“Any good, unknown monsoon destinations to experience rain?” a friend of us asked last week.
We kept thinking if there were any. Coorg, Chikmagalur, Sakleshpur, Munnar, Wayanad etc are already explored. They are definitely beautiful. Munnar in monsoon is heavenly. Sakleshpur in Rain is spectacular. Chikmagalur & Coorg in monsoon is charming. Wayanad in rain is awesome! These are well known monsoon destinations where you can enjoy the rain.
Are there places which are unexplored and lovely to experience Indian monsoon? We came up with this list of five monsoon destinations south of Vindhyas which are not only beautiful but are also unexplored. (Please click on the pictures to see them in larger size)
Sirsi – The waterfalls destination!
In all prabability, if you are not from Karnataka, you would not have heard of this place. Sirsi is a quintessential Malnad town. Small and beautiful. It is surrounded by some of the nicest rain forests in the country. We were there last monsoon and were blown away by the beauty of the town. A huge lake in the middle adds to the attraction of the place. We call Sirsi a “waterfalls destination”! At least ten lovely waterfalls can be counted in and around this place. You may not be able to go to few of them which requires a walk in leech infected forests! You can see some of the well-known one like Unchalli and Magod falls. But still, you can enjoy your solitude in the rain.
Getting there – Sirsi is well-connected by bus services from Bengaluru and other cities in Karnataka. The nearest and convenient railway station and airport is Hubli which is 90 KMs away.
Extra – If you want to explore enchanting Uttara Kannada places like Dandle, Gokarna etc click this post on this blog which has day-wise itinerary.
Thirthahalli – Heart of Malnad!
Tirthahalli is Malnad and Malnad is Thirhahalli! This town is synonymous with places which get heaviest rainfall in the country after Cherrapunji. Agumbe and Hulikal gets heaviest rainfall in South India. Situated on the banks of Tunga river, the small town and surroundings are better enjoyed in Monsoon. If you want to know how the torrential Indian monsoon would be, then you should head to Tirthahalli. You can drive up to Kundadri to experience what a monsoon sky look like!
Getting there – Tirthahalli is well-connected by bus services to all major cities in Karnataka. The nearest railway station is Shivamogga which is at a distance of 60 KMs. The nearest airport is Mangaluru which is 140 KMs away.
Stay options – Thirthahhali has some excellent home stay options. Our favourite has been Bananki. Rachan and Arpita will you make you feel at home! (see our review on Trip Advisor here). There are other excellent places like Kolavara Heritage and Devangi Athitya Home Stay.
Extra – Check out this link in this blog for a week’s itinerary to explore Malnad in Monsoon
Vagamon – Wonder in God’s own country!
We had heard about this unexplored region of Kerala but had never been there. Untill we went there last Christmas. What a place! High mountains, lush green valleys, streams and waterfalls makes Vagamon an unexplored gem in God’s own country! Yes, it does get heavy rain and is a fantastic place to enjoy a nice cup of Coffee watching the downpour. Drive around the place and explore the beautiful Kalvari Mount and Vagamon greens.
Getting there – Vagamon is well-connected to other cities in Kerala by state transport service. The nearest railway station is Kottayam which is 65 KMs and airport is Kochi which is 101 KMs away.
Stay Options – Of late many places have come up. But our choice is the lovely Vanilla County though expensive. Baby Mathew and his wife will make you feet at home!
Extra – Check out more on Kalvari Mount here in this blog.
Pollachi – Farm stay experience & beyond
Having seen it many Tamil movies based on stories set in rural Tamil Nadu, we always wondered what is that so charming about Pollachi. We went last week and were floored. If you want to experience a “farmer’s life” head to this place. If you want to experience what a farm stay would be, then Pollachi is the place. Unlike many parts of Tamil Nadu, Pollachi gets rainfall from both monsoon seasons. Which means the place is lush green always. This is also the gateway to spectacular Valparai and pristine Parambikulm Tiger Reserve.This agrarian country at the foot hills of Anaimalai Hills, has many options for an outdoor junkie. If you are not one, then sit and enjoy the lifestyle, like a farmer!
Getting there – Pollachi is well-connected to other cities in Tamil Nadu by state transport service. The nearest Railway Station and Airport is at Coimbatore which is 40 Kms away.
Stay Options – We stayed in Senbaga Vilasam. An excellent heritage bungalow in the middle of a large farm with two huge artificial lakes. Spacious rooms and excellent food is the other attraction. The cuisine is only Vegetarian and Alcohol and smoking inside the bungalow is not allowed. An excellent place. For more details on Pollachi check out this nice website Pollachi Papyrus done by youngsters – Pravin, Keerthana and Lingesh – who are working on sustainable tourism initiatives in the region.
Extra – For more on Valparai in this blog click here
Sawantwadi – Konkan delight!
A small town in Konkan region is a charming place. Like Sirsi it has a lovely lake in the middle. Flanked by the mountains of Amboli ghat on one side and sea on the other, Sawantwadi is a cute little heritage town. Yes, it also receives heavy rain fall. It is a miniature replica of the green belt of Konkan, trailing along the Western ghats of India. One can explore the amazing Amboli ghat and its myriad water falls during the monsoon or drive up to the sea to experience the enormity of monsoon skies over the sea. And of course, not to forget the famed Malvan cuisine of Konkan!
Getting There – Sawantwadi is well-connected to other cities in Maharashtra, Goa and Karnataka by state transport service. The town has a railway station on Konkan railway at Sawantwadi Road which is 10 KMs away. The nearest airport is in Dabolim in Goa which is 87 KMs away.
Extra – Check out this post on this blog to read about our spectacular drive through Amboli in monsoon last year.
This was our list. Have you explored any other monsoon destinations which are unknown? Recommendations from you to experience monsoon is always welcome.
For a complete list of options to explore during monsoon please click here – Celebration of Monsoon – A List – on this blog.
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