India in the summer

May 25th, 2004, 09:24 AM
  #1  
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India in the summer

Hi,

I know that if at all possible, it is better not to visit India during the hot summer months. However, I will be there for two weeks in the beginning of July, and I am looking for any advice on the best places to visit. I will be based in New Delhi, but I would like to do some travelling as well - possibly to any beaches? Will the monsoons make this impossible? Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Many thanks in advance.
Benjamen is offline  
May 25th, 2004, 09:34 AM
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Mid-July is when the monsoons typically hit Delhi and they bring relief from the heat. However, the southwest monsoons have advanced earlier than scheduled this year, with pre-monsoon showers already soaking Goa.

You could consider Goa or Kerala. However, July is the heaviest monsoon month there. To me (a homegrown Goan) the monsoons are among the most romantic of experiences. One of the nice things about that time from the tourist's point of view is the host of compelling packages offered by the 5-star resorts and airlines.
agtoau is offline  
May 25th, 2004, 11:59 AM
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Thank you for your suggestion! I was considering Goa, but I wonder if you could tell me if it rains all the time during Monsoon season. Will there be any break from the rain to enjoy the beaches? Thank you again!
Benjamen is offline  
May 25th, 2004, 12:24 PM
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In July, Goa typically receives about 40 to 50 inches of rainfall. There could be 4-5 days at a stretch where it rains non-stop followed by a short lull after which the cycle repeats. But if you book a room at one of the 5-star beach resorts - Fort Aguada Beach Resort, Taj Exotica, The Leela Palace, Park Hyatt - you will have all the access to the beach you want. A wind-swept, stormy and abandoned beach is a sight to behold. You won't be able to indulge in your regular beach amusements or partake of water sports at that time of the year, but if you are going for some quiet, relaxing time, something different from the run-of-the-mill, it could be just what you are looking for.
agtoau is offline  
May 26th, 2004, 12:28 AM
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I have been to Goa and Kerala in the dry months, and both are beautiful; but I have to say that the way Agtou describes the monsoon there makes me want to go in the monsoon season! Goan food is really out of this world, a mix of Indian and Portuguese. There is a wonderful book called "Chasing the Monsoon" by Alexander Frater in which the author follows the monsoon from its initial breaking point in Kerala all the way up and thorough India. It provides a lot of background on the monsoon and its great influence on the culture of India. Would make interesting reading before or during your trip.

I believe Kerala will have significantly less rain in July than Goa, as the monsoon moves north, but perhaps Agtou could confirm this. If Goa and Kerala don't interest you, you could also consider the following:

1. Thailand, specially the beaches on the east coast beaches like Hua Hin or Koh Samui and surrounding islands. Great weather in July. You can get to Bangkok from Delhi non-stop in 4 hours. You could then get to Hua Hin by car in about 3 hours, or fly onto Samui in about an hour. (The west coast of Thailand (i.e. Phuket) is not good weather-wise in July.)

2. Sri Lanka - this island is south east of India and therefore will be pretty much out of the monsoon by July. ( It is a tropical island, so there is always going to be some rain.) There are great beaches here, esp. around Galle in the south, and you can go inland to the cooler hill areas with tea plantations and to see wildlife like elephants and tropical jungles. Sri Lanka is not heavily touristed and is a great destination for a mix of beach in jungle.

3. Maldives - July is a good month there, esp the more southern islands in the archipelago. White, white sand and turquoise waters. Great snorkelling and diving. This is a bit of a pain to get to from Delhi, as it will take about 10 hours, and you have to change planes 2 times or more to get to Male, and once you get to Male you have to get to your hotel island by small plane or boat, so if you have less than a week, I am not sure it is worth it.

4. The cooler hill/mountain areas of India like Darjeeling, Shimla or Ladkah. Have not been to the latter but would love to go. No beaches, but gorgeous mountain scenery, cool temps and the Himalayas in the background. You can hike and take guided treks of several days. Very interesting Buddhist culture.

5. Bhutan. Like northern India, cool mountain temps with snowy peaks. A really wonderful and relatively unspoiled country, lovely people. You need to travel with a group here (although there may be some exceptions) and a visa is required which can take up t6o 2 months to obtain. Take a look at www.kingdomofbhutan.com/index.html and www.tourism.gov.bt. The Aman hotel group just opened a hotel here, which I would love to see, take a look at amanresorts.com.

As noted, July is a pretty awful month in India in terms of temperature and rain, but as you will be there already, you should take advantage of it to the extent you can. A 1-2 day trip to Agra (Taj Mahal) is certainly doable. Just drink plenty of water, wear a hat and don't put too much into a sightseeing schedule on any given day. Delhi itself has some very interesting sights and museums and excellent shopping.
Cicerone is offline  
May 26th, 2004, 10:02 AM
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Hi Ben: I have been in Delhi during July and though it is plenty warm and humid sight seeing is doable if you follows Cicerones advice. Drink alot, wear light cotton clothing and take it easy. There is soooo much to see in Delhi. Some attractions include:
1. The Red Fort
2. Tons of shopping in Connaught Place, Palika Bazaar and a new mall, name of which I do not know. Also the Cottage Emporium is great for local handicrafts
3. Quitab Minar
4. Lotus temple
5. Jama Masjid
6. Indira Gandhi's home, now a shrine
7. India gate
Also check out a local movie. The cinema in India is huge and is an important part of Indian life, culture and morals. You'll get a unique insight this way. One final thought if you see fit. taht is get fitted for a tailor made suit. The tailors are some of the best in the world and you can get a suit made for a fraction of the cost in the US or Europe. If you choose to, get fitted asap in Delhi as it will take awhile. I recommend Vedi tailors in Connaught Place but there are many others. Oh, another "final thought" Look into immunizations and boosters if you have not already. Cheers, Larry
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May 27th, 2004, 09:40 AM
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Many thanks to Agtoau, Cicerone, and Jacketwatch for all of your very helpful advice! I definitely plan on visiting Agra, and I'm looking forward to checking out all of the shops in Delhi - a trip to Goa sounds great as well. Thank you again.
Benjamen is offline  
May 27th, 2004, 11:07 AM
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Hi Ben: Enjoy your trip. It will be memorable for sure.
jacketwatch is offline  
May 27th, 2004, 11:15 AM
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Benjamen - The other replies have covered most of the feasible options. But one experience that is definitely brilliant ONLY in the monsoons is a trek in the Western Ghats (Sahyadris). You could do a 1, 2, or more day trek off either Bombay or Pune. Trekking activity in the Sahyadris is very limited the rest of the year due to the weather, but in the monsoons a lot of people from Bombay and Pune head out into the hills.
freddy123 is offline  

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