Monsoon Magic. Yes, it is magical when you drive in western ghats in monsoon.
We love driving in monsoon.
It is the time when nature is at its best. It is the time when it is green all around. It is the time when dry cascades come alive and look glorious.
We drove in monsoon over two weekends. Once to Goa – Check out 5 Spectacular routes to Goa – and to Malnad on the other. We came back with fond memories of mesmerising vignettes.
We share our experience through this photo essay. A picture is worth thousand words! Hop on and experience the monsoon magic! Please click the pictures to see them in larger size.
The start. We start driving on the lovely stretch between Tumkur and Chitradurga. We are greeted by huge cloud cover over the road. A precursor of things to come……
The Vidhana Soudha in Belgaum is an awesome sight. When you are driving to Belgaum, it will strike your view as soon as you complete the small ghat section. Check this out. The architectural marvel looks great during monsoon with green carpet all round!
This time around we wanted to drive through Chorla ghat to Goa. What a drive! We leave Belgaum city – not before taking Kunda and Kachori from famed Camp Purohit’s – and are greeted by greenery all around. Fantastic road with thick canopy of trees welcome us as we start climbing.
We enjoy the drive. It rains off and on. The valley views are just too good. We stop at many places to click pictures. Like this one.
This seems to be the beginning. The main reason for us to drive on this ghats is Surla falls. The pictures we had seen were mesmerising. A small detour at the Karnataka excise check point after Delta eco Huts resorts takes us past Surla village. We come to a flat ground where a view-point is created.
We walk to the place which is 200 meters from the place we park the car. We are the only three in the whole place. It is cloudy and the valley is fully covered by mist. We walk to the view-point and can not see anything except for a blanket of cloud.
It starts raining. Sorry, pouring. We are well prepared. We have umbrellas for each one of us. Big ones. We wait for the mist to clear. After ten minutes of heavy downpour, it slows down.
Our expectations rise. Poorna shouts “Look in the valley”. We turn our eyes. Wow! the first glimpse of the waterfalls!
We wait. We hope the misty envelope will clear. After ten minutes the mist is cleared. The valley looks beautiful. Now we could see the waterfalls in full glory.
This is the actual view you get to see from the view-point. The falls is quite far. It is good to carry binoculars to view it. We always carry one. One can trek to the falls with proper permission.
This is the zoomed up shot. It is still not at its glorious best. Water level is still half of what it would be.
We drive on.
The curvy road is filled with many cascades on the sides. But they are yet to regain their glory. Poorna notice a beautiful valley and pull the car over. Here is what we see. Sun playing hide and seek. Clouds kissing the peak. Monsoon Magic at its best!
We spot another lovely spot on the way and stopover. We can see a lake surrounded by hills all around. There is no signage to tell us what it is. We stop a local riding a motorcycle and ask him. He says, it is Keri dam. It is not full. Should be a lovely sight when it gets filled up.
We stay in Palolem. A lovely home stay in Cancona. We cut across Goa to reach Cancona by evening.
Next day morning we drive around and go to Talpona beach before breakfast. The drive is through lovely villages and crossing the river.
Stretches of green in monsoon in Goan hinterland is soothing to eyes.
These buffaloes are lazing in water……
We spot these four calves grazing the field. Suddenly it starts raining. The calves start walking as if they are doing a “March Past”. The egrets give them company! Is the egret riding on the calf?
The lovely Talpona beach. Deserted though….
We return and after a leisurely breakfast and lazing around for sometime we start exploring around Palolem. Poorna had seen some lovely Terraced fields in Khola village shot by Rajan Parikkar and we wanted to explore them after lunch.
A leisurely lunch at The Lalit and after exploring their lovely beach we set out for the terraced fields. The drive from Lalit to Khola village through Agonda is beautiful.
We go to Khola village but the fields were being prepared. We could see these terraced fields under preparation. Come August, these should be lovely!
As we drive on, we see a foot ball match being played. The match had just ended in a draw and penalty shoot out was to begin. We could see a next team practicing their skills warming up for their match. Football is the favourite game of Goa. Fish, Feni and Football are the three favourites of Goans!
We drive on to Cabo de Rama fort.A small Portuguese fort overlooking the sea. Some lovely vignettes on the way to Cabo de Rama……
On the way to the fort we notice another huge stretch of terraced fields being prepared. We could visualise how it would look in August!
The fort is small and nothing to rave about. Rains and grass gives it a romantic feel. Climbing few steps takes us to the top of the fort where we can see a beautiful view of beach.
The white cross on a grave was a nice contrast to green and brown….
We drive back to Palolem beach. It is virtually empty except for few locals and holiday crowd. The bustling beach in season – we have been here twice including on a new years eve – is desolate. We find a lonely shack operational.
The sun sets behind the hills. The silhouettes of people playing on the beach looks lovely.
Next day we leave early and drive via Karwar.
Beautiful drive along the sea and through forests bring us back to plains. Not before we see some monsoon magic like this one ……
Last week we drove to Baindur near Kundapur on Karnataka cost. We drove through Shivamogga and through Malnad. The delayed monsoon meant the fields were getting tilled and sowing had started.
Still, the green was the colour all along. It starts raining heavily in the ghat. The drive through Kollur Mookambika Wildlife sanctuary is a pleasure. Monsoon Magic in full flow……
A valley view on the ghat section…..
We see three unnamed waterfalls in full glory. They are stunningly beautiful. A group of local boys are enjoying the bath in one of them…..
Another lovely scene on the roadside. Typical of Malnad in Monsoon….The contrast was striking!
After finishing our work in Baindur, we drive back to our favourite Bananki home stay in Tirthahalli. As usual we have a royal feast for dinner for which they are known for.
Next day morning, we sip excellent filter coffee – possibly the best you can ever get in any home stay – and go for a morning walk. What a pleasure it is! We walk down a pond and spend sometime on the banks of a stream. The pond must be an angler’s dream!
A nice spread of Malnad breakfast awaits us. We binge on it.
We finally bid goodbye to Rachan and his family at Bananki with an assurance that we will return soon for another sojourn in monsoon. For another round of Monsoon Magic!
Drive to Malnad – Bangalore – Shivamogga – Hosanagara – Baindur – Tirthahalli – Bangalore
What has been your experience of monsoon magic? Have been on any monsoon drive? We would love to hear from you.
If you want to go for a monsoon drive this season, you can find them all in this list. Curated itineraries, our experience of some lovely drives in Western ghats, train journeys etc. Please check it out.
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