Enjoy the monsoon magic of these exotic destinations

The Himalayan mountain ranges as seen from Dhanaulti
Image courtesy: ©Flickr/Koshy Koshy/CC BY 2.0

Many, including some seasoned travellers, like to stay at home during the monsoons. But, for many others, the sight of rain-soaked vistas rejuvenates the senses and the delightful pitter-patter sounds of the raindrops offer a surreal experience, especially when out on a holiday. Here’s a list of places where the moods of the monsoon are sure to unfold many magical moments.

Dhanaulti

Love for the mountains and the rains in equal measure must take you towards this fairly isolated little place that lies not too far away from Mussoorie. Nestling at a height of 2,286 metres above sea level, Dhanaulti turns into a playground for the clouds at almost every given moment – something you are sure not to mind. Walks to the eco-park and the Surkanda Devi Temple can be undertaken as and when the weather permits.

Satoli

Just an hour’s drive away from Mukteshwar lies this serene little village that’s charm personified. Watching the rain-washed countryside through the silvery lines of the dropping waters makes you wish for time to stop as you sit enjoying endless cups of hot tea and snacks. And when the rain does take a break, venture out to enjoy the picture postcard vistas. Don’t forget to visit a delightful little tuck shop on the side of the road that offers some of the choicest jams, soaps and spices made by an NGO there.

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Orchha

 

Image courtesy: ©saiko3p/Getty Images

One of the best places to experience the moods of the monsoon is at the erstwhile capital of the Bundela kingdom – Orchha in Madhya Pradesh- that lies amid dense forests and rugged hills with the River Betwa flowing close by. Cleansed by the pouring rain, the monuments, including the Jehangir Mahal with its chhatris, that tower over the surrounding landscape seem straight out of a pretty painting.

Duke’s Nose

This one’s for those who want their monsoon experience to be laced with a bit of adventure and love the idea of trekking and rock climbing to enjoy the bounties of nature. Just 8 kms from Khandala, Duke’s Nose, a prominent rock structure is the go-to place. A bit about the moniker — it’s believed to be named after the Duke of Wellington whose nose allegedly resembled the shape of this cliff.

Kokernag

Kashmir is delightful any time of the year and in the monsoon season, particularly so. Check out one of its jewels- Kokernag- that’s a perfect place for some me- time as well. Whether you want to step out to experience the drizzle or, if confined by heavy rains, prefer sitting around and just staring at the world outside, each experience is just as delightful and rewarding.

Neil Island

Image courtesy: ©Flickr/Ankur P/CC BY-SA 2.0

There are many who would (understandably) advise you against travelling towards these islands in the monsoon season. However, despite the sea waters being rough and the weather unpredictable, Neil Island continues to lure you with picturesque vistas. Besides walks along its gorgeous beaches, you can – weather permitting – also enjoy its colourful coral reefs and rich marine life.

Cherrapunji

Image courtesy: ©WanderDream/Shutterstock

Ever since the famous author, Alexander Frater, went ‘Chasing the Monsoon’ towards Cherrapunji in his delightful eponymous novel, this Abode of the Clouds in Meghalaya has been on the must-do list of all rain enthusiasts. One of the wettest places on this planet, Cherrapunji, unveils some of the most magnificent landscapes, waterfalls and root bridges that the shutterbug in you will never have enough of.

Top Tip: Don’t forget to pack in some rain-appropriate gear including footwear/boots, raincoats and umbrellas. And, when travelling to the hills, essentials must also include warm clothing and yes, a bottle of salt – to keep the creepy-crawlies at bay.

AUTHOR'S BIO: After close to three decades in mainstream journalism, it's back to freelance writing for Purnima Sharma who enjoys writing about people, places... and just about anything that touches the heart...