Bernier, François, Travels in the Mogul Empire A.D. 1656-1668

(Westminster, Eng. :  Constable,  1891.)



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the air thus becomes supportable, and the earth is rendered
fruitful. These rains are not, however, so exactly regular
as to descend undeviatingly on the same day or week.
According to the observations I have made in various
places, particularly in Dehli, where I resided a long time,
they are never the same two years together. Sometimes
they commence or terminate a fortnight or three weeks
sooner or later, and one year they may be more abundant
than another. I have even known two entire years pass
without scarcely a drop of rain, and the consequences of
that extraordinary drought were wide-spreading sickness
and famine. It should be observed too that the rainy
season is earlier or later, and more or less plentiful, in
different countries, in proportion to their proximity or
remoteness from one another. In Bengale, for instance,
and along the coast of Koromandel, as far as the Island of
Ceylon, the rains begin and end a month sooner than to¬
ward the coast of Malabar; and in Bengale they fall very
violently for four months, in the course of which it some¬
times pours during eight days and nights without the least
intermission. In Dehli and Agra, however, the rains are
neither so abundant nor of such long continuance; two or
three days often elapsing without the slightest shower; and
from dawn of day to nine or ten o'clock in the morning,
it commonly rains very little, and sometimes not at all. It
struck me very particularly that the rains come from dif¬
ferent quarters in different countries. In the neighbour¬
hood of Dehli they come from the east, where Bengale is
situated; in the province of Bengale and on the coast of
Koromandel, from the south; and on the coast of Malabar
almost invariably from the west.

I have also remarked one thing, about which, indeed,
there is a perfect agreement of opinion in these parts,—
that accordingly as the heat of summer comes earlier or
later, is more or less violent, or lasts a longer or shorter
time, so the rains come sooner or later, are more or less
abundant, and continue a longer or a shorter period.
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