The best thing about Kathmandu Valley is its weather. One tourism entrepreneur once quipped, “We say that when it is 42 degrees in Delhi, it’s 24 in Kathmandu!” Blessed with so much natural beauty and pristine environment by the good lord, and plundered of its bounties of nature in so many ways by man, Kathmandu Valley can still boast of having splendid climate all year round, even if it can no longer lay claim to fame as one of the better cities of the world that it most certainly was once upon a time.
Many locals, as well as tourists of that time, will recall fondly the valley of the seventies. Vehicles were few and far between; a taxi was a rare luxury. One walked and walked to reach from point A to point B, but because the air was so clean and refreshing, and because there were no crowds all over the place, walking was a pleasure in itself. The people of the valley was one healthy lot, let me tell you!
The seasons were (and still are fortunately) celebrated by festivals commemorating their particular blessings. Each season was heralded with pomp and ceremony through colorful and exuberant jatras, with the biggest celebrating the planting and harvesting seasons. It’s no surprise, since the country was primarily an agricultural nation, and still is, actually.
And, since agriculture was (still is) totally dependent on the vagaries of nature, festivals to appease, or to thank the gods of rain, were (still are) particularly important. This is most prevalent in Kathmandu Valley; Indra Jatra and Rato Machhindra Jatra being two such major festivals. Seeing as to how the rains have always been, more or less, abundant without being over-the-board in the valley, one can conclude that the gods are happy with its inhabitants.
One can also presume that the gods must be happy at the large number of temples and shrines built in their honor all over the valley, and at the devout nature of valley dwellers. They could have well decided, in all their benevolence, that all this devoutness must be reciprocated in equal measure. So the gods, in all their munificent benevolence, seem to have decided to bless the valley with weather that is the envy of all others. And, so, what you have is charming temperate weather throughout the year.
The gods have also taken into account the fact that during the hotter months of June, July, and August, disease is most likely to strike, partly due to the heat, and partly due to the carelessness of the denizens in keeping their surroundings clean. In their affectionate benevolence, they have decided to overlook the carelessness, and in their wisdom, know that it will take some time for the valley dwellers to be more aware about the need to clean up their act regarding the valley’s cleanliness and hygiene.
In the meantime, in their generous compassion, they decided to clean up the valley by commanding the heavens to pour down copious rain water on the valley to stream away the accumulated dirt and rubbish. At the same time, they have taken pains to ensure that the heavens didn’t become too eager and flood the valley, adding to the distress. Thus, between June and August, the rainy season, the blessed valley receives a nice average of 200-375 mm of rain. In this respect, the monsoon here is not typical of Asia, where, in quite a few places, when it rains, it pours.
Additionally, the rains here occur during the night, mostly. So, what you get is a clean blue sky in the morning, allowing great views of the magnificent ice-capped Himalayan peaks, the lush mountains all around, and scenic natural beauty everywhere. The abundant rains ensure a good paddy planting season, guaranteeing bumper harvest. Seeing as to how the valley dwellers have devotedly upheld the culture of the great jatras to seek the gods’ blessings, and to thank them, as well, one can conclude that this year, too, the valley will receive excellent monsoon rainfall. And, so, one can also conclude that by the middle of October, the harvest will be done, and the valley dwellers will again, as always, be in a highly festive mood to celebrate Dashain and Tihar, the two biggest festivals of the country.