The Monsoon Traveler 

Text by - Jyoti Rane                    Photos by - Amit Rane & Jyoti Rane 
Shepherds at Salher Fort, Maharashtra

Its that time of the year, when outdoors are a bliss. Monsoon casts a magic on an arid mind and place equally. The undulating blanket of parrot green surface from the very first showers is so inviting. The experience of first rain, the smell of wet mud , the cold untamed breeze, the besotting landscapes and most of all a reason to bunk office and college.

Maharashtra Monsoon Countryside

The monsoon traveler ideally aestivates in monsoon, and sets to explore places far and near the city’s confines. Monsoons are alluring, but before you set out, some things need to be considered and taken care of. Monsoons are inviting yet, unsafe if negligible!!

Tamhini Ghat, Maharashtra

While I head out for every monsoon trip / trek, I take care to follow some guidelines.I am certain they can help you too.

Reachability - Before starting on any trip try and figure out if the roads leading to the place you are travelling are clear. Monsoon gets unexpected road blocks due to water logging, breaking down of vehicles or shooting stones in hilly areas. It’s better to have as much insight as possible, on the latest conditions before travelling.

A state transport bus amidst the greens at Malshej Ghat, Maharashtra

Rain Forecast – Lots of application are available these days online as well on android phones which helps know weather forecasts couple of days in advance. AccuWeather is the most trusted application on Android phones and I refer the same for my travel in extreme climates. These applications could come handy in planning properly  by ascertaining torrential rains, clear skies and foggy climate. 

The 10 am  fog at Malshej Ghat , Maharashtra

Bhimashankar, Maharashtra

This heavenly site was flooded during my cross - country trek from Siddhagad to Bhimashankar. The stream went wild and devoured the bridge and surroundings. It only tamed after couple of hours and  then the bridge came in sight. Crossing this bridge was our only source to reaching Bhimashankar.  All we could do is wait and wait. This was 10 years back and then no apps could guide us, but instincts.

Travelling on weekdays – Try travelling to monsoon destinations on weekdays to avoid weekend rush. You can have the whole place to yourself on weekdays and even a comfortable and required hotel booking.

A lone tourist at Koyna Dam, Maharashtra

Hotel Bookings – Book well in advance to avoid packed hotels in remote destinations.

The raging Dhabosa Falls, Jawhar, Maharashhtra

Chalk out places to visit – Remember during monsoons waterfalls are not the only places worth visiting. Dams are equally beautiful in monsoons. The dam reservoirs are filled to the brim and frilled with greenery. The water let out of flood gates makes for an amazing site, but its best viewed from safe confines.

Wilson Dam at Bhandardhara, Maharashtra has a fixed day assigned every week when the dam waters are let out.

Club places in vicinity, a combination of waterfall, dams, Valleys or treks to make the best of your trip.

The play of sun and rain at Koyna Dam, Maharashtra

Dam water let out at Temghar Dam, Near Lavasa , Maharashtra

The monsoon face of Lavasa, Maharashtra

Road Blocks- Road blocks are part and parcel of monsoon trips. If you are travelling with kids, make  sure you have ample supply of food/ dry food. Indoor  games come handy at such trips. 

Basket Picnics - Sometimes the destination is not alluring as the vistas which lead you to the destination. Select, stop and relax. Basket picnics need no schedule and set venues.
                                                                                                        Karjat , Maharashtra 

 Yavteshwar Playeau , Satara

Adventure activities to indulge in this monsoon -

Treks are best experienced during monsoons. Maharashtra is a treasure trove of treks with around 350 hill forts from Shivaji’s era and captivating vistas. Nilgiris in karnataka are equally beautiful and ideal to trek during monsoons. If you plan to trek, tag along with a known group offering professional services. Treks are extremely remote, unpredictable and adventures and its best to have company when exploring them. Albeit, after all the pain you take to trek uphill, you are certainly rewarded with heavenly vistas. Don’t forget to check the pristine countryside and the plethora of wildflowers along the way. The mesmerizing paddy fields and the low fleeting clouds will charm you without doubt.

Salher Trek ( The highest fort and second highest  peak in Maharashtra)

Treks transit you to another world, and only trekkers would know what I say. Its not in everyone's reach and capacity to challenge oneself against the odds, and be gifted with such glorious sites.

Flower land, Torna Trek, Maharashtra

River Rafting
Around the mid of monsoons, the rivers are swollen and hence have the right rapids for river rafting. River rafting is currently conducted in Kolad at Mahad, Maharashtra on the Kundalika River. Karnataka also offers rafting services at Dandeli,  Bheemeshwari near Bangalore and Dubare at Coorg.

River rafting at Dubare - Coorg, Karnataka

Mountain Biking-
Mountain biking is catching craze with today’s youth. In Maharashtra, Sahyadris serve as the best ground for ideal mountain biking activities. Lots of professional groups organize mountain biking sessions.

Mountain biking at Tamhini Ghat, Maharashtra

Waterfall Rappelling
What does one mention about waterfall rappelling as majority of youth is trying this extreme adventure. Whether it’s fun or not, the experience comes only once you experience the thrill.

Waterfall rappelling at Vihigaon falls- Jawhar, Maharashtra
Nature walks
If you are not an adventure goon, nature walks could serve best for you. Enjoy the flora and macro life while enjoying nature. Refresh your mind with the monsoon breeze hitting your face.

A quiet stroll at Varandh Ghat , Maharashtra

A flower lane overlooking the Shivsagar reservoir, Maharashtra

Walk off the path
You never know what's to greet you at the other end. Don't just take the beaten paths, but explore. Make your ways and find your own paradise.

Along a un-trodden path - Malshej Ghat

Some beautiful creatures you might just miss along the way.

Carry a keen eye, you never know what wonders you might miss along the way. 

Leaf Beetle


Sahyadris and Nilgiris are strewn with plethora of wildflowers. Wildflowers that mark different months in the monsoon. While you are out, seek them , admire them, as this nature's creation is un-replicated across the year.

Karvi in Sahyadris and Neel Kurungi in Nilgiris are wildflowers that bloom in every 7 years and 12 years respectively.

Drossera Burmani  - A carnivores Plant

Cyanotis Tuberosa ( Abhali )

While doing all these activities –

Ø  Always carry mosquito repellants.
Ø  Leech guards come handy during macro expeditions.
Ø  If you are driving along, make sure to have a good spare tyre.
Ø  Extra pair of clothes. 
Ø  Warm clothes should be mandatory on any monsoon outing.
Ø  A charged torch.
Ø  Enough of memory cards for your camera.
Ø  A pair of safe anti slipping shoes is a must.
Ø  Carrying a thermos comes handy as a refill on any local chai shop can be done.
Ø  The flowerbeds and green pastures look attractive, but mind they are home to some amphibians.

A abstract view of Salher fort

Remember, Monsoons are tempting and makes the child come out in us, yet while enjoying the nature, make sure you are safe enough. Put yourself at a safe pedestal and enjoy the nature.

A monsoon traveler enjoying nature from safe confines and another daredevil traveler in the background.

Therefore remember, have a safe monsoon and a great monsoon. Just don’t forget to be aware.

A photographer at Yavteshwar Plateau, Satara

A little caution, and walk back with the loveliest memories of the season and lifetime. Lets ensure we stay in asked confines and enjoy this season at its best.

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