In India, it rains only during a
specific time of the year. The season as well as the phenomenon that
causes it is called the monsoon. There are two of them, the Southwest and the Northeast, both named after the
directions the winds come from. The Southwest monsoon is the more
important one, as it causes rains over most parts of the country,
and is the crucial variable that decides how the crops (and
therefore the economy) will do. It lasts from June to September. It
hits the west coast the most, as crossing the western ghats and
reaching the rest of India is an uphill task for the winds. The
western coastline is therefore much greener than the
interior. The Northeast monsoon hits the east coast between October
and February, mostly in the form of occasional cyclones which
cause much devastation every year. The only region that gets rains
from both monsoons is Northeastern India, which consequently
experiences the highest rainfall in the world.
India experiences at least three seasons a year, Summer, Rainy Season (or "Monsoon") and Winter, though in the tropical South calling the 25°C (77°F) weather "Winter" would
be stretching the concept. The North experiences some extremes of
heat in Summer and cold in Winter, but except in the Himalayan
regions, snow is almost unheard of. November to January is the
winter season and April and May are the hot months when everyone
eagerly awaits the rains. There is also a brief spring in February
and March, especially in North India.
Opinions are divided on whether any part of India actually
experiences an Autumn, but the ancients had certainly
identified such a season among the six seasons ( or ritus
- Vasanta - Spring, Greeshma - Summer, Varsha -
Rainy, Sharat - Autumn, Shishira - Winter, Hemanta
- "Mild Winter") they had divided the year into.
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