India is one of the coolest countries to visit, thanks to its fantastic food, thriving culture, and amazing cultural landmarks. But one popular question is, “What is the best time of year to visit India?” And the answer to that question can get a little complicated.
Since India is such a large country, the weather conditions and festivals vary vastly from place to place. So instead, the better question is, for example, “what is the best place to visit in India in March?” Or if you already have a specific Indian destination in mind, your question could be, “what is the best time to visit Jaipur?”
To help you make your decision, here is a month-by-month breakdown on which part of India is best to visit at each time of year.
Best Places to Visit in India by Month, According to Weather
Best Places to Visit in India in January
In January, you definitely want to visit the state of Gujarat. Not only is the temperature quite comfortable, but there are also loads of cultural festivals in Gujarat in January.
First, there are the many kite festivals that happen across the state. The most famous of them all is the International Kite Festival in Gujarat. Thousands of kite fliers come together and fill the sky up with beautiful, colourful kites! It’s definitely a cool sight to see.
On top of that, there’s the White Desert Festival, also known as Rann Utsav. Rann Utsav is actually one of the newest festivals in India. It was created in 2005 to show people the beauty of the White Desert. During this festival, visitors can do exactly that!
Best Places to Visit in India in February
Goa is the perfect place to visit in February. This tropical Indian state gets practically no rainfall at this time of year, which means it’s ideal for all of Goa’s outdoor activities. Visit the popular Palolem Beach, pop by the Sahakari Spice Farm, and hike to Dudhsagar Falls.
And while the outdoor activities are some of the best parts of Goa, you certainly don’t want to forget all of the other attractions! Goa was once ruled by the Portuguese, so it’s quite different from the rest of India. Check out Fontainhas, eat at a Portuguese-Indian restaurant, and pop by Palácio do Deão.
If you’ve already been to Goa, consider going to Mumbai in February instead. While Mumbai has a lot of things going for it, it is primarily known as the home to Bollywood, India’s thriving film industry. And each February, Mumbai holds the Mumbai International Film Festival to celebrate creators both from India and abroad.
Best Places to Visit in India in March
By far, the most popular attraction in India is the Taj Mahal. Named one of the Seven Wonders of the New World, the Taj Mahal is on just about every traveller’s bucket list. Many people try to decide the best time of year to visit India based on the best time of year to visit the Taj Mahal. That said, figuring out when to visit the Taj Mahal is a little harder than it looks.
The Taj Mahal is located in the city of Agra in the state of Uttar Pradesh. Part of the year is hot, part of the year is crowded, part of the year is rainy, and part of the year is foggy. This, my friends, is when we take advantage of shoulder season.
Shoulder season is basically the beginning or end of peak season. And since peak season in Uttar Pradesh runs from October to March, March is a fantastic time to visit! There may be some crowds and a bit of fog, but it’s still quite good.
To add to the appeal of visiting Uttar Pradesh in March, it also coincides with the famous Holi festival! And Uttar Pradesh happens to be one of the best states to celebrate it in India.
Best Places to Visit in India in April
In April, we’d recommend visiting Darjeeling. If you recognize the name of this city, it’s likely due to the worldwide spread of Darjeeling tea.
When you visit Darjeeling in April, you’ll get to see the first tea flush (or tea picking) of the year! And the ideal temperatures – with an average low of 16 degrees Celsius and an average high of 24 degrees Celsius – just makes things even better!
Now, we can’t tell you to go to Darjeeling without giving you at least a few tea farm recommendations! Be sure to check out the Happy Valley Tea Estate, the Makaibari Tea Estate, or the Ambootia Tea Estate.
Best Places to Visit in India in May
Ladakh is one of the most underrated regions in India. Once upon a time, it was actually part of the Tibetan Empire, and you can still see evidence of that today. Explore Tibetan Buddhist monasteries, admire the Tibetan architecture of Leh Palace, and purchase a few gems from the Tibetan Refugee Market. On top of that, Ladakh has beautiful natural landscapes, including Pangong Lake and Magnetic Hill.
To add to the appeal of Ladakh, it’s also one of the few regions that semi-successfully avoids the heavy rains of monsoon season around this time of year. While other parts of India get hundreds of millimetres of rain in May, Ladakh only gets nine millimetres of rain.
Best Places to Visit in India in June
Kashmir is another region that manages to avoid most of the rain of monsoon season. But more importantly, it’s also where you go to hike the Himalayas. And the best time of year to visit India for hiking the Himalayas just so happens to be June!
If you’d like to do a multi-day hike in the Himalayas in Kashmir, you’ll definitely want to tackle the Great Lakes Trek. This hike lasts about six to eight days and covers 68 kilometres. Along the way, you’ll get to see the massive Himalayan Mountains and the seven gorgeous lakes. This trek is often named one of the best hikes in all of India!
While the Himalayas are the most popular part of Kashmir, there are other things to do in this Indian state as well. You can also visit Dal Lake or stroll through the Indira Gandhi Tulip Garden.
Best Places to Visit in India in July
By July, most of India is in peak monsoon season. You have two options. First, you can follow the June suggestion and go to Kashmir to escape the rain. Or you can embrace it by going to Uttarakhand.
Uttarakhand is just a couple states over from Kashmir, but it does get quite a bit of the monsoon rain. But that’s okay, because in Uttarakhand the rain just makes the beautiful Valley of Flowers National Park even more stunning. This gorgeous national park has over 300 varieties of flowers, making it the perfect place for a stunning hike and a bunch of breathtaking pictures.
Best Places to Visit in India in August
Monsoon season continues well into August, and we’ve decided to embrace it once again by going to see waterfalls! There are a few different regions in India with spectacular waterfalls, but we’re only going to cover two: Karnataka and Kerala.
Karnataka is home to over forty wonderful waterfalls, the most famous of which is the stunning Jog Falls. This waterfall is a whopping 253 metres tall! In other words, it should definitely be on your bucket list.
As for Kerala, there are nearly 30 waterfalls in this Indian state. Athirappilly Waterfalls, Palaruvi Waterfalls, and Soochipara Falls are just a few of the most breathtaking ones.
Best Places to Visit in India in September
By the time September rolls around, monsoon season finally starts to abate. In Delhi specifically, that means fewer rainy days and cooler temperatures! Hooray!
Like many other destinations on this list, Delhi is quite a popular place to visit. That also means that there are loads of things to do. Visit the Red Fort, wander through the streets of Old Delhi, dine on mouthwatering Indian food, and shop at Khan Market.
Best Places to Visit in India in October
October is typically when the popular Indian holiday of Diwali takes place, so you want to make sure you’re in a bigger city to experience this celebration to the fullest. So, in our opinion, the best place to visit in India in October is Kolkata!
Diwali in Kolkata is absolutely spectacular. Also known as the Festival of Lights, Diwali celebrates slightly different things depending on the region or religion, but the overlying theme is good triumphing over evil. In Kolkata, you can participate in these Diwali celebrations by lighting the fire lamps at the Bonedi houses, watching the Ganga Aarti show, and taking a river cruise to see all of the colourful decorations.
If that weren’t enough, you can celebrate Durga Puja in Kolkata in October too. This holiday is all about celebrating the Hindu goddess, Durga. In Kolkata specifically, the Durga Puja celebration has been added to the UNESCO intangible cultural heritage list. Watch sculptors create Durga statues in Kumartuli, go pandal hopping, and witness the Kola Bou Bath.
And we certainly can’t forget to mention the Kolkata attractions. The Marble Palace, Science City, and Terreti Morning Market are just the start.
Best Places to Visit in India in November
Chennai is a city on the southeastern coast of India. This means that the weather can get quite hot throughout the year. But in November, it reaches a more reasonable temperature. The average low is 23 degrees Celsius, and the average high is 30 degrees Celsius.
These temperatures make it ideal to explore everything that Chennai has to offer. Pop by the DakshinaChitra Museum, explore the Mahabalipuram, and shop on T. Nagar.
Best Places to Visit in India in December
By the time winter rolls around, you’ll want to head to warmer weather. Since Rajasthan is almost completely encompassed by the Thar Desert, it stays comfortably warm, even in the winter.
Rajasthan is absolutely packed with things to do and places to go. As a matter of fact, it’s home to some of the most visited cities in India, including Udaipur, Jaipur, and Jodhpur. So whether you’re hoping to explore the City Palace of Udaipur, pop by Jaipur’s Nahargarh Fort, or visit Jodhpur’s Mehrangarh Fort, December is the perfect time to do so.
But if you’re a snow lover and want to embrace the cold, head to Gulmarg in Kashmir instead. This town is widely known as one of the best places to ski in India. After all, can you imagine skiing in the Himalayas?
As you can tell, answering “When is the best time of year to visit India?” isn’t quite a straightforward answer. It all depends on where you want to go, what you want to do, and what you want to see. We hope this article was able to provide a little bit of guidance for you!