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A country by name, but a continent in scale, India in one word is diversity. To guide you where to go when faced with such rich variety, our India specialists use the experience of their own travels to create your tailor-made holiday to India.

The north is banded by the snow-crowned peaks of the Himalaya. Moving south, you pass through Rajasthan, a microcosm of India with its forts, palaces and temples, as well as the Taj Mahal. Central India shelters leopards, elephants and the Bengal tiger. In India’s northeast corner, Calcutta still exudes its colonial heritage in a landscape of Bengali mansions and neo-Gothic architecture. West-coast Mumbai is an improbable proposition — a hub of manufacturing where you can wander among Art Deco architecture or through a teeming bazaar. Down in India’s south, cruising Kerala’s backwaters on a converted rice barge is a suitably relaxed way to embrace this region’s laid-back approach to life.

There’s a reason why guidebooks to India are always the heaviest: the sheer breadth of places to visit. It’s best to focus on one or two regions, as distances between are vast. Delhi acts as a gateway to the Mughal cities of Jaipur and Jodhpur, as well as the Taj Mahal in Agra. To the east, you’ll find Calcutta, the former capital of the Raj, and the tea plantations of Darjeeling beyond. Further south, the trading port of Cochin leads onto the languid backwaters of Kerala.

With the help of our specialists’ first-hand experience of visiting India’s cities and sites, you can decide on the best places to go depending on your interests.

Perhaps the most vivid nation on Earth, India effortlessly combines a spectrum of things to see and do, from its mountainous tea plantations to its laid-back beaches via holy cities and architectural wonders.

Kerala is a land of swaying palms, sprawling forests, spice plantations and languid waters, and you can explore its backwaters on a traditional houseboat. A safari in one of the national parks allows you to discover India's wildlife, including tigers, while in the cities you can experience India’s urban and cultural highlights. Visit the Taj Mahal at sunrise to avoid the swell, and in Varanasi watch the sacred evening Aarti ceremony from the river.

Ideas for experiencing India

Experiences you have as you travel often hold the longest memories. As part of their research trips, our specialists seek out authentic ways to get to know India, and the best local guides. These activities reflect some of their best-loved experiences.

  • Cochin City Tour
    Cochin City Tour

    Cochin City Tour


    Cochin City Tour

    The tour of Fort Cochin will include Mattancherry Palace, the Jewish Synagogue, St Francis Church, and the Chinese fishing nets. If time permits also visit the Dutch Cemetery, Santa Cruz Basilica and enjoy a walk around Jew Town. 

  • Calcutta Walking Tour
    Calcutta Walking Tour

    Calcutta Walking Tour


    Calcutta Walking Tour

    Calcutta Walks is a company run by three young men who love Calcutta and are keen to introduce others to the heart of the city that the tourist doesn't usually see. 

  • Darjeeling Mountain Railway (Toy Train)
    Darjeeling Mountain Railway (Toy Train)

    Darjeeling Mountain Railway (Toy Train)


    Darjeeling Mountain Railway (Toy Train)

    The Darjeeling Mountain Railway is also known affectionately as the Toy Train. It is the ideal way to take in the stunning views of the mountains.

  • Discover Amritsar
    Discover Amritsar

    Discover Amritsar


    Discover Amritsar

    Explore Amritsar, Sikhism’s holiest city. Meaning 'Pool of the Nectar of Immortality', it is justly famed for its Golden Temple, a sacred shrine gilded with 100 kilogrammes of gold.

  • Explore Around Leh
    Explore Around Leh

    Explore Around Leh


    Explore Around Leh

    Immerse yourself in the mountainous scenery of Leh and explore the gompas (Buddhist fortifications) statues and palaces that characterise this special area.

  • Evening cookery demonstration in Jodhpur
    Evening cookery demonstration in Jodhpur

    Evening cookery demonstration in Jodhpur


    Evening cookery demonstration in Jodhpur

    Experience a typical Rajasthani meal with a local family in their home. You will be able to get involved and will be given the recipe to take away with you.

  • Evening bazaar, crafts and cuisine in Jaipur
    Evening bazaar, crafts and cuisine in Jaipur

    Evening bazaar, crafts and cuisine in Jaipur


    Evening bazaar, crafts and cuisine in Jaipur

    Jaipur is widely considered by many as the craft capital of India. You will see busy craftsman in their workshops on this guided walk, sample culinary delights and mingle with the locals.

  • Spice Plantation
    Spice Plantation

    Spice Plantation

    Thekkady & Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary

    Spice Plantation

    Driving just a few kilometres from the village of Kumily, you will come to the spice plantations. Owned and cared for by the local villagers, the plots are generally around two acres.

The best time to visit India is between October and March, when the weather is more likely to be warm, sunny, and dry.

During this time, the north offers clear blue skies. However, December and January are much cooler, with potential fog, while the higher Himalaya can be very cold, but with clearer mountain views. Increasing temperatures in April and May can result in excellent value trips, but you can expect high humidity and thunderstorms.

Ladakh, located in the far north, is most accessible between June and September, when the rest of the country experiences monsoon season.

The best time to visit India’s southern states is from November onwards, once the monsoon has ended.

India Climate Guide

Destination Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Agra 22°C 14mm 26°C 10mm 32°C 10mm 38°C 4mm 42°C 13mm 41°C 51mm 35°C 207mm 33°C 272mm 33°C 127mm 33°C 30mm 29°C 4mm 24°C 5mm
Amritsar 19°C 27mm 23°C 28mm 27°C 38mm 34°C 19mm 39°C 17mm 40°C 53mm 36°C 207mm 34°C 182mm 35°C 94mm 32°C 14mm 27°C 6mm 21°C 15mm
Calcutta 27°C 14mm 29°C 22mm 34°C 29mm 36°C 51mm 35°C 125mm 33°C 299mm 32°C 375mm 32°C 338mm 32°C 303mm 32°C 141mm 29°C 26mm 26°C 8mm
Chennai 29°C 16mm 31°C 3mm 33°C 2mm 35°C 11mm 38°C 36mm 38°C 56mm 36°C 108mm 35°C 149mm 34°C 118mm 32°C 239mm 29°C 325mm 29°C 122mm
Cochin 32°C 20mm 32°C 34mm 33°C 50mm 33°C 141mm 32°C 387mm 29°C 727mm 29°C 706mm 29°C 375mm 29°C 305mm 30°C 306mm 31°C 165mm 32°C 49mm
Delhi 21°C 15mm 24°C 9mm 30°C 12mm 36°C 4mm 40°C 11mm 40°C 38mm 35°C 200mm 34°C 233mm 34°C 108mm 33°C 25mm 29°C 3mm 23°C 5mm
Goa 32°C 0mm 32°C 0mm 33°C 0mm 34°C 12mm 34°C 79mm 31°C 792mm 30°C 959mm 29°C 536mm 30°C 261mm 32°C 133mm 32°C 32mm 32°C 11mm
Jaipur 23°C 9mm 25°C 8mm 31°C 7mm 37°C 3mm 40°C 14mm 39°C 50mm 34°C 196mm 32°C 211mm 34°C 84mm 34°C 11mm 29°C 3mm 24°C 5mm
Jodhpur 25°C 3mm 28°C 3mm 33°C 3mm 38°C 2mm 42°C 7mm 40°C 31mm 36°C 123mm 33°C 126mm 35°C 57mm 36°C 4mm 31°C 3mm 27°C 2mm
Ladakh -3°C 12mm -2°C 12mm 4°C 15mm 10°C 12mm 13°C 13mm 17°C 16mm 22°C 30mm 21°C 31mm 18°C 13mm 12°C 3mm 6°C 5mm 0°C 8mm
Mumbai (Bombay) 28°C 0mm 29°C 1mm 31°C 0mm 32°C 0mm 33°C 11mm 32°C 551mm 30°C 885mm 29°C 620mm 30°C 366mm 32°C 66mm 32°C 5mm 30°C 1mm
Shimla 10°C 69mm 12°C 65mm 16°C 73mm 21°C 44mm 25°C 59mm 26°C 150mm 22°C 394mm 21°C 314mm 21°C 168mm 19°C 44mm 16°C 13mm 12°C 30mm
Varanasi 24°C 22mm 27°C 9mm 34°C 11mm 39°C 3mm 42°C 9mm 39°C 86mm 33°C 281mm 32°C 281mm 33°C 192mm 33°C 36mm 29°C 7mm 25°C 5mm

Month-by-month guide to travelling in India


Visiting India in January

Cold nights in Rajasthan and the north clear for warm, dry days, making January a great option for sightseeing; although fog can linger in the mornings. Southern states are popular as a warm, sunny escape; properties in Kerala do fill up quickly though. Some of the best mountain views can be experienced in the Himalaya, but you need to wrap up warm.


Visiting India in February

As fog and mist clears in the northern states, this is one of the best months to travel as nearly the whole country is warm and sunny. Hotels do get booked up well in advance, so it's important to plan ahead.


Visiting India in March

A very popular month to travel for both great weather and the popular Holi festival. The colourful paint-throwing event is great fun as everyone celebrates the victory of good over evil. The festival's date changes each year.

Events & Festivals

  • Holi Festival (early March): The well known paint-throwing festival is colourful, noisy and good fun; just remember to take clothes which you don't mind being covered in paint! Guide to experiencing festivals in India

Visiting India in April

Temperatures increase country-wide, making April one of the best months for seeing wildlife in the central parks. Water is limited, so sightings at watering holes are frequent. As daytime temperatures are very high, we'd recommend excursions in the morning and evenings only. Hotels are very busy over Easter, so plan well in advance if your travel dates aren’t flexible.


Visiting India in May

Hotels offer great value during May, but we do warn of the very high temperatures of up to 45°C and the humidity, which can be very uncomfortable. Some camps close, as does desert accommodation. Wildlife sightings continue to be at their best early in the morning and early evening.


Visiting India in June

The stunning region of Ladakh is accessible from June and offers a complete contrast to the rest of the country. Days are sunny and clear, but you will need layers for warmth. The rest of the country is awaiting the monsoon; humidity is high and thunderstorms frequent, especially in the Himalaya and southern states.


Visiting India in July

July and August offer ideal weather and incredible views across Ladakh, whilst elsewhere in India, celebrations are underway due to the arrival of the much-needed monsoon rains.


Visiting India in August

The continuing rains and higher water levels mean that August and September are the best months for cruising along the Ganges, between the holy city of Varanasi and Patna. Departures get booked well in advance so plan ahead.


Visiting India in September

September can offer fantastic value in Rajasthan as it marks the end of the monsoon, although weather is still mixed in the surrounding regions. Ladakh’s season comes to a close but travel is still possible. Trips to the southern states and Himalaya is not advised until the rains clear.


Visiting India in October

Marking the start of the peak travel season, October sees the rains end in the north and the warm, sunny days return. Unpredictable showers can remain in the south, but these help create the beautiful verdant scenery. Mahatma Gandhi’s birthday is celebrated on the 2nd October and is a national holiday.

Events & Festivals

  • Diwali (October or November): The ancient Hindu festival of lights is India's largest festival. Candles are lit and dazzling firework displays illuminate the sky to celebrate, making this a magical time to visit the country. Guide to experiencing festivals in India

Visiting India in November

One of the best months to travel anywhere in India, November offers wonderful weather as well as multiple festivals. The Pushkar Camel Fair in Rajasthan is a unique event to witness, while Diwali, the festival of light (which sometimes takes place in October), encourages beautiful candle displays, buildings covered in lights and celebratory fireworks all over the country.

Events & Festivals

  • Camel fair (November): Around 50,000 camels and goats, along with their owners and thousands of spectators, descend on Pushkar, Rajasthan each November for the Camel Fair - a truly incredible sight.
  • Diwali (October or November): The ancient Hindu festival of lights is India's largest festival. Candles are lit and dazzling firework displays illuminate the sky to celebrate, making this a magical time to visit the country. Guide to experiencing festivals in India

Visiting India in December

December is ideal for a trip to the south of India - it is beautifully sunny and warm, making it a very popular option for Christmas, but it's important to plan well in advance to secure the best accommodation. The north has lovely daytime temperatures, but mornings and evenings are much cooler and sometimes foggy. Flight prices are among their highest in December so book early if you can.

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