Written by: Rohit Agarwal
You should be ready for the weeks of rain that will come around with the monsoon season in June. Enjoying the rainy weather is not difficult, as the rain alleviates the summer heat and brings on a refreshing change. Rain can remind you of fun times during childhood where you could jump into puddles and play football on the muddy field.
With monsoon being such a big deal in India, here are some great places to enjoy the rainy season in. So remember to pack up your raincoats and umbrellas!
1. Shantiniketan, West Bengal
A small town owned by the Tagore family, Shantiniketan is famous for the ashram Rabindranath Tagore. A centre for culture and arts, its full glory comes out during the monsoon season.
|Photo by Kaustav das Modak CC0 1.0|
If you want to learn more about the local culture and food, it is best that you lodge at a homestay. Classes in the university established by Sir Tagore are held in an ancient gurukul style, out in the open underneath a tree. You can find many local artisans who sell handicrafts here for cheap prices as well. Shantiniketan really makes monsoons beautiful and enjoyable.
2. Jim Corbett National Park, Uttarakhand
One of India's most famous National Parks, Jim Corbett's Jhirna zone is open all throughout the year. During the monsoon season you won't find the park crowded at all and can enjoy it without the usual tourist traffic.
|Photo by Netlancer2006 CC BY 2.0|
As the Kosi River begins to flow, you can enjoy rafting at Jim Corbett thanks to the monsoons. Another great attraction of the park is the daily safaris into the wilderness. You can also ride an elephant through the park during the monsoons. Remember to get a waterproof cover for your camera, as you might be getting wet.
3. Lonavala, Maharashtra
Around 80 kilometres from Mumbai, is Lonavala. A hill station situated in the Western Ghats, it is absolutely breathtaking during the monsoons. The greenery of the Ghats and the hills is amazing and there are many things to do around the town as well.
|PHOTO BY Ramakrishna Reddy Y, CC BY-SA 2.0|
The Karla caves are situated nearby, built by the Buddhist monks during the 3rd century BC. These old caves are an extremely tranquil place that will put you at ease. A waterfall near the Bushi dam is also a popular spot to go to during the rainy season.
4. Shillong, Meghalaya
One of the Seven Sisters in the north-eastern part of India, Meghalaya is truly a beautiful state. Shillong is the capital, and during the monsoon it receives a lot of rainfall.
|Photo by Masrur Ashraf, CC BY-ND 2.0|
The valleys of Khasi are an amazing sight and look beautiful and greener during the rainy season. There are many waterfalls around Shillong which you can walk to or drive, depending on your preference. These waterfalls flow stronger during the monsoons and are very picturesque.
5. Ladakh, Jammu and Kashmir
Ladakh is a northern region situated in the state of Jammu and Kashmir. Ladakh is a great place to go during the monsoon as you can catch many local festivals such as Hemis Festival in July, or Korzok Gustor that lasts until August. These festivals are a great way to learn about local culture and you can see the beautiful mix of Chinese, Tibetan, and Indian buddhism.
|Photo by Praveen, CC BY 2.0|
The Indus and Zanskar river flow at their fullest during the rainy season and you can go whitewater rafting if you feel brave enough. Ladakh is an amazing place and can be reached in many different ways, each offering you a unique experience.
6. Munnar, Kerala
Kerala is God's own country, Munnar is its paradise. Munnar is filled with tea gardens and amazing green hills, which are sure to enthral you.
|Photo by aphotoshooter, CC BY-ND 2.0|
If you plan to fly in, the nearest airport is in Cochin, around 120 kilometres away. You can also take a train to the nearest train station which is Aluva. You can relax near one of the many lakes in the area or spot some flora and fauna near the highest peak of the Western Ghats, Anamudi. Make sure to also visit the Eravikulam National Park nearby, home to Nilgiri Tahr, Leopards and Tigers.
7. Udaipur, Rajasthan
Maharana Sajjan Singh of Udaipur built the beautiful Monsoon Palace here to track the cloud movements. Udaipur is filled with heritage buildings and colourful bazaars. The rainy season ensures that you will not be visiting during the peak tourist season and you can enjoy this beautiful city without being disturbed. Surrounding the Monsoon Palace is the Sajjangarh Wildlife Sanctuary where you can catch a glimpse of various animals such as hyenas, boars or even panthers.
|Photo by Ashley Coates, CC BY-SA 2.0|
India is a very diverse country with various places receiving lots of rain and others which remain relatively dry. Either escape the monsoons by going to the north or embrace it. Monsoon makes India come alive and allows the vast amount of greenery in our country to flourish. These places are sure to make your monsoons memorable.
Rohit is an explorer and a writer at heart. He has travelled around India and other countries. Rohit follows the trails of Indian history while exploring the fascinating landscapes, hills and other tourist hotspots of India. He brings to Trans India Travels the revealing insights of his journeys.