Need a break from the madness that is monsoon? Here is September to our rescue. September is a transit month between monsoon and winter in many places in India. Travel sounds just about right. There are plenty of places in India perfect for this month, but these five options stand out (and for very good reasons):
Ziro, Arunachal Pradesh
Located in the Lower Subansiri district of Arunachal Pradesh, Ziro is, without a doubt, one of the most popular names when it comes to travel and music. And the reason—Ziro Music Festival. In September the weather is just perfect with occassional light drizzle and plenty of warm sunshine, perfect condition right before the winter sets in. The annual music festival attracts music lovers from not only all over the country but overseas too. This year the festival will be from September 27 to 30. And if not for the music then visit Ziro for its green vistas created by continuous green paddy fields, rolling hillocks and the vibrant Apatani culture. One of the best things about Ziro Music Festival is camping under the brilliant night sky.
Crazy about Krishna or dahi haandi? You guessed it right—it's Janmashtami time! You need to witness the human pyramid that the festival goers form to get to the dahi haandi (curd in an earthen pot) and break it open—an event based on young Krishna stealing butter, for which he is also called Makhan Chor. The participants in this festival, also known as Govinda Pathaks, form a large human pyramid and display excellent coordination. Janmashtami, this year, falls on September 2, so hurry if you are not already in Mumbai.
Ladakh, Jammu & Kashmir
It's celebrated all over Ladakh, pretty big and colourful for sure—September (25-28) is the time for Ladakh Festival. If you are in Leh, then don't miss the inauguration ceremony (Leh Market is the best place to witness the colourful festival). It's a big riot of colours as everywhere in Ladakh you will witness people dressed in their traditional best, witnessing or participating in the traditional music and dance, polo, archery and the very popular cham dance by monks in colourful masks. After you've had your fill of culture, you can always explore the beautiful and unique landscape of Ladakh.
You don't really need a reason to visit Shillong because the city is at its best throughout the year. But we also need a vacation in a nice place where one can explore a lovely locale on a cool, breezy and sunny day. That's Shillong in September. With residual monsoon here and there and hint of cool winter just around the corner, Shillong in September wakes up to misty mornings, pleasant afternoons and breezy evenings. In addition to that, there is always that one great street food of Shillong—alu muri.
Visit Lachen before it's too cold (for some)! Summer ends in June and September will have residual monsoon but mostly pleasant during the day and cold at night. And also because it's a picturesque destination nestled in the northeastern state or Sikkim. Snow clad Kanchenjunga at a distance and the majestic Gurudongmar Lake make for great photo-ops. Visit Lachen for beautiful sights and fresh cold mountain air amidst fluttering prayer flags...and yaks.