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India

January Overview

Northern India: January is a great time to visit Delhi, Agra, Rajasthan and central India as you’ll have clear blue skies, little or no rain and pleasant daytime temperatures. The nights can be cold though, with temperatures dropping to around 8°C, so make sure you pack some warm clothes, especially if you’re visiting one of the national parks. Wayfairer Top Tip: If you’re travelling during November to February and plan to visit the Taj Mahal, please bear in mind that there is often fog in the morning which can obscure your view, therefore we recommend visiting this iconic site during the afternoon or at sunset.

Southern India: Southern India is warm, dry and sunny in January with average daytime temperatures of 25°C. This is one of the peak times to visit Kerala and if you’re planning to travel during this month we encourage you to book in advance to ensure that you get availability at your preferred hotels.

February Overview

Northern India: February is a fantastic time to visit Delhi, Agra, Rajasthan and central India. You can expect clear blue skies, little or no rain, and pleasant daytime temperatures making it a wonderful month to explore sites such as the magnificent Taj Mahal and Agra Fort and the Pink City of Jaipur. Just bear in mind that the nights can still be quite cold with temperatures dropping to around 8°C. Wayfairer Top Tip: If you’re travelling during November to February and plan to visit the Taj Mahal, please bear in mind that there is often fog in the morning which can obscure your view, therefore we recommend visiting this iconic site during the afternoon or at sunset.

Southern India: February is also a perfect month to visit Southern India as the temperatures are bearable and it is not too humid.  

March Overview

Northern India: March signals the end of the winter, and the beginning of the excruciatingly hot and dry summer lasting from March through to May. Temperatures in Delhi, Agra and Rajasthan can reach up to 30°C which can make sightseeing hard, therefore we recommend early starts and long lunch breaks back at your hotel in the middle of the day. March is a good time of year to spot Bengal tigers deep in the jungles of Bandhavgarh National Park or Kanha National Park, the setting of Rudyard Kipling's classic 'The Jungle Book’.

Southern India: Southern India starts to get hot in March. As with Northern India it may be too hot to explore temples and other sites in the middle of the day.

Festivals: March is an exciting and colourful time to visit India with the festival of Holi taking place across the country. This spring festival celebrates the triumph of good over evil. Coinciding with the end of winter and the beginning of a new season, it is a time to give thanks for a good harvest, plus it is also a time to come together and end any conflicts you might have with others. Holi festival begins with large bonfires where people gather to watch the burning of Holika effigies. Religious rituals and prayers are carried out in the hope that evil will be destroyed in the fire as Holika was. The following day people take to the streets to throw dry coloured powder at each other. The celebrations take place across India, however Holi is celebrated particularly enthusiastically in Northern India (especially in Udaipur, Varanasi, Jaipur, Jodhpur, and Delhi) and in the south it tends to be a much more subdued affair. The day of Holi is the Phalgun Poornima (full moon) by the Hindu calendar which generally arrives in March. This coincides with the period between late February and mid March in the Gregorian calendar. Dates of the Holi festival over the next few years are as follows: Friday 2nd March 2018, Thursday 21st March 2019 and Tuesday 10th March 2020.

April Overview

Northern India: The heat increase throughout India in April. Temperatures in Delhi, Agra, Varanasi and Rajasthan are around 45°C making sightseeing in the middle of the day unbearable. If you are visiting northern India at this time of year we recommend early starts and long lunch breaks back at your hotel and then late afternoon/evening sightseeing excursions. April is a great time for seeing wildlife in the national parks. Water is limited, therefore you can expect to see wildlife congregating around waterholes. Your game drives will be early in the mornings and late afternoons so you won’t be out in the afternoon sun.

Southern India: Southern India is hot and humid in April, and for the entire duration of the summer. As with Northern India, we recommend that you head out early to visit the temples, palaces etc and then enjoy lazy afternoons back at your hotel, before heading out again for late afternoon/evening sightseeing trips. This is a great time to visit the tea plantations of Munnar at 1600m above sea level as the temperatures will be cooler at altitude.

May Overview

Northern India: This is the peak of the Indian summer and in general the Golden Triangle region (Delhi, Agra and Jaipur) is probably best avoided, unless you feel that you can cope with intense temperatures of 45°C and high levels of humidity. Wildlife sightings in national parks such as Bandhavgarh, Panna, and Kanha are excellent during April as water is limited and you can expect to see wildlife congregating around waterholes. Your game drives will be early in the mornings and late afternoons so you won’t be out in the afternoon sun.

Southern India: May sees the beginning of the monsoon rains, which start in the south and then spread to the north of the country. You can expect it to be very hot and humid, however short, heavy showers will help to break the humidity and make life a little more bearable. Kerala may be famous for its beaches and backwaters, but in the summer it is better to visit the beautiful hill station of Munnar as the temperatures will be much cooler at altitude.

June Overview

Northern India: The popular tourist region of Rajasthan and the cities of Delhi, Agra and Varanasi are hot and humid during June and sightseeing can be exhausting. This is the last month of the season for wildlife safaris as the national parks close for the monsoon at the end of June until October.  

Southern India: The southwest monsoon usually hits Kerala by the beginning of June, therefore this is not the best month to visit Southern India. Temperatures are in excess of 35 °C and there’s heavy rainfall throughout the day. The rain does mean that the landscape becomes verdant, and rivers, streams and lakes overflow with water. Farmers look forward for the first rain drops in June as it means relief from the heat and humidity and they can resume their agricultural activities.

July Overview

Northern India: By end of June and beginning of July the monsoon has also hit Rajasthan and the other central and northern regions. The popular cities of such as Agra, Delhi, Varanasi and Jaipur experience the highest precipitation and number of rainy days in July. Although the sun rarely shines through the heavy clouds, the temperatures drop slightly and the humidity increases in July. There are some parts of the country which are exceptionally beautiful at this time of year with lush, green landscapes and impressive displays of nature. The historical town of Orchha is particularly stunning with the surrounding forests carpeted in green, while the network of streams that meet here are flowing with water, providing a spectacular backdrop to the impressive medieval forts, temples and palaces here.

Southern India: Southern India experiences long heavy downpours during July, therefore it is not necessarily the best month to visit. If you do choose to travel to Southern India in July we recommend the hill station of Munnar in Kerala. The tea plantations and colonial estates here are green and lush during July and you can enjoy spectacular views of the landscape from your guest house as the rain pours down.

August Overview

Northern India: The whole country is still in the middle of the monsoon, however Rajasthan receives far less rain than other regions making sightseeing possible in August. The romantic city of Udaipur is magical at this time of year as Lake Pichola fills with water and the surrounding Aravalli Mountains are lush and green. It's also a great time to visit the Monsoon Palace, located high above the city on a nearby hill and built for the royal family so that they could watch the monsoon clouds rolling over Udaipur.

Southern India: Kerala continues to experience very heavy rain during the August and this will hinder plans of exploring Kerala or relaxing on one of the tropical beaches. Rather than being short downpours, it can rain heavily for hours, sometimes for the entire day. Then it can clear up for a couple of days and not rain at all. However, the countryside comes alive during these months. It is lush and green and the rivers and lakes are brimming with water. The hill stations become popular destinations among domestic tourists and we recommend visiting Munnar tea plantations. 

September Overview

Northern India: By September the monsoon rains are gradually clearing, especially in Northern India, however occasional short downpours are still common.  The days tend to be bright and sunny and the temperatures are pleasant. Following the rains of the past couple of months, the landscape is lush and green, the lakes, rivers and waterfalls are still brimming with water and the farmers are busy working in the fields.

Southern India: Depending on which part of Southern India you are visiting you will experience either a little or a lot of rain. Kerala is typically still very wet during September.

October Overview

Northern India: October sees the end of the rains in the north and you can expect warm, sunny days and clear blue skies. This is a magical month to visit India as there are a number of festivals taking place, including the ancient Hindu festival of Diwali, which starts at the end of October (see below). The holy city of Varanasi is a fantastic place to enjoy the Diwali celebrations as the ghats along the Ganges River are illuminated with candles and the skies are lit up with firework displays.

Southern India: Kerala experiences a considerable amount of rain in October as the retreating monsoon from the northeast arrives. You can expect heavy downpours and long lasting storms, therefore it is not the ideal time to visit the beaches but it is wonderful in the hill stations, such as Munnar. The landscapes are still lush green and the lakes, rivers and waterfalls are filled with water.

Festivals: Every October/November the streets of India erupt with colour and sound as the Diwali Festival of Lights is celebrated. Diwali honours Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth, and during this festival people decorate their homes with lamps, known as diyas, and other decorations to welcome Lakshmi in. The festival celebrates the triumph of good over evil and light over dark. There are celebratory fireworks all over the country as it is believed that the loud bangs and the bright lights chase away evil spirits. Diwali is a time to be with family and friends, to celebrate the good things in life and to look forward to prosperity. It is a magical time to be in India.

The Durga Puja takes place in Kolkata in early October. It's one of the most important festivals in the region and there are lively processions carrying idols of the goddess Durga through the streets and down to the river.

November Overview

Northern India: November is a great month to visit much of India with the rains well and truly over and temperatures still warm enough for sightseeing. Wayfairer Top Tip: If you’re travelling during November to February and plan to visit the Taj Mahal, please bear in mind that there is often fog in the morning which can obscure your view, therefore we recommend visiting this iconic site during the afternoon or at sunset. The national parks re-open in October, but please bear in mind that they can get very busy in November due to the domestic school holidays around Diwali.

Southern India: The southeast monsoon which affects the east coast of India last from mid-October to mid-December and brings a lot of rain and storms to Tamil Nadu. Kerala is windward to the monsoon so it might experience some rain, but certainly not as much as in the previous months. Marari Beach in Kerala, a quiet little village with only a few hotel resorts, is perfect from November to March.

Festivals: Every October/November the streets of India erupt with colour and sound as the Diwali Festival of Lights is celebrated. Diwali honours Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth, and during this festival people decorate their homes with lamps, known as diyas, and other decorations to welcome Lakshmi in. The festival celebrates the triumph of good over evil and light over dark. There are celebratory fireworks all over the country as it is believed that the loud bangs and the bright lights chase away evil spirits. Diwali is a time to be with family and friends, to celebrate the good things in life and to look forward to prosperous future. It is a magical time to be in India.

The Pushkar Camel Fair in Rajasthan takes place in November. This festival sees around 50,000 camels, goats and other livestock brought here for trading and to participate in races. It's accompanied by music and dance performances, cricket matches, and a longest moustache competition, fittingly called the Mr. Desert Competition. There are also hundreds of authentic stalls selling jewellery, textiles and other items from the surrounding areas. Visiting the Pushkar Camel Fair is a once-in-a-life travel experience.

December Overview

Northern India: December is a perfect time to visit Delhi, Agra, Rajasthan and central India as you’ll have clear blue skies, little or no rain and pleasant daytime temperatures. The nights can be cold though, with temperatures dropping to around 8°C so make sure you pack some warm clothes, especially if you’re visiting one of the national parks. Wayfairer Top Tip: If you’re travelling during November to February and plan to visit the Taj Mahal, please bear in mind that there is often fog in the morning which can obscure your view, therefore we recommend visiting this iconic site during the afternoon or at sunset.

Southern India: December is ideal for a trip to Southern India. With its dry, sunny weather and average daytime temperatures of 25°C, it is a very popular option for Christmas holidays, however it's important to book well in advance to secure your accommodation.

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