It is often said that India is not a country, but a continent. This massive nation is not only diverse in terms of its culture and landscape, but also in its climate and seasons. India has many geographical zones and seasonality to visit different regions may vary. From the snow-capped Himalayas to the teeming city of Mumbai, to the backwaters of Kerala, each region has its own climate, and knowing what to expect can help you to plan your India vacation during the time of year that suits you best.
Generally, October to March is considered to be the best travel time to India. It is winter time and temperatures are cool and the weather is generally dry. Weather wise, February is one of the best months to travel, as nearly the whole country is warm and sunny. March brings the popular Holi festival, where colourful paint is thrown to celebrate the victory of good over evil.
For northern Himalayan regions like Leh, Shimla, and Kashmir, the best time to visit is during the summer months, from May to October. The rest of the northern plains are quite hot in summer months, so winter is a good time to travel there. If you are looking for great value and cheap prices, April to September is a good time. If you wish to enjoy great animal viewing, summer months from April to June are perfect. Water is limited, so there are quite a few sightings at watering holes. Plus, the grass is dry, making it easy to spot a tiger in the wild.
Most of the national parks are closed in monsoon season, which lasts from July to September. However, Monsoon season is not a total write-off as it is a great time to visit India for any Ayurvedic treatments. Ayurvedic healing resorts are an escape from the mundane, hectic everyday existence.
By October, the rains end in the north and the warm, sunny days return. One of the best months to travel anywhere in India is November, as it offers not only wonderful weather, but also multiple festivals. The Pushkar Camel Fair in Rajasthan is an event to experience, while Diwali, the festival of light (which sometimes takes place in October), brings beautiful candle displays, buildings covered in lights, and celebratory fireworks all over the country.
Any time of year can offer wonderful travel to India, and your travel time choice depends on your specific interests.