The monsoons are perhaps the season almost everyone looks forward to eagerly in India. The showers bring immediate relief after the scorching summer months and turn the landscape lush and green. Here are the top 10 monsoon holidays in India. These are the ideal places to escape the traffic jams, flooded streets and the usual drudgery of daily life and just sit back, unwind and enjoy the rains. So, what are you waiting for?
Kerala: The beautiful state of Kerala is first to receive the monsoon showers. The state, which is always lush and green, takes on an even more vibrant hue with the onset of the monsoons. The monsoon season in Kerala lasts from July to September. There are many monsoon getaway options in Kerala. Spend a relaxed vacation in the resorts and home stays at Ashtamudi, or take a lazy ride in the backwaters of Alappuzha on a houseboat. Indulge in some Ayurvedic therapy-it is believed to be more effective during the monsoons.
Western Ghats: Monsoons are the best time to enjoy the picture-perfect beauty of the Western Ghats. The region transforms from a dry, red-brown one to a lush, green one within a matter of days with the onset of the monsoons. Mahabaleshwar and Panchgani, famous hill stations around Mumbai, are in full bloom during the monsoons and are the perfect place for a monsoon getaway in the Western Ghats as are Lonavala and Khandala. Explore the many waterfalls of the region, the natural attractions like the Sahyadri Range in Maharashtra and Mullayanagiri Range in Karnataka, trek through the Mathikettan Shola Rain Forest trails of Kerala. This region truly comes alive during the monsoons.
Udaipur, Rajasthan: One does not usually associate Rajasthan with a monsoon getaway but Udaipur is perhaps one of the best places to enjoy the monsoons in India. Every year, with the descent of the monsoons, city of lakes, Udaipur, become even more inviting. And most of the luxury hotels here have special monsoon offers as well. The five lakes, Pichola, Fateh Sagar, Rang Sagar, Swaroop Sagar and Dudh Talai become a sight to behold when they are brimming with water. Enjoy the cool monsoon breeze and watch the rain falling on Pichola Lake with the various forts and palaces of the city in the background-what better way to spend a monsoon vacation in Udaipur. Coorg,
Karnataka; The alluring beauty of Coorg takes a new turn during the rains, making it all the more beautiful and splendid. You can also opt for trekking to famous scenic points such as Raja's Seat and Mandalpatti View Point or some astounding views of the adjoining surroundings.
Darjeeling, West Bengal: The rain-kissed lush plantations of Darjeeling look ethereal in the monsoons. The serenity and picture-postcard beauty of Darjeeling make it one of the top 10 monsoon holidays in India. Sip a cup of freshly-brewed tea and look out at the clouds floating across the mountains.
Pondicherry, Tamil Nadu: The famous French quarters of Pondicherry is also a recommended option if you want to enjoy monsoons in quietude. Even though it rains heavily here, you can catch the sun on most days. Start your journey by taking a ferry ride to Paradise Beach, plan a day at Auroville or simply take a bicycle tour to experience the rains and the city at its best! The alluring rains could be one of your reasons to visit Pondicherry but make sure to have prior hotel bookings as the place remains flocked with tourists during this time of the year.
Shillong, Meghalaya; If you want to explore the natural splendors of the capital and hill station of Meghalaya, Shillong at its best, monsoon is the best time to visit. The Elephant Falls, which flows with its full might during the monsoons, and the Wards Lake brimming to the top with water, are a must see in Shillong. Cherrapunjee, a short drive from Shillong, is another beautiful place one must visit in the monsoons. A walk on the living bridges with a stream in full spate underneath is an unforgettable experience.
Mandu, Madhya Pradesh; Ruined city Mandu's endearing beauty owes much to its location which looks all the more mesmerizing in monsoons. Even though the official time of tourists for this place is during the months of October to March, still this quiet and sleepy town is one of the most romantic places to visit in monsoons.
Palampur, Himachal Pradesh: Often referred to as north India's "Tea Capital", Palampur is your typical hill station with alluring green tea plantations. A great place to visit all year round, Palampur is especially attractive during the monsoons. Clouds skimming the peaks of the Dhauladhar Range, the verdant plantations and the cool breezes make Palampur picture perfect during the rains.
Goa: Monsoon in Goa means less crowd, lower hotel prices, secluded beaches, long bike rides and an invitation to the famous Feast of St. John festival that celebrates the rains. Goa is an ideal vacation destination all year round. Many people are begining to discover the charm of this beach destination in the monsoons. Take a walk on the beach while it gently drizzles and leave all your cares behind. Chase the monsoons this year....