Budget monsoon destinations

BMonsoon: A season of heavy rains, but it is also a season when you can explore the most beautiful places at the most economical prices. Since Monsoon is not tourist peak season, when booked in advance, you can enjoy visiting the choicest locations at the cheapest rates. Don’t believe us yet? Scroll down and have a look at the wonderful destinations you can visit at highly affordable prices.

Fatehpur Sikri, Rajasthan:  the abandoned red sandstone city, was built by the Greatest Mughal Emperor, Akbar, as his capital and palace in the late 16th century, in honor of a sage who predicted the birth of his son.  It was abandoned soon after it was built as the local wells went dry. Surprisingly, it remains today in almost the same position that it was over three centuries ago.  It is complete with palaces and mosques. The place is an extraordinary place to explore with its buildings in near perfect condition.

Jaipur, Rajasthan – the capital of Rajasthan – popularly called as the “Pink City “as  Pink colored sandstone was used to build the buildings in Old walled city. The city owes its name, its foundation and planning to the Great warrior-astronomer Maharaja Jai Singh II (1699–1744 AD). Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II founded Jaipur (City of Victory) in 1727. It is the only city across the globe symbolizing the nine divisions of the Universe through the nine rectangular sectors sub-dividing it. The architect who formalized the city’s plans mixed it with Jain and Mughal influences of those times. The capital city of Rajasthan was painted pink in 1853 in honor of the visit by Prince Albert. While touring Jaipur visit the City Palace, which is an overwhelming complex of exquisite gardens and courtyards, palaces, decorative art, and carved doorways. The palace museum hosts collections of rare manuscripts, costumes, carpets, armor, and miniature paintings. The city also houses the Jantar Mantar or Astronomical Observatory. The marvel was built by the Maharaja of Jaipur, in 1726 and is one of the five such astronomical wonders built by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh. The observatory makes accurate predictions even to this day.

Cherrapunji, Meghalaya

Perched above foaming rivers and misty valleys, ensconced in swirling clouds and high on an escarpment, is Cherrapunji (4,500 feet). This is a spectacular tourist destination once received year-round rain that helped it enter into the Guinness Book of World Records for the wettest place on earth. However, this is not the only thing that attracts tourists; only a few know that it is also home to the fantastic Living Root Bridges. Indeed, these remarkable works of bio-engineering are located on the rugged mountain slopes which overlook the flood plains of Bangladesh.

Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary, Kerala: Periyar Tiger Reserve in Kerala has become a model of creative tourism. For not only is it one of India’s foremost tiger reserves but the forest department here had taken bold and radical steps of recruiting known poachers as guides thereby encouraging them to forsake their wayward ways and earn an honest living through eco-tourism. So aside from boat safaris which in itself is an unusual way of viewing the many animals that roam the banks of the lake around which the reserve is wrapped, visitors can now participate in unusual activities like the tiger trail treks with former poachers turned protectors. These include half-day to full-day treks, border hiking (protection oriented range hiking), spending a night and two days in the forest, living in tents pitched on the former campsites of poachers.  The sanctuary envelops itself around the waters of the Periyar Dam just west of the Tamil Nadu border. Hither the wildlife safaris are conducted in motorboats across a lake pockmarked with the trunks trees that were submerged when the dam was constructed over 100 years ago. Kerala Tourism Development Corporation (KTDC) runs three hotels within the sanctuary. All private run hotels are in Thekkady, 3 km away.

Alibaug, Maharashtra: Alibaug is a peaceful weekend getaway. Beach hugging hotels and shacks crowd the waterfront that overlooks three sea forts: Khanderi, Underi, and Kolaba, the last accessible by foot during low tide. The horse drew buggies, four-wheel carts peddling tender coconuts, colored ice lollies and snacks, beach cricket and football matches the beach resemble mela ground. The town even boasted of a five-star hotel and another that comes with a water-theme park. Alibaug also serves as an important transit point in the region for not only is it a major bus junction, but many private jeep-taxi operators use it as their base.

Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu: Mahabalipuram, also called Mamallapuram, is the beach resort town of the gods. For here, 58 km south of Chennai/Madras, they reside in a magnificent temple built on a languid shore washed by the waters of the Bay of Bengal. Indeed, this World Heritage site one of the most photogenic places in the country. After you have frolicked on the beach of the gods, drop in at the adjoining village which was once a bustling 8th-century port city. Here you will find relics of its glory days in the form of more grand monuments and temples.

Panhala, Maharashtra: Panhala dashes all preconceived notions of what a conventional Indian hill station should be. Situated around 3,000 ft above sea level, and 20 km away from Kolhapur, it is smaller than Mahableshwar and larger than Matheran. Because of its minuscule size – a 1.58 sq km plateau contained within the walls of a 12th-century fort – it pleads to be explored on foot.

Kanchipuram, Tamil Nadu: Kanchipuram, is a popular temple town in Tamil Nadu which is located on the Bangalore-Chennai highway.  The city houses thousand plus temples, of various sizes, some of which are more than a thousand years old. Kanchipuram is one of the seven holy of India that one must visit during a person’s lifetime to attain salvation. Though the town is a host to 1,000 + temples

Lonavala and Khandala, Maharashtra: Lonavala and Khandala are probably the most popular two monsoon destinations in Maharastra. The two Hill Stations are very nearby to each other. The dill stations boast of scenic beauty and greenery. Lonavala is just around 4 km away from Khandala. During the monsoon, the lakes are filled with rainwater and waterfalls become all the more scenic. Couples one can also enjoy romantic rain walks. 

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