Monsoon holidays

Monsoon road trips are exhilarating, with the new vigour the rains give to water bodies, forests and wildlife. 

But for many, it brings the very valid fear of flooding and landslides. Higher Himalayan destinations—usually the Indian tourist favourite—go off the table during the July–September period, as groups travelling with elderly members or children look for safer, more reliable bus booking options.

To make our readers’ lives easier in this regard, we have compiled a list of four routes that are relatively safe but still enjoyable for bus journeys during the monsoons. They all connect to gorgeous holiday destinations, with lots to see and do in every single spot. 

These are:

  • Chandigarh to Jammu
  • Bengaluru to Coorg (Kodagu)
  • Pune to Goa
  • Visakhapatnam to Araku Valley

Let’s see what you can expect on these trips:

Chandigarh to Jammu

This 6.5-hour journey spans 342 kilometres of smooth roads and peaceful views. Crossing through Rupnagar, Hoshiarpur, Pathankot and many small towns, you will get a glimpse of both urban and rural Punjab on this trip. 

As you lounge in your seat, colourful fields on the plains will give way to the Himalayan foothills and crisp mountain air. Himachal Travels, Laxmi Holidays, Bharat Yatra Bus, Shubh Holiday and Indo Express are some AC bus operators offering bus bookings on this route. 

Bengaluru to Coorg 

The Western Ghats are at their most beautiful during the monsoons, as the rains paint its hilly forests a rich green. Just grab an online bus booking, and within 6.5 hours you can leave behind the maddening crowds of Bengaluru for the cool serenity of Coorg (a.k.a Kodagu) in southern Karnataka. 

Coconut trees and dry bush will first flank both sides of the highway on your 237-kilometre-long trip. About midway, this will change into denser forests and an overhead canopy with winding roads. On reaching the Coorg district, the fragrance of teak forests and tea/coffee estates will give you a delightful welcome to the hills. For bus bookings, Ashwini Tours and Greenline Travels are major operators.

Pune to Goa 

Ten and a half hours sounds like a long time. But when it’s spent on one of India’s best road trips, time flies by quickly. A bus journey from Pune to Goa passes through the Western Ghats in a straight line, traversing Panchgani, Satara, Kolhapur, Belagavi and all the tropical greenery they have to offer. It’s a good reminder of what to expect in Goa when you arrive, for the rainy season enhances the lush greenery of this state. Goa has a lot beyond the beaches, folks!

Laxmi Bus, Ashray Travels, Kanade Travels and Gogte Travels are some operators offering online bus bookings for the Pune–Goa route, which is 450 kilometres long. 

Visakhapatnam to Araku Valley

In 3.5 hours, you can go from beaches and relaxing coastal roads to a hill station in the Eastern Ghats! Andhra Pradesh boasts a diverse landscape, and a bus booking from Visakhapatnam to Araku will give you a good glimpse of it. Escape the heat in the city and cruise into thick forests and coffee plantations. With pleasant monsoon temperatures, the rain makes the valley’s waterfalls livelier and the entrance to the famous Borra Caves excitingly spookier (or is that just us?) 

APSRTC buses are easily available for online bookings on this route, which covers around 114 kilometres. 

There you have it! Four scenic routes, where no matter which end you start from, have tons of things to do on arrival. We’ve picked popular names as the journey points here, but if you’d like more offbeat suggestions then do let us know! 🙂