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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.


Weather in India in August
Weather in India in August

An overview of weather in India in August

India has three seasons: Winter, Summer and Monsoon. Unfortunately, August falls right in the rain season which lasts from beginning or middle of June until end of September. This means that there can be heavy durable rainfall in most regions across India in August.

But even though it’s mostly off-season for tourism in India, it does not mean you can’t travel. India has more than one climate zone and one needs to differentiate between them. Furthermore, there is no such thing as bad weather, as my PE teacher used to say. There are only wrong clothes and an unsuitable attitude.

The main advantages of this time of the year:

  • You can get off-season bargains for hotels, even in the luxury section across your stay. Great time for backpackers!
  • You can enjoy most places to yourself with minimal number of tourists so your experience can be more authentic.

SOUTH INDIA IN AUGUST

Kerala and Goa usually receive very heavy rain during the monsoon. It does dampen plans of exploring the state of Kerala or relaxing on the beaches of Goa. When it rains, it will rain for hours, it will be heavy, and it may rain for an entire day. Then it can clear up for a couple of days and not rain at all.

However, the countryside comes alive during these months. It is gorgeously green and the rivers and lakes are teeming with water. Since it can get still pretty hot and especially close to the seaside very humid, the hill stations become popular destinations among domestic tourists. Wayanad, Munnar and Thekkady in Kerala offer lush green nature and mesmerizing views.

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.

But  try to avoid visiting the state of Tamil Nadu in August. The rains during the first monsoon – Tamil Nadu faces a second phase of Monsoon in December –  these have been rather weak here over the last years so it can get still very hot and humid without the cooling effects of the rain.

Visit Goa and Kerala in August if you want to enjoy off-season discounts, stay at a lovely luxury resort for less than half the cost and enjoy having the place to yourself. Having a swim in the ocean might be a little dangerous due to the strong currents coming with the south-west monsoon but many of the discounted resorts have pools. Goa becomes very hilly and lush the further you travel away from the coast.

Here you can hike to the Dudhsagar Waterfall which is amongst the five highest of India but definitely the easiest accessible.

NORTH INDIA IN AUGUST

While Delhi, Agra, Varanasi and Rajasthan also receive rain during the month of August, the intensity is never the same as in South India.

Especially from the foothills of the Himalayas in the north down to central India below Delhi and Agra the showers are not as heavy and do not last as long. The temperatures cool down during the rains when it is cloudy and overcast and the countryside turns green.

In the Thar dessert of Rajasthan there might not be any rain at all. If it rains it is strong but doesn’t last long. After a couple of very hot months during the first half of the year the monsoon months bring some cooling moments to the region.

August can actually be quite a nice month to visit North India. It isn’t extremely hot thanks to the rains, there are off-season discounts for most accommodations and services, less tourist crowds and the pretty lush countryside. But every rain season is different and sometimes it can rain more and in some years droughts become an issue. It’s definitely more humid than in the winters.

 MOUNTAINS IN THE NORTH

August is a good month to visit Leh and Ladakh as the weather is clear with minimal or no rain. It can already get cold, especially in the second half of August so be sure to pack some woolen clothes.

The rest of Himalayas, i.e. Himachal Pradesh, Uttrakhand, Sikkim and Darjeeling  get a lot of rain during the month of August and landslides are very common. Rishikesh, Dharamsala and Manali as the most popular cities in this region often face lots of rain in August so outdoor activities are mostly impossible.

If you would like to go to Leh a flight might be a better idea than going by road.

All in all, it is possible to travel in August to India. If you enjoy backpacking with small spending and more authenticity due to less tourists, then August is the time for your adventure. Just pack a rain jacket and gum boots and be prepared to spend some time during heavy rains indoors with some ‘chai’ and a good book.

 


Best Time to Visit India
Best Time to Visit India

October to March is the main travel season to visit India . Within this frame, December and January is absolutely peak time. So if you want to avoid hordes of tourists and still enjoy great weather October/November or February/March is the best time to visit.

When are the monsoons? What are they like?

Fewer tourists, fabulous discounts, gorgeous countryside, but a lot of rain. The monsoons in India begin in June and go on till September They bring with them beautiful landscapes, lush green hills and torrential downpour. It would definitely be a unique experience to visit India during the monsoons .

The regions of Kerala and Goa will have heavy rain, making it hard to get out and see the area. The one advantage of travelling here during the monsoon is that you can get some great deals on luxury hotels and boutique properties during this season. (discounts up to 50% are common).

The regions in the north are more arid and dry, so it’s easier to travel here in this season. Overall it is still considered off-season so hotels offer discounted prices and monuments are not crowded with tourists. The weather is also deliciously cool.

If you’re looking at travelling from June to September, we would recommend heading to the north of India (or braving a rain-drenched but serenely green and gorgeous South India).  You could also read a more detailed articles on travelling in off season.

When is summer and how hot can it get?

It can be really hot, unless you’re in the hills. Starting from late March to the start of the monsoons in mid or late June, you will experience the fiery Indian Summer, which is not a great time to travel. The northern region of Delhi-Agra-Rajasthan can get as hot as 45-50 degree Celsius. In the South, Goa and Kerala are peppered by cool breezes, but it is still very hot and humid. Beach time here would leave your skin burnt for sure.

This is the perfect time to visit the Himalayas or north east part of India. You can also visit the spiritual cities like Rishikesh which lie on the banks of the Holy river Ganga.

When is tourist season?

The main tourist season in India ranges from November to February. If you plan your holiday during this time, it is best to book at least three months in advance to get the best pick of hotels and easy access to train reservations.

The main tourist destinations such as Rajasthan, Agra (home to the Taj Mahal), Goa and Kerala get quite crowded. During New Years in particular, Goa is completely packed.

Having said this, if you like meeting other interesting travelers, and like a buzz and excitement around you while you travel, then there’s nothing quite like seeing India in peak season.

Events and Festivals

There are few events and festivals in India which are must visits. So if you can time your travel around them, it will make your trip even more magical. Diwali, the festival of lights is usually in October. Holi, festival of colours is in March. August and September are celebrated across the country with countless, diverse harvest festivals.

These seasons may not always coincide with the holiday dates you had in mind, but just give us a shout and we’ll help you plan the best trip for that time of the year. There’s always something great going on in India, and we know exactly where it all is!