It may seem counterintuitive to consider taking a vacation where it’s pouring rain, yet for an increasing number of travellers, this is exactly why they don the dungarees and make their way to the annual monsoon in India.
Instead of sun-drenched beaches and steamy nights (though there’s still plenty of both), travellers are flocking to see rivers of rushing water, spectacular waterfalls, and colourful festivals. Add to that stunning water-scoured views and the irrepressibly friendly nature of Indian folk, and you’ve got a recipe for a very different holiday.
While there are a wealth of different experiences to discover, we’ve selected the very best.
The monsoon in India: Dudhsagar Falls – Goa
Come July, the Dudhsagar Falls – located on the Mandovi River on the border of Goa and the neighbouring state of Karnataka – reaches a crescendo as thousands of tonnes of water flow over the falls in a cacophonic cascade. At 310 metres high, and with an average width of 30 metres, the Dudhsagar Falls can also lay claim to being one of the world’s 100 tallest waterfalls.
Although access can sometimes be an issue, visitors will love the area’s abundant natural beauty, as well as plentiful wildlife.
In Kerala – often referred to as ‘God’s own country’ – the misty mountains of Munnar offer a very different side to the monsoon in India. The area’s high altitude tea plantations thrive in the wet and make for some stunning scenery.
Lovers of nature will love Top Station, once a transhipment point for delivery of tea from Munnar to Bodinayakkanur, now tourist destination as it offers unparalleled views of the Western Ghats mountains.
Onam Festival, Kerala
Falling between August and September, in the Malayalam calendar month of Chingam, Onam is the major annual event for the Malayali people of Kerala as well as being the State’s official festival.
Historically, Onam celebrates the rice harvest as the monsoon nears its completion, yet in more recent times the festival has morphed into a major celebration featuring all sections of Keralan society.
During Onam, one can expect to see a plethora of local dance, arts, and religious celebrations. For the intrepid monsoonal traveller, a few stand out. The Onam Sadya (a celebratory feast) is a must try for food lovers, the colourful Pulikali (tiger dance) is a must-see, and the Vallamkali snake boat races on the Pampa River carry all the festival atmosphere of a day at the races without the stuffiness of tops and tails.
The monsoonal lakes of the Thar Desert
During the monsoon, salt water lakes in Rajasthan’s vast Thar Desert – the Sambhar, Kuchaman, and Didwana – fill to bursting with life giving waters in July and September, and form a joined wetland catchment. Over the coming months, the lakes lose much of their water which concentrates salt from the surrounding rocks, yet during the monsoon, these lakes make for incredible vistas and even wildlife watching.
Our Karma India experts can help plan your Indian monsoon journey. For more information visit us here.