“Dekho baarish ho rahi hai. It’s raining! It’s raining!” (You read that in Anu Malik’s voice, didn’t you?) The monsoon is finally here and it’s time to get out of the city!

I love the rains. Everything gets greener and looks fresher. Oh and that smell after the first rains. I wish it could be bottled forever. We’ve compiled a list of the best places to experience the monsoons where even that rain-hating friend of yours will change his/her opinion.

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1. Agumbe, Karnataka

This gorgeous trek trail is straight out of a TV show. It really is. This beautiful place was used in the famous TV adaption of the book Malgudi Days. Agumbe is home to the most beautiful trek trails in all of the South. Filled with innumerable waterfalls and lush greenery, all you have to do is get out there and explore the scenery. There are beautiful old temples that only add to the charm of the place. Don’t forget to get yourself an amazing vanilla flavoured chai as you trek to the very top. There is a gallery from which you can see the sunset and even as far as the Arabian Sea.

Also read: Six Best Yoga Retreats In India

Pondicherry If soaking in the rain is your cup of adrak tea, then Pondi is the place to be (see what I did there?) the month of August is probably the best time to visit. Sri Aurobindo’s birthday celebrations are held with great fanfare and the city is draped in its colourful best. Add to it, the quaint French architecture and the amazing food and you’ve got yourself a monsoon deal! Where To Stay: The Promenade Price per night – INR 5,000 onward

Where To Stay: Maple, Sea Villa

Price per night – INR 10,000 approx

2. Goa

Not enough has been said about Goa in the monsoons – which makes it even better for you! Sure it’s off-season and you can’t indulge in water-sports but did you know that you can actually spot dolphins all the way from the shore? Sit in a beach shack and watch the sky turn a tumultuous grey. If you’re feeling particularly adventurous, get on that Scooty and ride in the rain (Safety first. Always use a helmet and ride only if you are confident). Head over to Dona Paula and watch the sea swell and surge as you take in the magical vistas all around.

Also read: Thalassa’s Journey From Greece To Goa

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Where To Stay: Taj Exotica, Marbela Beach Resort

Price per night – INR 15,000 onwards

3. Valley of Flowers, Uttarakhand

Whisk yourself away to the cheaper version of the sets of every Yash Raj Film – ever! Located right here in India, Uttarakhand’s Valley of Flowers in a sight to behold. This beautiful stretch of purple pin-ups stands out against the mighty white-tipped mountains. You can look at lilies, saxifrags, poppy, calendular, sediams, daisies, zinnias, geraniums and petunias as you skip over beautiful little clear-water streams. If this sounds like something out of a fairy-tale, it really is!

Also read: Five Getaways From Delhi For Solo Women Travellers 

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Where To Stay: Ghangharia Valley Camp

Price per night – INR 4500 onwards

4. Coorg, Karnataka

Aah yes! The land of coffee plantations, misty lanes and winding roads. Say hello to Coorg. I highly recommend Coorg not just for the place but also for the locals. They’re called Kodwas and they’re the most hospitable, respectful people you will ever encounter. Don’t be intimidated by their tall stature and good looks. These guys serve a mean cup of chukka kaapee (coffee sweetened with jaggery). Unwind, as you walk along mist filled lanes and acres of paddy fields.

Also read: Staying At An Eco Luxe Hotel In Coorg, The IBNII

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Where To Stay: The IBNII, Tamara & Taj Vivanta

Price per night – INR 10,000 onwards

5. Leh,  Ladakh

If you want to escape the rains, Ladakh is the place to be. Sure the food is amazing and the views are magnificent but something amazing happens to the gorgeous land of Ladakh in the monsoons. You can go white-water rafting, trek through the most amazing (and challenging) trails and watch the Ladakhi gompas dance (remember Jab We Met?) Most of the monastery festivals happen between June to September.

Also read: Armchair Travel: To Ladakh & Back In 60 Seconds 

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Where To Stay: Hotel Lasermo

Price per night – INR 6,300 onwards

6. Pondicherry

If soaking in the rain is your cup of adrak tea, then Pondi is the place to be (see what I did there?) the month of August is probably the best time to visit. Sri Aurobindo’s birthday celebrations are held with great fanfare and the city is draped in its colourful best. Add to it, the quaint French architecture and the amazing food and you’ve got yourself a monsoon deal!

Also read: Pick Pondicherry For Your Next Beach Trip

pondi_rains

Where To Stay: The Promenade

Price per night – INR 5,000 onwards

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I'm that 'Sharmaji ki beti' who your parents always spoke about!