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If you are a travel bug you should visit Kaas Plateau: Here’s why

Kaas Plateau

Who doesn’t like exploring an offbeat destination full of flowery valleys and hilly terrains? The thrill of travelling to a seldom explored place, especially if the place is easily accessible and is situated near a major hub of life, is enough to call out the adventurous soul in you. The Kaas Plateau, often described as the sea of flowers is one such destination. The plateau was declared by UNESCO as one of the World Natural Heritage sites back in 2012.

Even though it’s within a stone’s throw from a major city, this plateau is not as popular as it should be. In fact it is so underrated that it won’t even make it in the list of the most underrated places in Maharashtra. And Maharashtra only has a handful of places which are yet unexplored or not frequently visited places in Mumbai and its surroundings. The beautiful and vibrant valley is guaranteed to provide a blissful vacation away from the din and bustle of the daily city life.

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Best Time To Visit Kaas Plateau

The primary attraction of the Kaas Valley is the sea of flowers which blooms soon after the rainy season. These seasonal flowers are the reason why hundreds of wanderers flock here to explore the valley of flowers at Kaas Plateau. So the ideal time to visit the Kaas Plateau is around September and October. As soon as winter sets in, the flowers start to wither away. Hence the only window to behold the Kaas Plateau in all its glory is September to October.

How To Reach Kaas?

The Kaas Plateau is situated alongside the NH 4 which connects the cities of Mumbai and Pune. The cities of Mahabaleshwar and Satara are situated respectively 25 and 30 km away from the plateau. One can easily access the plateau by taking a bus or cab from either city and getting down at a spot about a kilometer away from the plateau. From there on you have to follow the picturesque trail onto the plateau. The nearest railhead is Satara. Pune is the nearest airport from where cabs are available.

The plateau in a nutshell

Kaas lake

Describing the beauty and magnanimity of the plateau in words is a herculean task. It’s as if the creator drew each and every blade of grass with his own hands, the perfection of nature reaches its optimum level in this valley. As soon as you step onto the plateau an alluring fragrance would guide you to a place where the ground just isn’t visible anymore. To explore the valley of flowers of Kaas Plateau thousands of tourists flock to the place regularly. Shrouded with flowers of various colours, species and types, the plateau resembles a piece of heaven on earth. Maybe the Biblical Garden of Eden may come close to the beauty of the plateau in terms of a comparison. The verdant plateau offers a panoramic view of the lowlands around and gives a breathtaking view of the plains below it and the Kaas Lake a short distance away. The plateau spans over a thousand hectares which have now been designated as a reserve forest to preserve and support the flora and fauna of the region which is the primary attraction of the place. In a bid to preserve the plateau the management of the place has designated a daily cap of three thousand tourists. No more tourists are allowed inside. So make sure you go early to have a glimpse of the joyous plateau.

The place has some of the rarest flowers available in the country. The most prominent varieties available are Anjani, Soner, Sonki, Deepkadee, Kondal and the eponymous flower Kaasa. Named after the valley the Kaasa flower was first discovered here. The flower cover of the plateau changes in colour every two to three weeks depending on the predominant blooming variety of the time. Of the 850 recorded species of flowers available at the plateau, 624 are enlisted in the Red Data Book which lists and tracks the endangered species of flora. The variety and diversity of species of flowers and herbs make Kaasa a botanist’s paradise. Researchers and scientists flock to Kaasa every single year with hopes of making a breakthrough or to study the flowers there or maybe discover a new species.

Kaas Lake

The Kaas Lake is situated just below the plateau. Situated at a lower elevation than the table land, the lake is part of the divine scenery available on view from the top. The Kaasa Lake is a hub of natural diversity as it boasts of two different ecosystems, the lake and the surroundings have two entirely different yet symbiotic ecosystems.

The underwater fauna of the Kaas Lake makes it a much frequented place for botanists, both professionals and amateurs alike. The lake also accounts for the water supply of the entire western part of the Satara city. Insects, amphibians, some mammals and a few reptiles make up the fauna here.

Activities in and around Kaas Plateau

The Kaas Plateau is a prime picnic spot with beautiful sceneries adorning it on all sides. Away from the pollution and noise of the cities, the plateau offers a respite to the weary soul. One can walk around the plateau amongst fields full of flowers. You can also find a secluded spot, spread your mattress and have a wonderful picnic with your family and loved ones.

Places to visit nearby

1. Sajjangad Fort

Valley of Sajjangad Fort

The literal translation of the name of the fort is ‘the Fort of good people’. This fort is the final resting place of the author of Dashbodh, Sant Ramdas. The earlier name of the fort was Aswalya Gad which was a pointer towards the bear population of the area who were called aswals in the local dialect.

2. Bamnoli

This is a small village situated at the backwaters of the Koyena Dam which is called ‘Shiv Sagar’. This quiet hamlet is an ideal point for boating. The village also offers scenic picnic spots where one can spend a day in the heart of nature.

3. Kaanher Dam

Kaanher Dam

This dam is situated near the Kaas Lake and makes for some amazing pictures. The scenery and beauty of the dam has turned it into a much frequented picnic spot and a popular tourist spot for the ones visiting the Kaas Plateau.

A plateau? Aren’t they supposed to be rocky and barren?

Sunset at Kaas Plateau

Not always. Most plateaus are. But occasionally you would come across plateaus which are a thriving natural hub. This plateau is one of the best places in the country for flowers. So if you are someone who finds pleasure in the little things of life, stop waiting and plan a trip to the sea of flowers. It is going to be worth your efforts and much more.

Travel Tips Weekend Getaways

9 Best things to do in Khandala we bet you didn’t know

Karla Caves

If you are asked to think of a hill station for a perfect weekend getaway from Mumbai, most of you would vouch for Lonavala with some even naming hill stations from up north. Not everyone will mention Khandala though; it’s strange how most people don’t even know about the existence of Khandala as a major tourist destination.

It is so underrated that if you search Khandala on Google, it’d show you the Khandala fort of Rajasthan first. The postcard worthy hill station is situated between the metropolitan cities of Pune and Mumbai. Sandwiched between the two hubs of hustle and bustle of India, the hill station of Khandala is a favorite escape for most of the localites of Mumbai and Pune. Remember that song ‘Aati Kya Khandala?’ Yes, you have guessed it correctly at the mention of the song’s name. The song is about this place, this is the Khandala which Aamir Khan and Rani Mukerji immortalized quite some years ago!

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When and how to go

Due to the high altitude location of Khandala, it is easily affordable to go all year round without having much to think about the weather conditions. But if you want a truly comfortable journey with zero mishaps and perfect weather then the season to avoid would be the monsoons. The dynamic and unpredictable weather makes it a very unsafe bet for the ones who want everything to be perfect during their vacations. But you have to keep in mind the fact that a hill station like Khandala has a very different charm which you won’t find during other seasons. Whereas if you go during the winters you would get the perfect opportunity to cuddle up with your loved ones and enjoy a hot cup of coffee.

The nearest railhead to Khandala is Lonavala which is situated at a distance of 10 km. Lonavala is connected to both Pune and Mumbai by regular trains at regular intervals. From Lonavala you can easily get a taxi or a share cab to Khandala due to the short distance between the two. The nearest airport is at Pune which is about 50 km from Khandala. From there you can easily get taxis and cabs to Khandala or take a bus to Lonavala and take a cab from there.

9 best things to do in places you didn’t know existed

  1. Trek to Rajmachi Fort
  2. Trek to Visapur Fort
  3. Exploring the Bedsa Caves
  4. Enjoying the perfection of Lohagad Fort
  5. Experiencing Tiger’s Leap
  6. Seeing Duke’s Nose
  7. Splashing around in the Kune Falls
  8. Rediscovering the Karla and Bhaja Caves
  9. Enjoying the ethereal beauty of Tungarli Lake

1. Trek to Rajmachi Fort

Rajmachi Fort

The positional accuracy of the fort will make you respect the ancient rulers of India more. Surrounded by a plateau on all sides, this fort, which actually comprises of two forts, enjoys a direct view of the Bhor Ghat which was a prominent port and trade route with easy access to the kingdom of Maharashtra. Hence, keeping an eye on the port was an important strategic move. The trek to the fort starts from Tungarli Lake. From there en route you can see Buddhist caves which date back to 200 BC. The lush green beauty of the Western Ghats awaits at the end of the trek.

2. Trek to Visapur Fort

Visapur Fort

Standing at a height of 1084 m above sea level, the Visapur Fort is an imposing structure which was built by the first Peshwa of the prestigious Maratha dynasty, Balaji Viswanath. This fort stands testimony to the prowess and power of the Maratha Dynasty. The ideal time for the trek to Visapur is during the monsoons when the waterfalls are full and overflowing and a graceful mist hangs over the entire place. The beauty of nature in that mist is unparalleled.

3. Exploring the Bedsa Caves

Dating back to 60 BC these caves are one of the most beautiful caves to have adorned the nation. The beautiful and exquisite carvings on the walls of the cave and the four 25 ft tall pillars are truly a sight to behold. The main cave, termed ‘Chaitya’, enshrines a magnificent stupa.

4. Enjoying the perfection of Lohagad Fort

A masterful blend of impeccable architecture and natural beauty, the Lohagad Fort is truly a sight to behold. Built in the 18th century, this fort is situated 52 km away from Pune and is located at a height of 3400 ft. The perfect amalgamation of architecture and nature has led UNESCO to declare the Lohagad Fort a world heritage site. The formidable fort was the twin to the Visapur Fort. The extension of the network of roadways in the area has made the fort easily accessible and hence it has become easier for explorers to dive into its mysteries and history alike.

5. Experiencing Tiger’s Leap

Don’t worry, this is not going to get you killed. This is a view point which gets its name from the resemblance of the point with the silhouette of a tiger leaping into a valley. Majestic waterfalls and natural bounty all around make it a popular tourist spot.

6. Seeing Duke’s Nose

Much like the last one, this involves no nose, except for the fact that the nose of the erstwhile Duke of Wellington resembled the cliff and hence the entire cliff came to be known as Duke’s Nose. The wild and sprawling greenery makes it a perfect spot to enjoy nature and capture its beauty.

7. Splashing around in the Kune Falls

Kune Falls

The 14th highest waterfall of the country, the Kune Falls, have a total height of 200 m, spread over 3 steps. The vibrant greenery presents a beautiful picnic spot. But the main attraction is the drop pool where you can bathe and swim.

8. Rediscovering the Karla and Bhaja Caves

A protected monument under the Archeological Survey of India, the Karla and Bhaja Caves are one of the oldest Buddhist caves in the country dating back to 5th century BC. A unique feature is a temple dedicated to Goddess Ekaveera, which is quite unique given that the Buddhists didn’t worship her. The caves lie near an ancient trade route so that it could give shelter to traders in olden days. The walls of the caves tell splendid stories of the past.

9. Enjoying the ethereal beauty of Tungarli Lake

Tungarli Lake

The Tungarli Lake is the major water source of Lonavala. The lake provides a picturesque aerial view of Ramgachi, Lonavala and Lohagad which are situated at altitudes below the lake.

Does Lonavala still seem a better option?

You kidding? While Lonavala has its own beauty and charm, it resembles a fish market on most days. The huge influx of tourists from all over India and the world has led to overcrowding of the place. Whereas Khandala is reasonably quieter and presents a great experience. The best things to do in Khandala match perfectly with those available at Lonavala. You just have to take a leap of faith. Hopefully, next you come back here, you would have taken the leap already. In that case, congratulations!

City Tours Travel Tips

7 Reasons why a visit to Ananthapura Lake temple is a must

Ananthapura Lake Temple full view

The land dubbed ‘God’s own Country’ is famous for its picturesque landscape, breathtaking water bodies and above all the ornate and majestic temples which adorn almost every corner of the state. The Ananthapura Lake Temple is a prime example of the beauty and magnificence of the temples of Kerala.

Situated on a rectangular shaped lake, Ananthapura Lake Temple is the only temple in Kerala which is positioned on a lake. The Ananthapura Lake Temple is also one of the famous places in kerala as the temple where a vegetarian crocodile resides. The amazing phenomenon would be discussed at length later when we delve into the mysteries and myths surrounding the eponymous temple. The beautiful surroundings of the temple make for a calm and serene ambience which adds to the tranquility of the place. The mesmerizing beauty of the temple has lured pilgrims to this place since time immemorial.

Best Time To Visit Ananthapura Lake Temple

Kerala has a sterling reputation for enjoying a cool maritime climate all year round due to the confluences of the Indian Ocean and the Arabian Sea. Combined with it being the leeward side of the Western Ghats, the cool climate makes it favorable to visit the place all year round. But if you were to pick an ideal time to visit the temple then it has to be from the months of September to March when winter is in full flow. Due to the fact that the place is sandwiched between the Tropic of Cancer and the Equator, the winters offer a cool and favorable climate which makes visiting the temple a truly rejuvenating exercise for both the mind and the body.

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How To Reach?

The only viable option to reach the place is via road. The nearest international airport is at Mangalore. So for tourists from all over the world who wish to visit the temple then Mangalore temples are most famous to explore and auspicious to start your journey with. From Mangalore no direct buses are available to go to the temple. You have to take a bus towards Kasaragod and get down at Kumbala town which falls along the way. From there you have to find a bus on the Kumbala – Badiaduka route. After boarding this bus you have to get down at the Naikappu bus stop. From here the temple is a short distance away and has to be reached on foot. You can also choose to hire a taxi or cab from Mangalore to the temple but the fare would be quite steep as the distance is quite considerable. Hence if public transport suits you, then the bus route is the most ideal one to take. Kasaragod is the nearest railhead and is situated 12 km. away.

7 Reasons why you should definitely check this place out

Panaromic view of Ananthapura Temple

Legends and myths: – The obscure and myriad past of the temple sheds light on one solid fact that the temple premises was the meditation ground of the great Tulu Brahmin sage, Diwakara Muni Vilwamangalam. The legend goes on to say that the Lord Narayana himself came in front of the sage in the form of a little child to test him. Upon being overwhelmed by the radiance emanating from the boy the sage asked him about his whereabouts and upon learning that he was orphaned the sage took pity and allowed him to stay but the boy had a very peculiar condition which said that if the boy felt humiliated then he would leave at once. Soon after, the boy’s pranks became intolerable to which the sage responded violently and the boy left with the message that if the sage wishes to see him again then he must travel to Ananthankat, the abode of the serpent god Anantha. Realizing his folly Vilwamangalam travelled to the forest and at long last found the boy near a woody tree by the sea. Upon the sage’s approach the boy vanished into the Mahua tree and came out as the Lord Vishnu astride on the many headed snake Anantha. This legend marks the holiness of the temple

1. The vegetarian guardian crocodile

Legend has it that an ardent devotee of Lord Vishnu, Shree Vilvamangalathu Swami, was meditating on the banks of the lake when Lord Krishna, in the form of a child, came and started disturbing him. Irritated the sage pushed the child back and Lord Krishna disappeared into a nearby cave. Upon realizing his folly the sage went in the cave looking for the lord and later the cave turned into a shrine and a crocodile appeared as a protector of the shrine. Babia, as the crocodile has been named, stood guard over the entrance. In 1945 a British soldier shot the crocodile dead and ended up dying himself of snakebite a few days later. Soon after another crocodile appeared who was just like the last one, vegetarian and docile. Devotees feed prasadam to the crocodile.

2. Architectural genius

Madhur temple

This temple exhibits excellent wood craftsmanship on the mandapam. The wood carvings depict the scenes from Dasavaatharam and have an allusion to the Navagraha. On either side of the Sreekovil Dwara, Jaya and Vijaya palakas are beautifully carved.

3. Unique idols

Ananthapura Lake Temple

The original idols of the temple were not built with stone, metal or wood but of a combination of 70 medicinal plants. These were replaced in the year 1972 by the idols of panchdhatu donated by Jayendra Saraswathy Thirvatikal.

4. View of the adjacent hillocks from the premises

One of the many perks of being situated in the heart of nature is the vibrant view of the surrounding hillocks covered with dense forests which is a sight for the eye sore from all the digital exposure.

5. Tapotsavam Festival

This festival is celebrated in the month of April with great pomp and grandeur. The deity is taken out on a procession along the lake. Afterwards the traditional dance form from Karnataka, Yakshaganam, is performed. This festival draws in devotes from all over the country every year.

6. Madhur Temple

Situated about 8 km from the Ananthapura temple, the Madhur Temple is the residence of the Siddhi Vinayaka Ganesha and Lord Shiva. The foundation of this temple dates back to the Drapar Yuga lending a mystical undertone to it. The Appam served here with prasadam is quite tasty. Surrounded by trees and streams on all sides this temple performs Anna Dan on auspicious occasions making it a must visit.

So much hassle to visit a temple? Seriously?

Well when the temple is ancient and has as many unique attributes about it as this temple then it’d be foolhardy to not visit. If you are in urgent need of some soul searching this temple is your destination. Most importantly, the temple does not discriminate between religions and castes and everybody is equally welcome here. So if that was a bar for you then that’s also lifted. Ananthapura lake Temple, residence of the vegetarian crocodile awaits you. Engulf the mystery and see what you make out of it!

City Tours Historical Places Travel Tips

7 Things you can do on your trip to Andretta

Andretta

Wonder and bewilderment are quite natural when you chance upon the lovely hamlet of Andretta in Himachal Pradesh. This area is literally artistic as you will soon discover on your trip and there are plenty of fun things to do here on your next vacation!

Andretta is an artist’s colony in and was established in 1920s by Irish theatre artist and environmentalist Norah Richards. Andretta is an artist’s hub and has attracted several famous theatre practitioners, potters, painters since the time its foundation was laid.  It is located near Palampur in the Kangra district and the Dhauladhar range of the Himalayas covers this place as a blanket, making it a place straight out of a postcard stamp.

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How to reach

By road: Andretta is just a 20-30 minutes drives from Palampur which is located only 13 km away. By road is the quickest way to reach Andretta.

By rail: The nearest major railway station from Andretta is Pathankot which is almost 90 km away. There is another tiny station called Panchkruchi located 2 km away, though it is better to opt for Pathankot.

By flight: The nearest airport is Dharamsala’s Gaggal airport, 40 km away from Andretta.

The Essence of Andretta

Andretta, a quaint village which occupies a large place in the artists’ heart is filled with fun activities you can indulge in to take in the essence of the place. Here is a list of some of the

Things to do in Andretta

  1. Get in touch with your artsy side in Sobha Singh Art Gallery
  2. Find your inner peace at Bundlamata Temple
  3. Plan a picnic to the Neugal Khad
  4. Visit Norah Richard’s house in Andretta village
  5. Why Andretta is called Himachal’s hidden pot? Find out!
  6. Have an excursion to the Panchrukhi village market
  7. Go trekking through the Thampsar trek

1. Get in touch with your artsy side in Sobha Singh Art Gallery

Sobha Singh Art Gallery

This art gallery in Andretta is a museum which displays the original creations of the famous artist Sobha Singh. Other than this, sculptures, posters and canvas prints are also showcased here. The main studio is also opened to the visitors. Various photographs related to the life of the legend are present here, which are sure to stir the artsy side of yours. There is also a very engaging souvenir shop here known as Parampara in the gallery premises, where mugs, books and local handicrafts are available for sale.

2. Find your inner peace at Bundlamata Temple

The Bundlamata temple is one of the ancient places to visit in Palampur dating back to the 14th or 15th century. The Bundla stream which flows by the temple, is where it gets its name from. It is the shrine of Goddess Bundlamata who is worshipped sincerely by the locals. The cascading stream and the surrounding tea gardens enveloping the temple is a sight to behold. There is no better place to do some self reflection than the Bundlamata Temple of Palampur!

3. Plan a picnic to the Neugal Khad

Neugal Khad

 Neugal Khad, popularly known as the Bundla Chasm, is a broad water stream which flows close to Palampur. It is a very popular picnic spot and is situated about 4 km from Palampur. Sip into some tea and bite into your picnic sandwiches with your close ones for company as you soak in the breathtaking panoramic view of the Himalayan Dhauladhar Range from here. And do not forget to carry your camera along, as this is a scene you will want to capture and carry with you for the rest of your life.

4. Visit Norah Richard’s house in Andretta village

Norah Richards house

 What better way to understand what Andretta village is, than visiting its founder’s house? Norah Richards, an exceptional Irishwoman and theatre artist established this village. Her house is still located here, which is built in the old English style. There is a small outdoor theatre located outside the house where she used to teach students how to perform plays. The Punjabi University of Patiala has recently renovated her abode and now every October 29th, which is Norah’s birthday, is celebrated by theatrical performances here, which you cannot afford to miss.

5. Why Andretta is called Himachal’s hidden pot? Find out!

 One of the main attractions of the Andretta village, for tourists and artists alike is the Andretta Pottery and Craft Society. It is a lively potters’ community with pottery workshops and galleries scattered all around. This colorful small spot is enhanced by the attractive earthenware with rangoli art and the sparkly eyed talented potters who breathe life into this place. This is also a very interactive space where you can try your hand at pottery and learn from the artists while you are there.

6. Have an excursion to the Panchrukhi village market

 This village market is closest to Andretta and is famous for the Jogindernagar narrow Gauge train line. This gorgeous market place has everything which you will need during your village stay starting from fruits, vegetables and provisions to even beverages. It is also a food hub with plenty of amazing eateries. So if you are in Andretta, shopping in Panchrukhi market is a must!

7. Go trekking through the Thampsar trek

A breathtaking hill station like this calls for some trekking. The Thampsar pass, an alluring pass of the Dhauladhar range, provides you with this opportunity. This trail is a road less travelled and deserves to be explored more. It is not that far away from Andretta so there is absolutely no reason for you to miss this opportunity. The mystic forest of Chhota Bangal is a perfect place to wander around here, if you are an explorer at heart. You will pass through different beautiful villages during this trail like Barot Badagram, Rajjgundha and Kukkargandha. The lush meadows of Plachak and Panhartu that you will tread on in your way are bound to stay with you throughout the trek, through their enticing fragrance. You will also get a sneak peak of the local Gaddi tribe’s lifestyle which is fascinating to say the least. To find out the rest you have to participate in this mesmerizing trek while in Andretta.

Andretta: A journey to remember

Andretta is one of the few places where the journey is as beautiful as the destination. The exhaustive list given above showcases just that. Andretta is not only an amazing place in itself , but has other amazing places surrounding it which will make you long for the cool Himachal weather, even when you are in hustling in your own city.

City Tours Travel Tips

7 Exhilarating Monsoon Treks in India

Kashmir Great Lakes

If you are an avid trekker you already know that the season and the weather play a huge role in creating the ultimate trek experience and not just the trail itself. A trail will give you a completely different experience in winter compared to summer. However, due to the dangers of a rough terrain, most trekkers tend to avoid the monsoon season for such adventurous activities. It is quite sad since the mountains truly transform into green mystical paradises during the rains and such beauty deserves to be explored.

However, there are still multiple amazing trek routes in India which are perfect to explore during monsoons. Monsoon trekking in India is a unique experience that you must indulge in to get a true taste of Nature’s unparalleled beauty. So if you yearn for new adventures eve ryday and love to be challenged, then these trails are really made for you. Let’s check them out!

Top 7 Monsoon Treks You Need to Explore

  1. Kashmir Great Lakes Trek
  2. Hampta Pass Trek
  3. Roopkund Trek
  4. Zanskar Valley Trek
  5. Dzongri Trek
  6. Tsomoriri Trek
  7. Sinhagad Trek

From the Himalayas to the Western Ghats, India has no dearth of exciting trails. The rough challenging terrain coupled with picturesque views and landscapes make for blissful experiences that remain etched in your heart forever. However, treks in India in monsoon are truly ethereal. The rains bring the forests to life and all around you, you will only see lush greens and rolling hills that will fill your heart with peace and serenity.

Moreover, the rain washed mountains peeking through cottony curtains of clouds is such a glorious sight to see. Not only is the journey going to be exhilarating and adrenaline driven but the ultimate view from the summit will take you to another dimension that only the mystical monsoons can create. So let’s explore 7 such beatific trails that you must have in your bucket list!

1. Kashmir Great Lakes Trek

Embark on a monsoon adventure with this magical trail that will take you through some of the most idyllic lakes and views of snowy peaks that will leave you mesmerised. It is truly ethereal to walk by Gadsar, Nandkol, Vishnasar, Gangabal and other such blissful lakes as lazy drizzle welcomes you. The trek will take you to some high altitude areas and rains there will be an otherworldly experience!

2. Hampta Pass Trek

Hampta Pass Trek

Another extremely gorgeous trek route, this one connects Kullu Valley and Lahaul Valley. It will take you on a journey through frosty mountains, lush valleys, alpine forests, massive rivers, gorges and more. Moreover you will also pass through popular tourist destinations like Manali as the trek starts from there. During the monsoons, this trail looks heavenly and has so much scenic beauty to offer that it will fill your soul with peace.

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3. Roopkund Trek

Roopkund Trek

Starting from Lohajung, this trek in Uttarakhand takes you to the legendary Roopkund Lake which is also known as Skeleton or Mystery Lake. Roopkund Trek is one of the most challenging treks with rough terrain and slippery slopes but the view when you reach the destination is hauntingly beautiful. Surrounded by lush green forests, lofty mountains, glaciers and even idyllic meadows, this lake has several folklores attached to it. What makes the lake so eerie is during the monsoons it takes on a thrilling aura that is striking yet scary and you will be able to witness hundreds of human skeletons scattered in and around the lake.

4. Zanskar Valley Trek

Zanskar Valley Trek

Zanskar Valley trek which ranks quite high on the danger level, this trek starts from Darcha and takes you through some really gorgeous places like Palahmo, Zanskar Sumdo, Kargil, Raru and more and finally reaches Padum. The route is at high altitudes and has several serene hamlets, monasteries, lakes and rushing rivers and the deepest canyons along the way which look even more beautiful yet nerve-wracking during the monsoons.

5. Dzongri Trek

Dzongri Trek

This picturesque trail in Sikkim is quite comfortable and allows you to really take in your surroundings and appreciate the sheer beauty of it all. Covered in dense green forests which become even more lush and vibrant in the monsoons, the trek starts from Yuksom and then covers Goeche La, Phedang, Bakkhim and finally reaches Dzongri. A favourite among trekkers, this route offers you the most brilliant view of the Kanchenjunga, Mt. Pandim and the Himalayan range and during the monsoons the ambience will give you goose bumps for sure!

6. Tsomoriri Trek

This exciting trek through the spiti valley is much loved because of the miles of virgin Nature and the thrilling look into the Tibetan culture that exists here in all its glory. The monsoons make the hike even more adventurous and marvellous as you pass through tiny hamlets like Changtang, visit monasteries, pass through lush grasslands and rest beside the Tsomoriri Lake and enjoy a night or two of camping. It is really surreal to share tents with your friends and indulge in stories and music while rain showers sprinkle and splatter outside.

7. Sinhagad Trek

This delightful and charming trek near Pune takes you to a famous Marathi historical fort called Sinhagad which is surrounded by rolling greenlands and canopies of trees and flowers that receive a new lease of life every monsoon. The trek is quite pleasant and thus it is the splendid scenic beauty and the fort itself that makes this trek so memorable and popular. Do not miss out on the sunset here!

Perfect Getaways

So pack your bags, get all the essentials you need and start off on one of the thrilling monsoon trekking in India adventures. The perfect combination of adventure and panoramic views ensures that these treks become even more alluring in the monsoons because of the rain drenched pure natural beauty that you cannot truly experience during the rest of the year.

Moreover, the weather makes it not only exciting but also romantic and that adds to the holistic experience of the trek. The weather also remains extremely pleasant and cool which is very relaxing given the exertion of a trek!

City Tours Travel Tips

Some great places to get mesmerised in Mawsynram

Mawsyrnram

Monsoons are for rejuvenation, enjoying the beauties of Nature and simply taking a step back from your hectic schedule and de-stressing. Rain lovers find solace in this exquisite place Mawsynram and maybe you will too. So when the rain gods are calling, it’s time to run away, far away from the maddening crowd and seek shelter amidst the falling raindrops of this beautiful land. Come, drench yourself with beautiful memories from a Mawsynram trip.

It is the perfect place to rejuvenate yourself in the lap of nature. The cool climate and rainfall at Mawsynram will tug at your soul and you will keep wanting to go back again.

Best Time To Visit Mawsynram

This paradise on earth is located in the East Khasi Hill district of Meghalaya. The tiny village is reputed for the huge formation of stalagmite that takes the shape of the Hindu God – Lord Shiva. One night in the village and you will see that the rains are so strong that the villagers need to use thick grass that will sound-proof their homes from the thunderous rains. Mawsynram is just three hours away from Shillong, the Meghalayan capital.

How To Reach Mawsynram?

So you can land in the Umroi Airport of Shillong and then reach this wettest place on Earth. When there are no direct flights to Shillong, then you can go via Guwahati airport. If you have some time and want to savour the beauty of nature, you can also reach Guwahati by train and travel farther by a bus. There are buses plying from Shillong and Guwahati that run through the neighbouring states which looks like places out of a picture postcard. The airport at Shillong is actually the nearest airport that takes you to Mawsynram.

Often, many tourists cover this distance of almost a hundred kilometres by a car. A three hour drive from the airport to Mawsynram will allow you to feed on the sights and sounds of nature. The weather is simply awesome. So, for those who do not have a direct flight to Shillong, you can just choose the one that lands in Guwahati and then drive for around 70 km to Shillong.

7 Beautiful Places that you must see!

Interiors of the Mawsmai caves

In the Mawsmai village you will come across the holy cave of the Khasis which is as long as 150 metres. For the explorers at heart, these caves are very easy to pass through. What an ideal place for cave diving too! So don’t miss a visit to the Mawsmai caves. Located only 6 kms away from Cherrapunji, these are some amazing cave systems dipped in mystery which are a real treat for cave explorers. Once you enter these caves you will feel transported to another land. The caves are well lit and the glistening lights add magic when they dance on the limestone. It is an experience that you will carry back home, when you stand inside the limestone caves and watch the scintillating play of lights creating magical hues.

1. Mawsmai Falls

Mawsmai Falls

Do not miss the Mawsmai Falls which are breathtakingly beautiful. Water rushes here atop the limestone cliffs of the Khasi Hills at a height of over a thousand feet. This is the fourth highest waterfall in India and is a waterfall that has seven segments. The Mawsmai Falls are a little away from Mawsynram and are a major tourist attraction.

2. Nohkalikai

Another highest waterfall in India is Nohkalikai, just 5 kms away from Mawsynram. It is a spectacular sight to watch the water fall from a gigantic height of over 1000 feet. This natural spectacle is tucked amidst the beautiful evergreen rainforests of the Khasi Hills and flows with all its majesty into a lagoon. This place is surely a jewel in the crown of Meghalaya.

3. Maylyngbna

Maylyngbna is located 25 kms away and is known for its natural geyser as well as rich fossils. There are very few places in India which host a natural geyser and this makes it a major tourist attraction.

4. Mawlynnong village

Monsoon at Cherrapunji

The Mawlynnong village is one of Asia’s cleanest villages. Do not miss the chance to have lovely home-cooked food with the locals. The best part is that these vegetables are all organically grown. The meat too comes from the birds and animals which are reared in-house. You must taste the pork tossed in greens and bell pepper, freshly cut and smoked banana flowers or the “Jadoh“ which is an exotic dish containing rice and meat.

5. Tungrymbai

If you are a vegetarian, do try out the Tungrymbai which is a plate of fermented soybeans and bamboo leaves stirred with local spices. During festive times which is during Behdienkhlam in July, you get to see the culture of this quaint place very closely. I had heard lots about the Nongkrem Dance Festival and had visited during the autumn break. It was a wonderful experience to sit and eat with the Khasis and take part in their local customs. The children of the Khasi tribe bear their mother’s surname and the mother passes down the wealth that is there in the family to the youngest daughter.

6. Root Bridges of Mawlynnong

You will be awestruck by the root bridges of Mawlynnong. These living root bridges have earned the name of a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Do not come back without having a look at them hanging on a river. The gigantic roots of a single rubber tree connects to another and is a unique natural phenomena.

7. Cherrapunji

One of the famous places of  North-East, which you must not miss is Cherrapunji which is the second wettest place on earth. This is the only place in India where it rains all throughout the year .This beautiful town of Cherrapunji also referred to as Sohra and Churra is only 15 km away from Mawsynram. Sitting in the homestays with a hot cup of tea in hand while the rain dances on the roof is a wonderful memory that you will cherish forever.

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Go back drenched with exotic memories

Living Root Bridges

Not only the beauty of the land, but the simple lifestyle of the people made me carry back some wonderful moments. While some memories were captured behind the lenses, there are thousands more which I carry in my heart. So, go ahead and plan a trip to one of the wettest places on Earth and let the experience wash away the vagaries of your daily grind.

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Savouring gorgeous monsoons in Munnar

Chinnakanal Waterfalls

Do you want to go on a vacation somewhere but are put off by the idea of crowds? Are you looking for some place peaceful and serene so that you can unwind properly? Well, rather than looking for a quiet hamlet which is very rare to find in a country as populated as India, it is best to go on a vacation during the monsoons. Most tourists avoid the monsoons while planning their vacation due to safety issues as well as other concerns and thus it is the perfect time to appreciate the serenity and peace that a place can offer without any interruptions or crowds.

Moreover, monsoons can truly transform a place into a magical land and the experience is something very special that everyone should witness at least once in their lifetime. Among idyllic hill stations in India, Munnar has to be one of the most charming places that become even more gorgeous during the rainy season. Munnar weather is very soothing and comforting throughout the year and the rains make it even more relaxing. Moreover, the place is flooded with natural beauty and picturesque views, making it a perfect vacation spot by all means.

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Best Time To Visit Munnar

Best time to visit Munnar in the rainiest months with drenched tea gardens, forests and green rolling hills greeting your eyes and pleasing your heart, it is ideal to plan your visit during the months of June to July. You might get soaked from time to time but the resulting bliss and joy is unparalleled. The weather also remains cool and windy which is very calming and helps you de-stress instantly.

The easiest way to reach Munnar is by taking a flight to either Cochin or Madurai airport and hiring a cab from there or you can board a train to Ernakulam or even the Aluva railway stations. Connectivity by road is good enough and thus you won’t face any issues. However, it is advised that you do not drive during the rainy season and hire an experienced driver instead.

6 Best Places To Visit in Munnar

Munnar Tea Plantations

Munnar is a natural delight! With abundant scenic beauty, miles of lush greenery, pristine lakes and rivers and the most tantalising waterfalls, this place is ideal for a relaxing getaway that will make your wanderer soul sing out in joy. However, apart from exploring the massive tea gardens and forests on your own, there are multiple other places to visit in Munnar that you can check out to embrace the real essence of the place. Read on!

1. Chinnakanal Waterfalls

Among the various delightful waterfalls scattered across the hill station, Chinnakanal deserves a special mention. This majestic waterfall cascades down through boulders and mossy rocks from a great height and is a true spectacle! The gushing water almost looks foamy white and is an absolute sight to behold. This marvellous beauty is located 20 kms away from Thekkady.

2. Mattupetty Dam

This manmade wonder stands tall at 1700m and gives you the breathtaking panoramic view of the hills and landscapes of Munnar in all its glory. The dam is one of the highest in the area and is located on the outskirts. During the monsoons, it is a must to visit this dam since the view of the smouldering cloudy skies and majestic hills in the distance is nothing short of cinematic!

3. Lockhart Gap

This is one of the most interesting sites in Munnar where a gap between two mountains forms the shape of a heart, from where it derives its name. It is a real delight to visit this place during the monsoons as the ambience and the splendid view will remain etched in your heart forever. This spot will fall on your way to Mattupetty.

3. Eravikulum National Park

Nilgiri Tahr in Eravikulum National Park

Home to Mt. Anamudi, the highest South Indian peak, this national park abounds in a vast variety of flowers and shelters several species of animals. It is a magical little wonderland amidst Munnar where you will find rare species like the Nilgiri Tahrs and even the famous Neelakurinji flowers that bloom every 12 years. During the rains, the park comes to life with every droplet and regains its vibrancy and joy. The freshly showered plants and beautiful flowers make for a treat for sore eyes.

4. Kundala Lake

Boat rides are a favourite for every traveller. However, it becomes even more remarkable with the surrounding views of the lush green fields and valleys. If you are lucky you can even get a glimpse of cherry blossoms that bloom twice a year and turn the area into a magical paradise. However, nothing can be more romantic than a boat ride in the rains as you take in the scenic beauty!

5. Pothamedu View Point

Pothamedu View Point

If you are an adventurous soul, then you would surely love some monsoon trekking and hiking. One of the best trails takes you to the Pothamedu View Point from where you can see the Muthirapuzha River and Idukki Arch Dam on a clear day. However during the monsoons, it is a very different ambience. The view from the point will make you feel like you are floating on clouds as the cottony whites envelope the whole area and cast a spell that will keep you enchanted. The surrounding green forests and valleys look even more beautiful through the mist in the air.

Embrace the Rain Drenched Beauty

Mattupetty Dam

Since our country experiences such diverse rainfall, each place transforms into a mystical and magical land in its own unique way. Munnar is such a natural beauty with delightful places and views in every nook and corner. However the rains add tranquillity and fairy dust to this idyllic hill station and it evolves into a land of dreams. The weather remains perfectly soothing and comfortable.

It is the right ambience to appreciate the unadulterated beauty of the hills and the forests as Nature dances and prances away freely through her rainfall and the earthy fragrances will enchant you even further. So what are you waiting for? The perfect monsoon getaway is here.

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Reasons Why Kodaikanal is a Perfect Monsoon Travel Destination

Evergreen forests of Kodaikanal

The Princess of Hill Stations

Are you someone who loves the monsoons? Do the melody of the raindrops, the freshly showered trees, the intoxicating earthy smell and the cool crisp winds call out to you? Then, you must travel to a hill station during monsoons because nothing can beat the ethereal experience of walking through lush green forests with the majestic mountains in the distance while the rain drenches you. It is not only thrilling but also very romantic and memorable.

For the best hill station experience during the monsoons, Kodaikanal in Tamil Nadu is ideal. Popularly known as the ‘Princess of Hill Stations’, this idyllic paradise comes alive during the rains as the dense forests, sparkling lakes and waterfalls look gorgeous and vibrant. If you have been yearning for an escape to the mountains during the monsoons, then Kodaikanal awaits you!

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Best Time To Visit Kodaikanal

Monsoon in Kodaikanal is best experienced during the months of July to September. The surroundings turn bountiful and evergreen, with different sweet flowers blooming everywhere and the water bodies overflow and become even more powerful and lively. It is a sight that needs to be cherished! Kodaikanal weather during this time also remains very cool and comfortable, just the right ambience to explore the beatific lands, take long walks or even gaze at the raindrops from the comfort of your room while indulging in your favourite snacks.

How To Reach Kodaikanal?

The best way to reach Kodaikanal is through either Madurai Airport or Coimbatore Airport from where you will find a lot of cars ready to take you to the hill station. Both Tamil Nadu and Kerala have great bus services that easily connect tourists to Kodaikanal. Therefore, connectivity is not an issue at all!

What Makes Kodaikanal Such a Perfect Monsoon Destination?

With beautiful scenic landscapes and various gorgeous places to visit, Kodaikanal is full of surprises that will fill your heart with bliss. Add to that some soothing rainfall and you have the perfect vacation recipe prepared! It is exactly what your parched soul needs and after a trip to this majestic hill station you will feel energized and reborn. Without further ado let’s find out the amazing places to visit in Kodaikanal that makes it such an ideal monsoon getaway!

1. Brilliant Waterfalls

Silver Cascade, Kodaikanal

Kodaikanal has some of the prettiest waterfalls whose beauty will leave you bewitched. However, during the monsoons they become even more ethereal and mightier, casting a magical spell on the land. Some of these waterfalls like Glen Falls, Fairy Falls, Silver Cascade, Bear Shola Falls and more are very popular in the area and it is highly recommended that you trek down to these falls for the most refreshing time. You will be amazed at their sheer power and beauty as they cascade down from such heights.

2. Serene Lakes

Kodaikanal Lake

One of the most spectacular lakes here is the Kodai Lake, the crown jewel of the hill station. It is a star shaped, manmade wonder surrounded by the gorgeous views of the Palani hills and lush vivid greenery. You can enjoy a relaxing boat ride here while admiring your surroundings while your carefully curated monsoon playlist hums in the background. Add a bit of light drizzle to it and it will be the most romantic thing ever! You should also visit the beautiful Berijam Lake which is a freshwater reservoir nestled within the lush green forests.

3. Breathtaking Views

Pillar rock view at Kodaikanal

Kodaikanal is renowned for the most awe inspiring views and landscapes that this hill station is blessed with. The cool misty winds, the cloudy skies engulfing the lofty mountains and the forests swaying and whispering as the rain drizzles on them will seem like the perfect setting for some magic to happen! You should definitely visit some popular tourist spots like Pillar Rocks, Dolphin’s Nose, Coakers Walk, Byrant’s Park, Green Valley View and more for excellent panoramic views that will stay with you forever! You can even enjoy some thrilling treks here.

4. Romantic Weather

As a hill station, Kodaikanal enjoys chilly and cosy weather throughout the year. However, the rains make it more thrilling and provide you the much needed peace and tranquillity that you have been looking for! It is comfortable and soothing which is ideal for exploring since you won’t get tired or sweat easily. The occasional showers will keep you cool and relaxed and brighten up your surroundings. It is a true treat for your soul!

5. Delectable Dishes

Monsoons are incomplete without indulging in the tastiest snacks and delicacies that will leave you craving for more! Kodaikanal has some very popular eateries that serve authentic South Indian dishes that you can savour while enjoying the blissful rain drenched views outside. Mention must be made of Cloud Street, Muncheez, Astro Veg and other such quaint restaurants and cafes that will keep your tummy full and heart warm throughout your trip!

Step into Paradise

Winding roads of Kodaikanal

If you have been looking for an escape from the daily grind of city life and let the adventure seeking spirit within free, then Kodaikanal is where you need to be! India has the most gorgeous monsoons and the natural splendour of this hill station unfurl its true beauty at the first drop of rainfall. Nothing can be more relaxing and rejuvenating than to take long walks without any fixed destination in mind as the rain drenched green surroundings fill you with much needed peace and serenity and replenish your soul from deep within.

Chase the clouds and play hide and seek with the mountains as you explore the land and embrace a home far away from home that Kodaikanal becomes for every traveller. After all, what more does a wanderer need than picturesque views and soothing weather? Pack your bags, do your research and hop on the next flight or train to this land of mysticism! Don’t forget your came!

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5 Monsoon Destinations in India

Lonavala

Whenever you plan a vacation, you will always be advised to avoid the months of June to August as the torrential rains will surely be a spoilsport. However, India experiences gorgeous and vibrant rains that cast a magical spell around the country and transforms many lands into a mystical paradise. With different parts of the country receiving different levels of rainfall, each place adopts a unique ambience that is so special and breathtaking.

With heavy downpour in the South and calming drizzles in the West, sunny delight in the Himalayas and lush wet rains in the East, our country evolves and morphs into beatific wonders, each in its own way, which every passionate explorer needs to witness. Moreover, what is even an obstacle to a true traveller? Venture out to the unknown and you will surprised at the sheer beauty and splendour you discover during the monsoons. Here are 5 heavenly monsoon destinations in India that reach the pinnacle of their glory during the rains. Let’s check them out!

Re-Discover these 5 Destinations in Monsoon

It is such a disappointment when you get some free time during monsoon seasons but cannot plan a trip because of all the risk factors. Well, bid your worries goodbye because there are several places to visit in June, July and August! These amazing tourist spots come alive during monsoons with the marvellous pillow like clouds leisurely meandering about in the skies and the surrounding greenery dancing and prancing to the soothing winds and pitter patter of rain drops.

It is not only exhilarating and adventurous but also the cool winds in your hair, the wet splashes, the swaying trees and the intoxicating smell of the earth, all of it creates such a romantic atmosphere which you cannot experience anywhere else. So let’s see the five best places in India during monsoon.

5 Destinations in Monsoon

  1. Lonavala
  2. Cherrapunji
  3. Alleppey
  4. Valley of Flowers
  5. Orchha

1. Lonavala

 This idyllic hill station in the Sahyadri Mountains of the Western Ghats is a lush green paradise. With dense green forests, picturesque scenery, voluptuous rivers and magnificent waterfalls, Lonavala is the ideal place to visit during monsoons. It can be easily accessed from either Pune or Mumbai and the drive itself is one of the most memorable and beautiful things ever! Some of the most popular spots in Lonavala are Bhushi Dam built on the gorgeous Indrayani river, Pawna Lake and Tungarli Lake which will transport you to a different world altogether with the surrounding forests looking enticing in the rains and Tikona and Rajmachi Fort, which are two of the most famous historical sites here. If your heart is yearning for something thrilling and unforgettable then you should definitely go for trekking to the Tiger’s Leap and Lion’s Point which not only have exciting terrain but also the best scenic views from the points.

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2. Cherrapunji

Cherrapunji

With the first sprinkle of rain, the North East brightens up and unfurls its true beauty. However, the place that embodies the monsoons is definitely Cherrapunji in Meghalaya. Enjoy rustic villages, lush green hills and valleys, varieties of flora and fauna and the fluffiest clouds while you absorb the rain drenched land and all the wonderful things it has to offer. Since it is the second rainiest place in the world, the rivers and waterfalls here overflow and look ethereal. You should definitely visit the Nokhalikai Falls to witness its sheer might and aura during the rains. Take a walk through the forests, root bridges, adventurous trails and unexplored caves while the white clouds envelop the lands in a hug. Shillong and Guwahati are the closest places to access Cherrapunji from.

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3. Alleppey

Alleppey

Alleppey in Kerala looks absolutely spectacular in the monsoons. Lush green fields and hills with beautiful rivers and backwaters makes this place a real treat. It’s truly blissful to enjoy a boat ride in Alleppey through the backwaters, canals and lakes with the refreshing misty rain caressing you. The abundance of natural beauty here will refresh your mind and soul and monsoons are also perfect for Ayurveda which is very popular here. The closest airport is Cochin while you can also ride a train to Alleppey.

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4. Valley of Flowers

Valley of Flowers

No other place can be better for a monsoon trip than the Valley of Flowers in Uttarakhand. The rains bring all the flowers to life and they erupt in the most vibrant hues across the valley, looking a lot like a fantasy world. The valley has more than 400 varieties of flowers and you can enjoy a thrilling trek to this paradise for an even better experience. Imagine walking through miles of flowers with the magnificent mountains standing tall in the distance and the misty chill after a refreshing downpour settling within your bones – true bliss! The nearest bus station is Govindghat which can be accessed through both Rishikesh and Dehradun.

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5. Orchha

Orchha

This historical town in Madhya Pradesh turns into a golden delight during the monsoons. Since it remains dry for the most part of the year in the Malwa Plateau, the rain really brings out the liveliness and beauty of the place. The Betwa River running beside the town flows full of life and the town gets painted in vibrant greens which makes it look serene and romantic. The historical monuments, temples, buildings and forts return to their old glory after the first shower and the picturesque hilly backdrop truly looks like a living painting. The drive to the town is itself very soothing and enjoyable. You can easily access Orchha through Gwalior or even Jhansi.

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Adventurous yet Soothing

Plan a trip to one of these monsoon destinations in India for a healing and therapeutic vacation. Embark on exciting treks and hikes or take long relaxing walks with the fresh and cool winds caressing your face and the blissful scenic beauty blessing your soul. These locations are not only perfect for a getaway with your friends or even loved ones but they’re also great for a solo trip. No other season can be better than monsoon for some spiritual soul searching!

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7 enchanting places to visit in Lonavala during the rainy season

Lonavala

For those who love to get drenched in the rains and then lie back and feel the freshness of the wet soil without having a care in the world, monsoon in Lonavala should be on your bucket list. This lovely hill town wears a cloak of magic and is covered with mist throughout the monsoons. Run away from the madness of the world this monsoon with your soul mate or with your own self.

Or are you an adventure enthusiast whose true self comes alive during a monsoon trek?  No matter what your calling is, experience the Lonavala monsoon tourism and make memories of a lifetime.

How To Reach Lonavala?

There are many ways to reach Lonavala and feel the romance amidst the lashing rains on the Western Ghats. In Lonavala too, there are many beautiful spots which will make you want to stay there forever. Lonavala can be reached from Pune or from Mumbai and is in the lap of the Sahyadri Mountains. Lonavala has something to offer to travel enthusiasts all throughout the year. Those who love to feel the raindrops dance on their face will relish the monsoon months of June to September when it can rain for even 24 hours at a stretch. The waterfalls gushing with water slide down the mountains with full vigour. The dams too are full to the brim and the weather is so dreamy that you feel like losing yourself to nature.

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Best Time To Visit Lonavala

Lonavala Mountains

October to February is the best time to visit Lonavala to go for sightseeing and short treks . The next few weeks after the monsoon has drifted from Lonavala, the weather is just perfect post the showers. The breathtaking view and the greenery is a sure treat for the sore eyes of those who live in the hot plains. With the absence of incessant rains, it is now easier and comfortable to travel in the town. With swarms of tourists and honeymooning couples making the best of the romantic weather in Lonavala, careful pre-planning and booking of hotels should be done.

7 Places in Lonavala you just cannot afford to miss!

  1. Bhushi Dam
  2. Pawna Dam
  3. Tungarli Lake
  4. Tiger’s Leap
  5. Lion’s Point
  6. Rajmachi Fort
  7. Tikona Fort

1. Bhushi Dam

Bhushi Dam

The Bhushi Dam is one of the best places to visit in Lonavala amidst the lashing rains. The gush of water running down the dam gives a very vivacious feel to the tourists. Imagine sitting with your partner on the steps or doing a rain dance holding each other very close. If you haven’t felt love before, this experience will draw you closer. For those going with families, children are seen splashing in the waters and laughing away. Old couples too reminisce their youth by holding hands and feeling the rainwater kiss their wrinkled souls. So be it sixteen or sixty , the monsoon in Lonavala will make you laugh like a six year old child being allowed to dance in the rains for the first time.

2. Pawna Dam

I will never forget the family outing I had in the Pawna Dam in a beautiful boat amidst the lakes. Monsoon truly enhances the beauty and the freshness of this beautiful place. Encircled by the forests of Lohagad, Tikona and Visapur, the serene Pawna Dam and lake after a brief spell of rains is like a pretty maiden drenched in rain. A day with no plans except for leisurely strolls, hiking and boating is the perfect way to rejuvenate. For those who love the adrenaline gush, go ahead for parasailing, jet skiing and other exciting water sports.

3. Tungarli Lake

Tungarli Lake is where beauty meets tranquility and is a must visit for tired souls seeking few moments of peace. The lake attracts hordes of nature lovers and backpackers who find this as the perfect place to camp after a beautiful trek. The sparkling water energises your tired feet and the raindrops against your eyelashes makes you feel that you are in wonderland. This romantic place is frequented by photographers as well as couples.

4. Tiger’s Leap

For that most awesome cliff top view, Tiger’s Leap is just not to be missed. The cliff gets this name as it resembles a tiger jumping from a cliff. After a hike, when we reached the top of the cliff, we were simply awestruck by the beauty of Mother Nature. I can still feel the cool breeze of that misty morning.

5. Lion’s Point

A mesmeric sunset point is the Lion’s Point. Holding hands while perched on a cliff with your sweetheart, this place offers amazing views. It is also famous for night trekking. So, the list of places that you must visit while the rains beat upon the tin sheds in Lonavala must include Lion’s Point. This is the place for adventure seekers, nature lovers, mountaineers and photographers. Guess what? My first camel ride was at this place.

6. Rajmachi Fort

A very popular place to visit in Lonavala during the rains is the Rajmachi Fort. The surroundings which are otherwise rustic wear a luscious green coat during the monsoons. Adventure freaks take their bikes up to the fort as it rains and breathe in the lovely view of the Western Ghats and Shirota Dam.

7. Tikona Fort

View from Tikona Fort

For the wanderers, the Tikona Fort with its high fortifications and large doorways as well as water tanks coupled with the ecstatic view is definitely one of the best places to visit near Lonavala during the monsoons. It is best to visit during daytime and carry home memories of the heritage temple, caves and the stone wheel on top of the fort. Lonavala monsoon tourism is not complete without gastronomical delights that   include Vada pav with a cup of hot tea. It is fun to munch the moong dal pakoras and samosas while the raindrops keep falling.

Go back with a bagful of memories:

Waterfalls at Lonavala

Bidding farewell to the romance of rains is not going to be easy. But then again, you will be carrying a backpack filled with memories. The surreal locations and the magic of monsoon will refresh your thirsty soul and give you fresh oxygen for the next few months. Come again next monsoon, the pitter patter of the raindrops will make you yearn for Lonavala once again. Till then enjoy the rhythm of the falling rains during monsoon in Lonavala!