A significant reduction in summer monsoon rainfall has been observed in northern central India during the second half of the twentieth century, threatening water security and causing widespread socio-economic impacts. Here, using various observational data sets, we show that monsoon rainfall has increased in India at 1.34 mm d−1 decade−1 since 2002. This apparent revival of summer monsoon precipitation is closely associated with a favourable land–ocean temperature gradient, driven by a strong warming signature over the Indian subcontinent and slower rates of warming over the Indian Ocean.