“In the 90s, Cherrapunjee used to be the region to receive the highest rainfall,” tells my father. In those days, neighboring Netarhat was one of the top 10 locations with highest rainfall in India. Growing up in Jharkhand, brought me closer to the monsoon and my father’s stories. His accounts of the many snakes that used to come out during his childhood, only began to repeat when they started visiting our gardens post monsoon.
I belong to a country that is a culmination of many cultures, lives and landscapes. It is something amazing how the landscape changes between weathers. Rightly said, one life is not enough to spend in India.
Monsoon brings an amazing flavour to the Indian lifestyle and landscapes. As dark clouds descend over the skies and the shades of green take over the place after a fresh rain. The smell of ground followed by the aroma of piping hot monsoon snacks is the reason why I fall in love with the Indian monsoon every year.
Over the years, I have traveled across India on my person rain trails. The ever secluded jungles of Jharkhand, the cloud covered mountains of Sikkim, the evergreen Western Ghats, the gorgeous hill stations of Karnataka, the tranquil landscapes of Kerala and the ambient Rajasthan are a few of my favorite monsoon destinations.
Are you looking to follow your own monsoon trail? Let me help find you one.
Kovalam Beach, Kerala
Why Kovalam Beach, you will wonder. How can a beach town could top the list of my favorite monsoon destination? Isn’t monsoon all about greenery and dramatic changes in the landscapes?
Well, when the monsoon winds first hit Indiam they arrive Kerala. It is the Kovalam beach that welcomes first showers of the season. It is a treat to experience the clouds descending towards the beach. A number of people gather with their families to welcome the first monsoon showers of India. The breathtaking change in the atmosphere as the sky turns from blue to many shades of black is something that will get painted in your heart for a long time before you move for the next destination.
What is a better way to experience monsoon but under the lush green mountains of Idukki. Although it rains in Idukki on a regular basis but as the monsoon arrives, you end up getting drenched to your soul. There is nothing much to see here, it’s a vast green space with multiple viewpoints covered with clouds as close to you as if you are literally walking on the white foam.
Coorg and Chikmaglur
Karnataka tourism runs under the tag of ‘one state many worlds’ for obvious reasons. At one corner you’ll find the beautiful beaches while on the another corner you’ll end up exploring the lush green jungles of The Western Ghats soaking your soul in the rarest of flora and fauna that you can think of. During the monsoon, both Coorg and Chikamaglur become greener than ever. The mountains of The Western Ghats breathe a new life as monsoon arrives.
Of all the monsoon destinations, Jog Falls has a special place in my heart. I went to Jog falls while exploring Shimoga and had no idea about what I was going to witness will be an experience of more than a lifetime. I saw, how clouds played hide and seek covering the Waterfall area under a thick blanket, slowly revealing one fall after another. It was like a nature’s exhibition where you see a waterfall and then it vanishes only to reveal another waterfall (Jog Falls is a set of four waterfalls in total.) I sat at the view point watching this game for hours, the waterfalls threw drizzles on my face and I only realized when I was totally wet. Next time I am taking a raincoat.
Goa in monsoon is not your usual beach destination that your tourist friends upload pictures from during New Years and Christmas. Goa, the center of The Western Ghats turns green with overflowing rivers and the jungles of Eastern Goa come alive giving a feeling that you have stepped into a fairy tale. The shades of green, the clouded mountains and roaring waterfalls will keep you wanting for more.
Advice – The railway trekking to Dudhsagar Waterfalls has been banned due to a few accidents, you can only take the jungle route to visit the waterfalls now.
Ratnagiri is a small village in the Konkan region of Maharashtra. The region is on the Maharastra – Goa border and a starting point of the famous Konkan railway route. Like Goa and other regions of Western Ghats, Ratnagiri comes alive during the monsoons. Several streams of waterfalls emerge during this season on the surrounding hills. You can find one at a neighbouring railway station itself.
I am yet to experience Rajasthan during the real monsoon season. I spent 3 nights of non-stop rain during my stay at Pushkar in the month of January. This quaint little town has the most colourful mornings, rays of light coming out from the dense clouds paint the town in the shades of yellow and blue. The morning when I traveled from Pushkar to Jaipur and later to Delhi via Ranthambore, I realized how beautiful this state will be to explore in the rainy season. Sadly, Rajasthan has been a just a connecting destination of my journey to other states and only monsoon magic I have witnessed here is while I am on a bus or a train.
I grew up in Jharkhand, the monsoon season didn’t have much importance to me until the day I decided to go on a rain trail in the jungles of Chotanagpur plateau. Jharkhand as a tourist destination is absolutely ignored and unknown on the Indian tourism map. This region is exactly how the Western Ghats are in the Southern part of India. I have enjoyed the untouched beauty of Netarhat jungles, one of the locations to receive highest rainfall in the 90s. When I was chasing monsoon in Jharkhand, I ended up exploring a number of hidden waterfalls in the mountains around Ranchi and Jamshedpur.
On an average day, I will tell you about monsoons of Sikkim. An average tourist will tell you about Meghalaya’s record rainfall and the scenic beauty of its waterfalls and jungles. But when it comes to the raw monsoon experience of The North East India, Arunachal shows you everything that Sikkim has but in a more natural and rustic way. I have traveled to Arunachal Pradesh twice, in the month of September. I have faced landslides, seen numerous waterfalls and traveled on a road with nothing but a muddy pavement with a raging river flowing below. When it rains in the valleys of Arunachal, the clouds literally come right next to you and cover the surrounding areas with a thick blanket. The Himalayan region of Arunachal Pradesh has hypnotized me with its tranquility and natural landscape and I cannot wait to return there for the third time.
Monsoon is a magical season in India. The season of love and romance has no wonder given so many songs and poetry. I have decided to take a monsoon experience, traveling to some unknown land every year. The trail, this year has just finished in Goa and a blogpost will be coming up soon.