The sun is tired of spewing fire and it’s pouring in many parts of the country. If you haven’t yet, this is your chance to escape to one of these hand-picked destinations to unwind like never before, and enjoy the rains without all the irritants that monsoons come along with in the cities.
A small tea-cultivating town on the Anamalai hills in Coimbatore, Valparai looks much like Ruskin Bond’s Dehra. The meadows, the pasture, the tea gardens and the streams make Valparai an ideal monsoon getaway.
Don’t be surprised if you spot wild animals strolling about a tea estate. Valparai shares its boundaries with the Anamalai Wildlife Sanctuary. The place is abundant with waterfalls, within a 50km radius. The reservoirs around offer magnificent views of cloud covered hills.
For boarding and lodging, you can choose between homestays, hotels and the more expensive tea-estate resorts.
Access: Valparai is a three hour drive from Coimbatore, which is 105km away. Pollachi and Coimbatore railway stations are the nearest. Pollachi is located 65km from Valparai.
Attractions: Here are some of the waterfalls and reservoirs around –Athirapally (30km), Charpa (33km), Vazhachal (35km), Peringakuthu
Dubbed the wettest place on earth, this town perched on the Khasi hills in Meghalaya (in the East Khasi Hills district), offers breathtaking views of waterfalls streaming through the valleys. Walk alongside clouds, and while you are at it, sport a knup, a turle shell-like traditional Khasi umbrella made of bamboo and banana leaf.
One of the valleys in Mawsynram is home to the best-maintained living bridges and tree roots curled up as ladders . One of nature’s most exquisite artistry, stalagmites, are tucked inside the Mawjymbuin Caves.
The town lies 15km to the east of Cherrapunji. You can choose between resorts and hotels in Cherrapunji but we suggest you try the homestays there.
Access: Mawsynram lies 15km to the east of Cherrapunji and is about a 2-hour-drive from Shillong.
Attractions: Nohkalikai and Mawsmai waterfalls, Mawsmai caves, Cherrapunjee.
Mawlynnong is another of the marvels of the Khasi Hills in Meghalaya. Thatched huts line clean pathways criss-crossing through green gardens.
This picturesque village was dubbed the cleanest village in Asia in 2003. The inhabitants have imbibed a culture of cleanliness and this can be seen from the streets, the houses and the bamboo leaf dustbins lining the streets. This village is also known for its beautiful gardens.
Feel closer to nature. Stay in a thatched roof hut or a tree house, walk down a living root bridge. And since Mawlynnong is about a two-hour drive from Cherrapunji, a long weekend spent in Mawlynnong, Mawsynram and Cherrapunji is worth it.
Access: Mawlynnong is about 90km from Shillong and 92km from Cherrapunji. Nearest airport is in Shillong. From Guwahati it is a slightly longer drive (about 175km)
Attractions: Thatched huts, tree houses, gardens, living root bridges, Nohkalikai and Mawsmai waterfalls, Mawsmai caves, Cherrapunjee.
Can anything be better than walking on cloud-kissing hills overlooking the sea? The Konkan coast is in full glory during monsoon. While Goa and Tarkarli are the most popular destinations of Konkan, this small hamlet in the Ratnagiri district of Maharashtra, though less trodden, is quiet and serene. If you are looking for a tranquil location to unwind over a weekend, this is the place for you.
Ganpatipule derives its name from an ancient Ganpati temple tucked away on the shores of the Arabian Sea. Walk along the pristine white sand beach. Enjoy the lipsmacking Konkani cuisine (especially the fish preparations) and down a few glasses of Kokum sherbat.
The ideal place to stay is the Maharashtra Toursim Development Corporation’s guest house which is the only resort located on the beach. All the others are inland and you may have to walk a few minutes to reach the sea. Visit the Jaigad fort, perched on a cliff, and marvel at the brillient view.
Access: A seven-hour-drive from Mumbai, nearest railway station Ratnagiri from where autorickshaws are available.
Attractions: While all the places in and around Ganpatipule are picturesque, there are other tourist attractions like the Arevare seaface, Marleshwar temple and waterfall and the Jaigad fort.
In God’s own country, is a tiny hamlet very close to Munnar. Canvassed in greenery, the hill-top hamlet in Idukki district of Kerala, is also famous for the wind effect. Ramakkalmedu receives gusts of wind at 25km/hr and hence has many wind farms.
The Kuruvan and Kuruthy statue atop the Ramakkalmedu hills honours the aborigines of the hamlet. Standing there, you can have a spectacular view of the plains of Tamil Nadu.
Access: Distance from Munnar is about 56 kilometers. The nearest railway station is Changanacherry, which is about 93 km away. Madurai in Tamil Nadu is the nearest airport, about 140 km.
Attractions: Kuruvan and Kuruthy statue, Thekkady, Munnar, Vagamon, Vineyards of Kambum, spice garden tour, wind farms.