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Everyone loves a good Himachal vacation. I am sure you and your friends have visited the place atleast once in your life. If you haven’t… I mean… what are you even waiting for? An adventure in Himachal is something that you should not be putting off!
But more times than not, monsoon in Himachal sounds like a scary affair. Don’t get me wrong – sometimes mother Earth does get pi**ed and we really can’t do anything about it. But the ‘mainstream media’ makes it sounds a lot more dangerous and wild than it actually is. The weather in Himachal current is A-okay and perfect for a long weekend of lazing, relaxing and maybe even adventuring.
This blog is specifically for you lot who are often found saying, “Par baarish me kya karenge yaar?”
Here are top 10 things you can do if you plan a getaway to McleodGanj or Bir during the monsoon.
Picnic by the mountainside
Nothing beats a nice, idyllic picnic by the mountainside. Eating fresh apples, pears, peaches and drinking some local rhododendron wine while you see the patches of clouds float across sky and over the huge mountains – now that sounds straight out of a Jane Eyre novel eh? The McleodGanj temperature right now is ideal for this very plan.
Explore the highest cricket grounds
Even if you are not a die hard cricket fan, a visit to the HPCA (Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association) is a must do during the drizzling days of August and September. If you go on an off day, there is a chance the entire stadium will be empty. Just walking around the huge grounds and open air bleachers is a surreal feeling in itself. Did you know? Even though the grounds opened in 2003, the first ODI was played only in 2013. Weird.
Go on a cafe coffee hop
What better way to take advantage of the rain in Bir than to go on a coffee hunt? Forget your Starbucks and CCDs. Bir has some amazing cafes that will keep you hooked for a whole day. Be it June 16, Ilaka, Avva or Silver Linings – the coffee that is made in Bir hits different. Grab your friends, your umbrella and sample all the aromas and flavors Bir has to offer. Monsoon in Himachal doesn’t sound bad now does it? 😛
Plant a tree in the woods
It does not take a rocket scientist to figure out that the planet is ailing. What better way to spend an afternoon than to take a hike into the nearby hillside and plant a tree. Better yet – gather your entire squad and each plant a sapling. The monsoon in Himachal will keep it nourished and you will have an emotional and not to mention, environmentally friendly reason to keep coming back there. How cool.
Spend a day sharpening your photo skills
In this ‘insta age’, there is a fat need to be able to take good photos. I mean, don’t get me wrong – no one is saying you can become Steve McCurry after one day with your camera but you definitely can get better at framing, angles, light and proportion than you now are. Grab your camera (or your phone) and venture out into the city. I bet you will see tons of memorable things that you will want to capture. The McleodGanj temperature is also going to be perfectly breezy for you to enjoy your creative time out.
Reconnect with your spiritual self
Contrary to popular belief, I don’t think you need years of Vipassana to become more aware of your true self. I agrue that one day spent with the monks – meditating and praying during the rain in Bir can definitely jumpstart that process. Since Bir has countless beautiful, huge and colourful monasteries, it is only fitting to find oneself wandering into one. Get that? ‘Find oneself’.
Take a peak into Tibetan handicrafts
As cliched as it might sound, I am one of those people who love taking a piece of whichever place I have visited back home. A souvenir if you may. It always reminds me of the fond times I had while I was travelling and sometimes that is all that is needed to turn a bad day around.
McleodGanj and Bir are the best places to do some quirky souvenir shopping. Trinkets, decorative masks, clothing, traditional bags, chokers, cups and even small version of Buddhist prayer flags – there is something for everyone. A futile cloudy evening can be spiced up with a much needed retail break.
Also read: 10 Offbeat Places To Visit In McleodGanj
Attend a live music night
Quaint mountain towns like Bir and McleodGanj always have some cool music sessions up their sleeves. Musafir Cafe in Bir is famous for hosting some awesome music nights with drinks, dancing, groovy music and yummy food. If you find yourself with nothing to do one night – ask some locals what they are up to that night. I am a 100% sure they are going to tell you about some party or jamming session that is going on. Perfect way to end the night during monsoons in Himachal.
Soak in the sunset
I am sure you are no stranger to the fact that Himachali towns are home to some of the most scenic and unforgettable sunset points in all of India. In fact, after every turn of the hill lies another great sunset spot in this state. It would be a crime to not enjoy one sunset in it’s entirerty here. Nestle yourself into the corner of a cafe with a great view, drive upto a special place (like Naddi), on the roof of a building or simply at the Bir landing site and just watch as the golden sun goes down.
Take a rainy hike
Now this is something for those who crave a bit of adventure no matter what the time or destination is. I know some of you would love to explore the wilderness despite the rain in Bir or the McleodGanj temperature dropping. And that is exactly what I encourage. A rainy day is best accompanied with a short hike into the nearby hills. The rain makes everything greener, cleaner and fresher. A raincoat, a thermos full of pahadi chai and an enthusiastic spirit is all you need to do this!