The monsoon winds and clouds hit the Indian sub-continent at God's Own Country first, making the state more spiritual than ever. If you worship nature, you cannot but visit Kerala during monsoons. The dense Western Ghats, the vast backwaters and the green hills will make you experience rains in a new light. The spicy cuisine of this southern state will light up your taste-buds and soul during torrential rains. Here are eight destinations in Kerala for you to rush to as the monsoons and vacations begin!
Securing the top-most position in the list of monsoon destinations in Kerala, Munnar is a sight to behold as white and black clouds clothe the green hills. With temperatures taking a dip, mere driving up hill to points like Anamudi, the highest peak in South India, becomes an adventure. You even drive through the clouds as they float recklessly over the hills. The lush green tea plantations seem to be perpetually bathing in dew, adding bright filters to the beauty of the town.
Kabani river, which gives life to Wayanad, swells up during the monsoon, making the surrounding flora sway on its bulk. The many waterfalls of Wayanad and the Banasura Dam are the major attractions during this season. A road-trip though the misty green valleys is an experience not to be missed! Stay in the lap of the jungle in a tree house or a straw hut resort to live the pastoral joy.
Time stands still in Fort Kochi despite the bustle. The first European township in the country is perfect for soaking yourself in monsoon fun. A walk along the beach will cool you down to the core. The colourful town can be explored on rented bicycles and scooters, letting the breeze of the season rejuvenate you. The well-paved roads keep the town from becoming a maize of puddles, making your trip a smooth one.
Venice of the East is undoubtedly one of the must-visit places in Kerala during monsoons. A houseboat ride on the swollen Vembanad lake is an experience in itself. Indulge in the authentic preparation of seafood in Alappuzha and watch the rain as you spend some time on the houseboats. The local beverage (toddy) prepared from plam tree sap will wash the spices down and make you dance with the rain.
You can well imagine what heavy monsoon rains would do to the largest waterfalls in south Asia. The grandeur of the view will drown out everything going on in your head for a while. The roaring beauty must not be missed at any season but monsoons make it an unmatched visual treat, standing in sharp contrast to the dense greenery. Beware of the slippery rocks and you are good to enjoy an out-of-the-world vision.
Home to the Periyar lake and Periyar Natural Reserve, Thekkady is your best option to explore the rich flora and fauna of the wet tropical Kerala. Monsoons make the forest seem denser than ever and the chances to spot elephants, deer, tigers and more in their majestic home become higher. The high altitude of the town is a relief for those escaping sultry heat of the plains.
The famous backwaters of Kumarakom are a good spot to enjoy the rains as you take a boat-ride across the waves. A delight for bird-watchers, the nearby riverine islands will also add adventure to your trip as you make your way through the bulky groves.
Within 70 km of Kumarakom also lie the hill town Vagamon and the Marmala waterfalls hidden in the forested hills, near Erattupetta, on the fringes of Kottayam district. But a trek to these destinations is an adventure that requires cautious treading as the areas get too slippery for many vehicles.
Silent Valley National Park
This United Nations Heritage Site is probably the last remnant of the rain forests in Kerala. Spread over the Western Ghats, the national park is a treasure trove of tropical plant life. The valley stands true to its name as you will be overwhelmed by the stillness of life there.