India Weather Guide
The weather in India varies dramatically, however India typically experiences a variation of 4 seasons a year; summer, monsoon season, post-monsoon or autumn, and winter. The north experiences more extremes of hot and cold, but other than the Himalayan regions, snow is almost unheard of. December to March is the winter season and April to June are the hottest months. Monsoon season lasts from July to September. Post-monsoon lasts from October through November. Plan your visit between November and mid-February - this 4-month period of relative comfort is sandwiched between the rainy monsoon season and the start of unbearably hot weather.
Season and Clothing
Summer: April to June
The heat peaks in May so be prepared for extreme heat, low humidity and scorching winds. The air is dry and thunderstorms occasionally strike in the late afternoon. Temperatures in Delhi can reach 45 degrees Celsius or higher. After mid-June, temperatures slowly start to fall and humidity shows a gradual rise. Escape the heat by heading to the rolling hills and picturesque waterfalls of Shillong Meghalaya – regarded as the ‘Scotland of the East’. Or rise above the heat and head to Ladakh’s Nubra Valley but first you’ll have to conquer Khardung La Pass – the highest motorable pass in the world.
Monsoon Season: July to September
The arrival of the monsoon season’s moisture-laden winds brings respite from the dry heat but comes with humidity. Still very warm and muggy, the edge is taken off by the rain. The eastern Himalaya region, around Darjeeling and Shillong (the capital of Meghalaya), is one of the wettest areas in not just India, but the whole world during the monsoon. Areas that receive the least rain and are ideal for travel during the monsoon season include the desert state of Rajasthan. The good news is it’s cheaper to visit India during the wet season, and you’ll get to see another side of the country when nature comes alive with lush greenery.
Post-Monsoon Season: October to November
The forecast for autumn in India is clear skies, so clear in fact, that in northwestern India, October and November are usually cloudless. Navaratri takes place early October and celebrates the Mother Goddess – days are for worship and fasting and nights are reserved for feasting and dancing. The festival takes place all across India, but particularly in Gujurat, Mumbai and Varanasi. Diwali on November 3 represents the start of the Hindu New Year and the country celebrates with light – candles are lit, houses are decorated in lights and fireworks fill the sky.
Winter: December to March
The year's coldest months are December and January, when temperatures average around 10 to 15 degrees Celsius in the northwest. It’s naturally warmer closer to the equator peaking around 20 to 25 degrees Celsius in mainland India's southeast. At the end of winter, the festival of colours comes to play – Holi takes place mid-March and commemorates the victory of good over evil and the upcoming spring harvest season. Embrace the colour bomb and dance on the streets, see the rainbow, throw and be thrown at with coloured powder.