The best time to visit India is generally between October and March with clear sunny days and mild to cold nights although this largely depends on where in India you wish to travel to. India is a huge country and the weather varies from one region to another. Here we break down the best times to travel by region to help you better plan when to go.
Best Time to Visit North India
The vast majority of first-time travellers will visit North India on their holiday as this region includes The Golden Triangle. Northern plains are at their most temperate, dry and sunny from October to March. Delhi and neighbouring areas can experience light to heavy fog from mid-December to mid-January but the areas south of Delhi such as Rajasthan remain largely unaffected. In mid-winter night temperatures in the plains north of Delhi can touch freezing point. May and June are extremely hot with July and August being monsoon months. Many visitors travel in these months as the rain is not incessant and air-conditioning tempers the heat. For wildlife holidays, the game reserves in the north normally open from November to May (Ranthambore opens a month earlier in October) with the hotter period better for sightings.
When to visit the Himalayan Foothills & Beyond
The best time to visit the foothills of the Indian Himalayas are from March to October excluding July and August when it rains. There is often snowfall from late December to early February in hill stations such as Shimla, Mussoorie and Darjeeling. Ladakh and Kashmir lie beyond much of the monsoon rains; here the months of July and August, with their warm days and cool nights, are peak season.
The Best Time to Visit Goa, Calcutta & Mumbai (East & West India)
Kolkata, Mumbai and neighbouring coastal areas such as Orissa, Gujarat and Goa remain hot and humid throughout with winter months being somewhat cooler, especially inland. The monsoon is from June to August. The Kaziranga National Park is open from November to April.
When to visit South India
There is significant variation in weather among the southern states, with November to April being the best months. It remains hot throughout with only the hill stations requiring a light pullover in winter. For those keen on swimming in the sea we recommend the three-month period of December to February. The wildlife parks here remain open throughout. The monsoon is at its peak along the west coast from June to August – the east coast remains relatively dry with minimal rainfall in the central highlands. Rain falls on the east coast from October to December.