The Best Places in India to Spend the Monsoon
Petrichor [pɛtrɪˌkɔː] n
The earthy, pleasant scent produced when rain falls on dry soil.
As June approaches and the dark clouds loom, the air hangs heavy with petrichor. The smell of the first rain, that intoxicating smell that takes us back to our childhood; back to steaming hot tea and pakoras and to paper boats and new raincoats.
And what better way to reminisce and celebrate the rains than with a monsoon getaway?
Whether you’re an outdoor adventurer or the laidback type, there’s a perfect monsoon destination in India just for you! Here are the Akbar Travels top 5 places to visit in the rains;
1. Munnar, Kerala
If you’d like to be far from the madding crowd then Munnar is the perfect holiday destination for you. At a time when tourists stay away, get drenched in the pouring rain, trek up the verdant hills, discover a waterfall or wander through a tea plantation. Munnar is yours for the taking. Possibly the most beautiful hill station in southern India, it turns into an emerald paradise in the rains.
How to get there: Munnar is accessible from both Cochin Airport and Madurai Airport. The nearest railhead is at Aluva, 110 km away.
Monsoon is when Goa is at its prettiest. It’s when the forests are lush green, the beaches free of selfie sticks and the hotels cheap. It is the perfect time to see a new side of Goa, one of the tropical forests and gushing rivers, starkly different from the traditional Goan imagery of sunny beaches and sun burnt tourists. You could take a tour of a spice plantation, go for a trek in the hills or do cartwheels on empty beaches. In the rainy season, Goa is all yours.
How to get there: Goa is well connected to both domestic and international locations. Dabolim Airport near Panjim is the primary airport in the state and the main railheads are Madgaon and Thivim.
3. Agra, Uttar Pradesh
Agra is synonymous with the Taj Mahal and with the lakhs of tourists who descend on it to view the marble mausoleum. To avoid the crowds and view the monument to eternal love in all its glory, pay your respects to the Taj in the monsoon. Visit the Agra Fort, splash through the bazaars in a cycle rickshaw and enjoy a hot cuppa in the rain. Come monsoon, the best places to visit in Agra get even better.
How to get there: Agra is home to a commercial airport and is also a short distance from Delhi Airport. The city is also well connected by rail.
Suggested Read: Long Weekends in 2018, Plan your Holidays Now
4. Manali, Himachal Pradesh
An idyllic hill station in the foothills of the Himalayas, Manali is a popular getaway destination for all of North India. A trekker’s paradise, it comes alive in the monsoon. Adventure sports in Manali are a big tourist draw and so is the spectacular natural beauty of the hills. The hot springs, waterfalls and picturesque meadows make it perfect for a short monsoon getaway in North India. For the spiritually inclined, we recommend paying a visit to the Hadimba Temple, Vashisht Temple, built in honour of the Vedic sage and the scores of Buddhist monasteries that dot the area.
How to get there: The nearest major airport is in New Delhi. Ambala and Chandigarh are the nearest railheads.
5. Mahabaleshwar, Maharashtra
Located in the lap of the Sahyadris, Mahabaleshwar has been a popular haunt for city dwellers for centuries. The hill station was designed to be a health resort to revive the spirits of homesick Englishmen and bring respite from the heat and grime of the cities. Today Mahabaleshwar attracts weary urbanites craving some rest and relaxation.
Enjoy strawberries, corn on the cob and Irani chai and take in the stunning landscapes in this amazing monsoon holiday getaway. When it comes to the monsoon in India, it doesn’t get better than this.
How to get there: Mahabaleshwar can be reached from both Pune and Mumbai airports. The nearest railway station is in Wathar, 60 km away.
And if misty hills, raincoats, steaming pakoras and intoxicating petrichor don’t get you going, we have the perfect escape; a European vacation. Visit sunny Spain or the snow-clad slopes of Switzerland or maybe even World Cup host Russia. The perfect mix of history, culture and fun, a tour of Europe could be exactly what you need. And the best part? No rain!