Monsoons in India can be scary or mesmerizing depending on the location. In most northeastern states; monsoons mostly manifest as nature’s fury. The state of Assam is flooded every season and devastatingly so. The hilly states in the region remain drenched in the rains even if spared by flooding. West Bengal as well as the states of Kerala, Telangana, and Andhra Pradesh also receive heavy rainfall during the season. Mumbai almost always experiences monsoon mayhem.
So, is it a good time to travel to India in monsoons?
It is considered a low season for tourism in the country. But if you still want to travel to India in monsoons; you can make it work. You just need to visit the right destinations and you can also benefit from off-season deals on accommodation and flight bookings. Yes, take advantage of monsoon tourism deals and experience India draped in silvery strings of rain.
Destination Planning: Places to Visit in India during Monsoons
The interior parts of almost every state (other than a few such as Assam) are good to go for monsoon tourism in India.
For instance; instead of beaches in Goa; you can plan your itinerary for interior villages in the state, visit its temples, wildlife parks, and waterfalls. Munnar and Thekkady in Kerala are two of the best places to visit in rainy season in south India. In the south of the country, you can also plan to visit Hampi and Mysore in Karnataka, Ooty and Kodaikanal in Tamil Nadu, Horsley Hills and Araku Valley in Andhra Pradesh, and Warangal and Adilabad in Telangana.
Attractions in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, and Gujarat are ideal to visit during monsoons (central and western India). Best places to visit in monsoon in north India are Haridwar, Mussoorie, Nainital, Almora in Uttarakhand and Chamba, Dharamshala, Kasol, and Shimla in Himachal Pradesh. You can also visit Delhi and experience the city in a different light during the monsoons.
The states of Bihar and Assam, and very hilly regions in the country are not safe places to visit in monsoon.
Monsoon Festivals in India
One of the biggest benefits of visiting India in the monsoons is the opportunity to experience festival fervor in the country. Witnessing the Teej procession in Jaipur, Rajasthan is an experience in itself. It is one of the biggest festivals in the region and is celebrated in July. It is colorful and chirpy with sounds of celebratory laughter. It is also celebrated in some other parts of northern and central India. But if you are planning to visit India this monsoon itself; there are upcoming festivals in August and September that you can attend.
In 2022, Onam (the harvest festival of Kerala), will begin on 30th August and will last till 8th September. Ganesh Chaturthi (or Vinayaka Chaturthi) is a celebration of Lord Ganesh; the destroyer of all obstacles. It falls on 31st August in 2022. Janmashtami is the day of Lord Krishna’s birthday. It is celebrated with great zeal in the country; especially central and western parts. The celebrations will begin on 18th August this year and will last till next day (which is usual). Dahi-handi is a distinct celebration of Janmashtami in Mumbai and other parts of north and central India.
Some cultural festivals in India also occur during the monsoon season. The Hemis Festival is held in July in Ladakh and offers a unique glimpse into the region’s culture. If you missed it this year, you can plan ahead for attending it in 2023. It is safe to visit certain parts of Leh and Ladakh during the monsoon season.
This year the famous Rath Yatra at Puri also resumed after two years since COVID took over and closed everything up in the world. You can witness this next year in July (as of current updates).
Packing Tips for Visiting India in Monsoons
Carry enough clothing so that if you get wet in the rain; you still have plenty of dry outfits at your disposal. Ensure your clothes are made with breathable material; or else the humidity of the season can make it unbearable to be in those outfits. Pack a rain jacket, a pair of flip-flops, and a sturdy pair of shoes when planning your travel to India in monsoons. You can also buy rubber sandals after arriving in the country.
While travelling around the country in monsoons; you will also need insect repellants, your own medicine kit, some non-perishable snack items, and an umbrella. The trick is to not overthink when packing for your India trip during monsoons. Keep it simple as you can buy any item you may require due to the rains at reasonable prices anywhere in the country.
If you really want to travel to India in monsoons, you can easily do so despite it being touted as the off-season travel time. Take advantage of the great deals on monsoon holiday packages in India. You can easily book cheap flights to India during this time.