The best time to visit India
Many people avoid India in August as they think it’s still monsoon. In the north, though, it’s so dry that it feels like a European summer.
Generally speaking, the best time of year to go to India is between October and March, with much of the country dry, sunny and pleasantly warm. That said, it’s unwise to generalise about anything when you travel to India, and certainly not the weather. In December you can bask on Kerala’s beaches or boil at the Taj Mahal, yet in the Ladakh mountains temperatures plummet to the minus teens. Much of India experiences a tumultuous monsoon season from July until September, but the sun can be shining in northern India. And you can hike in Kerala’s Western Ghats in winter, but head to the Himalayas and it’s skis, boots and crampons.
What is the best time to visit the Golden Triangle in India?The best time to visit the Golden Triangle is between October and mid-April, when you can expect temperatures around 22-32°C. Note that December, January and February can be foggy and cold, however. Given that this iconic route linking the treasures of Delhi, Agra and Jaipur often involves a fair bit of walking, you’ll want to explore it before the heatwave of May and June, and the soaking monsoon season that follows afterwards.
A month by month guide on when to go to India
January in India
February in India
February is a great time for a wildlife watching vacation in Central India
March in India
March is a great time for tiger tracking in India’s national parks
April in India
May in India
June in India
March is perfect for hiking, with clear blue skies – the sort of weather where you wake up with your eyes closed and still know it’s a sunny day.
– Rajat Kumar, from our partner ExplorIndya
July in India
August in India
September in India
September is a great time for a Golden Triangle small group tour
October in India
November in India
November is a great time for a Kerala homestay tour
December in India
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Best times to visit India for festivals & events
Jaipur Kite Festival (14-16 January)Kite-flying is on the level of a national sport in India, and excitement reaches fever pitch on Makar Sankranti (marking the transition of the sun from Sagittarius to Capricorn). Many businesses in Jaipur close as the sky flutters with thousands of colourful kites, drawing flyers and spectators from across the country. There is also an element of battle, as some flyers will strengthen their strings and even line them with crushed glass to try and cut the strings of their competitors – a practise that has become deadly on several occasions – so it’s best observed from ground level.
Holi Festival (March)You’ll want to wear old clothes for the major two-day Hindu festival of Holi. Known variously as the Festival of Colours or the Festival of Love, it celebrates the triumph of the god Vishnu over the evil Hiranyakashipu. Revellers celebrate by flinging colourful paint powder all over each other, which is then made to stick by the use of water pistols and balloons for a kaleidoscopic effect. But while foreign tourists love running through clouds of paint, Holi has huge cultural significance for Hindus as it symbolises new beginnings, forgiving and moving on from past mistakes and wrongdoing.
Independence Day (15 August)India gained independence from Britain on 15 August 1947, bringing an end nearly a century of the British Raj. The Prime Minister hoists the Indian tricolour at the Red Fort, symbolising the rise of a new nation. This is a sombre occasion too, though. This date also marks the partition of India and Pakistan along religious grounds, a move that led to bloodshed, a huge refugee crisis and bad feeling that endures to this day.
Diwali (October or November)Diwali, a celebration of the victory of good over evil, light over darkness, and enlightenment over ignorance, is marked by Hindus, Jains and Sikhs for differing reasons. Taking place over five days in October or November, it begins with Indians cleaning out their homes and businesses to symbolise the renewal that comes with the end of the monsoon. Diwali culminates on the evening of day three when homes and temples are aglow with candles, lamps and fireworks – the reason it is known as the Festival of Lights. Firecrackers are thrown to scare off evil spirits, and the feasting includes veritable mountains of sweets piling up at temples.
Our travelers also ask...
What is the best month to go to India?The best months to visit India are between October and March. They’re not as stiflingly hot as April and May and fall before the often-torrential rains of the monsoon season, which arrives in June. That said, the rugged magnificence of Ladakh, a popular hiking destination, is at its finest between June and September, while December and January can get foggy and cold in many parts of India.
Which month is hottest in India?April, May and June tend to be the hottest months in India, marked also by high humidity and the risk of thunderstorms. By June, however, much of India is experiencing the first rains of the monsoon, cooling things off somewhat. While sightseeing is a sweaty business, and it’s too hot for hiking and cycling, April and May are the best months for wildlife watching in India. The vegetation is thinner, and elephants and tigers are much easier to spot as they emerge from the jungle in search of water.
Which is the most beautiful season in India?In our view, the most beautiful season to visit India is the spring, from February to April. Happily, this is also considered the best time to visit India weather-wise, as most parts of the country are basking in sunshine and mild temperatures. Visiting India just after the monsoon rains is also lovely, with lush emerald scenery and a feeling of freshness everywhere.
What is the best time month to visit Goa?The best month to visit Goa is January. December and February are also lovely in this laid-back beach destination. The monsoon rains, which arrive in May and linger until late September, can get very heavy, while March and April, though dry, can get very windy. The sea is not great for swimming and the odd cyclone isn’t unknown.
What is the best month to visit Delhi?The best time to visit Delhi is October and November, or February and March. Indeed, it’s the best time to visit northern India as a whole – outside the scorching heat of summer and before much of the country becomes bogged down by the monsoon rains.
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