There are some 2,000 miles in between the northern and southern tips of India, and those tips are likely to have very different weather conditions.

The seasons are loosely labeled as hot, wet, and cool. The months of April to June can be very hot and dry, especially in the areas of Delhi, Agra, and Rajasthan, with average temperatures of 38 to 40 °C (100 to 104 °F). The hill stations provide a welcome relief from the unbearable heat.

Monsoon season occurs from July to September, when torrential downpours make traveling quite difficult, except in the northwest region. There is also the likelihood of flooding, adding more inconvenience.

The best time to visit India is during the cooler months of October through March, as there is minimal rainfall and the weather is generally pleasant. Southern India has an average of 30 °C (86 °F), while the northern parts experience chilly 5 °C (41 °F) temperatures.

Another reason to visit India is the variety of interesting and popular events it celebrates. India promises a festive atmosphere during your visit in the subcontinent, no matter what time of the year you come. Here are some of India’s celebrations to look forward to:

  • Holi, which occurs sometime in February or March, is one of the most popular festivals in India because of the vibrant colors that paint the streets across the country during this season. In the towns of Barsana and Mathura located in Uttar Pradesh, the revelry becomes a crowd-drawer as folks get drenched in colored water during the festival.
  • Vesakha occurs in May or June. It is an auspicious festival in the Buddhist calendar, as it is the birth anniversary of Lord Buddha. Buddhist monasteries, many of which are found in Eastern India, hold traditional rites to pay their homage to Buddha. His enlightenment and ascension into nirvana are also celebrated in December and February, respectively.
  • Kerala in South India welcomes Onam during the annual harvest season. Homes are decked in colorful décor, and feasts are whipped up to welcome the spirit of King Mahabali, the ancient ruler of Kerala, whom the Indians believe visits each family on this day to bring a mantle of protection.
  • Durga puja is a major Hindu festival celebrated for nine days during the month of Ashwin or Kartik, which usually falls in September or October. It gives people, mostly those in the West Bengal state, a period of venerating the Goddess Durga.
  • The rest of India observes Dussehra during the same time that Durga Puja is celebrated. Dussehra honors the memory of Lord Rama slaying the demon king Ravana.
  • The most beautiful of all annual festivals in India is Diwali, a five-day celebration filled with rituals at home and on the streets. Also known as the Festival of Light, Diwali marks enlightenment through joyous feasts with the family, lighting of candles, and fireworks. It is held near the end of October or the start of November.

Muslims in India mark the end of the holy month of Ramadan in November with Eid-ul-Fitr. After a period of fasting, people celebrate renewal by wearing new clothes and preparing sumptuous feasts.

This article is also available in: Spanish