Raindrops are falling on my head! Monsoon season is here. Perfect time for a long drive on winding roads or enjoy a cup of hot tea in some café or probably soak yourself in the rain (if you like it, I enjoy it with a cup of tea and pakoras)
Traveling in Monsoon can be challenging, but it has its perks. Witnessing nature in its true glory, gleaming with bright colors is an experience that one can’t miss. Misty mountains, beautiful landscapes, rainbows, cascading waterfall, and the earthy scent of the soil. Monsoon is the best season to feel close to nature and absorb yourself in its beauty. Monsoon is a season to explore beautiful destinations in their full glory.
South India is bestowed with stunning hill stations and an impressive coastline. I have been lucky to visit many locations, especially during the monsoon season. I am sharing a list of the best destinations you can visit during the rainy season. If you like rain, plan to visit one of these stunning locations this year.
Best places to visit in South India during monsoon season
Distance from Bangalore: 250 km approx.
Known for: Sightseeing, Hiking, Experiencing nature, Coffee & Spice plantations
Also known as the Scotland of India, a mesmerizing hill station nestled in the lap of western ghats. From misty lush green mountains, cascading waterfalls, the aroma of freshly grounded coffee and spices, a unique cuisine to rich cultural and religious history, Coorg is a perfect holiday destination for all. Apart from idyllic beauty, Coorg is also known for adventure activities like hiking, trekking, river rafting, etc. Coorg is captivating during the monsoons. However, some areas get flooded during the peak monsoon season. Do plan your trip either in the beginning or towards the end of the season. read more about it here.
How to reach Coorg: It takes 5-6 hours to reach Coorg by Car from Bangalore. The nearest Airports are Mysore, Mangalore, and Bangalore. The nearest railway station is at Mysore and Hassan.
Distance from Bangalore: 245 km (approx.)
Known for: Unwinding, Nature, Hiking, Coffee Plantatiobeyn
Another breathtaking destination is Karnataka. Situated on the foothill of Mullayangiri Mountains in western ghats, Chikmagalur is a heaven for nature lovers. Over the past few years, the place is thronged by tourists from Karnataka and adjoining states but to most, it’s still largely undiscovered. Known for its dense forest, magnificent waterfalls, lush green coffee plantation, and steep mountains with patches of light green meadows, Chikmagalur is a perfect place to spend quality time with nature.Reaching the waterfalls or climbing to Mullayangiri peak is no less than an adventure. I remember leeches sticking to us while walking up to the waterfalls during the rainy season. Drive yourself only if you’re comfortable in driving through steep and narrow mountain roads.Read more about Chikmagalur here.
How to reach Chikmagalur: Mangalore is the nearest Airport at 113 km from Chikmagalur. The nearest railway station is Kadur which is 40 km away. Chikmagalur is connected with the cities like Bangalore, Chennai, Mangalore by road.
Distance from Bangalore: 285 km
Known for: Sightseeing, Unwinding, Nature Exploration, Hiking, Tea Plantation
This sleepy hamlet in Kerala is unknown to many. I came to know about Wayanad only after shifting to Bangalore. Surrounded by dense forest, the Wayanad wildlife sanctuary is home to animals like Asiatic elephants, tigers, peacocks, leopards, deer, etc. If you are lucky, you can spot a few animals while crossing the forest area. Wayanad has lakes, water reservoirs, caves, trekking spots, and a lot more to explore. This underrated destination is perfect for those, looking for a peaceful time away from the hustle-bustle of the city. Many stretches here have no network, very few shops and houses. Wayanad has plenty of resorts, cottages, and homestays to fit every budget and preference.
How to reach Wayanad: Kozhikode is the nearest airport at 85 Km. Wayanad is connected to bigger cities by road. The entry to the forested area closes by 9 pm. It and opens at 6 am. To reach the check post before the closing time.
Distance from Bangalore: 221 km
Known for: Trekking and hiking, religious visit
Magnificent mountain trails, panoramic vistas, camping under the stars, and much more. Be an adventure enthusiast or a nature lover, Sakelshpur will not disappoint you. Known for its stunning landscape and unparalleled natural beauty, some well-known treks in Sakleshpur include Kumara Parvatha trek, railway bridge trek, Ombattu Gudda, Agni Gudda Hill. Another famous attraction here is the 18th century, star-shaped Manjarabad fort which offers a sweeping vista of the mountains. The 14th-century Sakleshwara temple is Lord Shiva Temple built by the river Hemavathy is another place worth exploring.
How to reach Sakleshpur: Mangalore is the nearest airport (162kms). Sakleshpur has a railway station. It is also connected with major cities by road.
5. Jog Falls, Shimoga
Distance from Bangalore: 400 km (approx.)
Known for: Exploring the nature
Misty waterfalls nestled in the lush green mountains of western Ghats are a sight to behold. Jog Falls, the second-highest plunge fall in India, is one of the most stunning waterfalls in Karnataka. Situated in Sagar taluk on Sharavathi River, these segmented falls are a group of four magnificent cascades, namely raja, rani, roarer, and rocket. Because of its breath-taking beauty, sheer height, and easily accessible viewpoint (you don’t need to trek through difficult path unlike other waterfalls) Jog falls are a popular tourist attraction and is quite crowded. As the gates of the linganamakki dam open, the water gushes and plunges down the mountains in all its glory. Apart from a splendid viewpoint, you can reach till the bottom of the falls.Read more about places to visit near Jog falls.
How to reach Jog falls: Mangalore at 243 km is the nearest airport from Jog falls. The nearest railway station is Shimoga. Jog falls can be easily reached by road.
Distance from Bangalore: 265 km (approx.)
Known for: Sight-seeing, Nature, Tea plantation
Glistening green tea plantation, terrace farms across the mountain slopes, tall trees, and beautiful helmets, Ooty or Udhagamandalam is the crown jewel in Nilgiri hills. Also known as the queen of hills, Ooty is the most popular hill station in South India. Once the Summer Capital for East India Company, Monsoon brings the best in Ooty.
Some of the popular attractions in Ooty are the botanical garden, Ooty lake, vibrant marketplace, toy train ride, and many cafes. You can shop for spices, essential oils, tea, and other handicrafts here. Situated 20 km from Ooty, Coonoor is another captivating hill station worth including in your travel plan.
How to reach Ooty: About 80 km away, Coimbatore is the nearest airport from Ooty. The railway station in Ooty is connected with other railway stations in Tamilnadu. Ooty is also well connected with other cities by road.
7. Alleppey (Alappuzha)
Distance from Bangalore: 590 km (approx.)
Known for: houseboats, backwaters, beaches
Once described by George Curzon, the Viceroy of India as the “Venice of East” Alleppey is one of the oldest planned cities along the Laccadive Sea coast. The city is best known for its unique houseboats cruising along the beautiful backwaters of Kerala. These backwaters are the most popular attraction in Kerala for domestic and international tourists alike. Staying on the houseboat, soaking yourself in the tranquility of nature, and relishing the fresh fishes cooked on the boat (although I am a vegetarian) is a one-of-a-kind experience. The raindrops falling on the water adds a magical melody to the atmosphere.
How to reach Alleppey: Located 75 km away from Alleppey, Cochin international airport is the nearest airport. Alleppey has its railway station, and it is also well connected with the major cities by road.
Distance from Bangalore: 470 km (approx.)
Known for: Scenic vista, wildlife, tea plantation, romantic getaway
Situated at an altitude of 6000 ft above sea level, Munnar is a mesmerizing hill station in the Idukki district of Kerala. A popular honeymoon destination and nature lovers paradise, Munnar synonym for the vast expanses of lush green tea plantations, unparallel natural beauty, and rich biodiversity. This heavenly destination is also known for Neelakurinji or Strobilanthus. A flower that blooms once in 12 years and attracts tourists from all over the world. Some popular places in Munnar include Eravikulam National Park, a habitat for the endangered mountain goat Nilgiri tahr, Lakkam Waterfalls, Mattupetty dam, tea museum, and Anamudi peak.
How to Reach Munnar: Kochi Airport is the nearest airport situated 110 km away. Kochi or Ernakulam is the nearest railway station. Munnar is connected to other cities by road.
Distance from Bangalore: 464 km (approx.)
Known for: sightseeing, natural beauty
Known as “The Princess of Hill Stations” Kodaikanal is another popular honeymoon destination in India. At an altitude of 7000 ft above sea level, Kodaikanal is blessed with enchanting forests, mist-covered mountains, waterfalls, and much more. The hill station gets greener and alluring during the Monsoon season. The town centers around an artificial lake, the center of attraction, and a popular hangout spot. At the lake, you can enjoy activities like boat rowing, boating, cycling around the lake, walking, shopping, etc. Other attractions in Kodaikanal are Coaker’s Walk, Bryant Park, and Silver cascade fall.
How to reach Kodaikanal: At about 120 km away, Madurai International airport is the closest Airport. Kodaikanal has a small railway station. Kodaikanal is well connected by road with major cities.
Distance from Bangalore: 552 km (approx.)
Known for: Adventure, Natural beauty
You might have come across the stunning pictures of Dudhsagar waterfall somewhere! The spectacular four-tiered waterfall on the Mandovi river in Goa is one of the highest waterfalls in India. Dudhsagar is located inside the Bhagawan Mahavir Sanctuary and Mollem national park and is difficult to access. The jeep services drop you at a place, from there you need to walk through the narrow path, thick forest, streams. Once you reach the bottom of the falls, a captivating view awaits you. The fall looks narrow and not so impressive during dry seasons, however, they are magical during monsoons. So much so that the entry to the falls is closed during the peak monsoon season. Do check and ensure the falls are open before you visit. During our visit to Dudhsagar, we stayed at the Dudhsagar resort situated very close to the jeep pickup point.
How to reach Dudhsagar Falls: The waterfall is 60 km from Panjim and 80 km from Belgaum. The best way to reach the falls is to hire a taxi or self-drive.
Distance from Bangalore: 560 km (approx.)
Known for: relaxation, water sports , natural beauty
Although known for sunny beaches, fun watersports, shacks, and parties, Goa is as much fun in Monsoons as any other season. The rain turns this lively, happy, and vibrant place into a mystic paradise. Rain enhances the beauty of Goa by many folds. If you love greenery, enjoy getting drenched, or just looking for a break from all the city noise, Goa is the place to visit during the monsoons. One of the downsides is, watersports and shacks are closed during this season. But the good part is Goa isn’t that crowded during this time. So do visit Goa during the monsoons and enjoy the magical charm of Goa. Most popular beaches to visit in Goa.
How to reach Goa: Goa is connected with major cities across the country and the world. You can reach Goa by air, train, or road depending upon where you are traveling from.
To conclude, South India is a treasure of beautiful destinations. Although, I have tried to include some of my personal favorites. There are many more stunning places that you can add to your monsoon destinations list.
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