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Traveling to India in the monsoons
Traveling to India in the monsoons

WHAT WEATHER CAN I EXPECT DURING THE MONSOON?

India has three climate seasons: Winter with pleasant temperatures and almost no precipitation from end of November to March, Summer months with a dry or humid heat depending on the region in April, May and October and November as well as the Monsoon, the rain season, from June to September.

Monsoon is a very exotic concept to those travelers coming from more moderate climate zones and arouse different associations – from constant drizzle to short but heavy rainfalls to tropical storms and gales. But India is a big country with multiple climate zones and therefore the monsoon can develop differently in various areas of India.

However, and we don’t want to butter it up, it does rain a lot…like A LOT. Not like British drizzle or the one shower for a couple of minutes you get in South-East Asia. It often rains for days and it rains heavily in the tropical areas of the west coast and in the north of India. The cities have an almost non-existent drainage system and the streets flood quickly. And on top of it there is the humidity, your constant travel companion. Clothes don’t dry for hours to days and the heat feels more discomforting.

In the mountains landslides aren’t uncommon. Transport, especially buses and trains can be delayed (but there are also late for the rest of the year!) and due to heavy fog and rains even air traffic can be disturbed. Almost all national parks in India are shut from June to beginning of October and tiger and other safaris won’t be possible.

WHY SHOULD I STILL TRAVEL IN INDIA IN THE RAIN SEASON?

But even though the weather can be sometimes quite unpleasant from June to September, there are benefits to this season. The nature comes to life, dry brown grasslands and forests become lush and green, the farmers welcome the season with full productivity and lakes and rivers as well as waterfalls fill up and become stronger than ever. This all is a pleasant sight in a country often struck by droughts in the recent past.

Many tourists avoid India in the monsoon which means that you have a lot of sights to yourself. That makes it easier to connect to locals and experience more authenticity. The typical tourist scams appear at a minimum and all together you just don’t feel like one in a thousand travelers while you stroll the lanes and monuments of ancient India.

Furthermore, it is the best time for budget-conscious backpackers who like to keep their expenses to a minimum but don’t want to miss out on some comfort. Many hotels offer their rooms for much less, often even for half the costs than in the main season. You can stay at boutique hotels or luxury resorts for low prices. A good accommodation is a must in the monsoon time as you might spend some time indoors when a particular strong downpour hits the city.

WHERE TO TRAVEL TO IN INDIA DURING THE MONSOON?

Technically you can travel anywhere as long as you are mentally prepared and pack the right clothes. However, some areas might be more enjoyable than others.

The monsoon hits the west coast of India the most. Therefore, Goa and Kerala face a lot of rain and humidity. We would recommend to avoid the coastlines. The beaches lose their charm and the strong currents make swimming even dangerous. The beach resorts and shacks close already in April and don’t open again until September or even October.

So it is the best time to hit the countryside and hill stations. As the nature and greenery is at full swing, it’s a great pleasure to walk through the lush hills and pass the freshly filled lakes and rivers and enjoy what makes the tropics to interesting and unique. Wayanad, Munnar and Thekkady are such places but also the Dudhsagar Waterfall Hike in Goa. Ooty in Tamil Nadu is very popular amongst domestic tourists to flee the heat of the cities.

If you want to escape the monsoon all together and enjoy stunning landscapes in the mountains, Ladakh might be the best destination for you. The state in the most northern part on India is flanked by the high mountain ranges of the Himalayas and the Karkokram mountain range.  The state offers breathtaking views and great opportunities for hikes. It’s also called the cold dessert for a reason as the precipitation is very low up here.  It’s ideal to go there between June and August, when the days are moderately warm and the night pleasantly cool.

Even though it can rain a lot in central India, i.e. in states like Uttar Pradesh, Madya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka and also Bihar and West Bengal, it might be a better time to visit than in April, May or October since the temperatures are lower, especially during overcast and cloudy weather.

The rocky surroundings of Hampi where you can explore ancient temple and palace ruins of an empire long gone, might be worth a visit as it can get very hot and dry in central India during the rest of the year. Combine it with a visit to Mysore and Wayanad. Find out more here.

Rajasthan faces less rain rainfalls every year and some rural parts don’t even get any rain at all, especially in the Thar desert. There are very unique and beautiful boutique and heritage hotels that lower their prices a lot during the rainy season. The south and east of Rajasthan becomes very green and lively. Hiking is definitely an attractive option.

From June to August you should avoid travelling to the footsteps of the Himalayas. Rishikesh, Dharamsala, Manali, Shimla and Kasol as well as Sikkim and Darjeeling face a lot of heavy rainfall and therefore even many landslides. Trekking is impossible and you would need to stay indoors most of the time – not how you would like to spend your time in India

In a nutshell in the south avoid the beaches and big cities and rather enjoy the countryside and hill stations, in the north travel to the high mountain ranges of the Himalayas in Ladakh or enjoy the lower temperatures in Rajasthan.

WHAT TO WEAR DURING THE MONSOON?

The most important thing to take care of in India in the rain season is the right footwear. Flip Flops aren’t the best option as you just flip the dirt against your legs while walking. But any sandals made of lasting rubber and with a back strap to hold the shoes to your feet are a good idea.

Some people enjoy gum boots but for others it might be too warm, not to mention the space they occupy in your luggage. So do invest some money in good quality rubber sandals or check the markets after arrival as the locals know best how to cope with the flooded streets.

A thin rain jacket with breathable material is essential as well as thin light clothes that dry quickly. Pack clothes that cover your skin entirely as the sun can be quite harsh when she shines through the clouds. Sometimes a rain jacket might feel to warm so also pack an umbrella.

Also important is a good mosquito protection spray because with the rain comes the higher chance to be infected with malaria or dengue. Also pack rain covers for your luggage as it can take hours to days to dry your stuff once it got wet in the rain.

SUMMARY

My PE teacher used to say ‘there is no such thing as bad weather, only a bad choice of clothing and attitude’. Of course I didn’t agree with her while running 1000m in cold rains and heavy winds but she had a good point. It’s all about setting the right expectations and making the best of the situation.

The monsoon has disadvantages but also many benefits: the lush greenery, less tourist crowds and much lower accommodation and other service prices.

However, we can’t predict the weather and every monsoon is different. One year it could rain cats and dogs and in the next year India suffers from droughts. So do embrace whatever may come and make the best of it in India…someday!


Weather in India in June – India Someday
Weather in India in June – India Someday

AN OVERVIEW OF WEATHER IN INDIA IN JUNE

weather in india in june


The major part of India doesn’t have much variety to offer when it comes to weather. It’s either sunny and warm to hot or it is rainy and warm to hot. That’s why June is actually quite interesting because it has both!

The Southwest Monsoon usually hits Kerala in the South of India by end of May or beginning of June. It’s almost like a Suisse watch – always on schedule! Afterwards it travels up north along both the east and west coast but is usually stronger on the west coast. My mid-June it arrives in Goa and Mumbai, by the end of the month it will be happily welcomed in Rajasthan and Delhi before it makes its way up to the mountains. Find out more about the effects of the rain season and how it can impact your travels in this blog.

In conclusion, In most of India June starts as another hot month with ridiculous high temperatures of 35 °C plus but can end with lots of rain and a resurgence of greenery and water resources. Locals are looking forward for the first rain drops in June as it means heat relief and a comeback of agricultural activities. Fields turn a lush green. Streams overflow with water. Waterfalls spring up on previously bare rock faces. It’s a pleasant event to watch!

However, for India visitors it might not be the best month to visit. But that depends where you want to go

SOUTH INDIA IN JUNE

The Monsoon starts its downpours in Kerala while Tamil Nadu and the east coast get rather less rain and even struggle with droughts in some years. Due to the tropical flora and fauna on the west coast the nature comes alive and formerly brown grass fields and leaf-empty trees turn to a lush green. However, the constant rain can also cause interruptions for travels and activities. In Goa many resorts, restaurants and shacks will be closed from May to September, similarly at the beaches of Kerala. If you find a resort that stays open though you can catch great discounts on stays, even at luxury stays.

If you still decide to travel despite the humid and wet weather we would recommend to concentrate on the Western Ghats, a 1600km long mountain range listed as an UNESCO World Heritage Site parallel to the coast of the Arabian sea. The region is covered with national parks, wildlife sanctuaries, forest reserves as well as charming hill stations.

You can’t just find various wild and unique flora and fauna species in those hills but also endless fruit, tea and coffee plantations. And in June they offer cooler temperatures and less stuffy air than in the cities and plains of India. Wayanad, Munnar and Thekkady are such places but also the Dudhsagar Waterfall Hike in Goa. Ooty in Tamil Nadu is very popular amongst domestic tourists to flee the heat of the cities.

NORTH INDIA IN JUNE

The rain arrives later in the north of India. Therefore, the popular tourist regions of Rajasthan and the often visited cities of Delhi, Agra, Varanasi and Amritsar stay dry and hot until end of June. However, it can get cloudy already which causes a drop in temperatures compared to May. But we don’t want to butter it up: it is hot, it is humid and it is exhausting. Try to avoid the plains of central India in May and June.

You can still travel to the foothills of the Himalayas and enjoy the cooler temperature there as it only rains rarely at the beginning of June. Places like Rishikesh, Manali, Kasol and Dharamsala are very popular amongst international and domestic travelers this time of the year. However, by the end of June heavy rainfalls can cause landslides and trekking and other outdoor activities become impossible. You would need to stay indoors most of the time – a waste of time in our eyes.

If you want to escape the heat and the monsoon all together and enjoy stunning landscapes in the mountains, Ladakh or Lahual Spiti might be the best destination in India in June for you. The state in the most northern part on India in the midst of the high mountain ranges of the Himalayas offers breathtaking views and great opportunities for hikes.

Ladakh is also called the cold dessert for a reason as the precipitation is very low up here. In June days are moderate warm and the nights pleasantly cool. But it is also the main tourist season for this part of India so be prepared that it won’t be as tourist-free as the rest of India.

The east stream of the monsoon winds hit the north east of India by beginning of June and some regions like Meghalaya get an intense amount of rain. Rather plan a visit to this region after October.

June is not the top choice of months to travel to India but it is possible and can be surprisingly exciting. One has to be prepared for high and low temperatures, lots of rain and humid air. Travel plans should be made for the mountain regions rather than for the plains of India. Catching the first drops of rains after more than seven month of dryness can be quite an experience and the resurgence of green and lush nature is a pleasant sight. The very north of India in the Himalayas offers the best choice of travel destinations in June as the temperatures are moderate and the precipitation low.

Plan your trip to India in June with us now and we will suggest the best places to enjoy during this travel time.


Travelling to India during the off-season
Travelling to India during the off-season

Which months are off-season months in India?

The beginning of May until the end of September is considered off-season for tourism in India. The period is divided into two seasons weather-wise i.e. May to June—summer months and July to September—monsoon season.

May and June are relatively busy months for tourism in the Himalayas as schools are out for summer in India and a lot of families plan trips to hills to escape the heat.

What is travelling during off-season like?

If differs a little from region to region and depends on whether you plan to visit during the summer or the monsoon months.  Other than in the Himalayas, you can expect to see a lot less crowd and enjoy great discounts on accommodation.

Summer off-season months – Expect really hot weather. You must prepare yourself for the heat, travel slow and pick accommodation with air-conditioning.

Monsoon off-season months – July onward the heat gets more bearable, often the weather can be in the mid 20’s. However, depending on which region you plan to visit you will encounter at least a little rain, with heavy showers in several areas.

At India Someday, we strongly recommend tours to North India during the monsoons as the rains are light and the region does not receive prolonged spells of showers. All in all, you end up enjoying pleasant weather, light rains, green countryside, off-season discounts and see very few tourists.

Tips for travelling during off-season

  • May and June are the hot months. They’re better avoided unless you plan to spend time in the Himalayas. Despite the fact that it is holiday season for Indians and the Himalayas are popular you can still enjoy a great holiday in there during these months
  • July to September are the monsoon months. They are still considered off-season months for travelling in India. Kerala receives a lot of rain during these months  However, we believe it is a great time to tour North
  • Across India you will enjoy fabulous hotel deals. Expect budget hotels to be 30% cheaper and upper end hotels to be up to 50% cheaper.  India has an amazing collection of palace and boutique hotels, that suddenly become affordable during this
  • September marks the end of the off-season in India. It is increasingly considered as low-season, rather than off-season. While you might see a few more tourists, the monsoon showers have usually receded by then. The countryside is gorgeously green. We believe September is probably the best off-season month to visit India.