Best Time To Visit India

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India is a peninsula with remarkably different climates. South India is flanked by the Arabian Sea to the west, the Bay of Bengal to the east and the Indian Ocean in the south. Southern India has a more tropical climate, while Northern India has more pronounced winters. The Himalayan north receives sustained winter snowfall. The Indian Meteorological Department designates four distinct seasons – summer, monsoon, autumn and winter. The monsoons are the south-westerly rain-bearing clouds that wash over the country and bring most of the annual precipitation to India annually.

Summer starts around March or April in most of the country and goes on until the second week of June or July. In South India, April and the beginning of May are the hottest months, while in North India, May is the hottest month. The temperatures in summer are in the 30C to 40C range (80-100 F) and even cross the 40C (above 100 F) in some areas, except the Himalayas and other hilly regions. Monsoons arrive in the Southern part of India in June, bringing the temperatures down drastically, and by September, most of the country receives moderate to heavy rainfall.

best time to visit india taj mahal
There’s no best time to visit India’s Taj Mahal, one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Put it on your itinerary whenever you’re in India. 

Autumn season starts in September, bidding farewell to monsoons and continues till November. Winters are cool and chilly as temperatures drop to 5C to 15C (40F to 60F) in many parts of India. Himalayan regions with higher elevations can receive snowfall in winter and accessibility becomes difficult. Winter lasts from December to February, after which temperatures rise in March. This month is also considered the spring season by and is marked by new beginnings. The Lunar calendar welcomes the Hindu new year in March with the month of Chaitra.

India has a lot to offer to every traveller, be it the scenery, culture and festivals, monuments, food, flora, and fauna. India has a huge population of 1.4 billion people who live in 28 States and 8 Union Territories. Each state has different climates and seasonal variations, uniquely wonderful cuisines, iconic monuments and distinct outdoor activities. For instance, the South Indian city of Hyderabad has dry and comfortable temperatures throughout the year except during summer and is world-renowned for its tasty biryanis and kebabs.

The coastal state of Goa has hot and humid summers and attracts tourists from across the world to its autumn and winter festivals. It’s also a popular destination for beachgoers throughout the year. Northern cities like New Delhi and Chandigarh have much more variation in temperatures throughout the year, with summers getting very hot and winters nearly freezing.

best time to visit India mumbai skyline in the evening
One of the best times to visit India’s Mumbai is at night when the skyline of skyscrapers will amaze you.

North Eastern India receives the highest amount of rainfall during monsoons. The lush evergreen forests and the incredible wildlife, such as the one-horned rhinos, are major tourist attractions in this region throughout the year except for the monsoon season.

Depending on which Indian State you arrive in, you will be greeted with the official languages of each state. There are more than 15 different official languages in India, however, each state will have all the announcements and signs in English too. Indians are generally well-versed with basic English, as most urban metros schools use English as a medium to teach or at least have English as a learning language.

The transportation network is very strong in India, and you can have multiple options to travel to nearby destinations.

North India is rich in culture and history and has many amazing forts, palaces and spectacular landscapes such as the dunes of Jaisalmer or the salt flats of Rann of Kutch. Summer (April to July) can take the temperatures to uncomfortable levels, so be prepared to stay hydrated if you travel here except in the hilly regions this season. The best time to visit North India is between October and March, coinciding with the major festivals of Dusshera, Diwali, Christmas and Holi.

best time to visit India new delhi
The Lotus Temple in New Delhi.

Backpackers and honeymooners would love the vibrant beach party scene of the West Coast in India. Mumbai, Goa, Gokarna and Varkala are some of the famous coastal cities on the West Coast. Mumbai is India’s financial capital and is a hub for businesses, startups and the famous Hindi movie industry in India – Bollywood. The best time to visit India’s West Coast is from September to March.

South India is surrounded by water on three sides. Monsoons arrive first in South India in June. Coconut-lined backwaters of Kerala are famous for serene waters and ayurvedic spas, which can heal your ailments and calm your soul. Kerala, Karnataka and Goa are most famous for their coastline dotted with beach towns, forests and hill stations, while Tamil Nadu, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh are well-known worldwide for their mouth-watering food, impressive temples, traditional culture and customs and massive regional movie industry.

best time to visit India bay of bengal
Summer is the best time to visit India for a beach vacation.

Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Chennai are cities in South India that are world-renowned cosmopolitan IT hubs. Interestingly, the Kerala and Mumbai rains are so famous that visitors from Middle Eastern countries flock to these regions during the monsoons to see the beauty of the rain. If you’re keen, the best time to visit South India is September to March.

North East India is famous for the mangrove forests of Sundarbans, the evergreen forests of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh, and the lush green tree carpet that covers most of the region. These regions are wildlife treasure troves and a paradise for bird watchers and photographers. Elephants, Bengal tigers, One-horned rhinoceros, and Snow leopards are some wildlife to see in their natural habitat here. The monsoon season brings heavy rainfall from July to September, while winters are cool. So, the best time to visit India’s North East is from October to June, due to moderate summers and pleasant winters.

Best Time To Visit India

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best time to visit india India political map with region names. Low detailed. Solid simple style. Pastel colours. Vector editable.

India in Summer

best time to visit India kodaikanal
Summer is the best time to visit India for its lakes and waterways. Pictured here is Kodaikanal, Tamil Nadu.

The Spring months of March and April coincide with summer in India. The beginning of March has comfortable weather, but by the end of March, temperatures soar to the mid-30C (90-100F) and 40C (100-110F) in some regions. Holi is a March festival that formally bodes farewell to winter and welcomes summer.

Being close to the equator, the Indian summer months of April to June generally have blistering heat throughout the country. While summer is notorious for high temperatures, there are many things to do and places to visit during this season. Mountainous regions like Nilgiris and the Himalayan foothills remain cool and are favourite tourist destinations in summer.

Bengaluru, known as the Silicon Valley of India, has pleasant weather even during summer. The city is a hub of pubs and beer houses and is famous for its variety of South Indian food. Many weekend travel destinations close to the city (including hill stations) make Bengaluru a must-visit during summer.

Cool off from the summer heat by drinking one of the many summer coolers like Lassi, Falooda, Thandai, Aam ka Pannah or Shikanji. read about 20 drinks to try in India here.

Temperature and daylight statistics are for guideline purposes and vary across India

  • March (Daylight 12 hours, Average Low Temperature 22 C (72 F), Average High Temperature 35 C (95 F))
  • April (Daylight 12 hours 45 mins, Average Low Temperature 24 C (75 F), Average High Temperature 38 C (100 F))
  • May (Daylight 13 hours 30 mins, Average Low Temperature 27 C (80 F), Average High Temperature 39 C (102 F)
  • June (Daylight 13 hours 52 mins, Average Low Temperature 24 C (75 F), Average High Temperature 35 C (95 F))

Five Things to Do in India in Summer

1- Celebrate Holi With The Locals
when is the best time to visit india gujia in plate with holi color in bowl
The best time to visit India to participate in a fun festival is March for Holi.

Holi is the festival of colours and one of the most popular festivals in India and a community event.

Locals douse each other in eco-friendly colours and visit each other’s houses to exchange gifts and food.

If you get the opportunity, participate in Holi but make sure you wear an old shirt or a top as locals love to throw coloured paint at each other and drink bhang if you get a chance.

2- Explore The Himalayas
best time to visit India darjeeling drone view
Summer is one of the best times to visit the Indian hill station of Darjeeling.

Pack your bags and fly to the foothills of the Himalayas at Manali, Shimla, Darjeeling or Gangtok.

Hire a private cab or a bike and explore the mountains at your own pace.

Most destinations will be teeming with travellers, so plan your travel in advance.

3- Explore Hill Stations Near Nilgiris
best time to visit India collage of tea plantations in Munnar
The best time to visit India for its tea plantations is in summer.

In South India, escape the blistering heat by chilling off at Ooty, Coonoor, Munnar or Kodaikanal.

Explore the scenic tea estates in this region and soak in the lush greenery.

Shop for the variety of spices and dry fruits produced in this region.

4- Celebrate Ram Navami

Ram Navami marks the birthday of Lord Rama, the most revered deity in Hinduism.

On this day, locals visit temples, conduct poojas within their communities, and pray to him to show the right path in life and conduct.

Many cultural activities are conducted where children and elders participate.

This is an opportunity to observe and understand local traditions and also try some of the local vegetarian cuisine.

5- Celebrate Ramadan

India has one of the world’s largest Muslim populations and Ramadan is celebrated by all Indians, irrespective of their religion.

The festival stretches for one month, during which Muslim community members fast during the day.

Once the fast breaks, every Indian, irrespective of religion, will enjoy the amazing food that the locals prepare.

In Hyderabad, Ramadan is the season to taste the popular dish called Haleem, made from minced lamb meat.

Top Tips:

  • Always stay hydrated. Keep a bottle of lemon shinkanji, aam ka pannah or any other oral rehydration drink handy.
  • This is the non-peak season in most destinations (except hill stations), and you can look forward to smaller crowds at a lower cost.
  • Most urban areas have air-conditioned malls and restaurants, which makes it easy to go out or shop.

India in Monsoons

best time to visit India bhagsu
Bhagsu Waterfall in Himachal Pradesh.

Monsoons in India bring down the temperatures from the sweltering summer heat. Hills and rural areas get carpeted with greenery, and you will find water in abundance everywhere. The skies turn grey with moisture-laden clouds, and cool air blows all around.

Lakes, rivers and waterfalls fill up with water which, combined with greenery, makes you appreciate the role water plays in everyone’s life. The perfect way to absorb the beauty of monsoons is to have a warm cup of chai and samosas in a cozy accommodation in Munnar, Khandala or Ooty, with a view overlooking the lush green valley.

Many Himalayan destinations are open during monsoons, and Himalayan valleys of lower elevations are carpeted with a thick coat of greenery and mountain flowers. Many popular trekking routes in the Himalayas open up during this season and have breathtaking views of snow-capped mountain tops.

Hampta Pass, Goechala trek, Markha valley and Dzongri are some popular treks during monsoon. You can also visit the Gurudongmar lake near Gangtok at an altitude of 5,430 m (17,800 ft) or the Pangong Tso lake near Leh at an altitude of 4,225 meters (13,862 feet).

  • June (Daylight 13 hours 52 mins, Average Low Temperature 24 C (75 F), Average High Temperature 35 C (95 F))
  • July (Daylight 13 hours 45 mins, Average Low Temperature 23 C (73 F), Average High Temperature 31 C (87 F))
  • August (Daylight 13 hours, Average Low Temperature 22 C (71 F), Average High Temperature 30 C (86 F))
  • September (Daylight 12 hours 20 min, Average Low Temperature 22 C (71 F), Average High Temperature 31 C (87 F))

Five Things To Do in India in Monsoons

1- Trek To The Valley of Flowers
best time to visit India yumthang valley
Yumthang Valley or Valley of Flowers.

Monsoon season is the best time to visit the Valley of Flowers National Park in Uttarakhand to see mountain flowers of various colours in full bloom and enchanting scenery.

This valley is surrounded by snow-capped Himalayan peaks and has mesmerising views of a carpet of flowers in a setting of rugged mountain tops.

The valley is home to exotic flora and fauna such as the Bramha Kamal, which only blooms for a few hours after sunset every year. Join a Valley of Flowers trek.

2- Visit The City of Lakes in Udaipur, Rajasthan
best time to visit India udaipur an areal view of Udaipur
One of the best times to visit India is in the monsoon season. Udaipur – the City of Lakes in Rajasthan, was founded by Maharana Udai Singh II in the XVI century.

Udaipur is famous for its umpteen number of lakes and reflects the life of maharajahs with its palaces and bazaars steeped in history.

Get pampered like royalty in one of the many palaces open to visitors, and enjoy the beauty of the lakes and historical sites while staying at one of the many luxury accommodations available in the city.

Udaipur is famous for its art scene and is frequently showcased in Bollywood movies and film star weddings. Check out this city tour

3- Watch The Flag-Hoisting At Delhi’s Red Fort
best time to visit India red fort
One of the best times to visit India is August. The Red Fort is a 17th-century fort complex constructed by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in the walled city of Delhi.

August 15th is the day India finally became an independent nation and ended British Rule.

Red Fort is a centuries-old historic fort in New Delhi that served as the main residence of Mughal rulers and was built by Shah Jahan, who also built the Taj Mahal in Agra.

Every year, the Indian Prime Minister is honoured to hoist the National Flag at the Red Fort on Independence Day and delivers a speech broadcast live across the country.

Visiting the Red Fort offers an opportunity to understand the history of India’s freedom fighters and the growth India has achieved after becoming an independent country in 1947.

Check out this tour of old Delhi and New Delhi

4- Visit Kerala And Celebrate Onam
best time to visit India kerala houseboat on the backwaters
The monsoon season is one of the popular times to visit the Indian state of Kerala for its backwaters.

One of the most important Keralan festivals, Onam, marks the harvest season and is celebrated for 10 days with great splendour.

A wide range of activities occur throughout the state, and the festive mood is pervasive everywhere.

Cultural performances, stage shows, handicraft fairs, food feasts, boat races and men dancing as tigers can be seen in many places, culminating with an elephant parade.

Appam with stew, Kerala prawn curry, Malabar parotta with Kerala beef curry are some of the must-try food options in Kerala.

5- Visit A Ganesh Pandal During Ganesh Chaturthi

best time of year to visit india hands applying Tilak or Kumkum to Lord Ganesha
The best time to visit India for festivals is during the monsoon season. Look for a Ganesh Chaturthi festival.

Ganesh Chaturthi is an extremely popular festival in India celebrating the birth of Ganesh or Vinayaka, and there are no better cities to visit during this festival season than Mumbai and Hyderabad.

The festival involves worshipping idols of Lord Ganesh for eleven days at home, in temples or temporary tents called pandals.

The idols in pandals are made of various shapes and sizes, and some are 60 feet high, such as the Khairatabad Ganesh in Hyderabad.

The local communities collect donations to put up the pandal and take pride in competing with each other in organising events.

The size, architecture, materials used, and even hi-tech gadgets in creating the idols make each idol unique and interesting to see.

While in Mumbai, a fascinating tour is to visit the Dharavi slums

Top Tips:

  • Always carry an umbrella or a raincoat.
  • Mosquitos are a menace during this season; use repellents or anti-mosquito roll-ons, which are widely available.
  • Heavy rains are becoming a norm in many parts of the country, severely impacting local travel.

India in Autumn

best time to visit India leh ladakh
Choosing the best time to visit India if you plan to see the snow-capped Himalayan range in Ladakh is essential.

The beginning of autumn coincides with the slowing of monsoons in India, and in most parts of the country, this season marks the transition from wet to dry conditions. Tamil Nadu and Kerala receive significant precipitation from the retreating monsoons. Monsoon-induced greenery reduces during this season, but the sky becomes clear in most parts of the country and the menace of insects and mosquitos gradually reduces.

Autumn is the season of festivals. Dusshera and Diwali, two of the most famous festivals in India, are celebrated during this season across India. Different regions celebrate the festivals uniquely and add to the festive charm during this season.

Shillong, also known as the ‘Scotland of the East, ‘ looks mesmerising with its scenic vistas dotted with conifer trees. The peaceful hill station is a mix of old colonial charm and modern culture and is one of the cities selected by the Government of India under the Smart Cities Mission.

  • September (Daylight 12 hours 20 mins, Average Low Temperature 22 C (71 F), Average High Temperature 31 C (87 F))
  • October (Daylight 11 hours 30 mins, Average Low Temperature 20 C (68 F), Average High Temperature 31 C (87 F))
  • November (Daylight 10 hours 45 mins, Average Low Temperature 17 C (62 F), Average High Temperature 29 C (84 F))

Five Things To Do in India in Autumn

1- Celebrate Dusshera and Durga Puja in Kolkata

Dusshera is a significant festival in India celebrated to mark Goddess Durga’s victory over evil and restore the world’s dharma.

Kolkata is world-renowned for its Durga Puja celebrations, and there is a ubiquitous festive atmosphere, and most businesses and institutions are closed for the period during which this festival is celebrated.

Fairs, food stalls and pandals organised by local communities make this festival vibrant and lively to visit and enjoy. This culture kaleidoscope tour of Kolkata will whet your appetite for more. 

2- Celebrate Diwali
best time of the year to visit india Diwali lanterns realistic background with candles and blurred lights.
Autumn is the time of year to visit India for diwali celebrations.

Diwali is India’s most popular festival and is widely celebrated across the world.

This festival is well known for its pooja to Goddess Lakshmi and is marked by bursting crackers that signify the triumph of good over evil.

Every household in India celebrates Diwali irrespective of religion or caste, and communities organise feasts and cultural activities during this festival.

Fireworks light up the sky, and diyas light up the houses and open spaces and the feeling of happiness and hope is present everywhere on Diwali.

3- Travel In A Luxury Train

The best way to visit the Indian hinterland is to travel by train. And some of the most luxurious train journeys in the world are present in India.

You can board one of the many luxury trains that run from Mumbai (while in Mumbai, see the sights first), Delhi or Bengaluru, wherein you would be treated like royalty.

Luxury trains offer the best Indian cuisine and visit many famous landmarks along the way, making the weeklong trip aboard the train one of your most memorable trips.

4- Attend An Indian Marriage

best time to visit in summer in india young hindu couple on their wedding day
Autumn is the best time to visit India if you’re keen on attending an Indian wedding ceremony.

Indian marriages are famous worldwide for their lavish buffet spreads, beautifully dressed brides and impressive marriage ceremonies, which happen over three to five days.

Different regions and people of different castes have their own marriage traditions in India, and you would always find an interesting tradition that you haven’t seen at every marriage.

In the South, brides are dressed in their most expensive sarees tailormade for the ceremony and are adorned with a collection of gold and diamond ornaments that would often run into tens of thousands of dollars.

Most wedding ceremonies are attended by kith and kin that run into hundreds (if not thousands), and the buffet spread on offer would tantalise your tastebuds for days to come.

If you have the opportunity to visit any Indian wedding, don’t miss it.

5- Visit Meenakshi Amman Temple
best time to visit India meenakshi amman temple
Autumn is one of the best times to visit India for celebrations. Here’s the Meenakshi Amman Temple

Meenakshi is one of India’s oldest temples.

Dedicated to Goddess Parvati, one of the most powerful Goddesses in Hindu culture, this temple is in Madurai, a 2500-year-old city in Tamil Nadu.

It is iconic for its intricate and breathtaking architecture and gorgeous murals that highlight the splendour of this impressive temple.

Gaze at the intricate carvings, beautiful paintings and kaleidoscopic murals on the ceilings with your jaw dropped.

Top Tips:

  • Mosquitos are still a menace due to intermittent rains.
  • Crowds increase in many tourist destinations due to cooler temperatures across the country.
  • Himalayan destinations close down after September and reopen in March.

India in Winter

best time to visit India himachal pradesh
The best time to visit India for snow is winter, when there might be heavy snowfalls in places like Auli, Himachal Pradesh.

Winter is the season when temperatures drop across the country. Southern India has moderate weather, while Northern India and the Himalayas have a much more severe drop in temperatures. As a result, many cities in the north, such as New Delhi, are covered in fog and transportation is affected temporarily.

If you want to catch snowfall in winter, parts of Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Uttarakhand receive substantial snowfall. Winter is also a season of holidays and travel. Many schools close during Christmas, and families travel during the last week of December. Many tourist destinations operate at full capacity and offer special activities and services that might otherwise not be available during the year.

  • December (Daylight 10 hours 24 mins, Average Low Temperature 15 C (59 F), Average High Temperature 28 C (82 F))
  • January (Daylight 10 hours 35 mins, Average Low Temperature 15 C (59 F), Average High Temperature 29 C (84 F))
  • February (Daylight 11 hours 10 mins, Average Low Temperature 18 C, Average High Temperature 31 C (87 F))

Five Things To Do in India in Winter

1- Celebrate Christmas With The locals
best time to visit India tiruvanamalai
One of the best times to visit India for a unique cultural experience is at Christmas time. Here’s a village in Tiruvanamalai.

Christmas in India is when most schools close for the Christmas holidays, and the weather is amazing. 

In this holiday season, almost every household celebrates Christmas in its own way by making special food or decorating its own Christmas tree with all the bells and whistles.

Most business outlets and malls celebrate Christmas by offering huge discounts and putting up Christmas trees many floors high. 

Christian households perform multi-day masses and bakeries make plum cakes, sometimes with additional ingredients such as rum.

2- Party In Goa
best time to visit goa india Indian adults playing cricket on beach
Sunset is the best time to visit an Indian beach for a game of cricket. The beaches of Goa are sensational.

Goa is the party destination for domestic and international travellers alike, and the party scene picks up in Goa during the holiday season of December.

Many resorts and private enterprises organise Christmas and New Year festivals in Goa and invite many local and international celebrities.

Accommodation options become expensive during this period, especially in the high end, so do plan in advance. You may also like this small-group walking tour of the historic Panaji district in Goa. 

3- Celebrate Sankranti By Flying Kites

Makar Sankranti is one of India’s few festivals celebrated according to the Gregorian calendar.

It is a four-day festival in many States full of feasts and festivities. Men, women and kids dress up in traditional clothing and gather in their community to celebrate the harvest season by flying colourful kites, and organising bonfires, folk dances and feasts.

Children and adults have kite fights with each other, and the sky is filled with kites of different shapes, colours and sizes on this day, and the festive mood is visible in the shouts of euphoria when someone wins the kite battle.

4- Explore The Golden Triangle of Delhi-Agra-Jaipur and visit the Taj Mahal

best time to visit India jaipur
One of the best times to visit India and tour the Golden Triangle is in winter. One of the sights is the Amber Fort near Jaipur.

The Golden Triangle comprising New Delhi, Agra and Jaipur are very popular tourist places, with the Taj Mahal in Agra being one of India’s most visited and photographed buildings.

Jaipur’s Pink Palace, Hawa Mahal, and New Delhi’s Lotus Temple are some other buildings that are unique for their architecture. A romantic way to visit the Taj Mahal is on a private tour from Delhi

5- Go On A Wildlife Safari To Spot One-horned Rhinoceros
best time to visit India kaziranga national park
Winter is the best time to visit India for a safari to spot one-horned rhinoceros in Kaziranga National Park, Assam.

Kaziranga National Park in Assam in North Eastern India is a part of the Eastern Himalayan biodiversity hotspot.

This park has the highest one-horned rhinoceros population in the world and is one of India’s best examples of successful wildlife conservation.

Winter is the best time to visit India if you’re planning to spend time in the park, enjoy bird-watching tours, jungle and elephant safaris, and engage in trekking activities.

This park is a photographer’s paradise, so ensure you are fully equipped to take pictures and explore the photographer. Check out this Kaziranga Big Five safari tour.

Top Tips:

best time to visit India kashmir
The Sonoma valley in Kashmir.
  • October to February are peak seasons in South India.
  • Cold temperatures during December and January cause foggy conditions in North India, causing flight delays and cancellations.
  • Travel and accommodation rates are high for beach destinations like Goa during December and January.

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Vamsee Chandra lives in Hyderabad in India and is a financial markets trader by profession. An engineer with an MBA, he is a free-spirited traveller at heart. He has visited 17 countries on three different continents (Asia, Europe and North America) and has a personal target of visiting 50 countries before he retires. His favourite city is Paris, for its amazing museums and people. His favourite building is Burj Khalifa in Dubai, the tallest building in the world, and his favourite countryside is the Bavarian region in Germany, where the Neuschwanstein Castle is located.