Chasing monsoon

Chasing monsoon
There has been no season that has been romanticised so much as the monsoon. Stories, movies, songs, poems - all have succumbed to the charm of this time of the year and ode after ode has been written or sung in it’s praise.

Which is why chasing the rains across peaks and trails makes so much sense. Monsoon treks are a rage among the wanderlust community and they wax eloquent about the visual treasures waiting to be discovered.

“The view should be worth the trek which is why monsoon hikes are so popular,” says Ami Bhat, travel writer and blogger at www.thrillingtravel.in. “This is not exactly a new phenomenon but just that a lot of people did not emphasise on it earlier.”

Sreemath Srikanth aka Shirky, founder of ‘Muddie Trails’ who is on a trek with his group in Ooty right now, says, “Monsoon treks have more takers hands down. There is this perception that we need to go mountains in summer because it will be colder but that is not true in South India. We have been doing treks in all seasons for years now and the enjoyment factor in summer treks is not even half of the ones in winter and not even quarter of the monsoon ones. Imagine going to the top of the mountain and seeing clouds drift past you.”

And it is not just the greenery or pleasant climate that makes this a not-to-be-missed experience. “This happened during my initial years of trekking. I set out on a monsoon hike to Brahmagiri Wildlife Sanctuary, expecting varied shades of green. Nothing prepared me for the huge expanse of wildflowers. It was mesmerising,” says Neelima Vallangi, travel writer and professional who has been chasing the clouds for almost a decade now.

Every season brings with it its own share of challenges and monsoon is no different with leeches being the number one obstacle for people who want to venture out.

“Everybody is scared of leeches and monsoons see them in all their element. Also, a good guide is essential. Don’t try to do it yourself if you don’t know the terrain very well,” cautions Ami.

Safety is another challenge, points out Neelima. “One needs to be very careful because everything is very slippery. Falling to death is not an uncommon incident during treks in such weather,” she says.
However, with a little bit of caution and common sense, one can fully enjoy what may arguably one of the most stunning vistas they will encounter in their life.

“An international survey once placed Kudremukha among the 10 most beautiful places to trek in. The place remains a favourite among enthusiasts. It is followed by Kodachadri, famous for its waterfalls and then Kumarparvata,which is challenging and tough but offers amazing views. Even people from Hyderabad and Chennai come to Karnataka for these treks,” says Shirky.

“Maharashtra has a lot of fort trails which are extremely popular, like Torna Fort. In Karnataka, the whole of the Chikkamagaluru belt is extremely suitable for a rainy hike. Move a little away and you have Wayanad, Munnar and so on,” says Ami.

It is said that into each life, some rain must fall. Maybe its time you thought about this too.

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