Most westerners prefer to come to India from September to March when the weather is cool in most parts of India. But a few brave ones arrive during Monsoons also, when the whole country is experiencing the magic of Monsoons.
There are a lot of things you can do during the monsoons to enjoy and have a pleasant stay in India like chasing the monsoon, enjoying the delicious hot Pakoras or bhajiyas with tea while it rains outside. But Monsoons also bring with them their own set of problems also like water logging, floods, a lot of mosquitoes and flies. All these factors combined can make anybody run away from India except for the very brave.
So here I am giving 5 tips that you can follow to have a wonderful stay during monsoons in India without any worries.
1. Be very careful of what you drink
Most tropical disease like cholera, diarrhea, dysentery, typhoid is water borne. So please avoid drinking water from a source that you are not sure. It is better to carry your own bottled water or better still boiled water. In the absence of both carry water purifying tablets and dissolve them in water before drinking them. They may not taste good but will save you from falling sick. Another thing to remember is not to add ice to your drink unless it is from a trusted source. You should check if the ice has been made from filtered water. If not avoid it.
2. Say no to cut fruits
In most of the tourist cities in India like Banaras, Jaipur etc you will find that vendors are selling cut fruits on the roadsides. While you may be tempted to taste them it is a good idea to resist the temptation as the water used to keep the fruits fresh may not be free from contamination. You can always buy uncut fruits, wash them and eat them after cutting, but anything that has been already cut and raw should be avoided.
3. Book your tickets in advance
A lot of tourists who come to India want to take things in stride and arrive without tickets booked for further journeys within India. While you should generally avoid this, but it becomes more important during monsoons as a lot of train etc at times are running late due to rains and you may not get last minute bookings due to heavy rush. Also please never buy tickets from unauthorized agents or touts as there is no guarantee those tickets will be genuine.
4. Trekking in the Himalayas
Most of the Himalayas during monsoons get heavy rainfall and landslides can happen like a few days ago in Uttaranchal and Himachal. As of now, hundreds of tourists are stuck in these areas due to heavy rains.
But if you still want to go for trekking in Himalayas, you should go to Leh in Laddakh. As Leh and nearby Nubra Valley are in rain shadow area and get very little rainfall during this period, with pleasant weather during this period.
5. Best Places to Visit in Monsoon
But if you really want to soak in the rains and see the magic of monsoon continuously during your stay you should visit Kerala, Goa or Mumbai to see Monsoon at its full magic. All these three places are on the west coast of India and well connected to the rest of the world by air. Goa and Kerala will give you the magic of monsoon in its natural form while Mumbai will show you how a modern metropolis faces the onslaught of monsoon while the life goes on.
So dear reader please follow these simple 5 tips during your travel to India and you will have a wonderful stay and take back memories of the most magnificent monsoon anywhere in the world.
About the Author: Prasad Np is a corporate executive most of the week, but he wears many hats. He is blogger, photographer, traveler and a potential investor in start-ups with unique concepts especially if they are in travel related business. He blogs at Desi Traveler.