The best way to enjoy monsoons in India is to embrace them completely – by walking through the stunning greens dotted with gorgeous flowers or the gushing cascades that swell to its peak or possibly the melting snow that gives way to myriad streams. Going for a trek when it’s raining is the best way to appreciate and enjoy this season. Here are 10 of our best picks.
Hampta Pass – Chandra Taal Hike
Cross the stunning snowclad mountains in Himachal Pradesh as you trek through picture perfect green meadows with sheep skipping through it. Start from Jobra towards the blue waters of the Chandra Taal Lake to discover the pristine fresh water streams, which you will have to skip across. A moderate to difficult hike for most, the Hampta Pass hike is an absolute delight in the monsoon season.
If you thought that the monsoon treks in the Western Ghats are a piece of cake, then the stretch called ‘Cobra’s hood’ of the Harishchandragad trek will make you think again. What starts off easy becomes a challenge as you attempt to scale a rocky bed. The reward for this is a stunning panorama of the valley and the Konkan Khada here. Remember to explore the Stone Age caves – especially the Kedareshwara caves with its three broken pillars. Legend has it that when the fourth intact pillar breaks, this period on earth will come to an end.
Valley of Flowers Trek
This is a popular monsoon trek in Uttarakhand and naturally so, given the floral extravaganza that you encounter here. From whites to yellows to pinks and purples, the entire trail from Govindghat right to Hemakund Sahib Gurudwara is bedecked by these lovely flowers. Adding to the thrill of this moderate to easy trek, are the cooling waterfalls that you encounter along the way. The highlight of this gorgeous hike is spotting the rare Himalayan Blue Poppy that blooms to celebrate monsoons.
Chembra Peak Trek
This trek is a dreamy trail through mist and cloud covered cliffs of Wayanad, all to end up at the heart–shaped Chembra Lake. Behold the green tea estates of Kerala as you ascend into the forests and go past a watch tower to the magical Chembra lake. This trail does absolute justice to the monsoon magic in South India.
Kashmir Great Lakes Trek
This stunning hike is like walking through paradise on earth. A moderately difficult trek, you traverse through three passes, along the blooming meadows where you can sight wild horses and sparkling cascades. The week-long trek takes you across seven gorgeous lakes, each better than the other. It starts at Sonamarg and you pass Nichnai, Vishnusar, Kishansar and many other places.
Torna Fort Trek
Combine heritage with this short hike up the Sahyadris to the Torna Fort. Starting at Velhe village near Pune, this trek takes you across a stream to lush green plateaus, dotted by gushing cascades. Don’t miss the abandoned temples and desolate buildings that take you back in time. Get ready for a treat as you spot two valleys separated by a ridge on which you will be walking. A cloud covered hike along this green trail definitely gives you a wet yet magical flavour of monsoon.
Discover the highest peak in Karnataka with this trail in Chikamagalur. With the birds keeping you company, you can snake your way along the zig zag, flower laden trail. Remember to keep an eye out for various Nandi idols along the way. While doing so, we are pretty sure you will spot the hidden caves amidst these green cliffs.
Rumtse-Tso Moriri Hike
The magic of Ladakh is best experienced through this monsoon trail that takes you from Rumtse in Lahaul to one of the highest lakes in India – Tso Moriri. A slightly difficult hike, but worth every minute, for the sights along the way are just magical. Discover the salt water lake of Tso Kar enclosed by the stunning mountains. Keep an eye out for the stunning birdlife in the Changthang Plateau that you cross, all the way till you reach this gorgeous blue coloured wonder – Tso Moriri.
This fairly easy trek takes you to the small town of Shimoga in Karnataka through the grasslands and forests. Discover the beautiful Hidlumane Falls in this National Heritage Site before a view point that gives you a stunning panoramic view of the whole valley below. If you are a wildlife enthusiast, then, the fauna that you find along the way would be a bonus.
Koodlu Theertha Falls Hike
This trek allows you to experience and enjoy the dense forests of South India, which are at their best in the monsoons. A trail takes you along this green wonderland filled with twittering birds, through the gushing streams of River Sita all to emerge suddenly to the sight of a fantastic waterfall – the Koodlu Theertha.