July and August in India bring rain and the time for monsoon getaways. Travel during the rainy season in India has its pros and cons. On a trip during this season one needs to be prepared for a more leisurely vacation, since sightseeing would become weather dependent. However, there is a lot to be said in favour of quiet monsoon getaways where one can just kick back and relax, without the pressure of ticking off “must do’s”. Enjoy the weather and simple pleasures like walks in the rain, endless cups of tea and conversations with your loved ones.
Here are some ideal places that can be picked for a quick monsoon getaway within India:
1. Kumarakom – The backwaters of Kerala are pretty all the year round, but the rain lends an added touch of solitude and romance making this a perfect destination for romantic monsoon getaways. Take advantage of off-season rates at hotels, and book yourself into a lakeside resort for a couple of days of relaxation involving Ayurveda treatments, amazing local cuisine and gorgeous sunsets.
Closest airport: Cochin; closest railway station: Kottayam
2. Udaipur – The “City of Lakes” becomes greener and prettier during the rains, with the lakes looking their best ever. Enjoy breathtaking views from vantage points like the Monsoon Palace and City Palace, and take a relaxing boat ride on Lake Pichola. You’d never have imagined “Rajasthan” and “monsoon getaways” together but this is one exception!
Closest airport: Udaipur; closest railway station: Udaipur
3. Goa – Goa in the rains offers a distinctly different experience. Take long walks along rain-swept beaches, enjoy a drink at one of the many watering holes, and party the night away at a club. While many of the temporary shacks along the beaches close down during the monsoon, this also means fewer people around! I have friends who visit Goa two-three times a year, and they swear that their monsoon getaways tend to be their favourite holidays in Goa.
Closest airport: Goa; closest railway station: Madgaon
4. Shillong – If you love the rain, then what better place to enjoy it than the wettest place on earth. Cherrapunji and Mawsynram, the two wettest places on earth, are day-trips from this Meghalaya town. The misty hills and gushing waterfalls offer a very scenic view during this season if you are up to getting soaked now and then. Perfect weather for invigorating walks and steaming cups of tea! Monsoon getaways to Shillong are highly recommended; for more details on things to do, read more about it in my post here.
Closest airport: Guwahati (I am recommending Guwahati although Shillong has an airport too, simply because Guwahati has a larger number of flight options and it is much cheaper to fly into and out of); closest railway station: Guwahati
5. Mahabaleshwar – If you want a quick break from chaotic urban life and are not too keen on running around sightseeing, a monsoon break in Mahabaleshwar might be just the right thing for you. The rain in these hills can be torrential, keeping the tourist hordes away, but offering beautiful landscapes and a peaceful stay. Monsoon getaways in Mahabaleshwar and surrounding hills are extremely popular with the young urban crowd of Mumbai and Pune.
Closest airport: Pune; closest railway station: Satara
6. Orchha – This sleepy little town on the banks of the Betwa river is full of old palaces and temples that you can explore at leisure. The monsoon brings cool temperatures and fewer crowds, always a plus. Do attend morning Aarti at the Ram Raja temple. Monsoon getaways here involve visiting the heritage sites, watching the river from the steps of the Ghats, taking walks and enjoying the peace over lingering meals.
Closest airport: Gwalior; closest railway station: Jhansi
7. Ladakh – Monsoon getaways to Ladakh are for those who wish to escape the monsoon downpour, since Ladakh typically sees dry weather during these months. You will enjoy the warm sunny days and cool evenings, and have the added advantage of being cut off from mobile networks once you get out of Leh town! Keep aside at least 5-6 days for the trip, since you would need some time to acclimatise to the altitude.
Closest airport: Leh
The monsoon is here. Time to get packing!
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