Here are the top 11 monsoon getaways in the Western Ghats. They are ideal for nature lovers and adventure enthusiasts alike and perhaps the best place in India to enjoy the full glory of the monsoons. The rains add a sensuous touch to the entire landscape of this region and transform it into a magical and lush paradise.Book your flight now!
Mumbai-Pune Highway Route, Maharashtra
This drive is something you cannot miss if you want to experience some of the best views of the Western Ghats in Maharashtra during the rainy season. The routes are scenic and quiet, with gentle green slopes, winding roads and smooth traffic. The six lane expressway is flanked by beautiful small peaks on both sides and it offers the space and silence to experience the Western Ghats at their best.
Travel: The highway is safe even in the rainy season so don’t hesitate to plan a road trip in the monsoons.
At a height of about 600 m from sea level, it’s cooler than Khandala year round. This quaint town is guarded by tall green hills that sometimes hide their heads behind lazy mists. In the rains, Igatpuri’s hills and deep river valleys burst into many shades of green and the streams and waterfalls gush with water.
The twin towns of Mahabaleshwar-Panchgani have fair weather virtually year around. However, monsoon months in Mahabaleshwar are the best time to visit as the hills are at their greenest. Find your way to scenic spots like Sunset Point and Arthur’s Seat, famous places to visit in Mahableshwar, to make the most of your trip.
Varandha Pass, Maharashtra
Located between Konkan and NH4 in Maharashtra, and about 108 km from the city of Pune, Varandha Pass is a lovely route that is wrapped with scenic lakes and gushing waterfalls. This little known place is just the perfect choice for getting drenched in the rain while you soak up the mesmerizing natural beauty around you.
Kakkabe lies at the base of the Western Ghats in southern Coorg. This heavy region has a dense rainforest that comprises a rich bounty of rare orchids, plants and birds. Scenic treks take you to Mallamma Betta, SomaMale and Kabbe Pass, from where you can espy clouds caressing Kerala’s hills.
The prize catch is Thadiyendamol (1745 m), which is the highest peak in Coorg. A visit to Kakkabe is recommended in the month of September to get the best of the monsoon experience in this quaint town.
Karkala in Karnataka is a holy Jain town tucked away in the Western Ghats, overlooking the coast. The drive up to Karkala is splendid in the rains. From the centre of this picturesque little town rises the Gommata Betta Hill, crowned with a huge monolith of Lord Bahubali, the first Jain Tirthankara. During the rains, the place looks just picture perfect with misty mountains and lush vegetation stretching as far as the eye can see.
Famous for its lush green tea plantations, Munnar’s claim to fame is its breath-taking natural beauty and the rain just completes this beautiful picture. More than 12,000 hectares of lush, manicured tea fields form an irresistible canvas during the monsoons.
Stately eucalyptus plantations, which fuel the many tea factories in the vicinity, sway gently in the wind, their fragrance wafting over Munnar. Shola trees hug the mist-shrouded hillsides, sheltering many endangered species of wildlife.
Ponmudi Hills, Kerala
Ponmudi is a scenic feast as is the journey there. The Kallar River, 16 km before Ponmudi, has a riverbed and banks crowded with rocks and pebbles of all colours and shapes. If light trekking is your passion, Meenmutti has forests, a gurgling Kallar, and many species of birds.
Even though it doesn’t fit in the regular list of hill stations in Kerala, misty and bird-filled, Ponmudi is one of the best places to visit in monsoon in the Western Ghats.
Ooty, Tamil Nadu
You will get a heady cocktail of rolling hills, tea plantations, villages, unbridled greenery and unexpected lakes when you visit the hill station of Ooty during the rains as the place is simply delightful at this time. Walks and rides around the hills are probably the best way to enjoy a holiday here.
However, if panoramic views speak to your soul and if you want a clear picture of the mutual geography of these pretty Nilgiri beauty spots — Ooty, Coonoor, Ketty, Avalanche… — you shouldn’t leave without visiting Dodda Betta. At 2650 meters from the sea level, this is the highest peak in the area and is located at the juncture of the Western and Eastern Ghats. On a clear day you can also see the plains of Coimbatore and the Mysore Plateau.
Coonoor, Tamil Nadu
Small and serene for the most part, mist-wrapped Coonoor is quite stunning during the rains. Part of the Nilgiri mountain range, a visit to some of the scenic points in Coonoor promises you excellent views of the Western Ghats. A not to miss experience is the Nilgiri Mountain Railway, which is not just a train journey, it’s a slow-motion, toy-sized version of a train journey against hilly, lush movie set backdrops and across bridges strung at daredevil altitudes.
Poombarai Village, Tamil Nadu
Located about 18 km from Kodaikanal, this small, pretty village is located in the foothills of Palani mountain range and is one of the best places for stunning views of the lush green Western Ghats. This sleepy place may not be as popular as other hill stations in Tamil Nadu, but it is worth visiting if you like to spend some time in nature with only your thoughts for the company.
Enjoy the rains to the hilt as you head to any of these top 11 places to visit in monsoon in the Western Ghats.
Photo by flickr users bluesmoon, Maharasthra Tourism, Kerala Tourism, and Marathipunekar!