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CLIMATE

The Indian climate is a cycle of six seasons. There are areas where the distinction of the seasons is felt, but in most areas the six seasons overlap.

The Indian seasons in the Christian calendar are:
Spring
Mid-Feb to April
Summer
May and June
Monsoon
July to September
Autumn
Sept to Mid-November
Pre-winter
Mid-Nov to December
Winter
Mid-December to Mid-February

It is quite possible to tour India the year round, avoiding blistering heat and the monsoons, provided we choose the area. While it is roasting in the South, it would be mild in the north and the Himalayan peaks will be covered with snow most of the year. The plains of India are at their freshest in the winter. The optimum season to travel in northern India, from Rajasthan to Delhi is between September and March, although it would be quite chilly from December to January. To the east, the more extreme combination of heat, humidity and monsoon leaves only November to February fairly comfortable. Southern India is always hot but again, it is at its best between November and February. The green strip of Kerala down the Malabar Coast is more temperate, with a much gentler climate.


The scorching pre-monsoon heat, the monsoon deluge and the post-monsoon humidity strike almost everywhere some time between May and September. The stultifying pre-monsoon heat is to be avoided throughout the country. But when the rains come, they have their own attraction, provided the humidity between showers is bearable. It is a repeated agony-ecstasy cycle.

The winter is more or less pleasant throughout the country. In the north temperatures falls steeply; in western, southern and eastern India, the winter is cool.

The summer is hot is most parts of the country. But there are a number of hill resorts to provide cool retreats for the tourists.

The southwest monsoon begins on the west coast in early June and spreads to other parts. In most of India it rains from June to September. But the southeastern regions experience greater rainfall during November to January, due to the advent of the northeast monsoon.

Cool spots are mostly British -built retreats from the boiling Madras and Bombay, such as Ootacamund and Kodaikanal in the Nilgiris and the Cardamom hills dividing Tamilnadu and Kerala states, Mahabaleshwar and Pune in the Western Ghats of Maharastra, and Mount Abu on the Rajasthan-Gujarat border.

Rainfall in India is variable. The northeastern region, the western slopes of the Western Ghats and parts of the Himalayas have very high rainfall of around 2000mm annually. The eastern part of the peninsula extending up to the northern plains receive around 1000 to 2000mm rainfall, while the area from the Western Deccan up to the Punjab plain gets around 100mm to 500mm rainfall. Kutch and Ladakh areas have hardly any rainfall. Chirapunji in Assam is said to receive the highest amount of rainfall in the whole world.