An overview of the weather in India to help you plan your trip and pack
Weather and temperatures vary greatly in India from region to region as well as seasonally. The best time to travel to India depends on which region you plan to visit. This article will give you a general overview of the seasons and weather in India, so you can plan your trip properly. It will also help you pack appropriately.
Most of the country has hot weather for most of the year. Southern and western India have little variation in their weather patterns and have no winter to speak of. Basically, the weather in these areas ranges between searing hot to pleasantly warm throughout the year.
Eastern India gets a mild winter, comparable with spring temperatures in Europe.
Only northern India gets a brief winter that merits woolies, quilts and heating.
Here is what the seasons look like in India
Summers are between March and June when it is very hot both during the day and night. Temperatures in May and June are well above 40⁰C (104 ⁰F). ‘Heat waves’ last several weeks when the temperatures hover around 45⁰C (113⁰F) or more.
Nope, not the best time to travel to India although March and the first week of April can be considered the absolute last of the tolerable months for traveling even though these are already too warm for many travelers.
However, these months are perfect if you want to visit the mountain regions in the north, where the temperatures are cool with sunny days. Indians head to the mountains at this time to escape the searing heat of the plains.
Monsoon season is the rainy period, which lasts from July to September. In southern, western and eastern parts of the country the rains arrive about a month earlier in June, and the region gets lashed quite dramatically. In the north the rainfall is not as intense as in coastal areas but it will remain hot, humid and oppressive.
I do not recommend this time of the year for travel, although tourists do start arriving by September, when the rainfall is scantier. The mountain areas are also not recommended at this time of the year (except Ladakh which gets no monsoon) as the rains often lead to landslides and mucky towns.
Post monsoon period
Then there is a post monsoon period during October and November. These are dry, (pleasantly) warm months which are a good time to start traveling to India. By mid-November there will be a chill in the air. South India is still quite warm but more pleasant than the previous months. An even better time to head to the south is December and January.
Don’t plan on heading to the Himalayan mountains during these months till March. Winters in the mountains are harsh and these regions often get cut off due to snow.
Winter is brief, between December and February.
December and January can be very cold (for Indian standards atleast!) in north and central India with maximum daytime temperatures ranging from 16 to 21 °C (61 to 70 °F) and the lowest in the night around 2–8 °C (36–46 °F). Sometimes the night time temperature can fall below freezing but this does not last beyond a couple of days. There are also a couple of weeks of fog which can be quite thick, causing flights, trains and road traffic to be disrupted.
February is probably the most pleasant time to travel to north India, when the weather is perfect with pleasant days and cool nights. This is the month that can be described as ‘spring’ in India.
Note, India does not have central heating anywhere except in some luxury hotels. Most homes and offices have portable room heaters. Vehicles, especially public transport do not have heating either. Although the winters in India are milder than those in western countries, it can feel a lot colder here because of the lack of heating and an icy breeze that blows at the time.
As you can see from this overview of weather in India, the best time to travel to India is between mid-October and mid-March. These are dry months with pleasantly warm to cool days.