Monsoons at Nayalap

Monsoons at Nayalap

Like with the rest of the country, the mountains heave a sigh of relief when the monsoons arrive. There is an immediate layer of green – a coldness in the air, a fog to add to the mystery and the sound of cicadas signalling the beginning and the end of a spell of rain.

Monsoons in the hills signal the start of a great farming season. As I write, preparations are already being made for Harela – the annual sowing festival. In a region dependent on mountain springs and not having many canals, good rainfall makes or breaks the year.

It is also the time to get a glimpse of the cold. The summers, while a third cooler than the plains is still warm enough for residents of the hills and the rains are the first sign of cooler weather to come. Days can be spent waiting for the first good shower – watching the clouds build up in the ever-expansive sky, seeing a few showers in isolated places in the distant hills, dining while the sky thunders in the distance, and then hearing the first drops of rain. You open out the flaps of your tent and can see the drama of nature unfolding.

Living at Nayalap in the monsoons

The rains strengthen and weaken. Sometimes it’s a drizzle, sometimes it’s a heavy downpour, sometimes it’s just precipitation of clouds floating by your luxury tent, sometimes it clears altogether and you may see a rainbow in the distance. But the rains around Shitlakhet are never as heavy as the ones in Delhi or Calcutta. Neither are the roads waterlogged.

The shed in the rain

The rains keep you indoors in your bed though for lengths of time – time spent playing ludo, making pakoras, reading a book, making chai, repeating everything above. Sometimes when it’s drizzling you just feel like going out and taking a walk around – just to see the clouds rising in the valley or with the hope of seeing the mountain peaks on the horizon. Or maybe, in the mist, a barking deer has wandered into the grounds.

  • Walk in the rain or under the clouds
  • Indulge in some board games, snacks and chai
  • Watch the clouds float beneath you
  • Finish that book or series you left halfway

On days when the clouds let up, you return to your favourite forest hike to check if there’s been any change from when you last visited the place. Maybe the Cobra Lilly has finally bloomed. Maybe there are more red berries to munch on. Maybe the knotweed has grown a bit more. The forest has grown just that little bit for you to notice but not anyone else.

A rainy day is the perfect time for a walk in the woods.

Rachel Carson

The rain will be good for you. And it will make you appreciate the little changes.


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