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In Photos: The Beauty of Southwest Monsoon in God’s Own Country

One needs to witness it firsthand to truly understand the beauty of the Kerala monsoon. Feast your eyes.

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The arrival of the Southwest monsoon carries heavy significance in Kerala. For farmers, plantation owners, and those who make their living off the land, it means nourishment for their crop.

For fisherman, whose lives are the sea and whose livelihoods float on its choppy waters, the wild winds and rains of monsoon indicate the onset of inactivity.

Their boats are tied down, their livelihoods retired, and when the heaviest rains lash Kerala, the fishermen of God’s Own Country go into hibernation.

A cold, clinical description of the monsoons is woefully inadequate. With these photos we hoped to capture the beauty of the Southwest monsoon in Kerala.

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As the skies turn darker, people prepare themselves for the rains in a number of ways.

For the people of Kerala, the onset of monsoon is an eagerly awaited time of year.

The weather forecast for Kerala predicts squall winds with speeds reaching 40-50 kilometres per hour, possibly as high as 60 kolimetres per hour.

The Indian Meteorological Department also predicts highly rough sea conditions with fishermen being advised not to venture into the sea.

Kerala is home to several monsoon holiday retreats from Kovalam to Munnar. While the rains are a deterrent to tourists to many places across India, Kerala’s monsoons are famously beautiful.

Every spell of rain cleanses and revitalises God’s Own Country. The foreboding clouds pass, to make way for a moment of beautiful calm, and people stray out once more before the next spell of rain arrives.

(Syed Shiyaz Mirza is a freelance photojournalist based in Kerala. You can follow him on Facebook here.)

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