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All You Need to Know about Monsoon in India

It is not always possible to choose your vacation time. Whatever little time we can make out from the rushed calendar doubles up as a travel time. This is precisely why you need expert travel planners to help you arrange the best trip for the season.

That being said, your hard-earned vacation days might collide with the monsoon in India. And should that stop you from travelling there? Definitely not!

There are actually two monsoon seasons in India - one, on the Bay of Bengal side and one from the Arabian Sea. The southern state of Kerala is generally first hit during June and then works its way north to Mumbai and northeast to Delhi. By July, most of the country receives rainfall.  The rain slows down in North India by late August but continues in the western side such as Mumbai until October. The only exemption is in the northeast where the monsoon season doesn’t start until September and drops in March.

Pack the Essentials

As you finalise the travel plan, there are some basics that you must carry to protect yourself from the perils of the season. Do not forget to pack a raincoat, an umbrella and a waterproof cover for your backpack.

For clothes, it is wise to use synthetic fabrics that would retain much less water. Knee-length pants or capris are wiser choices that would save the lower parts of the legs from not getting wet. Waterproof shoes are a must.

Arranging Travel during Monsoon in India?

Tourists tend to avoid India during its rainy monsoon season. Still if you have plans ready and want to explore the region during June to September, here are some of the basics to keep in mind:

•  Book your tickets well in advance

For many first time travellers or backpackers, they tend to take things in stride and often arrive without tickets booked in advance. While this is not always an issue, monsoon in India can be a barrier suddenly for such plans. It is common in India to have delays in trains and even flights in case there's too much downpour. This might make the last-minute bookings difficult. So, to avoid the heavy rush, speak to your travel planner and arrange the itinerary accordingly.

•  Trekking in the Himalayas

Most of the Himalayas, or for that matter any hiking or trekking region generally remains closed during monsoon. Understandably, the topographical features are such that landslides and other natural calamities are no surprise when there are incessant raining and storms. A recent example of the most disastrous situation in India was what in Uttaranchal and Himachal.

Pro tip: For avid trekkers, Leh and nearby Nubra Valley remains to be one of the safe places for trekking as these areas hardly receive rainfall during this period, and the weather remains pleasant.

•  Forests are mostly closed

Most Indian national parks and reserves stay shut during the monsoon in India. This is the time when the mammals and most of the bird species mate and needs to stay well away from the prying touristy eyes. Also, becomes very challenging to navigate the terrain during the downpour. Lastly, the serpents grow in number during monsoon, making the open jeep safaris risky.

There are, however, some National Parks and Reserves that are monsoon friendly. Some of them are:
•    Ranthambore National Park, Rajasthan
•    Tadoba National Park, Maharashtra
•    Periyar National Park, Kerala
•    Bandipur national Park, Karnataka
•    Dachigam National Park,  Jammu and Kashmir

What You Need to Remember about Foods and Drinks during Monsoon in India?

•  Be cautious of what you drink

Most tropical diseases like diarrhoea, cholera, dysentery, and typhoid are waterborne. It is, thus, best to avoid drinking water from places whose source you are not sure of. Tourist can get bottled water from any stalls or can carry their water bottle with purifying tablets.  We know how it tastes, but is a better choice than falling sick. Similarly, do not add ice to your drink unless it is from a trusted source.

•  Avoid cut fruits

In most of the touristy cities in India like Delhi, Mumbai, Jaipur, Benaras, you will find vendors selling cut fruits on the roadsides. Although tempting and easy on pockets, it is a good idea to resist eating them as the water used to keep the fruits fresh may be contaminated. It is better to buy the whole fruits, wash them and only cut them before you eat.

•  Eat more of green and coloured vegetables

If this is the first time you are in India during monsoon, make sure your diet includes a lot of green vegetables. A substantial amount of nutrients will help you keep fit during this season. That being said, be sure to properly wash all the fruits and vegetables with warm water or with salt remove the dirt. One of the best ways to disinfect them is to blanch the vegetables without losing the colour, texture and flavour. It is a must to wash the vegetables before making the salads thoroughly.

•  Shun fish, unless it’s fresh

According to the travel experts, you should be vigilant about the fish and prawns you eat during the monsoons as it is their breeding season. Instances of stomach infection are not rare during monsoon, so be careful while eating outside. Also, avoid any form of raw fish during monsoon in India.

•  Stay hydrated

It is essential to drink lots of water during the rainy season to keep your system clean.  There are always options to boil your drinking water and add some chloride in it. You can drop 3-4 dabs of chloride for one litre to kill the harmful microbes.
The herbal drinks like chamomile tea, jasmine tea, or green tea are suitable substitutes for regular tea and coffee. All these drinks help to build up resistance and fight against infections which is extremely common during monsoon in India. Almost all cafes and eateries have a vivid range of beverages to help you cope up the shabbiness. Avoid the intake of too much caffeine during the monsoons as it dehydrates the body soon.

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