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Krutarth Vashi

krutarth@theghumakkads.in'
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Krutarth Vashi, 26, is a financial services employee by profession and a ghumakkad at heart. Even though his greatest passion lies in photography, he does an equally good job at blogging or playing drums. He is also fond of sports and food.

Ganeshgule: Relax & Rejuvenate on this Remote Beach

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Are you looking for a secluded beach getaway but do not want to burn a hole in your pocket? Then, Ganeshgule will provide the answer to your search. Also, don’t forget to check our list on how you can save money while travelling.

As a working couple, we were in dire need of a break since we hadn’t had one in a while. Just as we were searching for places nearby, I recollected this place suggested by a friend. Ganeshgule ticked all our boxes since it is near to Mumbai, it is within budget and it is quiet and peaceful.

Ganeshgule is literally a small village about 30 km from Ratnagiri along the Konkan Coast in Maharashtra. But despite it’s remote location, it gives you an experience worth cherishing for a lifetime.

Beautiful Ganeshgule Beach

Ganeshgule is in a polar opposite direction to Ganpatiphule, a popular temple town off the Ratnagiri Coast. While Ganpatiphule is a commercialized spot, Ganeshgule is its exact opposite. It is untouched, unaltered and pure. Here are the complete details from our experience closet.

How To Reach Ganeshgule ?

The best way to reach Ganeshgule is via train. The nearest railway station is Ratnagiri (30 km). All the important trains heading towards Goa and Kerala like Matsyagandha Express, Netravati Express, Marusagar Express, Tejas Express etc halt here. From Ratnagiri, you can either hire a Tuk-Tuk or board state transport bus. The frequency of the state transport buses from Ratnagiri to Ganeshgule is every 2 hours. So if you are on a budget tour, our advice would be to choose the later. Anyhow, the journey time is the same, 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Staying Options in Ganeshgule

Currently, there’s only one stay option available at Ganeshgule, and we opted for the same. Oceano Pearl, a property of hospitality firm O’Nest, that gives you the comfort of a hotel at the cost of a home stay. You have options of different types of rooms, we selected a standard room that costed us around 2500 bucks for a night.

Check out: Creative ways to save money while traveling.

Hotel Oceano Pearl
Palm trees in the property

The place has its own restaurant that serves good Konkani/Malvani cuisine along with the regular North Indian food. They also have decent sea food options, we tried Pomphret Fry there and we liked it. The restaurant, however, does not have liquor serving license. Hence you’ll have to make arrangements for alcohol. The nearest town where you’ll find liquor shop is in Pawas, 6 km from Ganeshgule.

Our Itinerary for Ganeshgule Beach

Day 1

As this was a last minute plan, we boarded a Holiday Special Train from Bandra Terminus on previous night at 11.30 PM and reached Ratnagiri in morning at around 9.00 AM. We had our check-in at 12 in the noon, so we had breakfast at Ratnagiri station before starting our journey towards Ganeshgule.
We took an auto ride which costed us around 400 bucks. The auto guys will quote exorbitant rates, it all depends on how well you can bargain and strike a deal.
The journey wasn’t too great, nor it was too boring. In between, you will find yourselves driving parallel to the ocean and the very next moment you will be in dense forest.

We reached the hotel at around 11.00 AM and after freshening up a bit, headed straight to the beach walking past the palm trees and betel nut trees in the property. On Google Maps, you will find the demarcation of the beach as Ganeshgule Beach. However, it serves as a private beach to the property.

We sat on the beach for some time, taking in the fresh oxygen in our face and soulful rhythm of the waves crashing on the shores before we headed for lunch. As mentioned earlier, the in house restaurant serves some good sea food. Even if they didn’t, you don’t have other option, except you are a Gujju like me, and carry heap loads of ‘snakes’. (P.S. I was carrying only Theplas this time)

Pomphret Fry

There are many ways to pass your time at the property. You can indulge in board games, read books, play carom or outdoor sports like football, badminton and volleyball. The hotel staffs are friendly and courteous. Their service is also quick and efficient.

Beach Experience

As the evening approached, we were again at the beach and it looked beautiful than ever before. The golden hours cast a spell in the environment like Midas Touch, turning everything to Gold. We walked up and down the beach, feeling the softness of the sand beneath our feet and cool mild breeze in hair. The experience in itself was so soulful, it felt as if the time just stands still.

A Walk to Remember


Sunset was at its usual best, as the skies kept on changing its shades till the moment the sun went past the mighty ocean. It was both surreal and pristine, so much so, we didn’t move away till the last bit of light faded off.

Day 2

We made an early start to the day as we decided to climb the cliff by the shore we discovered the previous day. The temperature was pleasantly cool and it helped the small trek pretty enjoyable. Once atop, the view offered was just mesmerizing. The sound of the waves crushing against the rocks of the cliff was similar to the ‘riyaz’ of musical maestro.

View from the Cliff
Mesmerizing Sunrise

And then there was this magical moment when the sun made its presence felt. It was a sight to behold as the sun emerged from behind the palm trees to awaken the mighty ocean. The sight was similar to that from a picture postcard.

After spending some time on the cliff, we returned to our base and had fresh Neera straight from the palm trees. We had our complimentary breakfast at the restaurant and had a few hours in hand before the arrival of the local transport bus. We utilized the same in doing some odd stuffs like playing carom and failed attempts at climbing the palm trees.

Happy Faces

All good things come to an end, and so did our little trip to this unexplored beauty off the Konkan coastline. In my opinion, taking these short trips to uncharted places really helps in rejuvenation of mind and soul. Also find out what is your travelling activity before heading for your next trip to make it sorted. On that note, we bid adieu with the search of unexplored places being on.

Udaipur- Lake, Lake Palace and more

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Nested on the shores of the stunning Lake Pichola and surrounded by the rustic Aravali ranges, Udaipur presents you the setting unmatched anywhere in India. It is the place that offers the calmness of a boat ride along with hustle-bustle of the market. The magnanimity of the palaces with the simplicity of street food and quaint old-world feel hotels with all the modern amenities. A perfect selection for the architecture and culture related travel activity.

Padharo Mhare Des…

Udaipur’s skyline offers a pretty romantic setting, right from the time you set your foot in the city. Fantastical palaces and havelis perched upon the banks of the man made lakes makes the city stand out in comparison with other cities of Rajasthan. Here are the list of things one can indulge in on their visit to the City of Lakes.

A Mural depicting Battle of Haldighati at Udaipur Railway Station

Experience the Royal aura at Taj Lake Palace

Taj Lake Palace, Udaipur

Taj Lake Palace, as the name strikes, visuals of a grand building floating in the middle of the lake will appear before your eyes. 

A grand welcome with a shower of rose petals and platter of refreshments is just the tip of the iceberg of the grand treatment to be followed.

Built as a pleasure palace by Maharana Jagat Singh II in the year 1766, the palace oozes grandness from every nook and corner. 

Magnificent courtyards, intricate architecture and elaborate interiors leave you in awe as you walk past them sipping on the finest of wines from the hotel bar, “Amrit Sagar”.

The restaurants Bhairo and Jharokha offer the most stunning views of the lake Pichola and the city palace as you indulge in the finest Continental and Rajasthani cuisine in the respective restaurants.

Spend your evenings enjoying the beautiful cultural dance and music performances in the King’s Courtyard. The grace and the swirl of the performers will leave you spellbound. That’s Incredible India for you!

Enjoy the Sunset Boat Ride with Surreal Shades of skies

Known as the Venice of the East, Udaipur is home to 7 artificial lakes created across the city. The best way to enjoy the beauty of the lakes is by taking a boat ride.

City Palace at Dawn

Boating in the lake is open from morning 9.00 AM till evening at 6.00 PM, from the city palace. The best time to take the ride is around 5.00 PM, just before the sun is about to set, as you get the best shades of the skies during that time. 

A pretty Venice-esque bridge

The boat ride would make a pit stop at the gorgeous Jag Mandir, the recreational palace of the king, and is also known to be the inspiration of the wonder called Taj Mahal. Of late, the palace is gaining popularity as the most sought-after “Wedding Destination.”

The Scintillating Jag Mandir

From celebrities to industrialists to Hollywood stars, many have tied their Nuptial Knot at this very place. Besides this, Jag Mandir offers a marvellous view of the City Palace and Taj Lake Palace, shining brightly under the setting sun.

Get awed by the Grandeur of City Palace

Front View of the Palace

The City Palace of Udaipur is the largest palace of Rajasthan and 2nd largest Palace of India after Mysore Palace. The construction of this humongous palace was spread across 400 years and 21 generations of rulers.

City Palace from Lake Pichola

However, most significant contributions to the palace can be credited to Maharana Jagatsingh II and Maharana Fatehsingh.  The quarters within the palace are interlinked through a number of courtyards and corridors and are planned in a way to avoid surprise enemy attacks. 

The palace offers a splendid view of the Lake Pichola on one side and Udaipur city on the other side through the beautiful and colourful windows. And the post-sunset view of the palace is worth dying for.

Witness the amazing sunset at Sajjangarh Palace

Sitting on top of the hill, Sajjangarh Palace offers the best sunset view in Udaipur. Known as the Monsoon Palace, it was chiefly built to overlook the monsoon clouds and hence derived its name. The fort offers a panoramic view of the city’s lakes, palaces and the countryside.

Amazing sunset from Sajjangarh Palace

But the USP of the place is mesmerizing sunset from the top of the palace. Overlooking the gorgeous Aravali ranges, observe the skies as they change the colour with each passing moment as the sun moves down towards the horizon.

Soothe your soul with lip smacking food

Udaipur is a food lover’s paradise. Rich in taste and extremely flavorful, the food takes you to another level of gastronomical pleasure. 

Start your day with the amazing Kachoris, a flattened ball made of flour stuffed with either onion or moong dal. A tasty and heavy breakfast that will give you the energy to get through the first half of the day.

Traditional Lunch at Udaipur

After the Kachoris you savoured in the morning are digested by the juices in your stomach, satiate your belly with the signature Dal Baati Churma. Soft and round Baatis, made from wheat flour and baked in clay oven, are served with Dal made from mixed lentils. The Baatis then crushed and poured with Dal, topped with dollops of ghee are to be savoured using your hands. It is a must try dish, recommended place in Udaipur is Krishna Dal Baati Centre.

Enjoy the Mirchi Wadas and Bread Pakodas at Manak Lalji in the evening, while sipping hot masala tea from kullads(earthen cups). It is nothing less than Nirvana.


Spicy red mutton curry full of spices and oozing with the aroma at Udaipur

After hogging all through the day, as the lights sparkle all across Udaipur, dent your teeth in the delicious Lal Maas. A spicy red mutton curry full of spices and oozing with the aroma, while viewing the lovely city glow by the lakeside, ending a lovely foodie day. When in Varanasi, check out the food culture of the city.

Unleash the shopping monster at local market

Just like another tourist place, Udaipur boasts a local market where you can unleash your shopping monster.

Choose from a wide range of souvenirs, clothes, artefacts, footwear, home decor items and traditional crafts work at the Hathi Pole Market. The market is so colourful, that it will tempt you to purchase everything available on sale.   

With so much to offer, Udaipur is an ideal place to spend your vacation. Plan your next trip to Udaipur and get amazed by the royalty, the beauty and the calm of this lovely little place.

Head up to your new year with a goal of positivity with an ideal destination. Check out our work on 8 Destinations to visit for a good start of your next new year.

Rann Utsav – Cultural Fiesta of the White Salt Desert

Rann Utsav Cover Image

Behind the dry and arid region of the desert, stands a place with rich history of arts, culture and heritage. The eerie silence of the barren lands is enough to give you goosebumps, but add to beauty of the place. I never knew deserts can be beautiful until I visited the magnificent desert of Kutch. That’s the unique charm of the place, which makes you wonder about the miracles of nature. 

Rann Utsav Tent city front image

Rann of Kutch is around 50 km from Bhuj city, hence if you visit there you must experience stay at tent city in Rann Utsav. Been there, done that, here is an account of magical experience at Rann Utsav.

The Arrival

Image of People welcoming with music at Runn Utsav
A Musical Welcome

The tent city is located at Dhordo village, which is located around 50 km from Bhuj city. The pick-up facility is provided by the Rann Utsav team, arranging pick-ups from railway station and airport. After a good 1.5 hour ride, as you step down from the vehicle, you are welcomed on the sounds of the dhol accompanied by folk dance. The energy of the beats wears off your fatigue. Above all, it livens up the atmosphere.

Tent City Experience

After checking in the tent city, you are at your leisure to explore the place. Spread across an area of 5000 sq.meters, tent city houses 500 tents and cottages, 2 dining halls, a shopping area, some photo points and one activity area. But, the good part is the availability of golf carts to ferry you around the place. 

For the shopaholic souls, there’s a dedicated area to let out the inner shopping monster. There’s a plethora of items on sale, for instance, bandhni duppattas, hand-woven shawls, metal artefacts etc. You can also try your hand at various crafts like pottery and clay modelling at nominal charges and make your stay worth. The dining experience is one not to be missed. An excellent spread of Gujarati cuisine is on offer, not once or twice, but four times a day. Enough to leave you with foodgasm. 

Magical & Mystical White Rann

As the evening nears up, you grab your camera and head towards the mystical white rann to witness the beauty of the desert. A barren salt flat that extends over an area of 17000 sq. km and stretches across International Border to Pakistan. Once upon a time this area was a seashore. But owing to tectonic movements, a part of ocean dried up in the region leaving behind the huge flat salt plain. 

White Lands and Purple Skies
Lit under Moonlight

In an honest opinion, the place is worth all the hype. The white backdrop appears so beautiful that you just cannot take your eyes off them. And it becomes even more beautiful when the full moon shines at night. As long as your sight reach, everything is shining and sparkling under the beautifully lit moon. It is one experience you must have in your lifetime. It’s just like a fairy tale ending to an eventful day.

If the moonlit desert wasn’t enough to enthral you, a captivating sunrise definitely will complete the formalities. As you notice the changing shades of the skies from black to pink to orange to blue, from the horizon, emerges an orange ball with a Midas touch, turning everything to gold. 

Captivating Kalo Dungar

Still being hungover from the magnificent views of the white desert, after a sumptuous breakfast, you head towards Kalo Dungar. Standing at an elevation of 300 m above sea level, Kalo Dungar is the highest peak of Kutch and was used as a compass in olden days while travelling. 

Sunset at Kalo Dungar

It takes around one hour ride from Tent City to reach Kalo Dungar. The peak is situated around 500 m from the parking spot and you can either walk or enjoy the camel-back ride to the top. Once at the peak, you have a panoramic view of the desert and the back-waters of Khari River. On a clear day, you can even see Indo-Pak border through binoculars. 

There is an interesting legend associated with the place. Over 4 centuries ago, there lived a saint named Pachmai Peer on the hills. One day a pack of wild jackals appeared in his ashram and stood expectantly in front of him. Looking into their eyes, he realized that they were famished. All that he could offer them was a spartan meal of rice and dal. And offer he did, and the jackals went back with their tummies full. 

Jackal of Kalo Dungar

The ritual of feeding continued for months till one day when there was no food in the ashram.  Realizing that his guests will have to go back hungry, the Peer, in a gesture of unimaginable generosity, chopped off his hand and offered it to the jackals, saying ‘lo ang’, which meant ‘here, eat my hand’. The jackals, as on every other day, went back satiated. But from that day onwards, the inmates of the ashram have made sure that the jackals of Kalo Dungar are fed, not once but twice a day. And they haven’t missed it even once in the last 400 years.

Marvelous Mandvi

After witnessing the generosity of the saint, we return to base and have a lavish lunch at the Tent City. After an hour of leisure time, we set off for Mandvi Beach. If anyone asks me about my favourite beach destination of Gujarat, Mandvi beach wins hands down. 

The pristine blue waters of the sea are a treat to sore eyes. The huge windmills set at the shore add to the beauty of the shores. And the flocking sea-gulls become an icing on the cake. 

A couple of kilometre towards the north of the beach stands the magnanimous Vijay Vilas Palace. The central high dome on the pillars, the Bengal domes on the sides, the windows with coloured glass, carved stone ‘Jalis’, domed bastions at the corners, extended porch and other exquisitely stone-carved elements, make the palace worth visiting.  

The palace is hosts a private beach and is home to the Royal Family of Kutch. A closer look and you can recognize the shooting spots from the movies Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam and Lagaan.  The topmost point offers an unobstructed view of the sun slowly setting into the Arabian Sea, ending a day full of events.

Cultural Events at Tent City

You return from Mandvi around and have a gourmet dinner ready for you, but the fun isn’t over yet. You move towards the activity area where you will get up close and personal with the colours and flavours of Gujarati folk performances. 

The stand-out performance of the night is the Siddi Dhamal. The Siddis are the descendants of the indigenous Bantu tribes of East Africa, who migrated to the subcontinent during the Colonial Era. Bringing the African touch of Zumba and Haka, Siddi Dhamal is one refreshing act performed on the beats of the Bongos. It is another experience that livens up your mood and incites the inner aboriginal in you.

As the music plays in long into the night, you enjoy every moment of it and reminisce the wonderful moments spent in the magical, mystical and beautiful desert of Kutch.  

Neelakurinji – Once in 12 years!

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Neelakurinji flowers

The creator with his paint brush sprays magic on the canvas called earth time and again. One is left awestruck and spell bound, every time they get a chance to witness that magic. This is one such magic, which happens once every 12 years, known as Neelakurinji.

The Blue Bloom

Neelakurinji – Once in a Blue Bloom

The Neelakurinji, literally meaning blue flower, are a rare species of flower that have a maturity cycle of 12-16 years. When blooming at its peak, it engulfs the entire stretch of the hill in the carpet of blue. The Nilgiri Hills have thus derived their name.

Blue Flowers in Green Grass!

Where to find?

The Neelakurinji are found in the southern part of India in the Nilgiri hills and western ghats. They are more prominently found in the valleys of Munnar in Kerala, since they require an altitude of 1200-2400 meters above MSL.

As one breezes past the beautiful tea estates in Munnar, you arrive at Eravikulam National Park, 10 km from Munnar town, one of the prime locations for the Neelakurinji flowering and is highly promoted by Kerala Tourism.

If you plan to go on a long weekend, make sure you book the tickets in advance online, as the National Park has a limit of 3000 people only per day. The park is open for public from 8 am to 4 pm.

Soothing Sight

Neelakurinji – The Experience

Once in a 12 year experience

A worthwhile experience is on its way as you hike along the roads of Eravikulam National Park with the beautiful blue flowers blooming at your either side. As the cool winds blow through the flowers, it makes the sight even more soothing and refreshing. Perched upon the hills, embracing in its arms, when you witness a carpet of blue, you get the feeling of Nirvana as the beauty of the place and magic of the nature makes a mark in your mind, body, heart and soul.  A must on the to-do list of nature lover, the flowers will make you feel obsessed with them.

So much so that you’ll sign off from Munnar saying, “See you in 2030, Neelakurinji!”

Pratapgadh Fort- A testimony to Genius, Marvel & Victory

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Image of Pratapgarh Fort
Outside view of the Fort

‘Gadh’, literally means stronghold, have been an integral part of the erstwhile kings and princes in India. It is strategically located across various parts of the country. The forts were the arsenal of rulers to deploy the forces when under attack. Maharashtra has over 300 such forts that played an important role during Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj’s reign. However, one fort holds a special place in the history of Maratha Empire owing to its architectural genius and the folklore attached to it. If your travelling activity accounts for history and architect, then Pratapgadh Fort is your destination. Here’s the account to the valour of Pratapgadh Fort- a testimony to genius, marvel and victory.

Main Gate of the Fort

Formation Story of the Pratapgadh Fort

Unlike other forts of Maharashtra that were majorly captured, Pratapgadh Fort was constructed by Shivaji Maharaj. It was built under the architectural guidance of Moropant Trimbak Pingle. The fort consists of 4 watchtowers in four directions, armoury, king’s quarters, army quarter, around 450 steps connecting it all. It was all constructed within a span of 2 years. Just imagine!! Around 500 years ago, without the use of heavy machinery and equipment, in a hostile environment, clandestinely stands a stronghold of Maratha bastion.

Hidden Tunnel

Complex Illustration

The intriguing part of the construction was that the main door of the gate is not visible from outside. As seen in the photos, an outside glance makes it look like an impregnable wall. But actually, the main gate is hidden behind the rocks, with a series of the curved staircase leading to the door. The curved staircase was an example of an ingenious construction. It protected the fort gate from being taken down by the enemy forces.

On the way up to the top, one can witness the weapons and armoury used at the time. Literally and figuratively, each of the weapons weighs about 20-30 kgs. Also, it is said that an average person then would practice with them for 6-8 hours a day. Clearly shows the strength in the limbs of our ancestors. The highest point of the fort stands on the edge of the 3000 feet high cliff, known as Punishment Point. The place was used to execute the criminals by throwing them down the cliff. A spine-chilling place even now as the cool breeze equivalent to that of an air conditioner with temperature dropped to the lowest. And the view is worth dying for!

Punishment Point

Significance of the name given- Pratapgadh

Among all the tales, the fort is well known for one which derived its name. ‘Pratap’ means victory, and the name of the fort is dedicated to the victory of Chhatrapati over the Mughal General Afzal Khan.

Chhatrapati Shivaji’s contemporary ruler was the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb. He placed a handsome bounty on Shivaji Maharaj’s head. Afzal Khan was the Mughal General in the Deccan region and he accepted the challenge to defeat Shivaji Maharaj. Setting out a message of peace proposition to Chhatrapati at Pratapgadh, Afzal Khan had planned to kill Shivaji during the meet. Afzal Khan, as it is said, was a monster among men, standing at 7 feet tall and was strong enough to flip a raging bull without breaking a sweat.

Shivaji Maharaj, on receiving the invitation of the peace proposition, went ahead to meet Afzal Khan with 2 of his trusted generals. As they met, Afzal Khan tried to kill Shivaji Maharaj by squeezing his neck. However, Shivaji Maharaj, having anticipated such move, tore open Afzal Khan’s belly using the tiger claws he was wearing on his hands. Withering in pain, Afzal Khan retreated through the tent where one of Shivaji’s bodyguards decapitated him. The trumpet of victory was blown from the fort and hence the fort came to be known as Pratapgadh Fort.

Pratapgadh Fort is just 15 km from the famous hill station of Mahabaleshwar. Also look for other destinations to visit near Pune and Mumbai. Pratapgadh Fort stands tall reminiscing the valiant tales of the glorified Maratha history. 

If you are planning to visit pratapgarh fort & some other places together & you are low on budget, these tips will help you to save a lot of money while travelling. So plan your next trip there and be amazed by living the part of the history.

Waterfall en-route Pratapgadh Fort

20 most popular places to visit in India during Monsoon

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Monsoon is a great time to pack up your bags and do the outbound to observe nature at its raw best. Touring in a country like India, which is rich in its natural heritage. Here is the list of places you can visit to look for the pleasure of monsoon in India. These places are best to visit in India during July-September.

List of 20 most popular places one can visit during monsoon.

Saputara

Falls amidst greenery

Gujarat’s solitary hill station is a popular tourist spot as soon as the rains begin. With the tourism department organizing the monsoon festival every year. It is a perfect place for a weekend getaway. Relax at the lakeside with corn on the cob. Paddle boat with friends in the lake. Witness the magnanimity of Gira Waterfalls. Get awed by the variety of flora at Waghai Botanical gardens and get familiar with the Warli paintings and art, as you breathe in a bit of Gujarat.

Lonavala

Photo of Lonavala, Maharashtra

This one needs no introduction, as it stands out to be every Mumbaikar’s and Punekar’s favourite weekend destination. Located exactly at the midpoint of two cities, the journey is as pleasant as the destination. Mumbai-Pune express highway offers a completely different sight in the monsoons, with waterfalls mushrooming all along the road. Enjoy the long drives with near and dear ones while having a bite at the famous Chikki and jelly chocolates.

Matheran

Ways in Matheran. Clicked by Krutarth Vashi

India’s smallest hill station offers you the biggest of surprises in the monsoons. As the entire area gets covered with a blanket of greens, the viewpoints present a soothing view to sore eyes. The entire hill station is a no-vehicle zone. The only way to explore is by foot or horseback, which is an excitement in itself. Witness the sunrise and sunset behind the hills in the company of macaques while sipping a cup of tea among the clouds.  

Tips, Advice & Plannings for your first trip

Lavasa

A planned city in Maharashtra

For those looking for a peaceful weekend, India’s first planned hill station is where you need to head to. On the banks of an artificial lake, stands a peaceful town, away from the hustle and monotony, with lovely views all around. There are lots of waterfalls on the way to the city and the valleys offer breathtaking views. In short, an ideal place to visit for spending a lazy weekend. Counting in the list of places to visit near Mumbai and Pune during monsoon.

Goa

For all those who think Goa is a beach destination, they must visit Goa during monsoon to see its other side. Charao Island, a little-known place just 30 mins from Panaji is the place to be in Goa when it rains. For hikers and nature lovers, Dr Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary is equivalent to a utopian society. But the cherry on the cake is the magnificent Dudhsagar Falls which offers a completely mesmerizing view of the monsoon. Explore an unknown side of Goa at a dirt cheap rate while devouring the Goan Fish Curry and nip of Fenny.

Agumbe

Forests in Agumbe

An absolute gem of a place in the heart of the Western Ghats. The serpentine roads lead you up to the peak which offers a breathtaking view of the forests. The ruins of Kaveladurg fort are perfect for a day out. Trek across the paddy fields enjoying the nature at its very best and hike all the way to the endpoint to witness a spectacular sight on three sides.  

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Kudremukh

Trek routes

A trekker’s paradise and a bike rider’s holy grail, Kudremukh National Park is yet another hidden gem of Karnataka. It springs to life during monsoon. If green pastures, misty backdrops & cool breeze are your things, Kudremukh should be on your bucket list. These places are best to visit in August in India. 

Gokarna

Beachside in Gokarna.

For those who feel that Goa is too mainstream, Gokarna is where you must head to. A few hours ride from Goa, Gokarna is an amalgamation of beaches and mountains. It has the lesser hustle and is more peaceful than any of the beaches in Goa. The beaches are secluded, peaceful and offer a beautiful view of the sun setting into the Arabian Sea. Relax on the shacks of the beachside cafes with chilled beer and Chicken Ghee Roast. Its the speciality of the region, while enjoying the stunning view around.

Munnar

Serene tea plantations

The gorgeous tea estates will escort you all through curvy roads of this tiny hill station hidden in the Western Ghats. More reasons to visit Munnar in August of 2018 is the blooming of  Neelakurunji, a rare blue flower that blooms once in 12 years, covering the region in a blanket of blue. Witness the raw beauty of nature at Eravikulam National Park. The enigma of nature in Neelakurunji Flowers, freshness of the tea gardens and the aura of the indigenous Nilgiri Tahr at Munnar this August.  

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Alleppey

Sailing houseboat.

Pristine and surreal backwaters surrounded by the beautiful paddy fields and coconut plantations on either side await you as you set your foot aboard the houseboats and sail lazily into them. August marks the harvesting festival, Onam, in Kerala and is celebrated with great pomp and gaiety. The snake boat races are the main attraction of Onam and it is one experience to witness them. 100-120 men row the boats in an absolute synchronization while singing “Kuttanadan Punjayile” in the spirits as high as the coconut trees surrounding the area. Such places are must visit in August in India with family.

Wayanad

Surreal steps in nature

Adorning the northern hills of Kerala is the beautiful district of Wayanad. This area is famous for its large amount of camping and trekking trails, breathtaking waterfalls, caves, bird watching sites, flora, fauna and an overall plethora of magnificent sights. At Neelimala’s summit, you can get a view of the Meenmutty Falls, the largest of its kind in Wayanad. Get delighted by the range of exotic products including spices, coffee, tea, bamboo products, honey and herbal plants available here. Release your tensions with the Ayurvedic massage and get refreshed by the aura of the place.

Andaman Islands

View from the Island. Clicked by Krutarth Vashi.

Far off the mainland, there are a group of 400 little islands collectively known as the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The volcanic islands are home to the best beaches in India. A rich underwater diversity makes it a top spot for scuba diving and snorkelling. Relive the moments of Indian Freedom Struggle at Cellular Jail. Witness the architectural genius at Ross Island. Get awed by the beauty of Radhanagar beach. Swim with fishes at North Bay Island and get lost in the mystical Chidiya Tapu beach while witnessing the unaltered beauty of nature.  

Meghalaya

Live root bridges.

‘It always rains in Meghalaya! That’s why it’s so beautiful!’ Meghalaya is gaining a reputation as a natural adventure playground, a prime destination for trekking, caving and canyoning and tribal encounters. Clouds and forests all around, Meghalaya has the best of the natural heritage in India. Be it the natural root bridges at Khasi hills or the clandestine caves at Jaintia. The magnanimous Nohkalikai waterfalls, these all are unique in their own ways. Experience the spectacle of rains and virgin beauty of the wettest place on earth like never before.

Valley of Flowers

Blooming flowers at the Valley

Perched at an altitude of 14000 feet above sea level, with the verdant beauty of the snow-capped Himalayas in the backdrop, the green meadows and cotton-like clouds blend in to make a dreamlike valley of flowers trek. Known as the most beautiful trek in the world with the blue Primula, Valley of Flowers Uttarakhand is a must do the trek for nature lovers. Blessed with exotic flowers, faunas and magnificent views this trek will take you to the world of snow clad mountains and high cliffs.  Listen to the sound of birds chirping and the musical sound of the stream during the trek. The soothing breeze and the enchanting beauty lure away nature and the photography lovers.

Rishikesh

It is every adventure enthusiast’s dream destination, Rishikesh offers you a plethora of options to try to satiate the adrenaline appetite. The gushing waters of Alaknanda create roaring rapids as you paddle your raft through them without ending up in the water. Rishikesh also hosts India’s highest bungee jump platform, paragliding, hang-gliding, kayaking and bridge slithering among various activities one can choose from. Camp by the riverside with barbeque and music for a perfect ending to a wonderful adventure. Also, soothe with some peace through yogic training.

Riverview in Rishikesh

What is your travelling activity

Hampta Pass Chandratal Trek

Five days of Hampta Pass & Chandratal Lake trekking will enable you to spend ample time amidst the flabbergasting serenity mixed with fun and excitement. The Chandratal Lake Trek is a treasure trove for the ardent as well as amateur trekkers and holds the charm and allurement like any other treks in the Himalayas. The scenic landscape exposes trails that meander through alpine forests, huge rock formations, and remarkably rich vegetation. Chandratal Lake trekking experience introduces you to the captivating beauty of the Himalayan meadows, flora and fauna of the Lahaul and Spiti valley. It also gets you close to the life and spirit amidst the lofty peaks. With easy gradients, climbs and descends, this trek will definitely satiate all your quench for trekking in the Indian Himalayas. It is the best place to visit in August in Himachal.

Trek Route at Hampta Pass

Create Your Trek Story at Hampta Pass

Forts of Maharashtra

The forts have been strongholds of the Maratha rulers since the reigns of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. Tactically built over hilltop overseeing the valleys, these forts provide a gem of a sight after the rains turn everything green. Lohgadh, Raigadh & Sinhagadh forts are the most famous of the forts, offering a stunning view alongside a brilliant architecture. Visapur fort, Harihar fort and Torna fort are a few other in this long list of breathtaking beauty and architectural marvel. Be amazed by the rich history and the magnificent view of the Maratha bastions this monsoon in Maharashtra.

Pondicherry

Magnificent view at Pondicherry

Bonjour’ is what you’ll say as you step foot on the erstwhile French Colony in India. The hotels, restaurants and ‘lifestyle’ shops sell a seductive vision of the French-subcontinental aesthetic, enhanced by Gallic creative types and Indian artists and designers. The internationally famous Sri Aurobindo Ashram and its offshoot just north of town, Auroville, draw large numbers of spiritually minded visitors. Pondicherry’s vibe: less faded colonial-era villa, more bohemian-chic, New Age–meets–Old World hang-out on the international travel trail. The beaches are just as peaceful as the city, making it a must visit place for seeking inner peace.  

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Udaipur

Lakeside palaces

Rajasthan’s best-kept secret, shining on the shores of the shimmering Lake Pichola and surrounded by the brilliant Aravali ranges, Udaipur has a romance of setting unmatched in all India. The grandiloquent palaces, havelis & the narrow streets add a human touch to the city’s natural charms. For a tourist, the tranquillity of boat ride on the lake, colourful bazaars, lively arts and the tempting shops along the lovely countryside that can be explored and enjoyed to the fullest. Make it more enriching while feasting on some of the most delicious street food the city has to offer.

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Kausani

Panoramic view of hills

Situated on a ridge, above a dense alpine forest, a small village in the Uttarakhand offers lovely panoramic views of the snow clad mountain peaks, fresh air & relaxed atmosphere. Kausani is a backpacker’s happy place and an author’s dreamland, offering exquisite views of the massive Nanda Devi and Panchachuli Peaks. The glory of the views reaches its pinnacle at dawn and dusk. Sun-rays turn the peaks into golden during sunrise and crimson at sunset, making a spectacle to observe and relieved in the memory box.

Dear couples, this might also solve your problem. These are the best honeymoon destinations in India during monsoon. Breeze with your partner in the ‘awesome mausam’. 

There you have the best 20 places to visit this monsoon, so pack up your bags, pick up a place or two and blend in the surroundings of the mesmerizing places of our Incredible India. India is happening during New Year’s too. So also have a look at New Year celebrating destinations of India.

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