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Thursday, June 05, 2014

Top 10 Monsoon Holidays in Karnataka

The pre-monsoon showers have been battering Bangalore for almost for a week now. Summer is on its way out and the time has come for us to welcome the South West Monsoons that is expected to hit Karnataka next week. These monsoon rains green-wash the entire state and its many forests making for an extremely relaxing sight.

Karnataka is one of those states that is blessed with lots of getaways when it comes to monsoon holidays. Below are my top 10 monsoon holiday ideas in Karnataka. And these run across wildlife, adventure sports, trekking, waterfalls, scenic routes, relaxing holidays and more. Take your pick and enjoy your monsoon holiday to the fullest.

The Jungles of Kabini
Elephants at Kabini in the monsoons
Kabini holds iconic status in Karnataka’s wildlife circuit, but its specialty is that it is open during the monsoons when the other national parks and tiger reserves are closed to tourists. So, if you are a wildlife lover and want to plan a wildlife holiday this monsoon, don’t look any further than Kabini. And the rains are also a great time to spot the tiger, leopard, wild dogs and elephants here. And of course, there is the eye-catching peacock mating dance during the rains.

Nearest Place to Stay
Properties around the Kabini reservoir or Kuta.

Other Nearby and Enroute Attractions
Lakshman Teertha Waterfalls, Coffee Estates of Coorg, Bylakuppe Tibetan Monastery, Ranganatitthu Bird Sanctuary, Mysore

Agumbe Rainforest
Agumbe rainforests
This small town is possibly one of the wettest places in Karnataka and hence is home to some of most pristine tropical rainforests in India. This belt is one of my favorite monsoon holiday destinations in Karnataka due to its sheer diversity. The famous King Cobra can be sighted here. Then there is the rainforest research station that takes you deep into the rainforests and helps you spot rare wildlife species. And then there is the extremely green terrain and the many waterfalls that offer a lot of trekking options. For nature lovers, the 14th mile offers a fantastic sunset point and Kundadri is excellent for seeing that beautiful sunrise. For history lovers, this place is where the Malgudi days originated and the best part is that most of the village has retained that charm.

Nearest Place to Stay
Agumbe, Udupi or Teerthahalli.

Other Nearby and Enroute Attractions
Sita Nadi River Rafting at Hebri, The spiritual town of Sringeri, Kudlu Teertha Waterfall Trek and Barakona Trek, Someshwar Wildlife Sanctuary

Maravanthe’s River and the Sea
Maravanthe BeachI doubt if there is any other place like Maravanthe in India. During the rains, if you stand on the NH 17 highway, you can be one with the rowdy waves of the Arabian Sea, the consistent hard rain and the fat flowing Sowparnika river all in one single flow. This is one of those places where you can park your car and enjoy bountiful water from all sides.

Nearest Place to Stay
Maravanthe or Kundapur

Other Nearby and Enroute Attractions
Kodachadri Trek, Kollur Mookambika Temple, Murudeshwar Temple

Thadiyendamol Monsoon Trek
Monsoon Trek to Thadiyendamol, Coorg
This is Coorg’s highest mountain peak and also one of the more tougher, yet insanely scenic treks of Karnataka. You walk through clouds and you run through leech jungles, you are lost in greenery and you are getting drenched in either the monsoon rains or the mist bearing winds; this is how the Thadiyendamol monsoon trek treats you. Each sight is bound to captivate you. And it is a touch easier during the rains as you don’t need to carry that extra water. Do attempt it this monsoon.

Nearest Place to Stay
Kabinnakad, Virajpet

Other Nearby and Enroute Attractions
Nilakandi waterfalls, Nalnad Palace, Tamara Coorg, Coffee Estates of Coorg

Kemmangundi: Poor Man’s Hill Station Hebbe Falls in full flow during the monsoons
I call this place the poor man’s hill station of Karnataka, but in terms of natural bounty and diversity, it is very rich. It is part of Karnataka’s tallest mountain range and has a lot of flora and fauna to showcase. Due to lack of infrastructure, a lot of travelers don’t end up visiting this place, but if you do you will see its beauty. And when you are there, do not miss to see the Hebbe Falls in full flow. And to see it, you will have to indulge in a moderate trek, which will be totally worth the effort.

Nearest Place to Stay
Kemmangundi, Chickmagalur

Other Nearby and Enroute Attractions
Hebbe Falls, Baba Budangiri, Mulayangiri, Chickmagalur Coffee Estates

Sita Nadi River Rafting

Note
: The Sita Nadi River Rafting photo belongs to
Udupi Tourism.
This short and ferocious river flows only during the rains and it packs quite a punch. With Class 3 to Class 4 rapids, Sita Nadi is one of the more popular river rafting spots in Karnataka and is ideal if you are looking at an adventure-filled monsoon holiday. After your rafting during the day, you can camp amidst nature and share a laugh over the day’s events. If you have time on your hand, do try trekking to the very beautiful Kudlu Teertha Falls.

Nearest Place to Stay
Hebri, Manipal, Agumbe or Udupi

Other Nearby and Enroute Attractions
Kudlu Teertha Falls, Someshwar Wildlife Sanctuary, Udupi Krishna Temple

Hogenakkal in Full Flow
Hogenakkal Falls in the rains
A lot of people think Hogenakkal falls in Tamil Nadu, but its waters are shared equally by both Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. During the rains, the canyons of Hogenakkal and its umpteen waterfalls gives it a Niagara like look. If you love the mighty Cauvery and wish to see her at her ferocious best, you have to see her at Hogenakkal and that too in the peak of monsoons and you can be rest assured that you have seen some of the rarest sights of South India.

Nearest Place to Stay
Hogenakkal, Dharmapuri or Bangalore

Other Nearby and Enroute Attractions
Scenic drive by the Cauvery and the Cauvery Wildlife Sanctuary

Sharavathi River Valley and Jog Falls
Sharavathi River Valley covered by rain clouds
In my mind, this is possibly Karnataka’s prettiest water body. The Sharavathi river valley, the reservoir, the Shola forests, the National Highway 206 and the mighty Jog falls all give it a dreamy connection. Driving on these winding ghat roads through mist and rain is very special. One never gets bored as there are so many stunning sights on the way. There is the Linganamakki Reservoir, there are beautiful view points and then there is Jog Falls, the tallest waterfall of Karnataka.

Nearest Place to Stay
Sagar, Shimoga, Honavar

Other Nearby and Enroute Attractions
Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary, Linganamakki Reservoir, Gokarna and Yanna Mountains

Kudremukh – The Green Mountains
Tropical Moss
This region of Karnataka was closed for a long while due to mining and naxalites. In a way, these problems have contributed to Kudremukh’s pristine nature. If you are looking for green nature, Kudremukh will not disappoint you. If you are the adventurous kind, you can trek and camp inside the Kudremukh national park and if you are the regular tourist kind, drive to the prickly Hanuman Gundi Falls, the massive Lakya Dam and the sensationally green forests in and around Kudremukh.

Nearest Place to Stay
Kudremukh and around

Other Nearby and Enroute Attractions
Hanuman Gundi Falls, Lakya Dam, Karkala, Horanadu, Kudremukh National Park, Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary

Kumara Parvatha – The Green Trail
Living above the clouds at Kumaraparvatha
A lot of nature lovers and trekkers dig this mountain. It is believed to be one of the homes of Lord Subramanya and if you visit this place, you will notice that it is indeed Green Heaven. During the rains, this place is totally green and once you reach the top, you will be above the clouds, give it a surreal look n feel. There are 2 options to trek to Kumaraparvatha: one from Kukke Subramanya (the steeper and shorter trail) and the other from Somwarpet in Coorg (the flatter and longer trail). Both options will give you the sense of fulfillment and the thrill of a monsoon trek.

Nearest Place to Stay
Either Camp at Kumaraparvatha or stay at Kukke Subramanya

Other Nearby and Enroute Attractions
Kukke Subramanya Temple



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