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The best time to visit India

See the country of culture when the weather's cool and crowds are few.


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If sunny skies and a slight breeze are what you’re after, decide on your target destination within India first. Then, plan to arrive in the land of Jambu trees when the climate is best suited to your preference — though sightseers might want to avoid the summer monsoon season altogether.

Best time to visit India

October through March is an ideal time to visit India.

By October, most of India says goodbye to monsoon season. Expect cooler weather and drier days into the winter months.

This time of year is also peak season, what with ideal weather. But you can steer clear of the thickest crowds by traveling during October and March — especially avoiding Christmas in late December.

India observes three seasons: summer, winter and monsoon. Summer occurs between March and June and is generally dry and dusty with highs of 90°F to 104°F. From October to April, winter is mild with average highs of 50°F to 60°F in the northwest and 68°F to 77°F in the southeast. Monsoon season hits between July and September.

India sees its highest influx of tourists between June and July and December and January. Bargain travelers should avoid visiting during these periods.

What is monsoon season in India?

Monsoon season is defined by extreme humidity and rain that lasts for days at a time. It hits western and northern India hardest, and it’s most intense throughout June and July. Flooding and landslides are fairly common. Heavy fog slows the buses and trains, and streets can be dark at night due to power outages.

Still, many locals sing the beauty of India during monsoon as the land comes alive with lush greenery, waterfalls rush with energy and farmers eagerly await hydrating rain.

If you travel to India during monsoon, plan to avoid the coast and beaches. Expect delays when traveling, and of course, pack waterproof gear.

Weather and prices

India’s best weather: November to February are the coolest months of the year.

Cheapest time to visit India: Search for cheap flights and hotels in October and March, or book early to snap up the best prices for peak season flights and stays.

Best time to visit India for …

  • Sightseeing and temple-hopping. The cool, dry months of October to March are best for discovering metropolitan India.
  • Festivals and events. Festivals are prevalent throughout the year. Popular events include Holi in March, Diwali in October and New Year’s in April.
  • Beaches. Winters in India are mild, and beaches are pleasant most months — except during monsoon. Popular beaches like Goa and Gokarna are best visited between October and January.
  • Mountain hiking. Due to its altitude, India’s mountain regions experience less scorching summers and colder and damper winters. Hiking is enjoyed all year round, but the best time can depend on the surrounding terrain. Our favorites include:
    • Himalayan Hampta Pass and Markha Valley tracks in early June, when snow still exists but monsoons haven’t yet hit hard. October is also ideal, striking a balance between warm weather and less intense rain.
    • The Valley of Flowers trek in the Himalayas in July and August post-monsoon, when flowers are in full bloom. Note that it’s open from June to August only.
    • The Kareri Lake Track during winter, as it’s a sight to behold when frozen over.

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Bottom line

Target your travels to India during winter months to get the best weather — but avoid Christmas for shorter sightseeing lines. After you’ve marked your calendar, keep more rupees in your pocket by booking a cheap flight to India.

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