India enjoys an equatorial climate throughout the year with summers being very intensively scorching. Come July, and monsoon sets its foot in the peninsula. While schools start to reopen, this is a good time to take an extended vacation and get away from the everyday chaos and heat.
So if you want to lose the crowd, relax, and enjoy the bountiful offerings from the rain Gods, pick up your backpacks, get the rain capes, and don’t forget the gumboots, for here are some great places in India that beckon the traveler in you to go exploring, especially during July:
Valley of Flowers
Bestowed with the title of UNESCO World Heritage Site, for its rare Himalayan species of flora and fauna, this popular valley in Uttarakhand is located at an altitude of almost 3,800 m above sea level. It is unreachable in winter months due to weather extremities but in summer months and till the monsoons, it grows in full blooms presenting a colorful collage.
Trekking and photography are two best activities to be done here. One can also pay visit to Sri Hemkund Sahib, a holy pilgrimage for the Sikhs.
The cold desert of Ladakh hosts the mighty Indus festival (Sindhudarshan) in June after which the summer merry-making and festivities begin in Ladakh. July is when summer has started, snow is melting, and thus, rivers are gushing. Green patches appear as farmers start agriculture. Great climate, picturesque lakes, beautiful views, and stunning hilltop monasteries nestled in these mountain peaks wait for you.
Ladakh is a delight for trekkers and river rafters too. Make sure you enjoy the local mask dance festival in monasteries, where dances are performed by the lamas.
Also Read: Plan A Trip To Leh Ladakh In July-August
The Amarnath Cave is known as the abode of Lord Shiva and is one of the holy shrines of the Hindus. It is buried in snow for most of the time in the year but in July, as snow starts to melt, the way clears and it opens up for pilgrims, though for a brief period of about two months only. The trek to the holy cave is highly challenging and the Shiv linga is in the form of a big icicle. It is a natural phenomenon that occurs every year and is considered miraculous.
Trekkers and pilgrims have to undergo health checks to certify fitness for this holy trek at Jammu base camp.
This high-altitude hill station in Arunachal Pradesh in north-east India is yet calm and quiet place, inhabited by the Buddhists. Their monasteries known as Gompas are found throughout the landscape here. Arunachal is home to some of the most virgin and beautiful waterfalls; so mesmerizing, it seems the view is straight out of a movie scene.
Rain brings out the best in this part of the country and who knows what natural wonders you may come across.
Gangtok, the capital city of Sikkim, is relatively less crowded than northern India but is equally beautiful and charming. The city is peaceful and calm and boasts primarily of Buddhist culture. It has Nathu La in vicinity, which is India’s pass to Nepal. Lined with monasteries, Gangtok is also known for paragliding activities on its outskirts and rafting in the Teesta River, which is at its mighty best during the monsoons. Try to travel on narrow gauge railway tracks to Jalpaiguri for an old world feel.
Check Travel Story: Gang Of Girls In Gangtok
Down South, Kodaikanal is a tiny hill station. In July, monsoons have set their pace and waterfalls spring up along the slopes making the hills lush green and extremely picturesque. Boating at Kodai Lake, trekking to Kukkal caves or watching the deafening waterfalls- you can take your pick.
Kodaikanal has its own beautiful railway station and is reachable by road from Bangalore and Madurai. The nearest airport however, is Madurai.