India is a big country. Painting with a broad brush, the average climate of India is said to be of tropical monsoon type. This, however, doesn’t take into consideration extreme local variations that range from alpine climate in the Himalayan region in the north to the tropical climate in the south. In the west is a vast stretch of desert known as the Thar while the east of the country boasts of plenty of flora and fauna and receives heavy rains each year. Couched between them, the climate of Indo-Gangetic planes is of continental type; very hot summers and freezing winters.
Role of the Himalayas, seas and seasonal winds
The Himalayas are the highest mountain range in the world. They protect the country from cold Serbian winds from the north and help bring rain every year by capturing monsoon clouds. The seas in the south of the country keep the coastal areas warm throughout the year. This makes them attractive tourist places when North India is quivering during the winter season. Seasonal winds blow over the country’s landscape throughout the year. During the summer monsoons, also known as south-west monsoons, they blow from the Indian Ocean to towards the north. They are responsible for much of the rainfall in the country. However, the winds change direction in the winters. During those months monsoon clouds (north-east monsoon) drift from the land to the seas.
Seasons and climate of India: There are four seasons
The winter season is comparatively short in India. Although, the chill in air starts in November, the winter in essence lasts for only two months; January and February. During those months too, the average temperature in south of the country doesn’t fall below 22 degree centigrade. The situation is, however, markedly different in the north where average temperatures for the season is merely 6 degree centigrade (Punjab). Some parts of the North East of India, the western Himalayan region and southern states such as Tamil Nadu and Kerala witness rains during winter.
Temperatures start increasing after winters and by the end of the summers, in May, the northern planes are left scorching under average temperatures of 45 degree centigrade. The summers last from March to May. They are characterised by regions of extremely low pressure in the north and thunderstorms in West Bengal and on western coasts.
Summer monsoon or Southwest monsoon
The four months, June-September, of summer monsoon season bring much desired relief from heat. The country receives more than three quarters of its annual rainfall during these four months. Depending on the region, the monsoon lasts from 75 days (Rajasthan) to 120 days (Southwest).
Post-monsoon or Northeast monsoon
Lasting for three months, October-December, this season marks two significant transitions. Unlike in the summer monsoons, the wind blow from land to the seas and temperatures around the country, barring the southern coastal regions, start dropping under the influence of cold winds from the north. Southern states of Kerala and Tamil Nadu receive a heavy amount of rainfall during this season. The post-monsoon season is culturally the most important in the country. Most couples marry in this season and the most important festivals (including Diwali) fall during these months.
When to visit India
Although the tourism industry is open all year round, there are certain months that very mild for visiting India. India can be best enjoyed in the winter during the months of November to mid March. Mid March is where the summer will start to kick in. We can notice the weather changing on a daily basis from 15th of March onwards. This is when we start servicing our air-conditioning. The weather after the month of March onwards is uncomfortable and extremely hot. Unless you don’t mind the heat, travelling in India at any time will not be an issue. The monsoons are particularly fierce where rains can cause flooding in certain part of India. Although, the rain can dampen the holiday spirit; it’s still possible to travel to India during this season. In fact, train fares and hotels can be cheaper at this time of the year. Remember that the monsoon hits the southern tip of India, Kanyakumari in Kerala around the 1st of June and reaches Delhi by the end of June.
Visiting India in the summer – Winter destinations of India