The rain brings out the best in some places, bathing them in hues of green. We’ve compiled a list of the best retreats to escape to. Go on – revel in the monsoon
COMPILED BY KANIKA GUPTA
RAINFOREST RESORT, ATHIRAPALLY, KERALA
The Aishwarya Rai-Abhishek Bachchan starrer Raavan might have been a wash-out, but one of its main locations, Athirapally, certainly isn’t… at least not in the same sense. It hosts the ‘Niagara Falls of India’, the Athirapally Falls, where the Chalukudi River plummets 80 feet with a resounding crash and a strong spray that awes and drenches you in equal measure, especially in the monsoon when it’s at its swollen best. Follow the signs and make the 10- to 15-minute trek to the base to experience the falls in all its glory; the track is well-maintained and is no hardship, even in the rains. Alternatively, if you’d rather be indoors when it pours, the literally-named Rainforest Resort, set as it is on seven acres of rainforest, has rooms that offer unobstructed views of the falls. Foliage, the restaurant, serves up a great weekly-changing menu of continental and local food (ask for the tribal special of fish and tapioca cooked in bamboo leaves, upon request) against a lovely moonlit view of the waterfall, making a dinner here a genuine feast for all the senses.
DEVRA UDAIPUR, UDAIPUR, RAJASTHAN
Udaipur in the rains takes you by surprise – it crushes all imagery of dry, dusty Rajasthan, transforming into a lush landscape carpeted in hues of green. And Devra Udaipur, a cosy, nine-room property (above) set at a height just a little out of the city, allows you to make the most of the city of lakes at this time of the year.
The property itself seems tailormade for an indulgent, do-nothing getaway. The affable owners, Major Das and his busy wife, Mrs Jasol (who works with the City Palace), will not judge you if you choose to bum around in your pjs through most of the day, feeding you rich, ghee-laden Rajasthani food and plying you with cups of steaming chai – that most fitting accompaniment to the monsoon. Devra’s far enough out of the city centre that, if you choose to, you could go for a gentle amble through its verdant surrounds and feel like you’re in the countryside. Or, you could stay content indoors, curled up on one of the many comfy nooks around the place, as you catch up on your reading.
ASHIYANA YOGA AND SPA VILLAGE, MANDREM BEACH, GOA
Beer, fried fish, partying and more beer… if this is your ideal Goa vacation, then Ashiyana Yoga Retreat is NOT the place for you. Located on a quiet stretch of Mandrem Beach at the very north of Goa, this retreat (pictured) sees a number of meditation-seekers from all over the world, so it’s a great place to meet and connect with like-minded people. Although Ashiyana does have yoga training modules and yoga retreat packages, beginners are more than welcome – book a ‘yoga holiday’, where you can stay on the property and do your own thing, with the flexibility of walking into any of the yoga sessions and workshops that are conducted here. Put your day’s lessons to good use and meditate on the quiet stretch of beach, enjoy lunch at one of the surrounding shacks, or simply relax in the retreat’s spa with one of the ayurvedic treatments and a turn in ‘Goa’s only natural swimming pool’. A word of advice though – stay away from the beach huts and the eco-lodges as they’re more open to the rain and cold, and book yourself a Raj room or one of the stone-built Palm Grove rooms instead.
For special monsoon prices, 12 more cosy getaways and all the information you need to make your holiday happen, pick up a copy of LPMI’s June 2015 issue from your newsstand or click to subscribe via Zinio or Magzter.