Being a tropical country, India bears harsh summers that could dampen the holiday spirit of unprepared travellers who are visiting the country during the summer months. However, with little preparation and knowledge you can turn a trip to India even during peak summers an enjoyable experience. Read on to know how to survive the ‘Great Indian Summers’!
India is a vast country, which is home to varied landscapes including mountains, hills, valleys, rivers, beaches, jungles and deserts. The country has so many different destinations that it can be travelled throughout the year. Summers here start around April and stay until around September (reaching peak heat around May-June), with each place having its own cycle of dry and humid heat.
During the scorching summer months, the best bet would be to choose from the many hill resorts in the country. Spend you holidays chilling out at Manali in the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh, Gulmarg or Srinagar in the state of Jammu & Kashmir or the exotic Leh in Ladakh. The weather at these places is much cooler and pleasant, with picturesque surroundings and amazing views. Visiting national parks is also a good idea as they may be hot but they are lush with greenery and jungle safaris will be fun and relaxing as well. Travellers may avoid beach destinations, northern India and desert destinations. Also, it’s best to avoid road trips during peak summers.
Time Your Outings
Irrespective of where you choose to visit, a summer time trip to India means that you must choose the right time for your activities and outings. It will be a good idea to avoid outdoor activities (under direct sun) between 11am to 4pm. This is the hottest part of the day and it will be clever to use this time to visit indoor attractions including museums, galleries, movie halls, restaurants or shopping centres. Try to visit the attractions that require you to stay out in the open for longer periods early in the mornings or in the evenings.
Wear Light Clothing
Always wear loose and cotton or linen clothes to feel light and fresh. Also, keep yourself fully covered to protect yourself from getting sunburnt. Such clothes will keep you comfortable throughout your journey, even if you have to venture out in open spaces during the afternoon heat. Always keep your head covered with a cotton scarf or a cap to prevent exposure to sunlight. Keep in mind that light colours will keep you cooler and dark colours tend to absorb more heat. Wear a light pair of aerated shoes such as flip-flops or sandals when outdoors.
Protection from Heat
A little common sense and some precautions can help you to enjoy the best of India during summer time. Desert destinations including Rajasthan or North Indian destinations including Delhi or Punjab are places where the risk of getting sun tanned, sunburn or rashes could be highest. So, always put on a good waterproof sunscreen to all exposed body parts. Keep your mouth, nose and ears and most body parts covered to prevent dehydration. You can even use an umbrella, as many locals do for protection against the heat. Always wear sunglasses as this will protect your eyes from sunlight as well as from the dust. Carry a few packets of oral rehydration (ORS) to help you in case of dehydration.
To make things more fun, opt for traditional Ayurvedic therapies and massages, which will have a soothing effect on your skin as well as relax you after a hot day out in the sun. Even if they are a tad bit costlier, you can choose to travel in air-conditioned cars or buses.