Magical monsoon experiences at these offbeat Indian destinations before the season ends


Think waterfall rappelling in the rains, a scenic bike ride soaking in the soothing fragrance of the earth, a relaxing forest walk amidst trees decorated with glistening rain drops and stunning displays of nature. Doesn't this make you want to leave everything behind and set off to unwind? If yes, Booking.com, the leading travel brand has curated a list of offbeat destinations across India for travellers to enjoy the magical monsoon before this season comes to an end. 

1.  Valparai (Tamil Nadu) to Athirapally (Kerala) for a scenic bike ride

Many people are unaware that South India can be a biker's paradise, offering a one-of-a-kind experience that brings you closer to nature. The bike ride from Valparai to Athirapally will appease all your sensory needs. The great views of paradisaic lakes, towering mountains, coastline and unusual tree species like Spathodea will make the ride to this route a biker's heaven in real life. Monsoon is the best time to enjoy a bike tour along this path as the forest canvas turns into a breath-taking green shade, with rivers and waterfalls bursting with energy and enthusiasm. That's not all, this route has various other attractions for amazing eye-treats like Tea Estate Gardens and Monkey Falls in Valparai. When at Athirapally, don't forget to visit the 'Niagara of India,' Athirapally Waterfalls.

2. Ranikhet (Uttarakhand) - For picturesque views during monsoons for a cozy indoor read 

Are you the person that loves reading their book while sipping on a hot cup of coffee as the raindrops gently hit the tree leaves around you? Then this place is for you. Ranikhet is an ideal destination for a cozy indoor experience. Surrounded by tall pine trees and green meadows, a cool climate soothes your soul. Home to the brave Kumaon Regiment of the Indian Army, Ranikhet will offer you solace and warmth, simultaneously making your monsoon memorable and comfortable. This place is a complete package for all travel lovers, with several places to explore as the mountains and forests turn even greener than before, even though you would likely miss out on the activities available here during the winter and summer months. And not to forget, a beautiful Valley of Flowers lies nearby; to explore with your special one.

3. Polo Forest (Gujarat) for Forest Walk

Polo Forest is the answer if you've been looking for a spot to simply unwind, relax, and roam around the outlying towns. During the monsoon season, it becomes a misty wonderland with lush green settings and gushing streams and lakes. Polo Forest, a retreat for nature enthusiasts with picturesque surroundings, is home to fascinating flora and fauna. The place is every wildlife lover's delight, as it offers a rich wildlife experience with more than 450 species of medicinal plants, around 275 species of birds, 30 species of mammals, and 32 species of reptiles. Archaeologically significant structures such as Shiv Temple at Sarneshwar, Surya Mandir, Lakhena Temple, Jain Derasar are worth visiting too.

4. Mandu (Madhya Pradesh) for exploring architecture 

When you take a trip to a place as stunning as Mandu, you are certain to fall in love with its natural beauty. It is a very magical destination that you must visit during the Monsoon season. The destination's architecture is an absolute treat for history aficionados. Nothing can replace the romance in Mandu’s rains with your special one. The sight of Baz Bahadur's palace where the cliffside Roopmati's Pavilion remains magically enveloped in mist will take your breath away. The 15th-century central Indian sultanate, one monument that celebrates the real essence of monsoon is Sultan Ghiyas-ud-din Khalji's lakeside pleasure palace Jahaz Mahal.  This 120m-long double-storeyed palace is a treat to eyes with the filling of twin lakes Munj Talao and Kapur Talao. The rainwater also played a crucial role for its inhabitants and was collected in the cavernous Andheri Baori (Dark Well) and open-air Ujala Baori (Illuminated Well) for potable water.  

5. Vihigaon (Maharashtra) - Waterfall Rappelling 

Maharashtra has its own share of thrills, and waterfall rappelling is undoubtedly one of them. Vihigaon waterfalls, also known as Ashoka waterfalls, offer a spectacular waterfall rappelling experience to give you an adrenaline rush. The waterfall is a precious gift from nature to humanity and is an ideal weekend getaway from the hustle and bustle of city life. Located in Vihigaon, 12 kilometers from Kasara village, the place offers other adventures too. One can explore the rich rice fields, verdant grass, exquisite fauna, and small mountains surrounding these beautiful waterfalls.