The green environs of south India glisten when it drizzles. Its winding hills, dense forests, hidden waterfalls, all come to life during monsoons as a sense of freshness takes over the place and the people who are visiting them.
Kodaikanal, Tamil Nadu
A misty hill station, Kodaikanal is lush with virgin forests and its many lakes. It is renowned for its star-shaped, man-made Kodaikanal Lake, which is perhaps the destination’s biggest attraction. Valleys with a dense green cover and skies equally dense with clouds, Kodaikanal is beautifully raw, especially during monsoons when a wash dampens even the dullest edge and brings it to life. Pillar Rocks, Berijam Lake, Dolphin’s Nose, Coakers Walk and Byrant Park are some points of interest for tourists. Bear Shola Falls, Glen Falls, Fairy Falls and Silver Cascade turn into wonders when their falling waters meet monsoon.
Sakleshpur, a quaint hill station in Hassan district, in Karnataka is often a weekend getaway choice for locals from Bengaluru, which is about 240 kms from here. Covered in tea, coffee and spice plantations, this nature rich destination makes for soulful monsoon getaway for it is unadulterated and largely uninhabited. The Bisle Reserve Forest with its wildlife adds exciting edges to the holiday. There are various trek routes too, for the ones who’d like to drench and soak in the rain and the spirit of the place.
Munnar is known for its tea plantations, which lend this hill station its green cover. It is also known for notoriously pouring at any time, making it a rainy destination all year round. Taking walks and trekking in tea estates is synonymous to travelling to Munnar; and the easily available freshly brewed tea only adds to the monsoon magic. Anamudi Peak, the highest peak in south India, at a height of almost 2700 m attracts tourists all year round. Treks to the peak are allowed with permission from the Forest and Wildlife authorities at Eravikulam. Munnar is also home to many waterfalls, that await discovery.
When in Kerala, Palakkayam Thattu, a hill station near Naduvil Village in the Kannur district, is another destination drenched in the southern rain’s magic.
Araku Valley, Andhra Pradesh
On the edge of Andhra Pradesh, Araku Valley is a lesser explored spot, apt for quiet excursions. Borra caves, Champarai Waterfalls and Katiki, and Bheemili beach are the places to hang out around. The drive up to the valley is lined with thick forest on either sides, making the ascend as beautiful as it is thrilling. More than 40 tunnels and a number of bridges welcome tourists warmly, with the dark shades dimly lit by sodium lamps. During monsoons, this play of light appeals even more and the drives become more pleasant.