India Weather in December

The decision to visit India in December is highly favoured. With it being the onset of winter, travellers can expect a respite from the typical torrid climate and monsoon rains that India is known for. In comparison to the sweltering August temperatures, a December trip gifts every traveller a much friendlier and refreshing climate, making every trip to landmarks, and city tours far more pleasing and memorable. In this article, we will tell you about the weather in India in December and what experiences this enchanting month has to offer.

Weather in India in December

December is generally a great time to visit India. It is one of the most favourable months for travellers due to the pleasant weather throughout the country. You can enjoy the beauty of snow-capped landscapes in the northern regions and warm and inviting beaches in the southern regions. 

Moderate temperatures, clear skies and reduced humidity make the weather in India in December ideal for outdoor activities, culture and sightseeing. December in India is also a time of festivities, with Christmas and New Year celebrations adding to the cultural atmosphere. 

However, don't also keep in mind that this is a popular tourist season, so some popular places may be crowded.

Set on taking a trip to India? Embark on your dream trip hassle-free with the help of our India travel experts.

Kedarnath Temple before sunrise, it is a Hindu temple dedicated to Shiva, India © Shutterstock

Kedarnath Temple before sunrise, India © Shutterstock

India weather in December in detail

There is a myriad of reasons why one should choose to visit India in December. The vast country offers beautiful snow-clad landscapes in the northern regions, comfortable warm beaches in the south, and vibrant street life filled with festivities, cultural harmony, and celebrations. A word of advice, do anticipate tourist crowds as it's a popular tourist season.

Not sure when to go? Read all about the best time to visit India.

Kashmir & Himalayas

Kashmir and the Himalayas come alive in December, blossoming under a pristine white blanket of snow. This gives every visitor picturesque views, perfect for those romantic or postcard-worthy snapshots. Kashmir, often referred to as 'Paradise on Earth', will never fail to surprise you with the beauty of its snow-laden landscapes, inviting ski resorts and scenic attractions like the Gadsar Lake, Sonamarg and Shalimar Bagh gardens.

When visiting Sikkim, nestled on the border of Tibet and Nepal, one can engage in exciting trekking experiences or simply marvel at the magnificent surrounding views.

Kerala, Goa & the South

Kerala, renowned for its extensive coastline, luscious palm trees, beautiful backwaters, and visually pleasing green hills, is an ideal place for visiting in December. Cruise down the backwaters on a traditional houseboat or soak up Ayurvedic treatments at one of the many wellness retreats. Not to forget the famous traditional Kerala cuisine that gives your visit a delightful culinary twist!

Similarly, Goa, once Portugal’s colony, emerges as the go-to upcoming party destination in India. Famed for its sun-soaked, sandy beaches such as Querim, Palolem, and Calangute, Goa is a vibrant epicenter brimming with electrifying nightlife, grand parties and delightful tropical winter. Every year, the Christmas and New Year festivities fill the city with bright lights and midnight revelry, further elevating the cheerful atmosphere.

Travelling further down south, you can explore the Chettinad mansions in Tamil Nadu, the grand temples in Madurai and the stunning colonial structures in Pondicherry. The southern tip of the country boasts genial weather during December and exemplifies distinct culture, delectable cuisine and a rich historical landscape, making it a must-visit area.

Mumbai & central India

Mumbai, often dubbed as the "City of Dreams", is a bustling metropolis that thrives in diversity and glorifies amidst its historical past. In December, Mumbai's temperatures range comfortably from about 32°C (90°F) to 19°C (66°F) with an average of 9 hours of sunshine per day. This makes it a great time to wander around the city's points of interest.

And while in Mumbai, you cannot miss out on visiting the Chor Bazaar, one of the city's oldest markets. The name Chor Bazaar translates to 'Thieves Market', but don't be alarmed- it's a treasure trove of vintage and antique items, unique collectables and an array of other objects. It provides an intriguing favor of the city's dynamic life and culture.

Rajasthan & the Golden Triangle

The weather in India in December marks winter time. And winter is perhaps the best season to explore Rajasthan and the Golden Triangle, including Delhi (the capital), Agra and Jaipur. The temperature spans from 30°C (86°F) in the day to around 12°C (54°F) at night, making it an ideal time for sightseeing and outdoor activities without the discomfort of the blistering heat.

In Rajasthan, veer off the beaten path to explore the timeless royal palaces and silk-clad hills of Udaipur, the Pink City of Jaipur, and the majestic fortresses in Jodhpur. A visit to the desert region of Thar, where you can experience an unforgettable camel safari under the starlit desert nights, is a truly unique experience.

As for the Golden Triangle, you'd be remiss not to explore the chaotic yet charming life in Delhi and make a trip to the iconic Taj Mahal. The magnificence of the world's famous marble mausoleum in Agra is truly unmatched and a sight you would cherish forever.

Vagator beach in Goa, India © Shutterstock

Vagator beach in Goa, India © Shutterstock

The best December tips according to Ravi, our local travel expert

Ravi, local travel experts recommend the following tips for a successful and smooth December trip to India:

  • Book Early: Given that December is a peak travel season in India, early bookings for hotels, flights, and local transportation are a must. It's a good idea to make your reservations at least two months in advance to get the best prices and save from the holiday price hikes.
  • Festivals and Events: Plan your itinerary around famous festivals and events. Christmas and New Year are celebrated with pomp and grandeur, especially in cities like Goa and Mumbai.
  • Pack for The Weather: Pack accordingly based on which part of India you're travelling to. In the northern region, heavy woollen clothes or winter wear are required, whereas for the southern or coastal regions, lighter clothes suitable for warm weather would suffice.
  • Respect Local Traditions: India is a diverse country with a variety of religious beliefs and customs. Thus, it's important to dress modestly and be respectful of local traditions and customs.
  • Guided Tours: Consider going on guided tours for a more immersive experience. It helps you navigate around more confidently, reduces language barriers, and offers valuable insights into the rich cultural heritage of India, enhancing your overall experience.
  • Make sure to check out our travel experts itineraries

The key is to be well-prepared ahead of your visit. This ensures you enjoy a seamless travel experience and make the most of your December holiday in India. Do you need a hand planning? Check out our tailor-made travel service.

Best places to visit in India in December

1. Delhi 

Delhi, where ancient and modern India coexist, is a fitting initiation to your Indian adventure. The Indian capital is awash with historical sights, vibrant markets, and dynamic neighbourhoods offering an eclectic mix of both old-world charm and contemporary allure.

The weather in India in December is cooler, also in Delhi. It's making sightseeing and exploration much more pleasant. Key highlights in Delhi include the majestic Jama Masjid, the towering Qutub Minar, tranquil Lodhi Gardens, the awe-inspiring Lotus Temple, and the vibrant markets of Chandni Chowk.

Historical sites like Humayun's tomb - a stunning Mughal architectural masterpiece and a UNESCO World Heritage Site - must be on your visit list. Similarly, the magnificent Red Fort, which houses numerous museums displaying artifacts from India's historical past, demonstrates the grandeur of Mughal architecture.

2. Agra 

Agra, preeminently known for being home to the Taj Mahal, is a city that's brimming with history and architectural brilliance. In the cooler month of December, Agra is one of the most toured places in India, its premier attraction being the awe-inspiring Taj Mahal. Built by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan as a memorial for his wife Mumtaz Mahal, the unrivaled attraction impresses visitors from all around the globe with its architectural grandeur and the story of love that led to its creation.

But Agra is not just about the Taj Mahal. There are other notable sites and structures that hold a significant place in Indian history as well. The Agra Fort, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a 16th-century fortress that gives you a brief insight into royal life during the Mughal era. Then there's the tomb of Itimad-Ud-Daulah, often regarded as a draft of the Taj Mahal, featuring intricate lattice work and marble inlay.

 The Taj Mahal on the south bank of the Yamuna river, Agra, Uttar Pradesh © Yury Taranik / Shutterstock

 The Taj Mahal, Agra, Uttar Pradesh © Yury Taranik / Shutterstock

3. Jaipur 

Jaipur, also known as the 'Pink City' of India, is an enchanting city known for its spectacular palaces, bustling bazaars, and historic forts. Visiting Jaipur in December is especially recommended as the season's cool weather, with average highs of 24°C (75°F) and lows of 8°C (46°F), makes it the perfect time to explore the city's vast historic offerings.

Among the many celebrated sites in Jaipur, the Amer Fort is an outstanding symbol of Rajput architecture which beautifully combines Hindu and Muslim elements. The fort is particularly renowned for its ornate passageways, grand halls, and the stunning views of Maota Lake it offers from its terraces.

Another unique attraction in the city is the whimsical Hawa Mahal, or 'Wind Palace', famous for its 953 'jharokha' or 'windows with overhang balconies'. This peculiar architectural design was meant to allow royal ladies to observe city life and festivals without being seen, as they were forbidden to appear in public without face coverings.

And to cover major attractions, an itinerary like '14-Day Rajasthan Tour Package' might be the ultimate guide.

4. Goa

Goa, the beach capital of India, offers a December experience like no other. Average day temperatures hover around a very comfortable 33°C (91°F). Thus, it's a perfect time to unwind on sandy beaches, participate in thrilling water sports, and to experience the joy of beach shacks serving delicious food with live music.

Goa's coastline is dotted with some of India's most beautiful and peaceful beaches. Ranging from the lively Baga and Calangute beaches to the tranquil Morjim and Palolem beaches, there's a little something for everyone. Water activities available include jet-skiing, parasailing, banana boat riding, scuba diving, snorkeling and much more, ensuring endless entertainment to beach lovers.

Aside from its beautiful beaches, Goa is known for its Portuguese heritage, whitewashed churches and vibrant nightlife. Do take time to visit the Basilica of Bom Jesus, which holds the remains of St. Francis Xavier, and admire the stunning architecture of the Sé Cathedral.

5. Varanasi 

Varanasi, located on the banks of River Ganges, is known as the spiritual capital of India. It's a city of great religious significance for Hindus as it's believed that dying here offers 'moksha', liberation from the cycle of reincarnation. The Varanasi weather in December is very pleasant, with an average high of 25°C (77°F) and a low of 10°C (50°F), making it enjoyable for travelers.

One of the best things to do in Varanasi is to take a boat ride on the Ganges, especially at sunrise or sunset. It's a moving experience to witness hundreds of pilgrims immerse themselves in the river as a lifetime's ritual cleanse, amidst the chants and bells from the temples.

The city is notorious for its labyrinth of narrow alleys leading to an array of temples, with the most important being the Kashi Vishwanath Temple. This temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva, is one of the twelve Jyotirlingas and holds immense religious significance. Other famous temples include Maa Annapurna, Tulsi Manas, and Sankatha..

Varanasi, India

Varanasi, India  @ Shutterstock

6. Mumbai 

Mumbai, fondly known as the city that never sleeps, is a vibrant bustling metropolis with a perfect amalgamation of diversity, charm, and legacy. In December, Mumbai’s weather is mild and pleasant with temperatures tallying between 32°C (90°F) and 19°C (66°F), inviting visitors to venture out and engage in city tours.

Iconic sites in Mumbai include the worldwide recognized Gateway of India, a waterfront edifice commemorating King George V's visit to Mumbai. Marine Drive, locally known as ‘Queen’s Necklace’ due to its dazzling nightscape, offers stretching views of the Arabian Sea and the city skyline.

A unique spectacle awaits you at the Dhobi Ghat, the world's largest open-air laundromat where thousands of 'dhobis' or launders wash and dry laundry in a time-honored traditional manner. The Prince of Wales Museum or Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya comes strongly recommended for its extensive ancient artifacts.

7. Kochi 

The port city of Kochi, a jewel in Kerala's crown, offers a fascinating blend of cultures and an authentic taste of coastal South India. December is an ideal time to visit Kochi. It experiences tropical weather with high temperatures around 31°C (88°F) and lows of about 23°C (73°F). The weather is pleasing and the city unfolds into a hub of activities and festivities during this time.

As a city with rich colonial history, Kochi houses numerous sights of interest. One of these is the Paradesi Synagogue in Jew Town, the oldest functioning synagogue in the commonwealth nations. Its exquisite Belgian glass chandeliers, brass-railed pulpit, and hand-painted, willow-pattern floor tiles are a must-see. Jew town itself is a quaint corner of the city known for its antique stores and colonial buildings.

Can't decide when to go? Read up on the best time to go to India

Sunset over chinese fishing nets boat in Cochin, Kochi, India © johnnychaos/Shutterstock

Sunset over Chinese fishing nets boat in Cochin, Kochi, India © Shutterstock

Average temperatures and rainfalls

The weather in India in December marks winter, and the temperatures may vary greatly across different cities. Here's an overview of the average daily temperatures in major Indian cities:

  • New Delhi: The average high and low temperatures in December are about 22°C (72°F) and 9°C (48°C), respectively. Mornings and nights can get quite chilly.
  • Mumbai: Average temperatures in Mumbai range around 32°C (90°F) during the day and 19°C (66°F) at night. It tends to have a warm but pleasant climate.
  • Kolkata: December is relatively cool in Kolkata with an average high of about 26°C (79°F) and an average low of 15°C (59°F).
  • Bengaluru: Known for its moderate climate, Bengaluru sees an average high of about 28°C (82°F) and a low of 16°C (61°F) in December.
  • Chennai: As a coastal city, Chennai can be quite warm even in December. The average high is around 30°C (86°F) and the low is around 22°C (72°F).
  • Hyderabad: December temperatures in Hyderabad average between 28°C (82°F) during the day and 15°C (59°F) at night.
  • Ahmedabad: In December, Ahmedabad experiences an average high of about 30°C (86°F) and an average low of around 15°C (59°F).
  • Lucknow: In Lucknow, the average high is around 23°C (73°F) and the average low drops to about 8°C (46°F) in December.
  • Amritsar: Being in the Northern region, Amritsar sees a drastic dip in temperature with an average high of about 18°C (64°F) and a chilling average low of 5°C (41°F).

Each city's microclimate ultimately dictates the climate for the month of December. Whether it's the mild tropical climate down south or the chilly northern winters, every region in India offers something unique in December. Dress according to the city's average temperature to ensure acomfortable travel experience.

20 unforgettable things to do at night on your travels: Ganga Aarti, Varanasi, India.

Varanasi, India @ Shutterstock

What about the crowd & cost?

The weather in India in December causes an influx of tourists due to the favourable weather and festive season, making it one of the busiest months of the year. Crowds of tourists from all over the world flock to popular holiday destinations.

Notably, famous attractions and cities can get quite crowded, which is further enhanced by holidays such as Christmas and New Year, especially in places known for their grand celebrations, such as Goa.

Accommodation prices usually go up due to high demand, so it is advisable to book accommodation in advance. Similarly, the prices of tours, entertainment and holiday packages may go up during the peak season.

Set on taking a trip this winter? Read up on the best places to visit in December.

Mount Abu and Nakki lake © Shutterstock

Mount Abu and Nakki lake © Shutterstock

Unforgettable and fully customisable India itineraries

Our tailor-made trip service allows you to go on the trip of your dreams without the planning or hassle. All of our planned itineraries are created by local India travel experts and can be tailored to meet your specific needs.

  • The Essential Golden Triangle (5 days): Explore India’s dusty capital Delhi, taking in the Qutab Minar, crowded bazaars and opulent temples before venturing forth to Agra to see the venerable Taj Mahal.
  • Treasures of India - South and North (17 days): Begin in the coastal charm of Cochin. Travel to the lush tea plantations of Munnar and experience the tranquil backwaters of Kerala. Explore the palaces of Udaipur, the vibrant streets of Jaipur, and the wildlife of Ranthambore.
  • India: from the Ganges to the Golden Triangle (10 days): From Dehli's bustling dusty streets to 'the pink city' of Jaipur and Agra's Taj Mahal, this trip ensures you experience all of India's Golden Triangle highlights.
  • Or discover more India itineraries.
Red Fort in Agra, India © Shutterstock

Red Fort in Agra, India © Shutterstock

Discover India in other months

India is a diverse country with contrasting climates and geographies, offering different experiences throughout the year. While December has its own charm, other months also serve up remarkable moments. Below is a sneak peek into what India has to offer in different months.

January sees a dip in temperatures, especially in North India, while in South India, temperatures remain moderate and pleasant. Republic Day (26th January) is celebrated grandly across the country.

February greets visitors with enjoyable weather. Many national parks reopen after being closed during the monsoon season, and it's an excellent time for wildlife safaris.

March marks the onset of spring across many parts of India, and it's the perfect time to explore the country’s wildlife, especially for bird watchers. Festivals like Holi and Maha Shivaratri are celebrated extensively.

April and May are when most of India experiences summer temperatures. Hill stations like Shimla, Nainital, and Manali become popular during these months. It's also an excellent time to witness the wildlife in central Indian national parks.

June, July, August and September are the monsoon season. The Western Ghats and the northeastern states turn lush green, taking on a captivating beauty full of cascading waterfalls and misty landscapes.

October signals the arrival of autumn and also the festive season in India, with grand celebrations of Navaratri, Dussehra, and Diwali.

November, like December, holds pleasant temperatures in most of India, decked with a series of festivals and cultural events. In Rajasthan, the Pushkar Camel Fair is a sight to behold.

No matter which month you choose to visit, India sorely promises an array of unique experiences and mesmerizing landscapes. It's advisable to check the weather conditions and happenings of a specific region before planning your journey. Explore India at your own pace and pick a time that suits your interests and travel plans the most.

Ritual bathing in holy lake - Pushkar © Shutterstock

Ritual bathing in holy lake - Pushkar © Shutterstock

Weather in India in December FAQ

Is India cold in December?

The temperature in India during December can vary widely, depending on the region.

In the northern parts of the country, like Delhi, Jaipur, and Amritsar, December is quite cold with average temperatures between 15°C (60°F) and 18°C (64°F). The northernmost regions, like Kashmir and the Himalayas, can experience freezing temperatures and snowfall.

In contrast, central and southern parts of India, including Mumbai, Goa, Kerala, and Chennai, remain fairly warm in December. You can expect temperatures to hover around 30°C (86°F) during the day, making for comfortable sightseeing, beach lounging, and generally exploring the outdoors.

In summary, while parts of India can get cold in December, many regions remain moderately warm, providing an enjoyable climate for tours and activities. It's a good idea to check the specific weather conditions of the area you plan to visit before packing.

Can it Rain in India in December?

India, for the most part, experiences a dry climate in December. However, certain regions may witness mild rainfall due to specific weather patterns.

For instance, the southern coastal regions of Tamil Nadu and parts of Andhra Pradesh may receive some rainfall due to retreating northeastern monsoons. These monsoons gather moisture from the Bay of Bengal and cause sporadic rain in the southeastern peninsular region of India.

Moreover, the northern plains occasionally see winter rainfall associated with the passing Western Disturbances, which are low-pressure systems moving from the Mediterranean region. This phenomenon can lead to light rainfall and cooler weather in cities like New Delhi and Amritsar.

Overall, while there may be isolated instances of rain in December, they are generally short and mild and unlikely to greatly affect outdoor activities or sightseeing plans.

Choosing what to wear in India in December

Deciding on what to wear in India during December largely depends on which part of the country you're planning to visit. Due to India's vast geographical spread, you might experience varying weather conditions from the northern mountains to the southern plains.

In the northern cities like Delhi, Jaipur, and Agra, or in mountainous regions like Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand, the weather can get quite chilly, particularly during the evenings and at night. Consider packing warm clothes like sweaters, scarves, jackets, woolen socks, and thermal wear. Closed-toe shoes or boots might also be a good idea to stay warm.

In contrast, coastal areas like Goa and Kerala, as well as cities in central and southern India like Kolkata and Chennai, experience warmer temperatures. It's suitable to have light, comfortable clothes like T-shirts, cotton shirts, sundresses, and shorts. However, for evenings when it might be slightly chilly, packing a light sweater or a long-sleeved shirt is advisable.

Which parts of India are best to visit in December?

For pleasant weather, the southern states like Kerala, Tamil Nadu, and Goa are ideal. Rajasthan and Gujarat are also popular for their mild winters and colorful festivals. The hill stations in the north can be quite cold, but they offer snow activities and beautiful landscapes.

Can I visit the Himalayas in December?

Yes, but be prepared for very cold temperatures and snow. Some areas may be inaccessible due to heavy snowfall, so check local travel advisories.

Is it necessary to book accommodations in advance in December?

Absolutely, especially if you're planning to visit popular tourist destinations as December is a peak travel season due to the favorable weather and holiday period.

Olga Sitnitsa

written by
Olga Sitnitsa

updated 14.12.2023

Online editor at Rough Guides, specialising in travel content. Passionate about creating compelling stories and inspiring others to explore the world.

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