jumping into muddy puddles and fashioning paper boats and letting them float amok in swirling eddies. From bright umbrellas to the croak of frogs, rolling mists in the hills to brimming lakes, India during the rains is a feast for sore eyes.
Enjoy living in a tent, experience the beauty of open sky and indulge in the lush greenery of nature.
A quaint hill station near Mumbai in the Sahyadri hill range, Bhandardara is a three hour drive away from the city of Mumbai. The air is clean and clear skies, waterfalls and greenery make this hidden gem wonderful and a beautiful place to camp at. The Wilson Dam and Arthur Lake are great places for camping. Stargazing at this place is highly recommended. So, get your telescopes, since the sky is pollution-free, making it an ideal place to observe the constellation of stars and planets and experience an out of the world spectacle.
Sandhan valley is located near Bhandardara and is one of the most beautiful trekking spots in India. The valley is surrounded by Madan, Alang and Kulang mountains and is filled with lakes and water bodies.
Known as the Ramgarh of iconic film Sholey, Ramanagara is situated around 50 km from Bengaluru. However, Sholay was not the first film that showcased the earthy appeal of this place. David Lean’s film, A Passage to India put the rough-hewn boulders in limelight with small door-like grottoes to make them look like caves. A vital hub for rock climbers and trekkers, Ramanagara is one of the most visited places for camping in the country. The place is surrounded with rocks and boulders, lakes and beautiful landscapes which is the major attraction for visitors.
Ramanagara is a fantastic weekend destination. Yellow-throated bulbuls and long billed vultures call this area home.
The hilly outcrops is one of very few destinations in South India where long billed vultures nest. With these birds on the very verge of extinction, the government has declared 346.14 hectares to be Ramadevarabetta Vulture Sanctuary in an effort to protect and save the long billed vultures and their natural habitats from complete extinction.
Best time to visit: June to September
An Affair with the Beach
Nature is all in her glory at this place. Head out to Mangaluru to w atch the drama in the skies.
Mangaluru is a beautiful destination to head to during monsoon. An important port city of India, the place is ideally located between the Arabian Sea to its west and the Western Ghats to its east. The monsoon here is wonderfully torrential, replete with dancing fronds of the coconut and palm trees and the blissful breeze. Earlier known as Mangalore, this city is one of the cleanest in India. When in Mangaluru, a trip to the beach is inevitable. With a number of beaches in the vicinity, travellers are spoilt for choice. At a distance of 10 km from the city, Panambur Beach is not just clean and safe, but is exceedingly picturesque. Imagine a strip of light sandy beach lined with a thick strip of deep green coconut trees and a lighthouse. A rocky beach that lies to the south of the city is Someshwara Beach which has Somanath Temple to its north. Ullal Beach is another beach located towards the south of the city, and a fisherman’s lane here attracts a number of curious onlookers.
The historical connect
Mangaluru had a number of rulers, but the British took over the region after defeating Tipu Sultan. Portuguese influence too lingers here as Vasco da Gama, the historical Portuguese explorer, landed at St Mary’s Islands which is
near present-day Mangaluru. Almost 4 km from city centre in Boloor is Sultan Battery, the ruins of a watchtower built by Tipu Sultan. Built in the 18th century, it was meant to keep a close eye on not just the coastline, but the neighbouring Gurupura River. The view is magnificent. The sweeping view of the Arabian Sea, from the top of the tower, against the backdrop of dark skies is sublime.
The cuisine of Mangaluru is a collective term given to the many cuisines of the local communities. Seafood is a prime delicacy here. Fish curry is popular, and the residents enjoy a variety of fish such as pomfret, mackerel, etc.
The Jungle Tale
Witness Goa during the rains, a spectacle so profound, it is bound to touch your soul with its ethereal beauty.
The best part about heading to Goa during the rains is not just the opportunity to bask in the wondrous beauty of this beach paradise, but to truly revel in the many perks that come with this destination during off-season. When the rivers are in spate, waterfalls are gushing, roads take a muddy turn and the distant rumble of the dark skies are indication enough of the downpour that is soon to follow. The hills take on a misty veil and the beach enlivens with rains. Enjoy Goa sans the swelling crowd, enjoy a sense of serenity by listening to the patter of the rain and prices that are more amenable to the pocket.
Rain at the beach
This time when in Goa, give the usual hangouts a skip. Opt for Palolem, a beach village in Canacona in south Goa. Mainly a fishing village, Palolem is the perfect spot to unwind, and forget the cacaphony of cities. Almost 1.6 km long, the crescent shaped strip of sandy beach skirted with rows of coconut trees and small shacks, is exceedingly promising. Travellers can choose from a variety of accommodations varying from small huts to tree houses, resorts and hotels. A haven for beach bums, travellers can head to the local restaurants, dip their feet in the cool water or even spend the day in the room staring at the landscape as it is smattered by rain – it doesn’t matter.
To do list
If the weather god deems fortunate, one can even take a quick trip in a fishing boat or watch dolphins do cartwheels. It’s always an experience to watch the fisherman haul in their catch early in the morning. Crabs, lobsters, squid, prawns and shrimps, the bounty of the sea is staggering. Monkey Island, a secluded island located a little way off, has an ethereal natural beauty. It is easily accessible during low tide, and the beach has a number of nature trails and involves hopping over rocks that can prove quite a challenge for the adventure seekers. Scuba diving and kayaking are also available, but would largely depend on the weather conditions. Another benefit about vacationing in this state is that a number of attractions are at an easy distance from each other. Beach lovers can head to the neighbouring beaches of Agonda and Colva.
Almost 10 km from Palolem is Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary. Nestled at the border of Karnataka, the sanctuary is lush with deciduous trees and so dense, that just streaks of light can easily slip through the layered canopy here. Established in 1969, one can spot a variety of species of monkeys, flying squirrel, Malabar Trogon, woodpeckers, etc. At a little over two and a half hours, one can easily take a trip to the famed Dudhsagar Falls. This natural wonder literally means a sea of milk, especially due to the extent of froth and mist that surrounds it. One of India’s highest waterfalls, the waters of Dudhsagar come crashing from a height of over approx 1,000 ft. This is situated in the Western Ghats area of Bhagwan Mahaveer Sanctuary and the Mollem National Park.