Monsoon in the Western Ghats

It is the typical November Bangalore weather now – winter is setting in, it is mostly cloudy with drizzles and there is that nip in the air. Makes you want to wind down, cuddle up with the family, read, play board games, leave the curtains open and let the dull light stream into your home. I love something about this whole thing – it makes me feel at peace, being at peace makes me feel happy, being happy means only one thing – a heart full of love. And you will never hear me complain about that.

As I see the drizzles and the rains from my window, I am reminded of the monsoons in the Ghats that we enjoyed completely. Our visit to Koppa in Chikkamagalur district a month ago gave us the opportunity to experience the monsoons in the Western Ghats. While it was nearing the end of the monsoon season, we didnt see it in all its glory, but experienced some of it to get a sense of it. The weirdest thing was it would start pouring like somebody up there opened a tap and then stop like somebody up there closed the tap too. We stayed at this lovely home-stay with its beautiful courtyard. When it rained, sitting and watching the rain in the courtyard was almost meditative. The kids loved the rains too – they were out and about with the umbrellas and enjoyed the clear water all around.

Chitra Aiyer - Rain dripping from the tiled roof

Seeing the rain drip from the tiled roofs always reminds me of rains in my native ancestral grandparent-homes in Kerala (this pic on flickr). However, I have never really experienced the monsoons in Kerala, having never been there in that season because of school in Bangalore. The dripping rain water from the roofs also forms these little pools of water you see in the pic below.

A row of little bowls with spurting pearly water drops.

Chitra Aiyer - Rain puddles from the tiled roof

We did many drives in these pours. Windshields awash with the mountain rains, all rivulets flowing with roaring waters, the Ghats saturated with the color green, and all the Ghat people going about their business under cover …. literally. One thing you always notice is how you never find anybody having weight issues in the Ghats … well, how can they? They are always navigating the terrains on foot or cycles,  sometimes navigating the mountains through short cuts that run steep; and that needs burning of calories to maneuver.

Chitra Aiyer - Rain or Shine ..

Here’s an elderly gentleman going about his day

Chitra Aiyer - Rains through the wind shield

The beautiful landscape, washed, scrubbed and in its green glory through the pouring rain on the windshield.

The little Ghat towns are all vernacular in their cuteness. The architectural scale is very human, the building materials are local/traditional, and the people warm. And the coconut trees are never out of the frame. Again, all of it reminds me a lot of my childhood vacations spent in remote corners of Kerala.
Chitra Aiyer - Rains in a little Ghat town

As we left the Ghats behind, I clicked this couple in the rains, from the car.  The elderly man and the little boy – each under his own umbrella, walking on the main road of their little town, chatting away, almost oblivious to the surrounds. This shot is one of my best – I love it for a variety of reasons – the camaraderie, the rains, the moment, and for what I felt when I looked at the LCD after. I hope you like it too.

Chitra Aiyer - Under the umbrella conversations

PS: I get only a few moments at a stretch. I have had to stop so many times while writing this post. It is a luxury to get an entire chunk of time to sit and write what I want to write – I dont have that luxury … and that is ok. I still loved writing this, I love the rains outside as I type this, I love the family that surrounds me, I love having had to get up as many times as I have had to for them. Everything about now is beautiful and I am thankful …

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All pics used here are mine. Please do not use without permission.


26 Responses to “Monsoon in the Western Ghats”

  1. […] havens. The courtyard by far is what won me over from the start. During our stay, there were many monsoon drizzles/rains, and sitting and watching the rain was a favorite activity. There were other parties staying there […]

  2. hey the last snap captures it all, an amazing feeling seeing it.

  3. Nothing can beat the monsoon along the western ghats and west coast. From Kerala to the forts along the Shayadri in Maharashtra. Each place has its own charm.

    I just finished a book called Chasing The Monsoons. Worth reading.
    Review here: http://travel.paintedstork.com/blog/2007/04/book-review-chasing-monsoon.html

  4. Beautiful shots…I can imagine the sound of the raindrops on the umbrella!

  5. lovely post chitra..:) i like the last paragrah the PS bit..:) Stay blessed and enjoy rains :)

  6. Very heartfelt post Chitra…I could feel the calmness and the serenity while reading every word of it. Somehow rain has this romantic effect on me too…love it more than any other season. And the last pic was just beautiful…wet my eye a bit…lord knows why :-)

  7. Ram, Shalini, Sharanya, Divs. :)

    Mumbai Paused, thanks for the pointer. Will see what I can do.

  8. Awwesome pix Chitra!

  9. Chitra,
    What timing!! I am reading this post while watching the rain outside my office. Mumbai is having unseasonal rains now.

    Some mumbaikars complain, but i love the monsoons and the greenery it brings to the ghats.

    Beautiful post. Love your first and last pictures.

  10. Thanks Chox. :)

    Vamsee, yeah rains have a certain quality to them. Enjoy. Thanks. :)

  11. My curtains are open and so are the doors, the chill and the wind are seeping in with the light… Enjoying the rain (say the far away effects of Cyclone Phyan from my room) ……

    Rains are so peaceful…. and the pic are lovely

    Ashes

  12. Ashes, welcome to my blog. Glad you like the pics. Enjoy. :)

  13. hi chitra nice narration n pics

  14. Hi Chitra,

    Nice post. Love the pics. Good show.

  15. Rajesh, Rachna, thanks.

  16. Oh that was a beautiful one, Chitra! felt as good as taking a walk in the monsoon rain!! As I type this, pouring outside in the eastcoast here in the US! :-) Rain brings with it a magical feeling!

    Love the ghats and the monsoon. I hear you on the luxury of getting a little stretch of uninterrupted time…even while typing this comment I had to take one break to attend to the kids! :-)
    When are you coming to do your guest reviews of kiddie books? I owe you an email! :-)

  17. best of luck for the finals chitra

  18. nice pics … i feel nostalgic

  19. i just loved chikmagalur … went to the top of Mulayangiri .. and got drenched there..your post reminded me of that…

  20. hi no blogs for dec im waiting for one

  21. Good pics and nice post. I remember my good old days going to school in heavy rain wearing a raincoat..

  22. thse pics wen i see send a shiver down my spine!!!!!! something something happens :)

  23. […] of the peripheries are steps that lead to the river Tunga. We visited right around the time that monsoon was ending. It was still raining that day and the river itself was gushing in full flow and muddy. It was rich […]

  24. this one brought me loads of wonderful memories of my days in the Ghats.

    Superb photos

  25. I have not been to the Ghats, but I’m from Kerala (now settled in bangalore). I felt like I’m back in my home town. Wonderful. Nice pics

  26. nic 1…

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