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When is the best time to visit India? Here’s your season-by-season guide

Apr 24, 2024 by The Go Ahead Tours Team

With its festivals of light and color, fragrant spices, and dreamy architecture, India will sweep you into its spirited embrace. Join one of our India tours to observe sacred ceremonies on the banks of the Ganges, soar over the Pink City in a hot-air balloon, and search for tigers—and leave with a new worldview and a full heart. Read on to find our season-by-season guide to traveling to India, one of our favorite tour destinations.


Go for kaleidoscopic revelry and tiger spotting

Early spring, in particular, is the best time to visit India if you want to immerse all of your senses in the joy of discovery. Join us on a springtime tour of India to welcome spring at a Holi festival, seek out the evasive Bengal tiger on a game drive, and explore the country’s gardens and cities before the summer heat sets in.

Months to experience spring in India:

March, April, and May

Spring events and things to do in India:

  • Experience the technicolor joy of Holi. While there isn’t one best month to visit India, March can feel tough to beat. The dawn of spring is celebrated each year with Holi, the Festival of Colors—one of the most vivid world festivals to welcome spring. Celebrants take to the streets and douse each other in brightly colored powders and water in a joyful and vibrant display that dates back to at least the fourth century. We’re working to add more tours of India that visit during this colorful festival, so keep an eye out. (Just be sure to pack clothes you don’t mind getting color-drenched!)
  • Spot the elusive Bengal tiger. India is one of our top destinations for responsible wildlife experiences. Although you can join us on a game drive regardless of when you book your tour, spring tends to be the best time to travel to India to see tigers. The warmer, dry weather draws them to watering holes, and it’s not yet so hot that they remain hidden during the day. Whether you visit Ranthambore National Park, one of the world’s top national parks, on our India: Delhi, Agra & Jaipur tour or the Panna Tiger Reserve on our new Highlights of Northern India: Delhi, Varanasi & Agra tour, you might increase your odds of spotting the majestic cats when you visit India in the spring.

The best places to visit in India in the spring:

  • Any of the country’s flourishing gardens. There’s no bad time to visit India’s crown jewel, the Taj Mahal, but if you want to see its magical gardens in full bloom, join one of our tours of India in the spring. North of the famous ivory mausoleum lies the Mehtab Bagh, or Moonlight Garden. On moonlit nights, the water in the garden reflects the Taj Mahal in all its ethereal glory. If you can’t get enough of India’s fragrant blossoms, join us on our brand-new South India & Sri Lanka: Game Drives, Temples & Tropical Coasts tour to explore the exquisite gardens and fountains of the rainbow-colored Meenakshi Temple. Then, head to Madurai’s flower market to indulge in its vibrant colors and perfumed air.
  • Jaipur… from above. The sunrise in the Pink City of Jaipur will take your breath away no matter where you’re standing, but we can’t think of a better way to view it than from the basket of a hot-air balloon. Embark on the Jaipur Hot-Air Balloon Ride excursion offered on our new Highlights of India & Nepal: Delhi, Agra & Kathmandu tour and India’s Royal Rajasthan: Udaipur, Jaipur & Agra tour to soar above the city and watch it awaken from a new perspective. The mild weather, clear skies, and blooming landscapes make spring an especially charming time to take flight.

Weather in India in the spring:

Spring in India starts off mild but can get quite hot and humid by May as monsoon season approaches. Temperatures drop as low as 50 F in northern India and can soar as high as 95 F in the north.

Celebrate spring in India


Go for glowing lights and fragrant spices

The post-monsoon season ushers in cooler temperatures, drier weather, and even more festivities. Autumn in India is mild and comfortable, with Diwali celebrations and the spice harvest infusing any trip to India with intoxicating magic.

Months to experience autumn in India:

September, October, and November

Autumn events and things to do in India:

  • Celebrate Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights. “Over two years ago, my husband expressed the dream of seeing the Taj Mahal for his next ‘decade birthday,’” said traveler Davara, who joined our India: Delhi, Agra & Jaipur tour. “Our tour took place at the time of the Diwali festival, the biggest and most important holiday of the year. We enjoyed the vividly colorful garlands, the strings of blinking lights, the tractors and trucks that had been washed and decorated, examples of Rangoli floor decorations, and viewing the sale of sweets, figurines, marigolds, lamps, and other holiday-related items.” Autumn is the best time to travel to India to experience the luminous cheer of Diwali, a five-day-long festival marked by feasts, fireworks, and millions of welcoming lights. Hop on the October 12, 2025, departure of our new Highlights of Northern India: Delhi, Varanasi & Agra tour to join the celebration!
  • See the spice harvest. Join us on our South India & Sri Lanka: Game Drives, Temples & Tropical Coasts tour to visit the spice plantations surrounding Periyar National Park—a renowned wildlife sanctuary you’ll also visit. Here, you’ll see how the many tantalizing spices of southern India are cultivated and learn about how they’re the backbone of Indian cuisine. “I found some of the best and most interesting food I tasted in India while in the southern state of Kerala,” said staffer Lael. “With the variety of spices grown locally— cardamom, ginger, cassia, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, pepper, tamarind, curry leaf, and vanilla, to name a few—southern Indian food is very spicy and flavorful.” Autumn is the best time to visit India to see staples like cloves and cardamom being harvested.

The best places to visit in India in the autumn:

  • The Kerala Backwaters. The serene beauty of Kerala’s backwaters is worth experiencing no matter the time of year, but the area is particularly lovely in the post-monsoon season when the waters are high and the vegetation is lush. Join our India: Delhi, Agra & Jaipur tour, our South India & Sri Lanka: Game Drives, Temples & Tropical Coasts tour, or add the Kerala extension to our India’s Royal Rajasthan: Udaipur, Jaipur & Agra tour to spend a night on a houseboat. Slow down as you wind your way through Kerala’s peaceful waters, enjoying local cuisine, fishing, or relaxing on the deck of the boat.
  • The Ganges River. Just like there isn’t one best time to go to India, there’s no best time to see the Ganges, but we do think the pleasant temperatures and mild weather make autumn a uniquely appealing time to visit India’s sacred river. Join us on our Highlights of Northern India: Delhi, Varanasi & Agra tour to experience one of our favorite things to do in India, the Ganga Aarti. This daily ceremony takes place on the ghats, the bathing steps along the river banks, and is dedicated to Ganga, the river goddess. At dusk, locals gather by lamplight to chant, ring bells, and float candle-lit flower baskets down the river as an offering to the goddess. Want to experience a different side of the Ganges? Autumn is a fantastic time to board a boat and sail up the river, visiting sites like the holy city of Varanasi along the shore.

Weather in India in the autumn:

Temperatures in India begin to gradually decrease as the monsoon season ends, with lows ranging from 55-77 F, depending on the region, and highs in the low-80s to mid-90s.

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Go for mild weather and luminous sunsets

Some of the best places to visit in India in December through February are places where the weather can get stifling in warmer months. Take advantage of cooler weather by heading to southern India and exploring sunny cities and seaside towns. “We went in January, and the weather was perfect up north and in the low 90s around Cochin,” said traveler Jim, who joined our India: Delhi, Agra & Jaipur tour.

Months to experience winter in India:

December, January, and February

Winter events and things to do in India:

  • Honor Gandhi’s memory. Visit Raj Ghat, Delhi’s tribute to Mahatma Gandhi, on one of our India tours to see the eternal flame and black marble pedestal that stand on the site of the nonviolent activist’s cremation. Special commemorative prayers are held to mark his birth and death days on October 2 and January 30, respectively.
  • Take a sunset cruise around Lake Pichola. Winter’s clear, dry skies make it the best time to visit India for a golden-hour cruise around Udaipur’s Lake Pichola. When you join us on our India’s Royal Rajasthan: Udaipur, Jaipur & Agra tour in winter, you’ll have clear visibility as you sail across the man-made lake. The sun’s low angle this time of year creates spectacular sunsets, bathing the palaces and temples on Pichola’s shores in a radiant glow.

The best places to visit in India in the winter:

  • The Elephanta Caves. Explore the labyrinth of cave temples on Elephanta Island, also known as Gharapuri, when you join the Mumbai extension of our Highlights of Northern India: Delhi, Varanasi & Agra tour. Wandering through the island’s fruit tree forest and cave complex is among the best things to do in Mumbai. The island’s temples and soaring Shiva carvings date back to as early as the 5th century.
  • Puducherry. Until 1954, the quaint seaside town of Puducherry was a French colonial settlement, as evidenced by its architecture and culture today. Explore the town’s dreamy streets and sherbet-colored buildings, then enjoy fresh seafood and French-influenced cuisine beachside when you visit on our South India & Sri Lanka: Game Drives, Temples & Tropical Coasts tour.

Weather in India in the winter:

While lows can drop to freezing in the Himalayan region, much of India sees lows between 45-60 F and highs between 56-85 F in the winter. You should expect cooler temperatures in the north and along the coast, with warmer weather in the southernmost parts of the country. “We were surprised at the coolness in the north in January and should have packed warmer clothes, especially for the tiger sighting in Ranthambore,” said traveler Sandra after joining our India: Delhi, Agra & Jaipur tour.

Enjoy winter in India

The best time to travel to India is as soon as you’re ready! Find your perfect India tour today.

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About the author | The Go Ahead Tours Team
We’re a team of passionate travel experts, dedicated to helping people explore the world. From inspiring stories to tips for an amazing trip, the topics we cover are all about getting you out there and making discoveries.

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