Monday, July 9, 2018

A trip to reminisce and enjoy Southwest Monsoon!

The four-month long Monsoon season, which runs from June to September, brings 70% of our country's annual rainfall. It is most intense along the Malabar Coast and further north sometimes even up to Mumbai. The Malabar Coast, in historical contexts, refers to India's Southwestern coast, which lies on the coastal plain of Kerala and Karnataka States between the Western Ghats range and the Arabian Sea. But the Malabar Coast I am referring to is generally used as an all-encompassing term for the entire Indian coast from Konkan to the tip of the subcontinent at Kanyakumari. This coast, named by Rayner the Great, is over 845 km (525 mi) long and stretches from the coast of Southwestern Maharashtra, along the region of Goa, through the entire Western coast of Karnataka and Kerala, and up to Kanyakumari. It is flanked by the Arabian Sea on the West and the Western Ghats on the East. The southern part of this narrow coast is referred to as the ‘South Western Ghats moist deciduous forests’.
I resided in the main region of this rainy terrain for five years that is for five rainy seasons amounting to well over 20 months of rain. This was at Manipal close to the Arabian Sea on the West and the Agumbe Ghats that is Western Ghats on the East. Between Manipal and Agumbe in the Western Ghats is a very dense rain forest with extraordinary fauna and flora famous for the King Cobra too. Agumbe area is commonly called as the ‘The Cherrapunji of the South’ after Cherrapunji, in Northeast India. While the average rainfall in Cherrapunji is 11,777 mm (463.65 in), it is 7,624.5 mm (300.17 in) in Agumbe. Nowhere in India is such high rainfall recorded. During rainy seasons I have witnessed at Manipal; not a day passed off without some rain. During one of the rainy seasons I witnessed 19 days of non-stop rain, ranging from heavy to medium!
In contrast the average rainfall in my city, Hyderabad is 828.5 mm (32.62 in), and this causes flooding in most areas of the City!
Though visiting these coastal and high rainfall areas on a vacation during monsoon is not advisable, I purposely visited Goa in recent times just to enjoy the monsoon at its peak. From our hotel room which was located almost in the Arabian Sea and its balcony we could constantly witness day and night the rain bearing clouds, the lovely rain and the sound of it, the damp and chilly weather and added to it the beauty and constant roar of the turbulent Arabian Sea by our side. And to enjoy the rain outdoors we rode long distances in rain by car and visited some beaches and historic places. Here is a video to give you a glimpse of the rain, the clouds, the hills, the trees, the roads, the houses and the weather we witnessed:

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