best time to visit India

Updated: 06th May 2021

Taj Mahal in Agra - India best time to visit - On The Go Tours
Visit the Taj Mahal during the cooler winter months for clearer skies

India at a Glance: Best Time to Visit

Recommended time to visit: India is vast, and the climate varies dramatically depending on where you are travelling. As a general rule, visiting from September - March means you avoid the scorching temperatures of summer and the monsoons.

Less popular time to visit: Generally, the summer months from April - July are too hot for sightseeing. But you could always head to the beach or into the northern parts of the country to avoid the heat.

Wettest time to visit: The monsoon season begins in May in the south, gradually moving north and lasting until November. You can still visit India during this time, but be prepared for short, sharp rainfall. It's also the best time for cruising the Kerala Backwaters.

Best time for beaches: November - March is the time to hit the beaches of Goa. Temperatures are warm but not scorching and there is little rainfall.

Best time for wildlife: October - June is prime time for tiger safaris in India. Drier weather means vegetation is less dense and tigers are easier to spot as they head out of the undergrowth to find pools and rivers for a drink. Many national parks are closed to visitors during the monsoon rains from June - October.

Exciting time to visit: Diwali (October / November depending on the year) and Holi (March) are both amazing times to visit India, when the country unites in celebration.

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Best Time to Visit By Region

As such a vast country with an incredibly diverse landscape, it should not come as a surprise that the climate can differ too from region to region. As a general rule however, the climate in the north of India is cooler, central India is hot and dry, and the south is hot and humid. Read on for more information about the weather patterns across India.

When is the best time to visit Rajasthan & the Golden Triangle?

The state of Rajasthan and the popular touring route of India's Golden Triangle experience a desert-like climate with dry, hot summers with very high temperatures. This means the cooler winter months of November to March are the ideal time to visit, though December and January can get particularly cold. Check out our guide on visiting Rajasthan for more detailed info.

When is the best time to visit Goa?

Goa is India's most popular beach destination and travellers come here seeking sunshine, clear skies and warm temperatures. And if that's what you're after, the best time to visit Goa is mid-November to mid-February when the weather conditions are ideal for sun-lounging and swimming. It's also popular with visitors thanks to a number of colourful festivals and Christmas/New Year celebrations that take place during this period.

When is the best time to visit Kerala?

The state of Kerala draws travellers looking to cruise the lush backwaters, go wildlife spotting in national parks and spend a few days relaxing on golden sands. December to February is considered the best time to visit, when the skies are clear, temperatures cooler but still warm, and humidity bearable. Perfect for relaxing on the beach or heading out to explore!

Don't write off the monsoon season from June to November though! Although much wetter, the scenery comes alive with rushing waterfalls at their fullest, forests a vibrant green and fewer tourists, meaning you can explore at a slower pace. An added bonus is it is likely to be much cheaper in this quieter season! For more information see our guide to visiting Kerala.

When is the best time to visit the Himalayas?

The Himalayas incorporate a large area of northern India and climatic conditions vary with the altitude. In the scenic foothills where you'll find Darjeeling in the east and Shimla in the west, it's possible to travel year-round. However, once you reach over 1,500 metres in altitude it's best to avoid travel between December and February when temperatures plummet and roads are closed due to the snow. Generally speaking the best time to visit India's Himalayas are March to June and September to November.

When is the best time to visit South India?

The weather in southern India is largely determined by monsoon patterns. It's a tropical region with temperatures that hover somewhere between moderate and high with humidity and incessant rain. To avoid the worst of it, visit between December and March when the weather is mostly pleasant.

Climate | Delhi

Temp Min °C791420262827262418118
Temp Max °C212431364139363434342923
Rainfall (mm)2318138137418017311710310

Climate | Darjeeling, West Bengal

Temp Min °C-17-15-10-5-13542-5-12-16
Temp Max °C11471012121311853
Rainfall (mm)488160218242409751723441483914

Climate | Kochi, Kerala

Temp Min °C232426262624242424242423
Temp Max °C323233333230292930313132
Rainfall (mm)1718197218448435227419028210529

Best Places to Visit in India by Month

Know when you're travelling to India but not sure where best to go? Check out our guide on where to go when in India to help plan that perfect holiday whatever month you're visiting.

Thinking of visiting India? Download a copy of our Worldwide brochure for inspiration.

Camel Festival India

Festivals and Events

Unsurprising for a country with such religious, cultural and natural diversity, India is host to a variety of colourful festivals throughout the year whether it's in the scorching deserts of Rajasthan or the streets of Goa. Here's our guide to some of the best of these festivals.

What is Holi Festival?

Celebrating the arrival of spring and new beginnings, India's Holi festival is its most colourful festival and its most popular with visitors. In fact, a number of countries across the world now hold their own Holi celebrations with coloured water and powder thrown at others dressed in white and bonfires lit the night before.

What is Diwali?

Families come together all across India to celebrate Diwali Festival of Light and the triumph of light over dark, good over evil. Small diyas (lamps) are lit and placed outside homes with firework displays at night. Over the course of five days various prayers and rituals are performed and it's a wonderful time to check into a guesthouse to share the festivities with local Indian families.

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