I love rain, I love monsoon. So much so that I can see the clouds hover and the rain pour for hours sitting besides a window or in my balcony. I feel so cheered up and overwhelmed when it pours. And I know not everyone feels like that, but then, not everyone would have the perspective that I will like to share here. And that being – India is a land of monsoons, and I am glad to be able to experience the rains, the monsoons, every year.
However, when it comes to traveling to India I have often seen lots of advices to avoid the monsoon season. There is a very contained list of places that are recommended during monsoons. Although, I agree the unpredictable showers and thunderstorms bring little bit of inconvenience. But then there are certain things that one can witness and experience only when they travel to India during the monsoons. Here is my list of such experiences. So through them, I intend to take you to a trip of India during the monsoons. And these are the experiences that you can have only and only if you visit India during the monsoons.
The lush green hills of South India during monsoons
The hills of south India get exceptionally lush green during the monsoons. With fresh showers of rain, the whole region gets covered with green flora all over. Flowers blossom and the aroma of tea and coffee plantations spreads all over. The batches of white and black clouds hovering low over the hills create a panoramic scene to behold. The whole atmosphere is charged with a different level of freshness. We learnt it when we visited Ooty during the monsoons. Like always, our friends suggested us to wait until the monsoon resided. But, we simply couldn’t. And we will be ever glad that we didn’t. Since, the Ooty that we experienced during the monsoons, we couldn’t have experienced it in any other season.
The thunderstorms and black clouds on the beaches
Although beaches are preferred for sun and tan, go ahead and watch the formation of black clouds on the beaches for a change.You will be compelled to do it again and again . Watch the layers of black cloud slowly cover the vast stretch of endless space over the sea, the waves crash madly against the shore with the rising wind. Run for a cover when the little droplets start falling from the sky and meeting the sea 🙂 and watch the rains pour down from a beach shack or your bedroom window.
We went to Alleppey in Kerala during the rains and we enjoyed spending time on the beach on a cloudy morning. The driver of our cab was generous enough to hand us his umbrella. With that single umbrella over our head, we walked hand in hand over the wet sand, while it drizzled on the beach. And I have got to admit, it was a very romantic time that we spent there, enjoying the monsoon showers.
We aspire to go to Goa in monsoons just for the sake of enjoying the view of clouds hover over the sea. Because we have heard, when monsoons hit Goa, it is amazing to see the black clouds hover over the Arabian sea and how to waves crash stronger over the shore..as if trying to shake hands with the clouds. So, that is our next mission, to visit Goa during the monsoons.
The backwaters houseboat amidst monsoons
It is an experience of one in a million to be surrounded by water all across 🙂 When we were on our houseboat amidst the backwaters of Kerala, it rained. And it looked beautiful, in fact, surreal. The drops of rain pouring on the calm backwater all around us presented a mesmerizing scene. Seeing the natives rowing across in small boats, holding umbrellas in one hand and a row in another, was an amusing site to behold. It rained in the evening and it rained again the next morning. It seemed the whole atmosphere around us had been washed afresh by the rains. The air became fresh and crisp, the scent of the monsoons spread through the wet tree leaves. Not sure if it would have been as beautiful had it not rained.
The Majesty of the waterfalls
During monsoon season, the waterfalls in India are at their majesty. The volume of water increases manyfold. The currents get strong. Visit one of the many majestic falls in Kerala, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh or any other state a few months into the monsoons and you would love the site that would greet you. Visit the Jog Falls, Shivasamudra falls, or Hogenakkal Waterfalls to name a few. They are all at their best during or just after the monsoon months. The site is so beautiful and amazing. Without monsoons, they are all almost dead.
The peak charm of rainforests
The rainforests of India get denser than ever in monsoons. The trees develop new branches and get ladened with fresh green leaves. The streams of water running through these forests acquire new volume. Both flora and fauna flourish in the monsoons. Tropical rainforests in India can be visited in Andaman and Nicobar islands, Assam in the north east and the western ghats in south-western and south India. All of these rainforests are at their charming best during the monsoons. Nothing is as refreshing at the fresh flora and fauna that greets you. And the smell of the damp earth… that is intoxicating for sure.
A dancing peacock
Well, peacocks share this secret love of mine…the love for clouds and monsoons. Watch a peacock spread its beautiful wings and dance upon seeing the clouds hover and the rain start. Head to Benarghatta National Park, Bandipur National Park, Mysore, Rajasthan or anywhere else and behold the scene of a dancing peacock forever in your heart. But, that is exclusive to the monsoon season again. So, you do have to wait for the monsoons to see this magical , out of this world site, of a peacock spreading it’s wings and dancing.
The washed forts of Rajasthan
When it rains in the deserts of Rajasthan (Yes, it does!), it adds a freshness of a different level. Watch the clouds hover and the rain wash down the dust from the terrace or courtyard of one of the numerous forts in Rajasthan. You would be able to see vast stretches of the town washed afresh by the rains. The soft showers would add to the romantic charm that always prevails in the ancient forts and palaces of Rajasthan. Take a boat ride on lake pichola in Udaipur or watch the sky change color amidst the clouds sitting on the Nahargarh fort terrace in Jaipur. Be in Jaishalmer or Jodhpur, you will remember it in your heart forever.
Pakodas(an Indian snack) & Chai(tea) in monsoon showers
The list of monsoon experiences remains incomplete without the mention of garam chai (Hot steaming cup of tea) and Pakodas (an Indian fried snacks recipe). Monsoons bring a respite to the scorching heat of the summer months in India. As the rains start pouring, the temperature dips to pleasant levels and the appetite shoots up. Hold a cup of steaming hot tea and watch the rain pour from your cozy shelter, experiencing the cool breeze or the pleasant smell of the wet land with refreshing sips of the tea. Accompany it with a plate of pakodas and it becomes a simple, unforgettable moment. Coffee accompanied with any other crispy or spicy Indian snack is equally inviting.
Awesome beautiful monsoon rainbows
Rains are often followed by rainbows. Sometimes single, sometimes double…rainbows are always a delight to watch. One of the most beautiful phenomenon of nature. When you travel across India during the monsoons, your chances of encountering a beautiful rainbow are the highest.
So, don’t put off your visit to India anymore just because it’s monsoon season and they say it’s off season. Do your calculations as to which month of monsoons it is, how much rain is expected in which part of India and then choose your destination wisely. You will have an experience that you would never have had, had you chosen to always travel in so called peak season!! Chase the clouds, experience the rains, visit India at least once during the monsoons.
Read out this beautiful poem on monsoons
Tips on visiting India during monsoons
- Places that I would avoid: The hills of north India. Since a lot of landslides happen in this part during the monsoons. They are definitely unsafe during the peak monsoon period.
- Places that I would visit during the monsoons : The hills of south India, since landslides are very rare or almost nil here. There is a lot of greenery and the places are just perfect to visit during monsoons.
- I will visit the beaches during monsoon to see the clouds over the sea, as I said earlier. But I will not head to them with the expectation of too much activities and water sports until I want to be disappointed. So, it is more about the peaceful vacation, enjoying the game of monsoons.
- An umbrella and a rain coat should be in your must carry list. Because monsoons are unpredictable. It can rain for a while anytime, anywhere. So, be prepared and you will enjoy it so much.
- Wear water friendly comfortable footwear. Because when it rains in India, it does get messy in parts for a while, until the rain dries off. So, better leave your designer sandals and shoes behind.
- Do carry mosquito repellants and some general medicines, particularly when headed to shacks and rainforests. Because rainy season also promotes the breeding of new mosquitoes and other such species 🙂
- Be safe. When visiting water bodies, do remain over cautious. As the currents tend to get much stronger and the volume increases manyfold during the monsoons.
Once you are prepared, you will enjoy your visit to India during the monsoons to it’s fullest.