Monsoon is here and so is the time of petrichor.
The light breeze that accompanies rain offers a much needed respite from the scorching heat of the harsh summer. Yes, monsoons have more to them than clogged roads, water puddles and a swarm of flies hovering over your food. Moreover, a week full of festivals, enough to get you away from the worries of daily life, is here. What other excuse do you need?
To best explore the monsoon bliss, why not plan monsoon getaways to places, hidden in nooks and corners of India, which come alive with the arrival of the rains? Here are five monsoon getaways in India you simply cannot miss:
Touted to be the wettest place in India, Mawsynram is a traveller's dream come true. It is brimming with natural beauty – an abundance of flora and fauna, cascading waterfalls, lush green forests and lots of rain. They say it can rain anytime in Mawsynram so it has to be on the top of your monsoon getaways list.
Some of the key attractions of the region include Dwarksuid with abundance of lotus-shaped rocks, the Mawjymbuin Cave, the botanical garden and Symper Rock. While you are there, don’t forget to savour the locally brewed tea ‘Kwai’.
Bundi Village, Rajasthan
A quaint town situated in Rajasthan, Bundi’s natural beauty gets accentuated during monsoons. Pretty blue houses with paintings on the outer wall dot Bundi. This makes it a unique tourist experience.
Bundi is also a city where step wells are in abundance. These become a sight to behold during the rainy season. It is also during the rainy season that the town celebrates the colourful festival of Kajli-Teej to usher in the rain Gods. Being a part of the festivities is certainly a one-off experience which you must not miss while you are there.
Visit the town to soak in the erstwhile Rajput splendour in the form of its historical architecture and culture.
Orchha, Madhya Pradesh
Away from the madding crowd is the small, undiscovered town of Orchha. Home to beautiful monuments, Orchha is a homage to the glory of the bygone eras. The landscape of Orchha bedecked with temples, historical monuments and forests brightens up during the monsoons.
Some of the must visit attractions of Orchha include the Wildlife Sanctuary, Hindu temples and ancient forts. If you are not much of an explorer, just staying by the riverside can make for a great experience as the river takes on a distinct demeanor during the rains. If you want to do more, try exploring some of the adventure activities such as boating, rafting, river crossing and more.
Head to Ranikhet this rainy season if snow-capped mountains, lush-green forests and natural beauty excite you. Tucked in Uttarakhand, Ranikhet is one of the most picturesque hill stations in India. Besides, Ranikhet gives you a jaw-dropping view of the Himalayas which come alive during the rainy season.
From orchards to national parks, there is a lot to see in Ranikhet. Some of the major attractions include Chaubatia Orchards, Bhalu Dam, Kumaon Regimental Centre Museum, golf course in Kalika and Majhkhali.
For the adventure junkies, Ranikhet has a lot to offer. From trekking to golfing and photography, there is much to keep you busy on the vacation.
The only hill station in Gujarat, Saputara is a monsoon retreat you cannot miss. Seeped in mythology, the town gets enveloped in a thick cover of greenery which gives it a distinct flavour in the rainy season.
It is excellent for those who are seeking some quiet time away from the hustle and bustle of the city life with its beautiful waterfalls, pleasant weather and abundance of natural beauty.
Among the must visit places in Saputara are the Pushpa Ropeway, Vandsa National Park, Saputara Lake, Sunrise Point, Gira Falls. If you are interested in art and culture, a trip to the Artist Village is a must. It is home to some exquisite tribal artifacts and give you an insight into the region and its culture.
(This story was first published on 7 June 2018.)