So the monsoons have now reached Delhi, and will be in Himachal in matter of hours. That completes the journey of rain clouds all the way to mighty Himalayas from somewhere down in the Indian Ocean.
Arrival of monsoons means a change of travel itinerary from the summer days. The choices are now not too many. There are two sets of options for the 'India Explorer' who hates to stay home, no matter what season it is.
1. Go to those places not affected by monsoons
2. Take the monsoon head-on, relishing those rain drops
In the many years of my love affair with the rains, I have always taken the second option. But I am trying to be a little different and going to Ladakh this time, where the rain clouds do not reach. Do await for long essays filled with images of Ladakh on 'India Explored' later this year.
To explore further on the monsoon destinations, there are two sets of places in India that are not largely affected by the monsoons.
1. Greater Himalayas and the region north of it. That includes Lahaul and Spiti region in Himachal, Zenskar ranges, Kargil and Leh, Nubra Valley and Changthang region near Tibetan Plateau.
2. In south Tamil Nadu remains an exception from the rest, not affected by rains. Visit the gigantic temples of Chidambaram, Madurai and Kanchi. Other places worth going to are Rameshwaram and Pondicherry.
If you are the kind of person who loves the 'tip tip' of the raindrops, Sahyadris is where you should be. Rains bring out an inexpressible magic in these parts. Trek to the forts of Shivaji in Maharashtra, visit the beaches of Goa that are now empty yet pleasant, see the jungles in Karnataka, or take a traditional Ayurvedic Massage in Kerala. Your options are unlimited. If lower temperatures and rain don't deter you, also try the lower Himalayas, like Shimla, Dharmashala or picturesque towns in Kumaon region like Nainital and Ranikhet.
So, do say now, where is it you want to go in the next 3 months?