From the barren Ladakh to the lush green Kerala, these magical destinations just become even more beautiful when it rains.
The rains have arrived and the country just turned a million new shades of green. As the pitter-patter of the rains spreads from south all the way to the north, India becomes even more beautiful (yes, it is possible!). Contrary to popular beliefs, it is indeed a great idea to travel in India in the monsoon if you don’t mind getting wet that is. Most schools have reopened after summer break, which means this is officially off-season. And that means you have the best of the sights and sounds all to yourself. Rolling hills, pristine beaches, spectacular waterfalls and beautiful landscapes make many parts of India a traveller’s paradise during the rainy season. We give you the 10 best monsoon destinations to travel to with your friends, family or by yourself.

1. Kodaikanal, Tamil Nadu

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Nestled in the Palani hills of the Western Ghats, Kodaikanal has everything you can ask for from a monsoon getaway — lush green forests, gushing waterfalls and a beautiful lake that stands at the heart of this quaint hill station. And the rains just make the Kodai landscape even more beautiful than it already is.

2. Agumbe, Karnataka

Known as Cherrapunji of the South, Agumbe is perhaps better known to a generation of television viewers as Malgudi, the fictional town of RK Narayan’s Malgudi Days. The TV series based on the stories was filmed right here and the house that was protagonist Swamy’s home stands proudly in this tiny town. Even if nostalgia isn’t your thing, Agumbe has a lot to offer — from waterfalls (Barkana Falls, Kunchikal Falls, Jogigundi Falls and Onake Abbi Falls) that spring to life and trekking trails (ones to Theertha Falls and Nishani Gudda) that invite trekking enthusiasts from all over — there is a lot to do in and around Agumbe!

3. Pushkar, Rajasthan

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It may be known for its camel fair (held in November) but Pushkar is just as much an enticing place to visit during the monsoon when the town returns to its calm and peaceful self. Legend has it that Pushkar was created when Lord Brahma dropped the petals of a lotus from his hand on this part of the earth. Monsoon is the off-season in Pushkar so the place is not crowded with tourists like the rest of the year. This also means accommodation is cheap and as a tourist you are even more welcome than ever!

4. Karjat, Maharashtra

Karjat has come a long way from being a forgotten suburb along the railway line leading to Pune. This former outpost of Mumbai is today one of the most sought-after real estate hubs with some of the most prominent city folks maintaining a second home here. Whether you want to go river rafting or trekking or you simply want to relax and unwind in any of the several homestays (for all budgets), Karjat is that monsoon weekend getaway you always passed by but never visited. Change that this monsoon.

5. Kausani, Uttarakhand

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Situated close to Nainital, Kausani is a picturesque hill station in Uttarakhand which is known as an all-year destination. A comparatively unexplored destination in Uttarakhand, Kausani is great for those who do not like commercial tourist spots. It’s a small place where you can sit peacefully in the hills and enjoy the enchanting views of the Himalayas. Kausani becomes more beautiful and romantic during the rains making it a cool monsoon destination.

6. Goa

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Sure it throws some pretty darned awesome parties in winters but come monsoon and Goa goes back to being the beautifully laidback place that it always has been. There may not be as many beach parties but there are few things that come close to the beauty of Goa in the rains. (ALSO READ 5 reasons you must visit Goa this monsoon!)

7. Ladakh, Jammu and Kashmir

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The roads to Ladakh are now open! Which means that this piece of heaven is just a bike or a bus ride away! We cannot begin to count the number of reasons why a journey to Ladakh this time of the year is a must. But if the picture doesn’t inspire you to head to Ladakh, we really don’t know what will. (ALSO READ 6 things you need to remember if you’re taking the Delhi-Leh bus!)

8. Malshej Ghat, Maharashtra

No matter what you want to do — sit back and relax or explore the Maharashtra countryside — Malshej is a great place to get away to. Take a trek up to Harishchandragad Fort or go waterfall rappelling down any of the numerous waterfalls or simply hike up to the nearby Shivneri Fort, the birthplace of Shivaji or just sit back in your hotel room and watch the rains lash down this beautiful hill station, there is something for everyone in Malshej.

9. Chikmagalur, Karnataka

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A famous coffee land in the state of Karnataka, Chikmagalur is one of the greenest destinations abundant with natural beauty. Its beauty peaks during the monsoon. Glorious waterfalls and foggy roads between valleys are a common sight in Chikmagalur.

10. Alappuzha (Alleppey), Kerala

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If you thought Alappuzha (Alleppey) was beautiful, you haven’t visited it in the monsoon. The already romantic Alleppey gets even more inviting as the rains come down on this backwater destination. Rent out a houseboat on the Vembanad Lake or take a boat ride along the several canals that crisscross this tiny town… whatever you do, Alleppey won’t disappoint you.

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