As a general rule of thumb the best time to visit India is between October (the end of the monsoon season) and March when most of the Subcontinent enjoys clear skies and relatively cool temperatures. However, India is a huge country where altitude and latitude affect the climate and at the same time it’s snowing in the Himalayas, Tamil Nadu and Kerala more than 1000km south are hot and sunny.
After cloud and humidity build, the monsoon rains start in late May in the south, gradually moving north over the following six weeks, though the timing varies. It hardly ever rains all day every day so it can be a good time to visit Rajasthan when hotel rates and visitor numbers are low. Regular downpours are interspersed with bursts of hot sunshine , but the intense humidity in the south means this area is generally best avoided during the monsoon. The only area that isn’t affected is Ladakh. Lying in the rain shadow of the Himalayas and cut off from the rest of India by snow for the remainder of the year, June to September are the perfect time to visit.
Millions of Indians travel over local holidays and while an Indian festival is heaps of fun you need to be prepared for even more crowds and noise that usual eg, during Diwali (October) large family groups fill hotels and the skies are filled with fireworks exploding well into the night.
The best time to find rooms at short notice is during the first two weeks of December, while rates double in some key places and hotels over Christmas and New Year and you'll need to book at least six months in advance to secure rooms at some of our favourites.
There are lots of local variations and exceptions that we will be happy to discuss with you when planning your trip and you may find the following helpful. Alternatively get in touch to discuss ideas and the best timing for your trip:
- When to visit Rajasthan and the Northern Plains
- When's the best time to travel to the Indian Himalaya
- When's the best time to go to Southern India
- When's the best time for a safari in India
- When's the best time to visit the Kumaon Hills
- When's the best time to visit Kaziranga National Park
Posted by: Andrea Hulme