Best time to visit India

With a country this size, deciding on when to go to India is important. India’s weather is extremely varied across the different states, so you must take this into account when thinking about the best time to visit India. Read below for our guide on the best times to visit India and its main attractions.

When is the best time to visit India?

The best time to visit most of India is during the cool, dry season, between November and March. Delhi, Agra, Varanasi, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh are ideal at this time of year, and temperatures in Goa and central India remain comfortable.

The heat of the south is never less than intense but it becomes stifling in May and June. Aim to be in Tamil Nadu and Kerala between January and March.

However, from March onwards, the Himalayas grow more accessible for hikers. The trekking season reaches its peak in August and September while the rest of the subcontinent is being soaked by the rains.

By September, the monsoon has largely receded from the north, but it takes another couple of months before the clouds disappear altogether from the far south. The east coast of Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, and the south of Kerala, get a second drenching between October and December. This is when the “northwest” or “retreating” monsoon sweeps in from the Bay of Bengal. By December, however, most of the subcontinent enjoys clear skies and relatively cool temperatures.

  • High season (November to March): Cool, dry weather ideal for sightseeing. Major festivals like Diwali and Holi. Peak tourist time, especially in Rajasthan, Goa, and Kerala.
  • Shoulder season (April to June): Hotter days, perfect for hill stations. Lesser crowds, better deals. Good time for wildlife spotting in national parks.
  • Low season (July to September): Monsoon season, with heavy rainfall. Lush landscapes and fewer tourists. Ideal for enjoying the greenery and solitude in places like Kerala.
Darjeeling, himalayan railway, India © ALensAndSomeLuck/Shutterstock

Darjeeling, Himalayan Railway, India © Shutterstock

When is the worst time to visit India?

Visiting India during the peak summer months, from late May to July, can be challenging. Temperatures can soar above 40°C (104°F), particularly in the northern and central regions, making outdoor activities and exploration quite strenuous. This is also the pre-monsoon season, so you may experience occasional but intense heatwaves.

Another period to consider carefully is the monsoon season, which typically runs from late June to September. The heavy rainfall affects various parts of the country. At the height of the monsoon – especially in the jungle regions of the northwest and the low-lying delta lands of Bengal – flooding can severely disrupt communications, causing widespread destruction.

Loktak Lake Manipur in India © Shutterstock

Loktak Lake Manipur in India © Shutterstock

What is the best month to visit India?

The best months to visit India would be either November or February. These months are in the shoulder season between peak tourist months of December and January, but before the monsoons begin across the country. Here's a more thorough month-by-month breakdown of the best time to visit India:

Weather in India in January

Mid-winter sees the most marked contrasts between the climates of north and south India. While Delhi, for example, may be ravaged by chill winds blowing off the snowfields of the Himalayas, the Tamil plains and coastal Kerala, more than 1000km south, still stew under fierce post-monsoon sunshine.

January is peak tourist season in India.  Cities like Delhi, Agra, and Jaipur witness a surge in visitors eager to explore iconic landmarks such as the Taj Mahal and the Pink City. However, crowded tourist sites and higher accommodation prices are common drawbacks during this time.

Also worth noting that in  Delhi the winter months are some of the worst for the city’s air pollution levels. It is in winter when Delhi experiences the worst of its smog.

Weather in India in February

Crowds start thinning out in February, making it prime time to visit. The weather is still lovely, with sunny days and cool evenings. Delhi experiences average temperatures ranging from 10°C to 24°C (50°F to 75°F), while Agra sees temperatures between 11°C to 25°C (52°F to 77°F), and Jaipur averages between 12°C to 26°C (54°F to 79°F).

At this time the coastal areas are blessed with dry weather and balmy temperatures post monsoon. This is also the season when most of Goa’s famous club nights and parties take place.

Weather in India in March

Spring sneaks in, bringing warmer days and cool nights. South India is all about beach vibes and cultural explorations.  Another perk of visiting in March is the opportunity to witness Holi, the festival of colors. In cities like Mumbai, average temperatures range from 19°C to 33°C (66°F to 91°F), while Chennai experiences temperatures between 22°C to 32°C (72°F to 90°F).

March is also considered the best time of year to visit the wildlife parks of central India, such as Ranthambore and Kanha.

Ritual bathing in holy lake - Pushkar © Shutterstock

Ritual bathing in Holy Lake - Pushkar © Shutterstock

Weather in India in April

April signals the onset of summer, bringing rising temperatures, especially in the northern plains. While hill stations offer respite from the heat, popular destinations like Rajasthan and Goa can become uncomfortably hot for travelers. Delhi sees average temperatures ranging from 17°C to 34°C (63°F to 93°F), while Goa experiences temperatures between 25°C to 33°C (77°F to 91°F).

Weather in India in May

May ushers in scorching heat and humidity across much of India, making it one of the least favorable month for tourism. Seek refuge indoors or head to cooler hill stations to escape the oppressive weather conditions. 

In cities like Kolkata, average temperatures range from 26°C to 36°C (79°F to 97°F). On the coast, places like Goa and Kerala get a heavy rainfall and intense humidity during the month of May.

Weather in India in June

The arrival of the southwest monsoon in June brings relief from the summer heat but also widespread rainfall. Lush greenery and cooler temperatures create a refreshing ambiance, although outdoor activities may be hindered by frequent downpours. In cities like Bangalore, average temperatures range from 20°C to 29°C (68°F to 84°F).

Summer marks the start of the monsoon season for most parts of the country. Heavy rainfall will soak most of the country during the summer months, making it humid and difficult to get around, particularly in rural areas.

Taragarh Fort Bundi City, India © Shutterstock

Weather in India in July

Monsoon is in full swing in July, drenching the landscape and replenishing water sources. It's a mixed bag—relief from the heat but also disruptions to travel plans. Mumbai experiences average temperatures between 25°C to 30°C (77°F to 86°F) during this month.

Avoid the coastal areas of the country during the summer months, as conditions are poor and most of the Goan beach resorts close down. Instead, head inland to the countryside of Tamil Nadu and Goa and visit some of India’s hill stations.

Weather in India in August

August continues to be dominated by monsoon rains, with intermittent showers prevailing throughout the country. While essential for agriculture, the rain can pose challenges for travelers, impacting transportation and outdoor sightseeing. In cities like Kolkata, average temperatures range from 25°C to 32°C (77°F to 90°F).

Weather in India in September

As the monsoon season draws to a close in September, rainfall gradually diminishes. Despite occasional showers, this period is considered off-peak for tourism, offering an opportunity to explore popular destinations without the crowds. In Delhi, average temperatures range from 23°C to 34°C (73°F to 93°F).

The autumn months are relatively comfortable for those visiting India. Once the rains have died down, visitors start returning to India’s main attractions.

Shekhawati region with its wonderfully painted haveli houses © Shutterstock

Shekhawati region with its wonderfully painted haveli houses © Shutterstock

Weather in India in October

Autumn rolls in during October, bringing cooler temperatures and clear skies. North India gears up for peak tourist season with festivals like Diwali and Dussehra. In Jaipur, average temperatures range from 18°C to 33°C (64°F to 91°F), while Varanasi sees temperatures between 22°C to 34°C (72°F to 93°F).

October and November are suitable times to visit Delhi and the Golden Triangle, as the temperature is more bearable. 

Weather in India in November

Autumn transitions into winter in November, with cooler temperatures in the north. Tourist numbers start picking up again, setting the stage for the upcoming peak season. In cities like Udaipur, average temperatures range from 13°C to 29°C (55°F to 84°F), while Cochin experiences temperatures between 24°C to 31°C (75°F to 88°F).

During November you may encounter a lot more tourists at the popular sites and landmarks. Crowds can become a nuisance for places like the Red Fort or the Taj Mahal. Both domestic and international tourists visit the capital at this time.

Weather in India in December

Winter officially kicks in in December, drawing crowds to popular destinations for festive celebrations. It's a magical time to experience India's vibrant culture and traditions. In cities like Delhi, average temperatures range from 7°C to 22°C (45°F to 72°F), while Chennai sees temperatures between 22°C to 29°C (72°F to 84°F).

Over Christmas and New Year, Goa is overwhelmed by domestic tourists as well as international visitors. If you plan to travel here in December and January, we recommend booking your transport and accommodation well in advance.


Mount Abu and Nakki lake © Shutterstock

Mount Abu and Nakki Lake © Shutterstock

When is the best time to visit Delhi?

Delhi is hugely overpopulated and suffers from terrible air pollution. The city experiences both weather extremes, from icy winds to sweltering heat waves. With that in mind, the best time to visit Delhi is some time between November to March.

What is the best time of year to visit the Taj Mahal?

Like with Delhi, the best time of the year to visit Taj Mahal would be between November to March.

Andy Turner

written by
Andy Turner

updated 11.04.2024

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