Sara and John say...
So much of this wonderful country’s diverse culture is steered by the annual cycle of the Indian monsoon.
Whether sunbathing at the beach or taking in the sights, many travellers find winter the most comfortable time to visit India. The dry, sunny days are pleasantly warm, with temperatures still reaching the low 30s Celsius across many southern areas. Further north, it’s progressively cooler. Indeed, where low cloud and mist linger across the northern plains, the winter months can be decidedly chilly. And across the Himalayas, sub-zero temperatures prevail.
Through the spring, heat builds quickly across India. Phew- you’ll need to keep hydrated! Scattered showers and thunderstorms begin to develop more widely in response to 40-degree temperatures and soaring humidity.
By June, the southwest monsoon is spreading prolonged and frequent downpours northwards across the country, last to reach northwestern areas. The summer months can be an uncomfortable time for visitors, with hot, steamy days and nights. Whilst there are still some drier spells, the weather tends to be cloudier; and the rains can lead to flooding and disruption to travel.
The monsoon rains begin to retreat again in early autumn and are last to leave south-eastern coastal areas, where showers continue well into winter. For the rest of the country the weather turns progressively sunnier and less humid. So autumn is an increasingly attractive time to visit India, ahead of the cooler winter months.
A word about cyclones. Coastal areas, particularly adjacent to the Bay of Bengal, are most susceptible. Peak activity is between April and December. But it’s worth stressing that the risk of being hit by these destructive storms in any one place at any one time is still low.
Immerse yourself in India. Sunscreen is a ‘must’ but choose your time well to avoid the waterproofs!