It’s the monsoon season, and it would seem like the rains are waking up the traveler inside many Indians. Plenty of people are escaping the rains to head to their favorite destinations rather than spending the season at home with a hot cuppa in hand. After all, a lot of the usual travel destinations in India are off-season during the monsoon, which means really low hotel prices. OYO, for instance, recently launched discounts on its hotels in 49 destinations. Airlines are also offering discounts in the months. The latest was SpiceJet, which had its mega monsoon sale at the end of last month. And according to online travel companies Kayak, Gofro and MakeMyTrip, these are the monsoon destinations in India that are getting really popular. ALSO READ: Best Monsoon Beaches in India: Here Are 8 Spectacular Beaches To Visit During Monsoon
Havelock, Andaman Islands
The island of Havelock is one of the most famous in the Andaman group, and rightfully so. Its Radhanagar Beach, also called Beach Number Seven, is considered one of the best beaches in Asia. Although you may not get the chance to go scuba diving because of the choppy waters during the monsoon, you do get the chance to see the lush greenery around you. Plus, you get to encounter much fewer crowds and hotels would be running good discounts.
What to do in Havelock: Gorge on the incredible seafood at local cafes and restaurants, take a drive to the Alfred Caves, or spend your time at Radhanagar Beach.
Nestled in the midst of Himachal Pradesh’s Parvati Valley is the town of Kasol. The town lies right beside the Parvati River, surrounded by coniferous forests and clear mountain streams snaking their way through the valley. The place is a major hub for nature lovers, trekkers and backpackers from all over the world, especially from Israel. In fact, Kasol is often called mini Israel for its many cafes and cuisine that cater to that particular demographic.
What to do in Kasol: Sit by or walk along the Parvati River, listening to it roar, watch the monsoon clouds cut their way through the mountain valley, visit nearby spots like Rashol, and Grahan, and savor the unique Israeli cuisine on offer.
Neemrana Fort Palace, now a heritage hotel
For those staying in the capital city, Neemrana Fort is one of the quickest monsoon destinations near Delhi. Located in the Alwar region, it lies around 120 km from the city, along the road to Jaipur. The ancient 16th-century hill fort is now a sprawling heritage hotel and resort that is worth visiting any time of the year. Come monsoon, you get a great view of the Aravalli hills around you, now lush green with the rains. You can spend your time basking in the luxury of the hotel, watching the clouds roll through the landscape and the gorgeous sunset.
What to do in Neemrana: Go shopping if you love local handicrafts, visit the Sariska Tiger Reserve (if it is open), go zip lining through the fort (if available in the season), visit the ancient Baori, and enjoy the resort facilities, including a spa, cultural activities and an excellent restaurant.
Silvassa is a fast-rising monsoon destination near Mumbai and Pune, drawing in crowds with its water parks, handicrafts, adventure activities, resorts, lush greenery and, of course, tax-free booze. The place was called Vila de Paço d’Arcos when it was under Portuguese rule, but is now mostly home to several industries. Still, there is plenty to do in this town, located around 172 km from Mumbai and 300 km from Pune. The place is a hub for handicrafts, especially Warli paintings and paper bags. The food is local Gujarati fare with a nice mix of other cuisines.
What to do in Silvassa: Visit the Island Garden and Vanganga Lake that lies in its midst for some nature therapy, tour the Lion Safari Wildlife Park and the Hirwa Van Gardens, as well as the Tribal Culture museum. ALSO READ: Offbeat Monsoon Destinations Near Mumbai That Nobody Knows About
At an altitude of 1,700 meters above sea level, Lansdowne is a peaceful little hill station with relatively little crowds, especially when compared to other hill stations in the same Garhwal region of Uttarakhand, like Mussoorie and Nainital. The crowd is even thinner during the monsoon, so you can spend your vacation here watching the mountains and exploring in peace. Lansdowne is especially popular among couples and nature lovers, thanks to its sprawling Himalayan views. Popularized by the British, Lansdowne has plenty of buildings still standing from the Raj.
What to do in Lansdowne: Walk through the town to see the heritage buildings nearby, visit the Bhulla Tal, an artificial lake tied to its military history, and go on a jungle safari through the thick pine and oak forests. NOW READ: Monsoon Holidays 2017: Romantic monsoon holiday destinations in India for couples
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