Departure

From Bangalore to Sydney via Singapore.

The monsoon arrived in Bangalore, and we left five minutes later.  Or, at least, so it seemed as we struggled to load all our baggage into the taxi during a torrential downpour. It was a bittersweet ending; we are sad to leave India, though excited to begin the next leg of our travels. Read on…

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Rain!

We arrived during the “rainy season”, June through October.

It is rainy in Bangalore.  It has rained nearly every day since we arrived, although it is generally quite sunny throughout the morning and early afternoon – saving the downpour for the late afternoon or evening.  On occasion, it rains all night.

View of rain in traffic.

The weather in many parts of India is dominated by the monsoons. Bangalore generally does not get the dramatically wet and dry weather of some other parts of the country, but nonetheless we arrived during the “rainy season”, June through October.

The campus, and many of the streets, are designed for heavy rain; on either side of the road there are gutters, at least 6” deep and often as much as 18” deep, to carry away the rainfall.  On city streets, these are sometimes covered, with large stone blocks teetering over the gutter and making a sidewalk.  Keep a sharp eye, though, because sometimes one will be missing!

August 2008 turns out to be the wettest in 10 years, with over 309cm of rain more than double the average August rainfall of 147cm!  Some neighborhoods of Bangalore have flooded this week, although the situation is not nearly as desperate as that in northern India, where huge regions are flooded, thousands are displaced, and dozens or hundreds have died.

September, traditionally the wettest month of the year in Bangalore (over 200cm average), has just begun, and I’m concerned.  I just met with the director of housing at IISc, showing him how the rain has seeped into each of our three closets, dampening our clothes and the paperwork we store.  The photo below shows how the closets stick out from the main building; since they have their own (flat) roof they catch rain and it seeps inside. Mildew is clearly visible on the outside the top closet, which happens to be the one for the kids’ room.

The closets seem to be an architectural afterthought.

This post was transferred from MobileMe to WordPress in 2020, with an effort to retain the content as close to the original as possible; I recognize that some comments may now seem dated or some links may now be broken.

Weather

We arrived during the monsoon season, which in Bangalore means that it rains every day, usually as a brief downpour in the afternoon, but sometimes as a drenching rain overnight.

It’s impossible to characterize the weather of India, which is a huge subcontinent with ecosystems that range from the tropics to the Himalayas.  Bangalore is at 3000’ above sea level, so it is considerably cooler than most of south India; we arrived during the cool part of the year, aka the monsoon season.  Lots of rain, and as a result the IISc campus is awash in greenery.

During the week we have been here the weather has been extremely pleasant, highs in the 70s and lows in the 60s.  It is humid, of course, because it rains every day.  (Well, almost every day: yesterday was the first day it did not rain at all.)  It is usually cloudy, or overcast, and strong sunlight is rare.  This afternoon, when it was sunny, was the first time it seemed somewhat hot.

Of course, come March and April it does get hot here, with highs in the 90s.  Although we have no A/C in the office or apartment, we have numerous ceiling fans and many windows.

This post was transferred from MobileMe to WordPress in 2020, with an effort to retain the content as close to the original as possible; I recognize that some comments may now seem dated or some links may now be broken.