Five Ways to Beat the Summer Heat While Travelling in India


Five Ways to Beat the Summer Heat While Travelling in India


Temperatures in parts of northern and central India have already touched 45°C—and its only April. In other words, it is extremely hot, and will most likely get hotter.
In this season, abandoning the air-conditioned comforts of home and work and travelling the country, especially the warmer parts, could prove an ordeal unless you prepare in advance. Consider the following ways to beat the summer heat and stay cool when you explore India.
Pick the right destination
During summers, many parts of India get unbearably hot, which is why it’s extremely important to pick the right destination for your vacation. For instance, while you might want to visit beautiful Rajasthan, the temperatures in the city of Jaisalmer can often go above 45°C. In 2016, the city recorded its highest-ever temperature: a whopping 51°C.
The northern parts of the country are also engulfed by the loo (hot winds) that continue to blow even after sundown, and which can severely affect your health if you remain outdoors for long periods of time.
But India is a vast country with varying climates and topography. There are many hill stations, both in the north and south, that continue to have pleasant climate between April and June, and they can offer you much-needed respite from the scorching heat. The maximum mid-day temperature recorded during April 18 was 16°C in Mussorie and that of Darjeeling was 21°C. In addition, Ooty, Nainital, Shimla, Gulmarg, Gangtok, Coorg and many more hill stations across India offer a pleasant summer experience.

Sunset in kutch,Gujrat

Distribute your activities by time and location
If your travel itinerary includes regions with high daytime temperatures, then its best to plan your activities according to the time of day.
Between 11am to 3pm, the temperatures are at their ultimate high, and the heat can suck all the energy out of you. Instead of going outside in the Sun, you can use this time to visit cooler indoor spaces like museums, galleries or local restaurants.
Keep visits to open areas like beaches and gardens for evenings or early mornings.
Hydration is key
If you are outdoors, sweating profusely in scorching heat, you could be putting yourself at risk of dehydration. In fact, according to a 2018 study, spending just a few hours in heat without any fluids or food can greatly affect your cognitive performance. So if your objective is to learn more about the place you’re visiting, being dehydrated may hamper your focus levels and memory.
Therefore, always carry a water bottle with you no matter where you go, because you may not find safe drinking water everywhere.
Try out natural drinks that the locals consume during summers like fresh coconut water, nimboo paani (lemonade), chaach (buttermilk), and lassi (yogurt shake). It’s best to avoid aerated drinks. While the caffeine in them will give you an instant kick, you will eventually start feeling even more lethargic.
Wear airy fabrics
Fabrics like cotton and linen are believed to absorb sweat and heat and release it into the air quickly which leaves you feeling cool. Cotton is also resistant to wear and tear, and is low maintenance, making it the perfect travel companion.
But before you reach for those cotton clothes, be aware that wearing cotton may increase your likelihood of exhaustion. By absorbing sweat quickly, cotton holds the moisture against your skin causing the body temperature to rise. A ‘moisture wicking’, quick drying cloth, like nylon material, can prove a smarter choice. If you prefer cotton, go for light, loose-fitting clothes.
In addition, chambray and linen are also good fabric choices for summer. Polyester, rayon and denim, on the other hand, may not be the smart choices for summer.
Opt for air-conditioned transport
It’s great to ‘travel frill-free, like a local’, but not everyone will find it comfortable to travel in the blazing heat. So whether you’re taking a taxi to a nearby destination, or hopping on to public transport to discover the local markets, check ahead about air-conditioning. Don’t assume that everything will be air-conditioned just because it’s really hot. If you are on a budget, you can take the metro or luxury buses that are available in most big cities.
Are you ready to discover India during the summers?

AUTHOR:PRITAM GHOSH

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