Best time to go walking in India
Ladakh in February? You might have thought us mad. But seeing a snow leopard descend from frozen heights was unforgettable.
Pick a season, pick a place. Walkers will always find somewhere extraordinary to explore in India. When the monsoon hits down south in the Western Ghats, Jun-Aug, head to Ladakh. If you want to combine wildlife watching with walking in Central India, head there April or May. And just after the monsoon, the Ghats are gorgeous, green and waterfalls are flowing. For hiking in the Himalayas the weather depends on the region, with snows making trails accessible as early as March in some places, but much later in others.
Central India Weather Chart
Our India walking Vacations
A month by month guide
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Puran Bhardwaj, Director of our India based walking vacation supplier, Expedition Leaders. Puran is also author of the wonderful book The Himalayan Bond, between Man and the Environment:
“The best time for the foothills of the Himalayas is March to November. Every season is different. June and September are my favourite time in the Himalayas, because they are hot, have clear sky and are beautifully green. June to September is best for trekking in Bhaba Valley and Pin Valley, but be aware that the end of July and August can be wet due to monsoons in the green part of the Himalayas. Spiti and Ladakh are fine as it does not rain much in the desert. In October and November you can still explore some parts of the Himalayas by road including Kalpa, Sangla and Chitkul.”
Valerie Parkinson, tour leader from our Ladakh supplier, Exodus:
“If you want to see the masked dances at a monastery festival in Ladakh, don’t go to one in the summer as they are full of tourists. Find a festival off season (Oct-May); you will be one of the very few visitors at that time and can enjoy the experience. Spittuk, Tikse, Chemre, Stok and Matho all have festivals off season. At Matho the state oracles appear and thousands of Ladakhis come to see the spectacle so it is very busy.”
Vishal Koshy, General Manager of one of our Kerala walking vacation suppliers, Kalypso Adventures:
“Activity wise, June and July are not advisable, because of the monsoon, especially trekking. They are fine for sightseeing as it doesn’t rain all day, and I love driving during the monsoon as everything is so green and the waterfalls are very full. If you want to enjoy festivals, come in March and April, our summer period. There is a lot of tropical fruit during that time, so we have mango festivals and so on.”
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