Lush greenery all around, rain-washed roads, muddy puddles, an intoxicating smell of rain mixed with mud, and a craving for chai-pakoda - this is a typical picture of monsoons in India. In a country with a predominant warm and tropical weather, the monsoon is welcomed wholeheartedly by the majority. Sure it also causes inconvenience of varying degree, but honestly, monsoons are a thousand time better than the sweltering summers!
Monsoon feels magical and fills the heart with instant joy. The sound of raindrops, the whistling of the wind, the occasional sounds of thundering, accompanied by lightning, all creates a dramatic mood and has some kind of charm. Monsoon is also the time when the traveler inside most of us, yearns to be at a beautiful destination to experience the pure bliss and magic that monsoon is.
If you are in Bangalore and resonate with the above, here's a list of places where you can escape to and savour the monsoon magic.
Gaganachukki And Bharachukki Falls
Surrounded by lush green, the waterfalls look their best when it rains. Pampered by the pouring rains they come roaring and gushing with all their might down the towering heights. It truly is a magnificent sight and the twin waterfalls of Gaganachukki and Bharachukki essentially prove that.
You can witness this spectacular sight by travelling for about 135 km from Bangalore to Shivanasamudra - an island city in the Madya district of Karnataka. Popularly known as the Shivanamsamudra Falls, the twin falls Gaganachukki and Bharachukki are formed as the river Kaveri takes a plunge here from a height of 320 ft and divides into two sparkling falls.
Although perennial waterfalls, the best time to experience the true splendour of Gaganachukki and Bharachukki Falls is from July to October.
PC: Riju K
Towering above the other peaks of the Western Ghats with an altitude of 2000 m, Mullayangiri is Karnataka's highest peak which is located in Chikmagalur. Blessed with a pleasant climate throughout the year, Mallayanagiri's enticing beauty is enhanced by the rain gods.
It is a popular trekking destination. A lovely drive can be taken right to the summit of the hill, a little walk from the parking and you will reach a temple located on the top. The view of verdant valleys, sprawling greenery along with the monsoon showers will be a real treat to the eyes! The place also offers a stunning view at the sunset.
Mullayangiri is located around 265 km from Bangalore. Due to its pleasant weather, Mullayanagiri can be visited round the year. However, to savour the monsoon magic, travel between July and September.
Nilgiri Mountain Railway
PC: Stephan Niewolik
Train journeys have a different charm to it. The chugging sound, the fast moving scenery by the window, it has a rhythm to it which makes it more interesting. If you love train journeys and the rains - then you must book yourself a seat in the Nilgiri Mountain Rail this monsoon!
The Nilgiri Mountain Railway often referred to as NMR, is one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in India that runs between Ooty to Mettupalayam via Coonoor and Lovedale - two other amazing hill station destinations to enjoy monsoon. The NMR is also a popular choice of shooting location for many movies. Remember the famous Shah Rukh Khan starred 'Chaiyya Chaiyya' song? It was shot on the roof of the NMR.
If you think train journeys are interesting, you will love the journey in the toy train of NMR snaking through hills and forests of the Nilgiris. It is especially a romantic one as the monsoon rains shower all their love, beautifying the hills and the landscape.
The distance between Bangalore and Ooty is about 277 km.
PC: Leelavathy B.M
Located in Coorg, around 280 km from Bangalore, Mandalpatti is one of the less-explored and therefore, a pristine and enthralling spot to visit. Perched at an altitude of 4050 ft in the Pushpagiri Reserve Forest, the peaks offer unmatched views of verdant valleys and distant views of Coorg's sprawling coffee estates.
Although it is most visited in summer or post monsoons, even beautiful otherwise, Mandalpatti especially gets a stunning makeover in the monsoon. It often gets a thick mist and fog cover, which when blown away by the wind, opens up a vista of lush greenery. If your travel style is offbeat, you must visit Mandalpatti this season.
The Chembra Peak is especially a thrill for the trekking enthusiasts. It is one of the best monsoon treks that one could go on. Located in Wayanad, about 8 km from Kalpetta, Chembra Peak is the highest peak in Wayanad. The hill is part of the Western Ghats bordered with the Nilgiri Hills of Tamil Nadu and Vellarimala of Kerala.
Apart from an exciting trek, it is also famous for a heart-shaped lake that is located at the top of the peak. Known as 'Hridayathadakam', this beautiful lake is believed to have never dried up. From the hill top, pleasant views of adjoining hill ranges and peaks open up. Entire Wayanad can also be seen from here. Prior permission from the forest office at Meppady is required to visit the place.
Wayanad can be reached by travelling 312 km from Bangalore. Several buses shuttle between Bangalore and Kalpetta regularly.
NOTE: Care must be taken while travelling to all the above-mentioned destinations as monsoons can get tricky.