It’s that time of the year when the clouds start to play hide and seek, and random overcast and downpour brings all nature to life. If you are the intense monsoon lover and don’t let the rains stop you from exploring, then this is our list of best places to explore in the month of August.
Valley of Flowers, Uttarakhand
The bugyals (high-altitude meadows) of tall wildflowers in the Valley of Flowers are a glorious sight in the monsoons, rippling in the breeze, and framed by mighty 6000m mountains with glaciers and snow decorating their peaks year-round. Over 300 species of flowers are found here.
A soft haze of clouds, ridiculously green surroundings and a cold, damp, almost ominous weather surrounds you as you approach Agumbe in Karnataka. This small village gets the second highest downpour in India and is therefore blessed with copious reptiles including the King Cobra. If you are looking to whet your knowledge about reptiles or just get over you fear of snakes, you may want to sign up for a weekend camp, which is organised by some locals.
Also Read: Best places to eat and stay in Munnar
Pachmarhi, Madhya Pradesh
Madhya Pradesh’s only hill station, Pachmarhi, is surrounded by waterfalls, canyons, natural pools, cave temples and the forested ranges of the Satpura Tiger Reserve. All in all, it offers a refreshing escape from steamy central India.
Lahaul & Spiti
The desolate northern and eastern tracts of Himachal Pradesh are among the most spectacular and sparsely populated regions on Earth. Crossing the Rohtang La from Manali, you arrive first in Lahaul’s relatively green Chandra Valley. Travelling east up the Chandra Valley and over the Kunzum La into Spiti you pass into the rain shadow of the Great Himalayan Range. Spiti is 7000 sq km of snow-topped mountains and high-altitude desert, punctuated by tiny patches of greenery and villages of whitewashed houses clinging to the sides of rivers and meltwater streams.
Kinnaur, Himachal Pradesh
The district of Kinnaur, stretching up to the Tibetan border in southeastern Himachal, is blessed with magnificent mountain and valley scenery and a distinctive cultural and ethnic mix that mutates from Aryan Hindu to Tibetan Buddhist as you progress eastward. This is a land of mountain villages with slate-roofed temples, vast apple orchards, plunging gorges between towering snow-capped peaks, and hair-raising roads.
The rolling hills around Munnar, South India’s largest tea-growing region, are carpeted in emerald-green tea plantations, contoured, clipped and sculpted like ornamental hedges. But this time, in August, the hills will be painted light blue with the Neelakurinji flowers, that blossom once in 12 years! So, don’t miss this rare chance of witnessing the green sea turn blue.
Khajuraho, Madhya Pradesh
The carvings that swathe Khajuraho’s three groups of World Heritage–listed temples are among the finest temple art in the world. The Western Group of temples, in particular, contains some stunning sculptures.
Bikaner is a vibrant, dust-swirling desert town with a fabulous fort and an energising outpost feel. It’s less dominated by tourism than many other Rajasthan cities, though it has plenty of hotels and a busy camel-safari scene, which attracts travellers looking to avoid the Jaisalmer hustle.
Kanyakumari, Tamil Nadu
This is it, the end of India. There’s a sense of accomplishment on making it to the tip of the subcontinent’s ‘V’, past the flourish of the Western Ghats and the green fields, glinting rice paddies and slow-looping wind turbines of the country’s deep south. Kanyakumari can feel surreal; at certain times of year you’ll see the sun set and the moon rise over the three water bodies- Bay of Bengal, Arabian Sea, Indian Ocean- simultaneously. Although many tourists flourish Kanyakumari but it still remains a small-scale, refreshing respite from the hectic Indian road.