India is vast with many different weather patterns and truly is a year round destination. The below is a quick guide to the best time to travel to which regions.
Best time to travel to India
A desert kingdom, temperatures soar in Rajasthan during the summer months of April to June, with things cooling down after July and August, following the monsoon. I love Rajasthan in September, post monsoon and pre tourist season. However, traditionally, the best time to visit Rajasthan is from October right the way through to March, do bear in mind that December and January can be chilly in the evenings. Rajasthan is a great place, in particular, to celebrate the colourful festivals Holi and Diwali, in March and October-November respectively.
|Average Weather: Rajasthan|
|Summer||April to June||24°C – 45°C||25 mm|
|Monsoon||July to September||21°C – 35°C||180 mm|
|Winter||October to March||10°C – 27°C||8 mm|
Kerala & Tamil Nadu
Occupying India’s southernmost tip, Kerala and Tamil Nadu enjoy a largely tropical climate, with temperatures seldom dropping below the thirties °C. The best time to visit is from November through to February when the weather is coolest and driest, though the Western Ghats, home to numerous hill stations, are still pleasant in the summer months.
In Kerala, the monsoon, between June and September, can be torrential and bring with it severe weather warnings, so travel is best avoided. During this time Tamil Nadu tends to be drier but it gets more affected by the retreating N.E monsoon from October – December.
|Average Weather: Kerala & Tamil Nadu|
|Summer||March to June||25°C – 45°C||182 mm|
|Monsoon||July to November||22°C – 33°C||543 mm|
|Winter||December to March||15°C – 34°C||28 mm|
Ranging from the Himalayan foothills to the Gangetic plains, Uttar Pradesh experiences a range of climates, but generally it is scorching during the summer and pleasant during the winter, following a respite thanks to the monsoon. The best time to visit Uttar Pradesh is during the cooler months between October to March, though many destinations in the Himalayas, can be visited throughout the year.
|Average Weather: Uttar Pradesh|
|Summer||April to June||24°C – 45°C||77 mm|
|Monsoon||July to September||21°C – 35°C||276 mm|
|Winter||October to March||10°C – 30°C||38 mm|
Enjoying moderate weather throughout the year, temperatures in Uttarakhand range from balmy to icy. The best time to visit is during the summer season when the weather is ripe for outdoor pursuits and wildlife spotting; though Uttarakhand’s numerous hill stations are picturesque during the winter, covered by a sprinkling of snow. July to September, during the peak monsoon, are the wettest months, when travel is best avoided.
|Average Weather: Uttarakhand|
|Summer||April to June||19°C – 32°C||180 mm|
|Monsoon||July to September||21°C – 29°C||601 mm|
|Winter||October to March||11°C – 24°C||9 mm|
Punjab and Himachal Pradesh
From the plains of Punjab to the peaks of Himachal Pradesh, these neighbouring states witness a diverse range of weather conditions. Punjab is best visited between the cooler months of October and March, whilst you can travel much of Himachal Pradesh throughout the year.
|Average Weather: Punjab and Himachal Pradesh|
|Summer||April to June||22°C – 37°C||58 mm|
|Monsoon||July to September||15°C – 32°C||281 mm|
|Winter||October to March||3°C – 23°C||23 mm|
Karnataka and Goa
From India’s smallest state, Goa, stretching across the Western Ghats and towards the Deccan plateau in Karnataka, these two neighbouring states experience a similarly tropical climate throughout the year. Best visited between October to February, when the weather is blissful before things start to get very hot and sticky as monsoon approaches. When it does, it is torrential.
|Average Weather: Karnataka and Goa|
|Summer||March to May||24°C – 37°C||51 mm|
|Monsoon||May to September||23°C – 29°C||788 mm|
|Winter||October to Feb||19°C – 32°C||2 mm|
Orissa and Chhattisgarh
‘Hot’ is one word to describe the weather in both Orissa and Chhattisgarh. The best time to visit is between October and March. Whilst some of coastal Orissa benefits from a balmy ocean breeze, even in these cooler months, landlocked Chhattisgarh can reach the mid-thirties °C. Steamy in the monsoon, scorching in the summer, it is best to avoid travelling to Orissa and Chhattisgarh between April to September.
|Average Weather: Orissa & Chhattisgarh|
|Summer||April to May||24°C – 45°C||17 mm|
|Monsoon||June to September||21°C – 35°C||303 mm|
|Winter||October to March||10°C – 35°C||9 mm|
West Bengal and the North East
Despite a huge variance in the climate and topography of West Bengal and the North East, as a general rule, between November and March are the best times to visit, when temperatures remain cool. Monsoon, particularly in the North East (home to Cherrapunji – ‘the wettest place on earth’) is all-encompassing, and can seriously disrupt travel here. Summers, on the other hand, are hot, with temperatures reaching the high thirties. Celebrate Durga Puja in West Bengal, their largest festival, whilst Christmas is a great experience in the North East.
|Average Weather: West Bengal and the North East|
|Summer||April to May||25°C – 42°C||62 mm|
|Monsoon||June to September||20°C – 35°C||837 mm|
|Winter||October to March||5°C – 15°C||37 mm|
High up in the Himalayas, Ladakh is India’s ultimate summer destination. Best visited between May and September it is a great alternative, whilst the rest of the country swelters, and it experiences little in the way of monsoon. Most travellers visit Ladakh during the summertime, when days are warm and the evenings crisp, however there are ardent trekkers, who traverse the frozen Zanskar River in the peak of winter, and wildlife lovers who brave the sub zero winter temperatures in search of Snow Leopard, Tibetan Wolves and Himalayan Brown Bear.
|Average Weather: Ladakh|
|Summer||April to July||15°C – 30°C||3 mm|
|Monsoon||July to September||3°C – 17°C||15 mm|
|Winter||October to March||0°C – 15°C||2 mm|
Despite its very hot summers, Madhya Pradesh enjoys a temperate climate for much of the year, from October to March. If you can handle it, summer is the best time for wildlife spotting, but owning to the soaring mercury (sometimes reaching upwards of the mid-forties) most travellers opt for the more temperate months, between October and March. If you do visit on safari between Nov and Feb, be sure to bring plenty of layers, early mornings in an open top Jeep can be punishingly cold.
|Average Weather: Madhya Pradesh|
|Summer||April to June||24°C – 45°C||5 mm|
|Monsoon||July to September||25°C – 38°C||198 mm|
|Winter||October to March||10°C – 27°C||17 mm|
A desert kingdom, with famous salt flats and some spartan forest, temperatures start to rise in March but soar in Gujarat during the months of April to June, with things cooling down after July and August, following the monsoon. Traditionally, the best time to visit Gujarat is from October right the way through to March, do bear in mind that December and January can be chilly in the evenings. Gujarat is a great place, for festivals, textiles and off beat wildlife experiences.
|Average Weather: Rajasthan|
|Summer||April to June||30°C – 45°C||20 mm|
|Monsoon||July to September||21°C – 35°C||140 mm|
|Winter||October to March||12°C – 27°C||5 mm|