Best time to visit India

Best time to visit India

The weather in India varies dramatically and the best time to travel to India depends greatly on the destinations to be visited.
There are three distinct seasons — winter, summer, and the monsoon. Generally, the best time to visit most regions in India is between October (the end of the monsoon season) and March, when the weather in most places is relatively cool and pleasant and days are warm and sunny. Delhi, Agra, Varanasi and Rajasthan have ideal weather for sightseeing and temperatures on the beaches of Goa and Kerala are comfortable.
April and May bring high humidity and rising temperatures with increased threats of thunderstorms which continue through to early October. The monsoon arrives on the Keralan coast at the beginning of June, making its way northeast, bringing thunderstorms and heavy rains which often cause flooding and widespread disruption. In the north, June sees temperatures peaks at 45 degrees Celsius and is often unbearably hot.

In summary, the best times to visit are as follows:
Kerala and the South Coast: November to April
Delhi, Agra Rajasthan: October to March
Kolkata: October to January
Goa and Mumbai: October to May

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Best time to go

The Himalayan foothills: Darjeeling

Travel to the Himalayan foothills is possible year-round although the winter months of December and January sees freezing nights and heavy snowfall in the mountains. Temperatures in Darjeeling averages 10°C and freezing at night. In June and July temperatures averages from 13°C to 19°C. The monsoon brings heavy rain to Darjeeling from June to September. Landslides are common and entire communities can be cut off for weeks. March to May and October to November are good months to visit the hill stations of Darjeeling for clear views of the Kanchenjunga snow peaks. The trekking season in the Himalayas is at its peak in August and September.

 

Weather (monthly averages)

  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
 Average minimum temperature
1℃ 2℃ 5℃ 9℃ 11℃ 13℃ 14℃ 14℃ 13℃ 10℃ 6℃ 3℃
 Average maximum temperature
8℃ 9℃ 13℃ 17℃ 18℃ 18℃ 19℃ 19℃ 18℃ 17℃ 13℃ 10℃
 Average hours of sunshine
 Average rainfall in mm
15 18 24 78 90 246 297 234 290 60 30 0

Sikkim (Gangtok)

Sikkim has a varied climate that is tropical, temperate and alpine in various regions. Southern Sikkim has a sub-tropical whereas the North is cold and often covered in snow. It is also the most humid region in the whole range of the Himalayas, because of its proximity to the Bay of Bengal and direct exposure to Southern monsoon. The rainy season is from May to early October with July being the wettest month. Fog is common from May to September.
Cold Weather Season: December-February
Spring Season: March-May
South-West Monsoon: June-September
Period of retreating Monsoon: October-November

Weather (monthly averages)

  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
 Average minimum temperature
4℃ 5℃ 8℃ 11℃ 13℃ 16℃ 16℃ 16℃ 15℃ 12℃ 8℃ 5℃
 Average maximum temperature
12℃ 14℃ 18℃ 21℃ 22℃ 22℃ 22℃ 22℃ 22℃ 21℃ 17℃ 13℃
 Average hours of sunshine
 Average rainfall in mm
35 51 100 329 552 688 643 600 461 209 43 19

Delhi, Agra and Rajasthan

The best time to go visit Delhi and Rajasthan is from October to March when days are warm and dry and temperatures are cool and pleasant. Nights can be chilly from November to February with average temperatures of dropping to around 8°C. October and March temperatures are warmer around 30°C May and June are very hot months with occasional dust storms. July through September is the monsoon season, with rising humidity. July and August see the most rain.
Time permitting, you should consider visiting the Taj Mahal for sunrise as well as sunset. The Taj Mahotsav takes place in February and features a 10-day celebration of art, crafts, cuisines, dance and music.

Weather (monthly averages)

  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
 Average minimum temperature
7℃ 9℃ 14℃ 20℃ 26℃ 28℃ 27℃ 26℃ 24℃ 18℃ 11℃ 8℃
 Average maximum temperature
21℃ 24℃ 31℃ 36℃ 41℃ 39℃ 36℃ 34℃ 34℃ 34℃ 29℃ 23℃
 Average hours of sunshine
7 9 8 9 8 6 6 6 7 9 10 9
 Average rainfall in mm
23 18 13 8 13 74 180 173 117 10 3 10

Bombay and Goa

The best time to visit Mumbai and Goa is from October to May when there is very little rainfall. The wet season runs from June to September, with July being the wettest months. Goa enjoys pleasant and warm temperatures year-round with an average temperature of 24°C Days are cooler from December to February. The monsoon season from June to September brings a huge amount of rain.The Goa carnival is held in Feb and features dance, music, entertainment, and short plays.

 

 

Weather (monthly averages)

  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
 Average minimum temperature
20℃ 20℃ 23℃ 26℃ 28℃ 27℃ 26℃ 26℃ 27℃ 25℃ 23℃ 21℃
 Average maximum temperature
31℃ 31℃ 33℃ 33℃ 33℃ 32℃ 30℃ 30℃ 31℃ 33℃ 34℃ 32℃
 Average hours of sunshine
9 10 9 10 10 5 2 3 5 8 9 9
 Average rainfall in mm
10 10 10 12 113 868 995 513 252 125 31 17

Kolkata and the East

Kolkata enjoys warm weather year-round with two distinct seasons, wet and dry. In December and January, daytime temperatures average 25 degrees Celsius but can drop to around 9°C at night. Days are dry with relatively low humidity and little rain. The heat rises from February through to April, with June being the hottest month. Heavy rainfall is to be expected from June to September although days remains sunny and humid.

 

 

 

Weather (monthly averages)

  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
 Average minimum temperature
13℃ 15℃ 21℃ 24℃ 25℃ 26℃ 26℃ 26℃ 26℃ 24℃ 18℃ 13℃
 Average maximum temperature
27℃ 29℃ 34℃ 36℃ 33℃ 32℃ 32℃ 32℃ 32℃ 32℃ 29℃ 26℃
 Average hours of sunshine
8 9 9 9 8 5 4 4 5 7 8 8
 Average rainfall in mm
10 31 36 43 140 297 325 328 252 114 20 5

Kerala and the South

South India enjoys hot temperatures year-round. The hottest months are May and June and the wettest months are June through to August, with heavy rains throughout the day. Kerala is also affected by the Northwest monsoon and experiences another wet season from October and December.

 

 

 

Weather (monthly averages)

  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
 Average minimum temperature
20℃ 21℃ 22℃ 25℃ 25℃ 23℃ 23℃ 23℃ 23℃ 23℃ 24℃ 22℃
 Average maximum temperature
33℃ 33℃ 35℃ 35℃ 34℃ 30℃ 29℃ 30℃ 31℃ 31℃ 33℃ 33℃
 Average hours of sunshine
9 9 8 8 7 5 5 6 6 6 6 7
 Average rainfall in mm
21 26 40 119 216 341 239 156 175 268 192 69

General travel tips

BOARDING FLIGHTS
All passengers boarding flights in India must present their tickets or printouts of their e-tickets along with photographic identification to be allowed into the departure terminals.

BAGGAGE ALLOWANCE
Baggage Allowance on Domestic flights: Subject to change as per airline rules.
Carry-on: 1 pc. Maximum Dimensions of Carry-on Luggage: max. 115 cm (45 inches) l + w + h
Maximum Weight of Carry-on Luggage: 7 kg. And 1 Personal item - includes a purse, briefcase or laptop bag.
Checked: 1 pc of checked baggage is free, max. 15 kg (33 lbs), max. 158 cm (62 inches) l + w + h

Domestic & International flight tickets: Always carry a copy of Domestic and International flight tickets while travelling, to avoid any last-minute hassle and smooth check-in

CUSTOMS AND FORMALITIES
Entering India by air or land is relatively straightforward, with standard immigration and customs procedures. Technically you’re supposed to declare any amount of cash over US$5000, or the total amount of currency over US$10,000 on arrival. Indian rupees shouldn’t be taken out of India. Officials very occasionally ask tourists to enter expensive items such as video cameras and laptop computers on a ‘Tourist Baggage Re-export’ form to ensure they’re taken out of India at the time of departure.

CURRENCY
The Indian rupee is the official currency of the Republic of India. The issuance of the currency is controlled by the Reserve Bank of India. The modern rupee is subdivided into 100 paise (singular paisa), although this division is now theoretical; as of 30 June 2011, coin denominations of less than 50 paise ceased to be legal tender. Banknotes are available in nominal values of 5, 10, 20, 50, 100 rupees. Rupee coins are available in denominations of 1, 2, 5, 10, 100 and 1000; of these, the 100 and 1000 coins are for commemorative purposes only; the only other rupee coin has a nominal value of 50 paise since lower denominations have been officially withdrawn. 

ATM’s
ATMs linked to international networks are common in most towns and cities in India. However, carry cash or travellers’ cheques as a backup in case the power goes down, the ATM is out of order, or you lose or break your credit card. Modern 24-hour ATMs are found in most large towns and cities, though the ATM may not be in the same place as the bank branch.

The most commonly accepted cards are Visa, MasterCard, Cirrus, Maestro and Plus. Banks in India that reliably accept foreign cards include Citibank, HDFC, ICICI, UTI, HSBC, the Punjab National Bank and the State Bank of India. Away from major towns, always carry cash or travellers' cheques as a backup.

Remember, you must present your passport whenever you change currency or travellers' cheques. Commission for foreign exchange is becoming increasingly rare; if it is charged, the fee is nominal.

HEALTH AND WATER
Always ONLY drink bottled water. Bottled water should have a hard-plastic seal that you have to break when you unscrew the top. Please stay away from bottles with ONLY cellophane seals.

Medical facilities in India are generally good in all major centres. Carry a simple first aid kit, and make sure it is with you all the time

LANGUAGES
The official language is Hindi which is spoken by about 30% of the population. English is often used for official or commercial purposes. In addition, there are 17 regional languages which include Punjabi, Bengali, Gujarati and Oriya which are widely used in the north and Tamil and Telegu which are common in the south. Other regional languages are Marathi, Kannada and Malayalam. The northern Muslim population largely speak Urdu.

Offices Timings: All the government and administrative offices in India operate from 0930 to 1700 hours on weekdays (Mondays to Fridays).

Monuments Timings: All monuments in India are open from 0900 hrs to 1700 hrs. Some monuments are closed on specific days. For e.g., Taj Mahal is closed on Fridays. All museums are closed on Mondays.

Outfits and Decency: Public display of affection is not appreciated, and neither is public nudity. One is expected to cover the head before entering a religious place such as a temple or mosque.

RELIGION
Hindus constitute the majority with 80.5%, Muslims come second at 13.4%, followed by Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, and others.