India has been luring travellers for centuries and continues to do so to this day. With an unimaginable diversity in culture, religion, landscapes and weather, the vastness of the region can make it difficult for most visitors to decide how to tackle this fascinating country.
The best way to go about traversing the length and breadth of India is to rely on its varied seasons and its vibrant festivals. While the winters are mostly pleasant with moderate temperatures and grand festivities, the summer months tend to get unbearably hot. The monsoon season covers almost the entire country, marking the advent of other festivals and also, immense humidity.
In the months between January and March, travellers can expect to witness the capital city of Delhi come alive with festivities, while the weather makes it ideal for a visit to Rajasthan to soak in some royal treatment. These months are also the best time to drench your soul in the colours of Holi at the biggest celebration of the country in Vrindavan. For visitors willing to brave harsh terrains and harsher weather, a snowy trip to the Himalayas can be a surreal experience, while those inclined towards sunnier days can party it up in beaches across India. Winter months give most travelers the opportunity to experience the varied charms of Indian winters, before it succumbs to heat of summer months.
As the chilly winds make way for the sun to shine, travellers brace themselves to savour jaw-dropping views of hills and waterfalls in the North-eastern states of India. In the months from April to June, it is best to beat the heat of the plains with a tour of hill stations in the North, or cool yourself with a dive into the marine life of Andamans. For those craving for a more immersive and cultural experience, a visit to the South Indian states is ideal. While the country does not celebrate as many festivals in this season, the summer months are the time to go off the beaten paths and tick off an exhaustive list of surreal destinations.
The monsoon season is the best time to visit the unending expanse of rolling tea plantations or hike to picturesque valleys to witness diverse and exotic species of flora and fauna. Between the months of July and September, most travellers head to India for rejuvenation therapies in the backdrop of houseboats and backwaters of Kerala, or journey across the Western Ghats as the monsoon rains sweep across the country, refreshing parched lands and souls on its way. For a glimpse into festivities of the season, travellers can head to Kerala to witness the state’s main harvest festival of Onam, a celebration that cuts across different religions and celebrated with fervour.
As the monsoon marks its retreat and the skies clear up for the next season, India prepares itself for some of the most lively and grand festivals. As the pleasant weather lures people to destinations sprinkled across the length and breadth of the country, this is the chance to witness true-blue Diwali celebrations with millions of lights and people in Varanasi. To experience the true colours of fall, it is best to head to West Bengal to participate in the celebration of its biggest festival, Durga Puja. For travellers looking for a trendier vacation, the party capital Goa lights up its pristine beaches for people to celebrate Christmas and bring in a new year.
From experiencing the coolest time of the year in the deserts of Rajasthan, to heading to the south for some glorious trips across the region, and from ayurvedic therapies in Kerala, to celebrating India’s most pleasant months with colourful festivals – the diverse seasons and regions have a lot to enchant the visitor looking to succumb to the country’s charms.