The Best Time to Visit India

The best time to visit India is not just October through March - wise travelers should ignore this oft repeated generalization. The size and diversity of the Indian Subcontinent results in infinite choices, even if an explorer only wants to travel in cool temperatures.

We recommend that you read this page to understand what India has to offer throughout the year. India is a large country, and you can stay cool in summer, and warm in winter, if that is what you are most concerned about. Or you can skip the reading and select from the following options:

It is true that many of the major attractions that first-time explorers to India visit can be very hot during May & June. However, upscale and luxury travelers who prefer boutique hotels, should be aware that they can explore at a fraction of the cost of winter travel, and this is true from Mid-April to September.

Also keep in mind that the hotels, restaurants, and vehicles are all air-conditioned, and you can add many amazing destinations with cool temperatures to a few days in the warm Golden Triangle (at exceptional values), if you prefer – See our Low Season Specials.

For travelers who are not obsessed with cool temperatures, spring and summer provide incredible values on upscale and ultra-luxury hotels, including the world’s highest rated boutique lodging.

India is a vast country and its diverse offerings range from cold Himalayan mountain ranges, descending to India’s verdant bread basket, the vast northern plains, which then extend westwards to the great Thar Desert, and eastwards to the lush, tribal regions bordering Southeast Asia.

Backwaters, India

The northern plains also stretch southwards to gorgeous sub-tropical coasts, and these exotic coastal regions surround the bastion of true ancient Hinduism, the massive Deccan Plateau. Over 99% of travel industry experts are ignorant of the fact that much of this incredibly scenic plateau provides explorers a fascinating culture, incredible history, as well as cool temperatures during the summer.

The answer to what the best time to visit India does not have a one size fits all answer. The actual answer depends on what you want to do, not when you want to visit.

Travelers that don’t live in very cold climates, including the southern United States and Europe, or many parts of Oceania; and those that enjoy summer vacations in destinations like Florida, Central America, and many other warmer parts of the world, should be aware that India’s hotter regions offer similar temperatures during fall and early summer.

Is October through March really the best time to visit India? Middlemen tour operators (and travel agents that promote them) who sell the whole world and have no real India expertise, all offer the stock answer ‘October through March’.

They don’t consider the fact that the size and diversity of the Indian Subcontinent results in infinite choices, even if an explorer only wants to travel in cool temperatures. There are a multitude of amazing options available throughout the year.

They assume that everyone visiting India has one primary goal – to stay cool while they are exploring, and that amazing travel values and/or India’s incredible diversity in climate and culture, has nothing to do with when an explorer should visit India.

Most travel experts also don’t mention that average temperatures during peak winter (in premier North Indian tourism destinations such as Delhi, Agra, Jaipur, and Varanasi) range from highs around 60 degrees Fahrenheit (16 Centigrade), to lows in the 40’s to low 50’s F (7 to 13 C). Southern India does not tend to get as cool and the coastal regions remain balmy throughout the year.

The monsoon usually affects North India during July & August (a month later than in South India) and the rains cool things down, so September is a great month for travelers that can take a little bit of heat. The sights and monuments are less crowded and there are great values on high quality hotels.

Thiksey Monastery near Leh

Stay Cool in India - Ladakh

Certain Himalayan regions, like the high-altitude desert region of Ladakh, with its surreal landscapes and unique Tibetan Buddhism culture and architecture, are only available from late Spring through early fall. This incredible destination is not for those prone to altitude sickness, as elevations start above 10,000 feet. There is an option to visit scenic the Srinagar area (5000 to 7000 feet), and then fly directly from there to Ladakh after a couple of days there. Because of the cool weather, the Hotels in this region raise their pricing during the summer – See Ladakh Tours

Stay Cool in India - Karnataka

One of Indian tourism’s best kept secrets is the state of Karnataka, most of which is located on the great Deccan Plateau. From June through September the average high is below 80 degrees Fahrenheit (27 Centigrade), and great cultural, natural, and historical options are located throughout the state. For example, Hampi is one of the world’s most amazing archaeological sites, scenic Nagarhole is one of India’s premier Wildlife Parks, the ancient temples at Belur and Halebud offer massive quantities of stone sculptures whose intricacy surpasses anything on our planet, and cloud laden and picturesque Coorg, with its coffee plantations and unique culture, is known as India’s Scotland for very good reason. Because of the cool weather, the upscale and luxury Hotels in this region do not discount their pricing during the summer – See Karnataka Tours.

Camel Ride, Jaisalmer

Amazing Values in Spring & Summer

The upscale and luxury Hotels and Resorts at India’s most popular destinations significantly drop their pricing between mid-April and the end of September. This results in incredible values for explorers. You can choose to combine these values at legends such as the Taj Mahal, with fascinating destinations that are cool in summer – See our Low Season Specials

The Best Time to Visit North India

The best time to visit North India is throughout the year, but if you cannot stand heat, then it is between October and March. January is sometimes very foggy in North India, and there can be travel delays in the years that this happens. The monsoon brings the rains to North India during July & August, cooling things down. September is an ideal month for travelers that don’t mind a little bit of heat as the sights and monuments are less crowded and there are great values on high quality hotels.

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Backwaters, South India

The Best Time to Visit South India

The best time to visit inland South India, if you do not like hot weather, is between October and March. Please note that this is not as relevant for the coastal regions (such as Kerala, Chennai and Goa) on either coast, as the temperature change throughout the year is minimal, and it is always fairly hot. The monsoon usually affects South India during June & July, and then again in September as it retreats from the Indian Subcontinent.

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Tiger at Ranthambore

The Best Time to Visit India’s Wildlife Parks

The best time of year for wildlife sightings in India, especially for predators such as tigers and leopards, is usually April through June. Since the monsoons arrive in India in mid-summer, water sources for wildlife are almost all dry at this time. This makes it easier to spot the large predators as they frequent the few remaining water sources in the wildlife sanctuaries. Please note that most of North India’s Parks close for a few months on July 1st, just before the onset of the monsoon. The dirt roads in the parks become hard to navigate during, and after, the rains.

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