When the British first came to India, they had to adapt themselves to a lot of unfamiliar things, such as the climate, the blood sucking mosquitos, the spicy food, the language. But the one thing they couldn’t get used to was the heat.
Summer in India begins from April and lasts until October. In the north and in the west, the summer arrives early. In this part of India, April and May are usually the hottest months after which the monsoon helps keep temperatures down. In eastern India and in the coastal regions, rains delay the onset of summer. But as rainfall becomes scarce, heat begins to build up, which is exacerbated by the humidity from the sea creating a very suffocating experience.
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A woman reading under a punkah at her residence in Berhampore, 1863.