Getting into a car and taking a drive is probably not what most people want to do when it rains. Monsoon rain is usually associated with traffic snarls, bad roads, flooding, falling trees and general muck, especially in the cities. Away from the cities, and despite the floods and landslides, the monsoon is celebrated for its beauty, and, if you pick the right routes, it is a good season for scenic drives and a vacation.
This week, we pick six drives that are best done during the monsoon season, whether you have just a weekend or a full 15 days. Some are easy weekend getaways; others will demand a little more of your driving and navigation skills. There’s nothing like a road trip to be reminded that we can still surprise ourselves—and be surprised by what we see.
These driving holidays are worth the time, effort and investment in gumboots for the sheer beauty you will experience along the way and at the destination. Travel is one way to surrender to “soft fascination”, or the gentle effect of relaxation that nature has on a tired brain. Being outdoors leaves you invigorated because, as scientists and psychologists say, nature is stimulating enough to help you focus without getting fatigued. Nothing grabs or demands your attention, yet everything around you is engaging. The Japanese call it forest-bathing, or shinrin-yoku. Your mother would just call it taking a walk in the park. But there’s no denying that getting out is good for you.
We have also picked out gadgets that can make a road trip safer and fun. Talking about the rain, we can’t ignore the food. The monsoon always has people craving pakoras and chai but we write about the many other regional snacks, from banana flower cutlets to Tangra-style tempeh, that you must try.
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