India’s most magical monsoon experiences summed up in stunning pictures.
Rhythmic pitter-patter on the roof, dance of the drizzle outside the window, occasional bolts piercing through a rumbling grey sky, and aroma of steaming masala chai mixed with the earthy whiff petrichor lingering in the air — monsoon is magical. Each year, the Indian lands, let out a sigh of relief as the skies darken, the heavens relent, and sweet, sweet rains pour down, finally drenching the parched earth. Come along, as we take you through the Indian monsoon, its many moods, and the most exceptional experiences that it has to offer.
Stroll along the Queen’s Necklace in Mumbai, Mahasrashtra
Monsoon makes even the simplest experiences in Mumbai unforgettable. Catch a spectacular view at the Queen’s Necklace as the Arabian Sea rises to kiss the Marine Drive and swollen tides make splash over and over on the four-legged rocks, until the unmissable spot is left completely drenched before a setting sun. Don’t forget to sit down with a glass of ‘cutting chai’, Mumbai’s beloved half-a-cup tea, as you take it all in!
Catch a view from the ‘Monsoon Palace’ in Udaipur, Rajasthan
With the lush, rocky sprawl of Aravallis running along its length and Lake Pichola snuggled in its heart, Udaipur makes for a charming experience anytime of the year. But arrive in the City of Lakes during monsoon, and the soothing downpour unfolds many romantic and dramatic experiences. If you wish to witness Udaipur at its best during rainfall, take a long and slow romantic drive through swathes of green to reach Sajjangarh aka Monsoon Palace. Perched on top of a distant hill like a fairy-tale castle, this melancholic, erstwhile monsoon retreat of Maharana Sajjan Singh offers breathtaking bird’s eye-view of the city!
Drive through the verdurous Lutyen’s Delhi
Waiting with bated breath towards the end of each long swathing hot summer, the capital city sure loves its monsoon showers! Lutyen’s Delhi is particularly a sight to behold as the trees that line its great, lush avenues wear every shade of green there possibly is and sway along the rain-bearing winds. The hint of coolness in the air, crisp smell of petrichor, and heritage sites and monuments washed down to look squeaky clean — driving along the soaking silken roads through this part of Delhi after fresh drizzles is the best way to enjoy rains. Visit Mughal Gardens, Lodhi Garden, and Sunder Nursery to soak further in nature’s eternal beauty.
Explore the living root bridges in Meghalaya
What better way to enjoy monsoon than travelling to two of the rainiest places on Earth itself? Cherrapunji and Mawsynram in Meghalaya are where you can truly enjoy the music of the monsoon. The misty villages, gurgling streams, thick forests, and cascading falls make sure your views are always picture perfect. For a truly immersive experience though, visit the UNESCO-listed living root bridges that are bamboo roots stretched and entwined to gradually become a strong mesh! Meghalaya is home to over 100 such natural bridges developed by indigenous Khasi tribal communities, that together offer a unique experience amid dense jungles.
Trek to the Valley of Flowers, Uttarakhand
What’s rain without fresh blooms? Nestled deep in the Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve—a UNESCO World Heritage site, Valley of Flowers at about 14,400 feet can be reached through a trekking trail. What awaits at the end is a plethora of multi-coloured flowers, including orchids, poppies, daisies, primulas, calendulas and other alpine flora. Although the valley is open for visits from early June till September, the flowers are in full bloom after the monsoon showers. The region is also home to the elusive snow leopard, musk deer, red fox, langur and the black bear, among other Himalayan species.
Visit the water palaces of Mandu, Madhya Pradesh
Mandu in Madhya Pradesh is a trip back in time. Dating back to the 15th century, the ruins of this erstwhile historical kingdom are a reminder of Afghan architecture that look particularly exceptional when awash with monsoon showers. Jahaz Mahal, Ashrafi Mahal, Jami Masjid, Rewa Kund, Rani Roopmati Pavilion, Hindola Mahal, and Baz Bahadur’s Palace are among the unique structures that have water as an integral part of their designs. Their surroundings brim with little forests, manicured lawns, abundant greenery, and channels of gurgling pools and lakes that make them all the more alluring during rainfalls.
Experience nature’s bounty in Goa
When you are done with your dose of sunny beaches, buzzing shacks, and all-nighter raves, arrive in Goa during monsoon to witness its quieter, more serene side. The monsoon makeover of the Sunshine State brings along cooler climes, lush greenery, and the promise of endless experiences in the lap of nature. Watch the swollen waves of Arabian Sea crash at Fort Aguada, walk down isolated beaches in Mandrem, jump in a well and drink feni to celebrate São João festival, go forest bathing at Mollem National Park!