We bring to you seven destinations from the north, central, and east of the country that are truly a marvel during the monsoons.
Shillong, also known as the ‘Scotland of the East’ is one of the best places to visit during the monsoons. Surrounded by the picturesque valleys of Khasi and Jayanti hills and adorned by numerous waterfalls, including the Elephant Falls, and the Spread Eagle Falls, Shillong is even more mesmerising when the entire hill town gets drenched in the rains. Drive around the town, stay in cosy hotels and try local delicacies such as pork momos and jadoh – a rice dish, all to the accompaniment of misty clouds and rainfall.
How to reach: The closest railway station and airport from Shillong are both in Guwahati, 149 km away. You can take a taxi from there.
Weather in Shillong during the monsoon: Medium-to-high rainfall with an average temperature of 15°C.
Known for its palaces and beautiful lakes, Udaipur comes alive during the monsoons as the relatively arid city turns green. With water levels rising, Lake Pichola is truly captivating. The majestic City Palace, Lake Palace and Monsoon Palace, drenched in the rain have a charm of their own. Go boating in the lake or take a guided tour of the City Palace. You can also attend the light and sound show at the City Palace, if it’s not raining. And if it is, enjoy local delicacies such as mirchi pakoda with a cup of steaming chai – perfect for a rainy evening.
How to reach: Udaipur has its own railway station and airport.
Weather in Udaipur in monsoon: Low- to-medium rainfall with an average temperature of 25°C.
Darjeeling, West Bengal
The Queen of Hills, located right at the foothills of the Himalayas, is stunning during the monsoons. However, be prepared for a wet holiday as it doesn’t rain but pours. The perfect vacation is to enjoy the rains while sipping a cup of Darjeeling tea, overlooking lush green tea estates. And when you decide to step out, do take a trip on the toy train and visit the Darjeeling monastery. You can also try some adventure sports.
How to reach: New Jalpaiguri is the nearest rail station that connects major Indian cities like Kolkata, Delhi, Guwahati, Chennai, Mumbai, Bangalore, Bhubaneshwar, and Cochin. Or take a flight to Kolkata.
Weather in Darjeeling during the monsoons: Heavy rainfall and an average temperature of 18°C.
Mount Abu, Rajasthan
Mount Abu, a pretty little hill station in Rajasthan, is a year-round destination. However, during the monsoons, it takes on a different hue. Drenched in the rain, the stunning white marble Dilwara Temples look captivating. Explore the beautiful sculptures at the temples and go for a boat ride at Nakki Lake.
How to reach: Mount Abu railway station is well-connected to different cities in India like New Delhi, Jaipur, Mumbai, and Ahmedabad. The Abu Road railhead lies on the long Delhi-Ahmedabad railway line.
Weather in Mount Abu during the monsoons: Medium rainfall with an average temperature of 20°C.
Orchha, Madhya Pradesh
An ancient town on the banks of the river Betwa in Madhya Pradesh, Orchha is a heritage lover’s paradise. From beautiful palaces, forts, temples and cenotaphs to myths and legends, Orchha has everything. The heritage town looks prettier in the monsoon as the rains turn the countryside green. Orchha Fort, Jehangir Mahal, Raja Ram Temple and even the silent chhatris or cenotaphs on the river bank glisten, as they are washed down by the shower.
How to reach: Nearest railway station is Jhansi, 20 km away.
Weather in Orchha during the monsoons: Medium-to-high rainfall with an average temperature of 30°C.
If you love the rains, you will love Cherrapunji, which second ‘wettest’ place on earth. During the monsoons the clouds engulf the landscape. The pastures and farmlands turn lush green. Mighty waterfalls such as the Nokhalikai Falls flow in their full strength. Explore living root bridges, caves and countless waterfalls and streams. Oh! And don’t forget to drink several cups of Meghalaya tea.
How to reach: Cherrapunji is well-connected by road. Shillong is 55km away. Nearest railway station and airport is Guwahati, 150 km away.
Weather in Cherrapunji during the monsoons: Heavy rainfall with an average temperature of 15°C.
Mandu, Madhya Pradesh
There is something magical about Mandu during the monsoons. The small town, located in the Malwa region of Madhya Pradesh, is the epitome of architectural excellence. It has over 3000 structures from the 12th to the 16th century in a 26sq.km area. You cannot walk more than 100 feet without spotting a beautiful monument that tells its own story, adding to the agelessness of the place. The city of love, known for the tragic love story of Baz Bahadur and Rani Roopmati, turns into a charmed paradise during the monsoons as various streams and springs find their way around the countryside. Explore Rani Roopmati Pavillion, Jahaz Mahal, and watch the light and sound show at Hindola Mahal.
How to reach: Mandu is located about 100 km from Indore and the only way to get there is by road.
Hotels to stay: Malwa Retreat
Weather in Mandu during the monsoons: Medium to heavy rainfall with an average temperature of 24°C.