The monsoon rains paint all of India a lush green, and Delhi is no exception. With some much-needed relief from the scorching summer heat, there are plenty of activities to partake in. But if time is on your side, board a train or flight into the Indian countryside, and let the allure of the rains captivate you in the desert on the backwaters, in the mountains, and by the beaches of India.
In the mountains of Kumaon, Uttarakhand
Te Aroha (meaning “the mountain of love”) is a summer home-turned-hotel that sits poetically atop a quaint village in the lower Himalayas of Uttarakhand. The clouds descend upon the hotel’s yellow rooftops, playing hide-and-seek with the mountains to create the illusion that you’re floating in midair. The uniqueness found in each of Te Aroha’s 10 rooms makes for a special experience. For instance, The Attic is a romantic hideout with wooden floors and glass panels, The Long House is akin to a royal abode complete with a piano and a fireplace, and Three Steps Down takes you literally three steps down to a glass-walled room overlooking the mountains.
On the backwaters of Kasaragod, Kerala
Oyster Opera is a private island on the less traversed backwaters (inlets of water) of northern Kerala. In the backdrop of coconut plantations and sleepy hamlets, nine indigenously crafted cottages offer a quiet retreat along the shores of mist-covered backwaters during the rainy season. Let the waters gently rock you to sleep in The Float House, an all-bamboo cottage floating on the property’s fish pond; take an open-rooftop shower in the Shrimp cottage, made with laterite stone and covered with a thatched hay roof; or escape on stilts in an all-wooden tree house overlooking the water.
In the vast wilderness of Rajasthan’s Thar Desert, the boutique hotel of Suryagarh is an indulgence in the old fashioned luxury of Indian royalty; the rooms and suites feature elegant antique furniture, expansive courtyards, and walls block-painted in gold. The rains transform the barren desert environment of Jaisalmer into shades of green, and whether you rejuvenate at the on-site spa or spend the night captivated by the folk songs of the desert musicians, you’ll witness first-hand the magic of the monsoon.
By the beaches of Goa
On the southwest coast of India, Taj Exotica transforms the popular winter getaway of Goa into one of the country’s best-kept monsoon secrets. The tropical décor of the luxury hotel provides a calming respite from the Arabian Sea during the rains; there’s nothing like watching the stormy waves of the water crash against the shore while taking a dip in your private plunge pool or Jacuzzi. Add a cup of hot chai tea and classic Indian hospitality — or a rafting or kayaking trip down Goa’s gushing rivers — and you’ve got the perfect recipe for a memorable monsoon escape.
Photos Courtesy of Suryagarh