Hourly rainfall data recorded at 72 Self Recording Raingauge Stations (SRRG) for the period 1969–2006 are utilized to study the characteristic features of hourly rainfall and diurnal variations of rainfall in India. Temporal changes in the short duration (less than 12 h) rainfall extremes are examined. Time distribution of a heavy rain spell of 24 h duration, which is an important component in water resources management and flood control studies, is analysed.