Words by Shashank Singh

As India’s monsoon drenches much of the country, here are the top 5 destinations which will leave you spellbound with its exotic scenic beauty. Though most of the travellers refrain from travelling during the monsoon, once you are amidst petrichor-emanating lush green hills and mountains, your opinion will change. 

Alleppey, Kerala

Kerala backwaters at Alleppey

Alleppey is popularly known as the backwater and houseboat capital of Kerala. A ride through the famed backwaters of Kerala is sure to victimise your heart and will leave you wanting for more. Ideal for low budget backpackers as well as for family trips, Alleppey is also recommended for couples and honeymooners.

Best time to Visit: August to March

How to Reach: The nearest airport is Cochin International Airport, which is around 78 km from Alleppey. From the airport, one can book a taxi or a cab or take a bus to get to Alleppey.

Major Attractions: Cruise along the serene waters of the Pamba, Traditional lunch at Chathurthyakary, Thumpoly beach on to the scenic Marari, Historic St. Mary Forane Church

Where to stay: Best Stays in Alleppey – Find here

Shillong, Meghalaya

Living Roots Bridge in Meghalaya

Meghalaya is at times referred to as “The abode of clouds” during the monsoon season. The capital city of the state of Meghalaya, Shillong offers a perfect mix of old world and modern charm. During the rainy season, the Elephant Falls and the Spread Eagle Falls are fed by rains, and they make for a remarkable sight. The blissful feeling of the town relaxes your senses. Food, especially the local delicacies and the cheap drinks, sets the pace for a pleasant holiday. Cherrapunji, situated just besides Shillong, makes it a more attractive destination relative to others. 

Best time to Visit: June to October

How to Reach: The nearest major airport that is well-connected with major cities across India is in Guwahati, which is about 125 kilometres away. You can take a taxi or a bus from Guwahati to Shillong. 

Major Attractions: Elephant Falls, Barra Bazaar, Mawlynnong (Cleanest village in Asia), Live Root bridge, Umiam Lake, Street Food in Shillong

Where to stay: Best stays in Shillong – Find here

Valley of Flowers, Uttarakhand

Valley of Flowers in Uttarakhand

Known for its meadows of endemic alpine flowers, Valley of Flowers is located in the ‘Abode of God’, Uttarakhand. Be it nature lovers, mountaineers or botanists, a walk to this striking UNESCO World Heritage Site is an apt choice during the monsoon. 

Best time to Visit: July to September

How to Reach: The nearest airport is in Jolly Grant, Dehradun, 295 kilometres (183 miles) away, and the nearest railway station is in Rishikesh, 276 kilometres (171 miles) away. The closest you can get to The Valley of Flowers by road is Govind Ghat.

Major Attractions: Hemkund Sahib, Ghangaria, Badrinath Temple, Vasudhara Falls, Nanda Devi National Park, Valley of Flowers National Park

Coorg, Karnataka

Misty Coorg

Popularly known as “Scotland of India”, the beauty of this place lies in the beautiful coalescence of history, adventure, luxury and great food. If you’re someone who likes to dwell amidst lush greenery, breathtaking waterfalls, hills covered with forests, and spectacular misty landscapes, Coorg is meant just for you! 

Best time to Visit: July-August

How to Reach: The nearest airport to Coorg lies at Mangalore, about 135 km away. The second nearest airport is in Bangalore about 250 km from Coorg. Many state and private operated buses run all around the day to Coorg.

 Major Attractions: Dubare Elephant Camp, NisargaDhama, Abbe Falls, Raja Seat

Where to stay: Best Stays in Coorg – Find here

Lonavala, Maharashtra

Creek at Lonavala, Maharashtra

If you are living in or around Mumbai or Pune, Lonavala might be a perfect place to have an easy escape from your bustling daily life. Scenic escape set at an elevation of over 2,000 feet, this place offers a wide range of activities like camping, waterfall rappelling, rock climbing, and trekking.

Best time to Visit: August to April

How to Reach: The nearest domestic airport to Lonavala is Lohegaon Airport, Pune which is 2 hours drive away from Lonavala. One can also board flights to Mumbai and then travel to Lonavala by bus or car.

 Major Attractions: Lohagad Fort, Rajmachi Fort, Pavana Dam, Della Adventures

Where to stay: Best stays in Lonavala – Find here

Grab your backpack, raincoats, boots and some handy cash and you are all set for monsoon trails around India!