Romantic monsoon destinations in India
The fragrance of the earth kissed by the raindrops of the first showers of the monsoon is an intoxicating experience to the olfactory senses. The sound of the rain falling on the dry soil which has been waiting like a besotted lover for over a year is indeed music to the ears. Dark clouds flitting busily across the sky, bolts of lightning dazzling brilliantly, thunder claps triumphantly announcing the onset of the monsoon, Cuckoos singing ecstatically and peacocks dancing with gay abandon. The scene is nothing short of heavenly. It is time for the primordial dance of nature to send the world into raptures. The Monsoon has arrived. Farmers heave a sigh of relief, little children jump into and out of puddles, some strip to take a natural shower under the skies. The heart seems to flutter with a strange excitement and poems and songs spring unbidden to the lips.
Rains leave their silver sheen on carpets of green grass, flowers bend their stalks shyly at the touch of tiny raindrops. Towns, villages, and cities are enveloped in an aura of freshness and pristine beauty. Rains transform the world and places assume an ethereal glow, a dreamlike quality which at once spellbinds and enthralls. India, the land of the diverse and varied landscape is home to a host of monsoon destinations where the magic of the monsoons is to be seen to be believed. These destinations get a natural makeover during the monsoons and promise an enchanting experience to visitors.
Here is a list of the 10 most romantic monsoon destinations in India where one can head over to and experience the hypnotic magic of the rains.
Agumbe is one of the sought after monsoon destinations in the state of Karnataka. Agumbe is a small village with a population of about 500 people, situated about 100 kilometers from Mangalore in the southern state of Karnataka. It is also sometimes referred to as, "The Cherrapunji of the South". It lies in the Western Ghats which is a declared UNESCO World Heritage Site. The pristine environs of Agumbe come to life in monsoon much like a painters painting taking shape on the canvas. Waterfalls cascade in full flow and rivulets meander tantalizingly while the green vegetation seems to rejoice in the monsoons. One of the places to visit on a clear day when the rains have subsided is the sunset point which is situated very near the Agumbe village and gives a view of the sun setting over the Arabian Sea.
How to get to Agumbe
The nearest airport is Mangalore and one can stay there and visit Agumbe. But it is recommended to stay in Agumbe or in Udupi or a nearby village in a homestay to really get an authentic experience of the monsoon in Agumbe. Agumbe is situated about 360 kilometers from Bangalore and is well connected by road.
Cherrapunji, the monsoon destinations in Eastern India is one of the places that is synonymous with rains. Anyone who has paid attention in their Geography classes would be aware of the significance of Cherrapunji. We all know Cherrapunji, situated in the North-Eastern state of Meghalaya as the wettest place on earth. However currently, that distinction is held by the neighboring village of Mawsynram. But still, Cherrapunji holds the record for the highest rainfall ever in a calendar month and year. It is quite interesting to note that Cherrapunji receives rain in the mornings, leaving the land rain-washed and glistening in the afternoons.
How to get to Cherrapunji
Guwahati in Assam is the nearest airport to Cherrapunji, situated about 181 kilometers away. One can travel by road from Guwahati to Cherrapunji by hiring a cab or taking a bus.
Chikmagalur is another monsoon destinations in the state of Karnataka. Walking in the rain, in the midst of coffee plantations is indeed an exhilarating experience and that is what awaits you in Chikmagalur. A town nestled in the foothills of the Mullayanagiri range of mountains, Chikmagalur is an ideal getaway during any season, but during the rains, it acquires a luster that is indeed dazzling. Chikmagalur's picturesque locations and the weather is a magnet that draws visitors to its fold. It is also a gateway to hill stations like Kudremukh and Kalasa and provides some lovely hiking trails.
How to get to Chikmagalur
Chikmagalur is a town in the southern Indian state of Karnataka. The nearest airport is about 150 kilometers away in Mangalore. Chikmagalur is well connected to Mangalore as well as Bangalore by road. Bangalore is at a distance of about 250 kilometers.
Goa needs no introduction! The name is enough to conjure up exotic images of long stretches of beach lined with palm trees. Come monsoon, the magic of Goa goes to a different level altogether. Apart from the beaches, this is the time to head towards the jungles of Goa for trekking and chasing waterfalls. The romance and the rhythm of Goa become irresistible as the rains fall and thus it is one of the best monsoon destinations in India.
How to get to Goa
Goa which is an Indian state sandwiched between two other states namely Maharashtra and Karnataka is well connected by Road, Rail, and Air to the major cities of India. Goa's Dabolim airport has domestic as well as International flight services.
Monsoon is the best season for waterfalls. They are at their spectacular best during the rains as they cascade down in majestic style. Jog Falls has the second highest waterfall in India. Jog Falls is in the state of Karnataka and is one of the ideal monsoon destinations. Here the waters of the river Sharavati come plummeting down from a dizzying height of 830 feet. The waterfalls at Jog are actually 4 distinct falls known as Raja, Rani, Rocket, and Roarer. Jog Falls is situated in Shimoga District of the southern Indian state of Karnataka.
How to get to Jog Falls
Jog Falls is situated about 340 kilometers from Bangalore and about 200 kilometers from Mangalore. The nearest airport is Hubli which is about 130 kilometers away. Jog Falls is well connected by road to the major cities of Karnataka.
Lonavla in the state of Maharashtra is one of the monsoon destinations that is a popular weekend getaway. Perched in the western ghats and almost equidistant from Mumbai and Pune is Lonavla, a picturesque hill station that acquires a hypnotic magic during the monsoons. Hundreds of small and big waterfalls cascade down the ghats in scenic splendor. Lonavla also happens to be famous for its Chikki, a sweet made of Jaggery and groundnuts.
How to get to Lonavla
Lonavla is situated amidst the Western Ghats at a distance of 96 kilometers from Mumbai and 64 kilometers from Pune. Lonavla is well connected by road and rail to both Mumbai and Pune. A rail or road journey over picturesque landscapes of the western ghats takes you to the picturesque getaway of Lonavla.
God's own country comes into its own during the monsoons and the beautiful state of Kerala which I am talking about seems to dance to the music of the rains. The backwaters, the coconut palms, and the paddy fields seem to erupt in celebration as the rains pour down from the heavens. One of the most popular monsoon destinations in Kerala, the southern state of India, is Munnar. Munnar with its wide expanses of tea plantations, wildlife sanctuaries, picturesque valleys, and mountains wraps itself in a coat of romantic intrigue, come monsoon. The fragrance of rain blend with the aroma of exotic spices to make the air you breathe into an exhilarating intoxicant. Munnar is a hill station located in the Idukki district of Kerala and nestles in the majestic western ghats.
How to get to Munnar
Munnar is about 130 kilometers from Kochi which has an international airport. It is well connected by road to Kochi and other major urban centers of Kerala.
If you drive for about 3 hours covering a distance of about 135 kilometers from Bangalore, you reach a small village called Shivanasamudra. Here the river Kaveri takes the plunge in the shape of twin waterfalls. The twins are known as Gaganachukki and Bharachukki. It is interesting to note that Asia's first hydro-electric power station was built here and is still functional. During the monsoons when the Kaveri river is in spate, the Shivanasamudra walls roar and cascade down a precipice in spectacular glory thus making it one of the popular monsoon destinations in Karnataka.
How to get to Shivanasamudra
Shivanasamudra is located in the Mandya district of Karnataka, the southern state of India. Shivanasamudra can be easily reached by road from Bangalore. The Karnataka State Tourism Department also organizes conducted tours to the falls during the monsoon months.
The rains are here in all their majesty, the sky has turned dark and there is a nip in the air. It is time to pack your bags and head out somewhere to dance in the rain. We have quite a number of romantic monsoon destinations lined up for you, take your choice and head out to Agumbe, Cherrapunji, Chikmagalur, Goa, Munnar, Lonavla, Shivanasamudra or Jog Falls to soak in the beauty of nature in the rains.
Which is your favorite monsoon destination? Which are the monsoon getaways that your recommend? Do let us know through the comments section.
This blog was originally published on 'Voyager'