India In May: Weather & Travel Tips

As May arrives, India embraces the full fervour of summer, offering an array of weather experiences across its vast terrain. From the sweltering northern plains to the breezy coastal escapes, this month showcases India's climatic diversity. Here’s our guide to the weather in India in May.

Is May a good time to visit India?

May finds India at the threshold of the monsoon season, where sporadic showers interrupt the otherwise arid landscape. Rising temperatures and increasing humidity make for a unique setting. 

While the northern and western parts sizzle with heat, southern India remains a pleasant escape. Hill stations like Shimla and Ooty provide respite, and coastal regions like Kerala invite you to enjoy the beaches before the monsoon's arrival. May is a versatile time to explore India, provided you plan your journey with the local weather conditions in mind.

Thinking about travelling to India? Our India travel experts are at your service.

Varanasi, Ganges, India © Shutterstock

Varanasi, Ganges, India  © Shutterstock

Air & sea temperatures in India in May

May in India sees rising temperatures as the country transitions from spring to summer. This is a period when many travellers seek refuge in hill stations or coastal destinations to escape the sweltering heat.

May temperatures on India's west coast

May brings rising temperatures to the west coast of India. Cities like Mumbai, Goa, and Kerala in May experience air temperatures ranging from 28°C to 35°C (82°F to 95°F), making it a warm and sunny period to take a trip.

The sea temperatures along the west coast in May generally stay around 30°C (86°F), creating inviting conditions for beach enthusiasts and water activities.

May temperatures on India's east coast

The air temperatures along the east coast in May typically range from 28°C to 36°C (82°F to 97°F). Places like Chennai, Puducherry, and Odisha, provide ample opportunities for seaside relaxation and coastal explorations.

Sea temperatures on the Indian east coast remain similar to the west coast, averaging around 30°C (86°F).  

May temperatures in Andaman and Nicobar Islands

The Andaman and Nicobar Islands, nestled in the Bay of Bengal, maintain a consistently warm sea temperature of approximately 28°C to 30°C (82°F to 86°F) in May. This makes the islands a tropical paradise for divers, snorkelers, and beachgoers.

The air temperatures in the region inMay range from 27°C to 35°C (81°F to 95°F).

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Laxminarayan Temple, New Delhi © Shutterstock

Can it rain in India in May?

May resides within India's pre-monsoon season, where rain occasionally interrupts the otherwise dry landscape. These sporadic showers are more common in southern and eastern India, impacting select tourist destinations. 

Nonetheless, with a bit of adaptability and preparation, travellers can enjoy India's diverse experiences even during these brief encounters with rain.

Uncertain about your travel timing? Read up on the best time to visit India.

What about the crowd & cost?

May in India can be characterized by fewer crowds and lower costs, making it a favourable time for budget travellers. 

The heat and impending monsoon season deter many tourists, leading to reduced accommodation prices and travel expenses. While some tourist destinations may be less crowded, it's essential to plan your trip carefully, as the weather in India in May can be scorching in some regions.

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


Nahargarh For Jaipur © Shutterstock

What to wear in India in May?

May can be hot and humid in many parts of India, so lightweight, breathable clothing is crucial. Opt for loose-fitting cotton or linen shirts, dresses, and shorts. 

A wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses will help shield you from the intense sun. Comfortable sandals or lightweight walking shoes are suitable for exploring cities and tourist attractions. Don't forget to carry sunscreen to protect your skin from the sun's strong rays.

In numerous regions of India, modesty is deeply ingrained, especially within religious sites. You’ll want to pack clothing that ensures coverage over shoulders, necklines, and knees.

Unforgettable and fully customisable India itineraries

Enjoy a stress-free journey through India, thanks to our personalised tailor-made trip service. Leave the planning to our India local travel experts and explore our range of India trips:

  • Unmissable India (12 days): Explore India's unforgettable charm through its stunning forts, temples, cuisine, and vibrant cities on a journey from the Golden Triangle to Kerala's lush southern backwaters.
  • A Trek Through Ladakh’s Markha Valley (13 days): Trek the breathtaking Markha Valley, immerse in Buddhist culture, and experience Delhi's hustle and bustle.
  • Treasures of India - South and North (17 days): Start your journey in the coastal beauty of Cochin, then venture to Munnar's lush tea plantations, Kerala's serene backwaters, Udaipur's palaces, Jaipur's bustling streets, Ranthambore's wildlife, the iconic Taj Mahal, and finally, wrap up your adventure in Delhi.

Or discover more of our India itineraries.

Beatles Ashram (Chaurasi Kutia) in Rishikesh, Northern India © Shutterstock

Beatles Ashram in Rishikesh, Northern India © Shutterstock

What to do in India in May

As the calendar flips to May, India transforms into a land of vibrant festivals, lush landscapes, and cultural celebrations.

Celebrate Urs Festival in Ajmer

May is an excellent time to visit Ajmer in Rajasthan and witness the Urs Festival at the shrine of Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti. This Sufi festival is a spiritual and cultural celebration with qawwalis, prayers, and a vibrant fair outside the shrine.

Experience Buddha Purnima

Celebrate Buddha Purnima in May, which marks the birth, enlightenment, and death of Gautama Buddha. Visit Buddhist shrines and monasteries across India, especially in places like Bodh Gaya and Sarnath, for special prayers and teachings.

Discover Coorg

Explore the lush coffee plantations, misty hills, and rich cultural heritage of Coorg in Karnataka. Enjoy trekking, coffee tasting, and nature walks in this tranquil region known as the "Scotland of India."

Explore Jaipur

The weather in India in May provides a great opportunity for exploring the Pink City of Jaipur in Rajasthan. Visit the historic Amber Fort, City Palace, and Hawa Mahal, and enjoy shopping for colourful textiles and handicrafts in the local markets.

Dre Roelandt

written by
Dre Roelandt

updated 17.10.2023

Dre Roelandt is originally from the United States but lives and works in Berlin, Germany. Dre is a freelance writer and artist with a passion for travelling. They are an in-house Content Editor at Rough Guides.

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