If we consider also the Himalayas, it is said a little emphatically that India has all the climates of the world, but the climate in most of the country is actually tropical and affected by the monsoon regime, with a dry and a rainy season. The rains are more or less intense and long-lasting depending on area, but generally the wettest period is from July to September, except in the southeast, where the retreating monsoon continues until the end of the year. The hottest period generally runs from April to mid-June, i.e. before the arrival of the monsoon, so the calendar's spring is in a way the real summer. Winter lasts from December to February. In the north-west, the monsoon season is shorter, while in inland mountains of Kashmir, the monsoon doesn't arrive at all. Along the coasts it's hot all year round, especially in the center and south, but the heat is tempered by the breeze.
Let us now analyze the different climatic zones of India.

Index


Himalaya



India, climate of Himalaya
At the highest altitudes of the Himalayas, there is a mountainous climate. The temperature decreases with altitude, in addition, it is higher along the southern slope and lower in inland areas and on the north-facing slopes. The amount of rainfall is high on the southern slopes, while it is scarce in inland areas, particularly in the north-west, where we find the Ladakh Plateau, which is arid because it's closed between the Karakoram and the Himalayas (see Leh).
On the slopes of the Himalayas, especially in the western part, in winter sometimes it rains.

Srinagar

In Srinagar, 1,500 meters (5,000 feet) above sea level, in the state of Jammu and Kashmir, where it is said that the tomb of Jesus is located, the climate is slightly continental. Here are the average temperatures.
Srinagar - Average temperatures
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Min (°C)-2-137111518181360-2
Max (°C)581419242930302822159
Min (°F)283037455259646455433228
Max (°F)414657667584868682725948

Being that Srinagar is sheltered from the monsoon, in summer it is quite sunny, although it experiences some thunderstorms in the afternoon. In winter, it can rain, and frosts and snowfalls are possible. Spring is the rainiest season, but without the excesses of the monsoon areas. The rains in winter and spring are due to weather fronts of Mediterranean origin, which can affect this part of the north-western Indian territory.
Here is the average precipitation.
Srinagar - Average precipitation
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecYear
Prec.(mm)7570105806535606530302035670
Prec.(in)32,84,13,12,61,42,42,61,21,20,81,426,4
Days8710107577442576

In Srinagar, the sun does not shine often in winter, while in summer it shines quite often.
Srinagar - Sunshine
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Hours244688878764

Above 3,000 meters (9,800 feet), winter in Kashmir gets cold, and it is snowy along the western slopes: in Drass, at 3,000 meters (9,800 ft), it can snow in winter, while summer is dry. On the contrary, in inland areas, the climate is desert: in Leh, located in the Ladakh plateau, at 3,500 meters (11,500 ft) of altitude, precipitation remains below 100 millimeters (4 inches) per year, and the landscape is desert.
While Jammu and Kashmir is sheltered from the summer monsoon, this does not apply to the mountains that lie to the east, ie west of Nepal (see the states of Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand), and even less to those that lie in the north-east (which at high altitudes are almost all situated in Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh).

Gangtok

In Gangtok, Sikkim, at 1,400 meters (4,600 feet) of altitude, the average temperature ranges from 8.5 °C (47 °F) in January to 19.5 °C (67 °F) in August, so it's milder than Srinagar, which is located further to the north.
Gangtok - Average temperatures
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Min (°C)4691214161717161296
Max (°C)131418212222222222211814
Min (°F)394348545761636361544843
Max (°F)555764707272727272706457

Summer in Gangtok is so cool because the monsoon rains occur almost daily, and the amount of sunshine in this season is poor. Already in May, 525 mm (20.7 in) of rain fall, and in July, up to 630 mm (24.8 in). Total annual rainfall is up to 3,535 mm (139 in). The only period when there is little rain goes from November to January. Although the winter is not too cold, November is preferable because it's milder.
Here is the average precipitation in Gangtok.
Gangtok - Average precipitation
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecYear
Prec.(mm)308012027052561063056546518040203535
Prec.(in)1,23,14,710,620,72424,822,218,37,11,60,8139,2
Days2681319222322181342152

In Gangtok, the sun shines often in winter, while in summer it shines on average for a few hours a day.
Gangtok - Sunshine
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Hours878876455787

In Darjeeling, West Bengal, 2,100 meters (6,900 ft) above sea level, where the British colonists used to spend the summer in order to escape the heat, the average ranges from 5 °C (41 °F) in January to 17 °C (63 °F) in July and August. Hence, the British found a cool summer like in England, though much rainy; in fact, more than 400 mm (16 in) fall per month from June to September, and the rains occur almost daily. On the contrary, winter is quite cold, but it's also dry and sunny.

Eternal snows in India start around 4,500 meters (14,800 ft) on average, though they are found a bit lower in Karakorum, which lies more to the north, and a bit higher in the Himalayas.

North



Climate of northern India
In this vast area of northern India, which coincides almost completely with the Indo-Gangetic plain, the climate has the following characteristics: there is a relatively cool winter, especially in the northernmost part, with average temperatures in January below 20 °C (68 °F), except along the coasts of Gujarat, where it can slightly exceed this value; from March to May, and sometimes even in June, i.e. before the arrival of the monsoon, there is a very hot period (in which the rising heat can also trigger lightning and wind storms); the summer monsoon is from weak to moderate (zones 1 and 2 on the map) or relatively intense (zone 3), however, annual rainfall is lower than 1,400 mm (55 in), and the withdrawal of the monsoon occurs before the middle of October.

In the north-west of India, on the border with Pakistan (zone 1), we find a vast arid area, which covers the western part of the states of Rajasthan and Gujarat, to the west of the Aravalli Mountains. This area receives the monsoon rains for a short period, from late June or early July to mid-September, and with moderate rains.

Thar desert

Total annual rainfall is lower than 400 mm (16 in), but it is usually higher than 250 mm (10 in), which is considered as the limit of the desert climate, except in the far west, where we find the Thar desert. However, the rains are concentrated in such a short period of time that the vegetation survival is difficult, except for some shrubs or xerophile plants. Even in the Thar desert, however, here and there we find a bit of vegetation, albeit in a landscape made of sand dunes.

Thar Desert

Jodhpur

In Jodhpur, Rajasthan, 375 mm (14.5 in) of rain fall per year, of which more than 100 mm (4 in) fall per month only in July and August. In the rest of the year, the sun usually shines. Here is the average precipitation.
Jodhpur - Average precipitation
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecYear
Prec.(mm)852263012014545731374
Prec.(in)0,30,20,10,10,21,24,75,71,80,30,1014,7
Days11101389310028

In winter, from December to March, temperatures are pleasant, with cool or slightly cold nights, around 10 °C (50 °F), and warm days, around 25/28 °C (77/82 °F). Already in March, the heat becomes intense, with an average maximum of 33 °C (91 °F), which rises to 41 °C (106 °F) in May. From April to June, before the monsoon, during the hottest days, the temperature can reach as high 50 °C (122 °F) in the shade. The monsoon lowers a bit the temperature, to 36 °C (97 °F) in July and 34 °C (93 °F) in August; on the other hand, it increases moisture. After the monsoon, the temperature in September and October rises slightly again, reaching 35 °C (95 °F) in September and 36 °C (97 °F) in October, and then drops again at the end of the year, down to 27 °C (81 °F) in December.
Jodhpur - Average temperatures
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Min (°C)101217232728272524201511
Max (°C)252833384140363435363227
Min (°F)505463738182817775685952
Max (°F)778291100106104979395979081

In Jodhpur, the sun shines regularly for most of the year, and it becomes less common only in July and August.
Jodhpur - Sunshine
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Hours910101011977910109

The best time to visit this area is from December to February, but if you can only travel in summer and you still want to visit India, you may choose this area, since it is the one where the monsoon has the lowest impact, together with the mountains of Kashmir.
It should be noted, however, that the monsoons does not always follow a regular pattern, and in particular, north-western India (along with Pakistan) is more rainy than normal in the years of La Niña, when it can experience flooding, while during other years, the whole area can remain almost completely dry (in the years of El Niño, all of India can experience warmer winters than normal, and weaker summer monsoons, though this does not always happen).

East of the first area we find a central area (zone 2 in the map), where the climate is semi-arid, since the annual rainfall is between 400 and 800 mm (16 to 31.5 in). Under other circumstances, this would not be a low amount, but if we consider both the high temperatures and the fact that the rains are concentrated in a few months, the vegetation that occupies this area is certainly not lush. Nevertheless, in the monsoon season, there may be heavy rains.
The capital of Rajasthan, Jaipur, is located east of the Aravalli Mountains, where, as we said, it rains more than in the desert area: here, 610 mm (24 in) of rain fall per year, with a maximum of 200 mm (8 in) in August. In Agra, where the Taj Mahal is located, precipitation reaches 725 mm (28.5 in) per year.

New Delhi

The capital of India, New Delhi, is at the edge of the area, since it receives 800 mm (31.5 in) of rain per year, the majority of which occurring from July to September.
Here is the average precipitation.
New Delhi - Average precipitation
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecYear
Prec.(mm)20151030305522025013515715802
Prec.(in)0,80,60,41,21,22,28,79,85,30,60,30,631,6
Days3221141211620145

Another city located in this area is Amritsar, which receives 480 mm (19 in) of rain per year.

Golden Temple

Further to the east, but also in a thin northern swathe located at the foot the Himalayas (zone 3), the rains are more abundant, ranging between 800 and 1,400 mm (31 and 55 in) per year, in cities like Lucknow, Kanpur, Varanasi, but otherwise the climate is similar to that of New Delhi. Nevertheless, in the far north, in Jammu, at the foot of the Himalayas, some disturbances of Mediterranean origin can pass in winter and spring (as we have already seen, they affect also the mountainous area of Srinagar); in fact, 33 mm (1.3 in) of rain fall in December, and as many as 80 mm (3 in) per month in February and March. From December to February, in Jammu, which is one of the northernmost cities at sea level, sometimes the night temperature may hit freezing (0 °C or 32 °F) or even drop a few degrees below.

North-east



Climate of northeast India
In north-eastern India, the climate is not as hot as in the rest of the northern areas analyzed above, though it is more humid. Here too, winter is dry, and it is very mild, with average temperatures in January slightly below 20 °C (68 °F). However, the strong increase in temperature from March to May, is only relatively felt in the area located west of Bangladesh, and not felt at all to the east and the north, which are outside of the Indian landmass. The monsoon rains are abundant and sometimes torrential, and in any case, the total annual rainfall exceeds 1,400 mm (55 in). The monsoon period is quite long, in fact it runs from early June to early October, and it's often preceded, in April and sometimes even in March, by some thunderstorms in the afternoon, especially at the foot of the mountains.

Kolkata

West of Bangladesh, in West Bengal, we find Kolkata (Calcutta), which is at the limit of this area, in fact the average in January is around 20 °C (68 °F). Winter is pleasantly warm because of the proximity to the sea; the increase in temperature from March to June is evident, although it's not as strong as in New Delhi; nevertheless, the temperature can exceed 40 °C (104 °F) in the worst moments. Here are the average temperatures.
Kolkata - Average temperatures
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Min (°C)141721252627262626241914
Max (°C)262934363634323232322926
Min (°F)576370777981797979756657
Max (°F)798493979793909090908479

The monsoon goes roughly from June 5 to October 15, but already in May, the first showers in the afternoon may occur. Total annual rainfall is 1,600 mm (63 in). From November to April, the sun shines and it almost never rains. Here is the average precipitation.
Kolkata - Average precipitation
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecYear
Prec.(mm)132525451302603003052901603531591
Prec.(in)0,5111,85,110,211,81211,46,31,40,162,6
Days1224815212117921103

Near Kolkata, the sea is warm enough for swimming throughout the year, although it drops to 23/24 °C (73/75 °F) in January and February.
Kolkata - Sea temperature
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Temp (°C)232426282930292929292725
Temp (°F)737579828486848484848177

In the rest of the north-east, the rains are generally more abundant, except in some areas a bit more sheltered such as Guwahati, in the Brahmaputra Valley, where it rains as much as in Kolkata. In general, however, precipitation exceeds 2,000 mm (79 in) per year, and in some areas, where humid air masses are forced to rise on the mountain slopes, it reaches spectacular amounts. Cherrapunj, 1,300 meters (4,250 feet) above sea level, in the northeastern state of Meghalaya, is the rainiest place in the world, and receives 10,866 mm (428 in) of rain per year, that is, almost 11 meters (or 36 feet)! Rainfall exceeds 1,000 mm (40 in) per month for 5 months in a row, from May to September, with a peak of 2,600 mm (102 in) in June. Luckily, here as in the rest of the region, there is little rain from mid-November to February, but already in March, when the first thunderstorms occur, 220 mm (8.7 in) of rain fall, and in April, the early monsoon brings more than 700 mm (27.5 in) of rain. At this altitude, the temperature is pleasant, in fact, highs are around 22 °C (72 °F) from April to October, while in winter they are around 15/17 °C (59/63 °F).
As already mentioned, in spring, the extreme north-east (Meghalaya, Assam etc.) does not become too hot; in fact, at sea level, the maximum temperatures remain around 30/32 °C (86/90 °F) from April to October.

Center-South



Climate of central-south India
In this area, which includes the whole of south-central India except the western coast and the Western Ghats, the climate is tropical, since the average temperature in January exceeds 20 °C (68 °F), but otherwise there are remarkable differences: in the northern and the southern inland areas (zone A), the monsoon lasts from June to October, while along the southeastern coast (zone B), the monsoon reaches its peak at the end of the year, between October and December (which is called northeast monsoon or retreating monsoon). The rains are more abundant in the eastern parts of both the zone A and B.
The increase in temperature in the period from March to June is strong in the interior and is also felt on the east coast. In general, in inland areas, the summer rains are not more abundant than in northern India, but they are more frequent, and in this season the sky is often cloudy, for instance, Nagpur and Bangalore receive only 3 hours of sunshine per day in July, compared with 6 hours in New Delhi.

Now let's start from the A area.
In Nagpur, Maharastra, the average temperature is 21 °C (70 °F) in January, it reaches a peak of 35 °C (95 °F) in May, and then it drops to 28 °C (82 °F) in July. Annual rainfall amounts to 1,170 mm (46 in), including more than 150 mm (6 in) per month from June to September, with a maximum of 340 mm (13.3 in) in July. There is little rain from October to May. Here, the best time, as in most of India, is from November to February.
Further south, in Puna, 550 meters (1,800 ft) above sea level, the temperature is slightly lower in the warmest months: the average maximum in May is 38 °C (100 °F). The rains amount to only 700 mm (27.5 in) per year because the city is protected by the nearby chain of the Western Ghats. Here, rainfall exceeds 100 mm (4 in) per month from June to September, but it never reaches 200 mm (8 in), and it's still 90 mm (3.5 in) in October: the monsoon lasts a little longer because the city is located further to the south. This is one of the driest areas of south-central India, with a semi-arid landscape.

Hyderabad

Further south, in Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, 550 meters (1,800 ft) above sea level, the daily average temperature ranges from 22 °C (72 °F) in January to 33 °C (91 °F) in May, while it drops to 27 °C (81 °F) in July. Here are the average temperatures.
Hyderabad - Average temperatures
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Min (°C)151821242624232222201715
Max (°C)293235383935313031312928
Min (°F)596470757975737272686359
Max (°F)84909510010295888688888482

The rainfall amounts to 760 mm (30 in), including more than 100 mm (4 in) per month from June to September and 70 mm (2.8 in) in October, so we are still in a semi-arid zone. Here is the average precipitation.
Hyderabad - Average precipitation
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecYear
Prec.(mm)21113253010516514516570256762
Prec.(in)0,10,40,511,24,16,55,76,52,810,230
Days02233815131152165

In Hyderabad, the sky is normally clear in the long dry season, while from June to September, the hours of sunshine per day decrease significantly.
Hyderabad - Sunshine
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Hours1010910106556899

Going further south, in Anantapur, still in Andhra Pradesh, the temperature starts to rise even earlier, in fact, the maximum temperature rises to around 33 °C (91 °F) already in February. In addition, in May, there's some thunderstorm activity that precedes the monsoon itself. However, the monsoon is considerably weak in the early months, so much so that just 60/70 mm (2.4/2.8 in) of rain fall per month from June to August, although high humidity and cloudy skies make it clear that we are in the monsoon period. The monsoon becomes more intense in September and October, which are the wettest months, with respectively 120 and 150 mm (4.7 and 6). Total annual rainfall is still relatively low: only 650 mm (25.6 in).

Bangalore

In Bangalore, in southern Karnataka, 920 meters (3,000 feet) above sea level, the heat is tempered by the altitude.
Bangalore - Average temperatures
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Min (°C)151719212120191919191715
Max (°C)273033343329282828282726
Min (°F)596366707068666666666359
Max (°F)818691939184828282828179

Here in May, already 115 mm (4.5 in) of rain fall, then the monsoon season is from June to mid-November. The rainfall amounts to 920 mm (36 in) per year. Here is the average precipitation.
Bangalore - Average precipitation
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecYear
Prec.(mm)310645115801151451451855516920
Prec.(in)0,10,40,21,84,53,14,55,75,77,32,20,636,2
Days111499131411115281

In Bangalore too, the sun shines often in the dry season, and quite rarely in the rainy season.
Bangalore - Sunshine
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Hours999985445677

We now come to the B area. Here, we are on the east coast, where it's hot all year round. While the west coast down to Trivandrum is very rainy, in the southern coastal portion, rainfall is lower than 1,000 mm (40 in) per year, and even lower than 800 mm (31.5 in) per year in the western part.
It's the case of Kanyakumari, at the southern tip of the country, in the state of Tamil Nadu, where it's hot throughout the year, since the average maximum never drops below 30 °C (86 °F), while the rains, after an initial period of instability from April to June, with some thunderstorms not too intense, experience a relative break from July to September, with just 40/45 mm (1.6/1.8 in) per month, while the real monsoon arrives later and is limited to the months of October and November. So, here we are in the area of the "northeast monsoon" or "retreating monsoon", which is typical of the south-eastern coast, but the annual rainfall is not high, only 735 mm (29 in) per year, so we are still in the semi-arid zone. In this portion of the southern coast, you can go from mid-December to February, and also in March-April, even though it is the hottest time of the year, since it is not as hot as in the interior. All in all, even the period July-September is generally acceptable, but it is wet, often cloudy, and with some risk of tropical storms or cyclones (see below).
Moving north along the east coast, we find the Coromandel Coast, where the rains are more abundant. The maximum rainfall is recorded in the area of Pondicherry, Tamil Nadu, where 1,700 mm (67 in) of rain fall per year, with a peak between October and December.

Chennai

In Chennai (formerly Madras), the retreating monsoon is pronounced as well, since precipitation is about 265 mm (10.4 in) in October, 310 mm (12.2 in) in November, and still 155 mm (6.1 in) in December. Here is the average precipitation.
Chennai - Average precipitation
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecYear
Prec.(mm)24715255055851251202653101551236
Prec.(in)0,90,30,6122,23,34,94,710,412,26,148,7
Days211227101191211775

Even though Chennai is located on the coast, the heat is intense in the months preceding the monsoon. Here are the average temperatures.
Chennai - Average temperatures
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Min (°C)202123262827262625242321
Max (°C)293133353737353534322928
Min (°F)687073798281797977757370
Max (°F)848891959999959593908482

In Chennai, the sun shines regularly in the dry season, and after all, it is seen for a few hours a day even in the rainy months.
Chennai - Sunshine
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Hours910101097667767

The Bay of Bengal at this latitude is warm all year round, as you can see from the sea temperatures at Chennai.
Chennai - Sea temperature
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Temp (°C)272728293030292929292827
Temp (°F)818182848686848484848281

Here, the best months are January and February: it is hot, the sun shines, and you can go to the beach.

South-west and islands



Climate of South-west India and islands
Along the west coast and on the islands (see the Lakshadweep or Laccadive Islands in the Arabian Sea, and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands in the Bay of Bengal), the climate is hot and humid throughout the year, with heavy rains for a few months, and a dry season in winter and spring, which is longer in the northern part.
Along the west coast it's hot throughout the year, while the monsoon period is gradually longer as you proceed from north to south. During winter, temperatures are particularly high for the season because the north-easterly wind that blows in this season (winter monsoon) descends from the Western Ghats and become slightly warmer, with a foehn-like effect.

Mumbai

In Mumbai (formerly Bombay), the temperature exceeds 30 °C (86 °F) during the day even in January; however, at night it drops, albeit slightly, below 20 °C (68 °F). From November to May, the rains are scarce and sunshine is frequent. From March to May, the temperature increases, but not as much as in the interior: the minimum at night goes up to 24/26 °C (75/79 °F), and the maximum reaches around 33 °C (91 °F), even though it can reach 40 °C (104 °F) in the worst moments.
Here are the average temperatures in Mumbai
Mumbai - Average temperatures
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Min (°C)171821242626252524232118
Max (°C)313133333332303030333432
Min (°F)636470757979777775737064
Max (°F)888891919190868686919390

The monsoon lasts from June to early October and is very intense, especially in July, when 800 mm (31.5 in) of rain fall, and it rains very often. In July and August, the sky is almost always cloudy and the humidity high. In Mumbai, about 2,250 mm (88.5 in) of rain fall per year. Here is the average precipitation.
Mumbai - Average precipitation
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecYear
Prec.(mm)110115525800530310551552260
Prec.(in)00000,620,731,520,912,22,20,60,289
Days000011523211431078

In Mumbai, the sun regularly shines in the long dry season, while in the two wettest months, July and August, the sky is often cloudy.
Mumbai - Sunshine
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Hours9101010106336899

The sea temperature in the Arabian Sea is warm enough for swimming all year round, as you can see from the water temperatures at Mumbai.
Mumbai - Sea temperature
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Temp (°C)262526272929292828292826
Temp (°F)797779818484848282848279

Continuing south along the coast, the climate is even more rainy.

Goa

In Dabolim, in the former Portuguese colony of Goa, precipitation reaches 2,900 mm (114 in) per year, including up to 995 mm (39 in) in July. Here is the average precipitation.
Dabolim - Average precipitation
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecYear
Prec.(mm)0011011587099552025012530152932
Prec.(in)0000,44,534,339,220,59,84,91,20,6115,4
Days000142227131463090

The temperature in Goa is high throughout the year, and it remains about 20 °C (68 °F) at night even in winter.
Dabolim - Average temperatures
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Min (°C)202123262625242424242221
Max (°C)323232333330292930323332
Min (°F)687073797977757575757270
Max (°F)909090919186848486909190

In Goa, the distribution of the sunshine hours is similar to that of Mumbai, even though the sun shines a little more often (the total is 2,800 hours per year).
Dabolim - Sunshine
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Hours1111101010544681010

The sea temperature near Goa is steadily high throughout the year, and it's a bit warmer than in Mumbai in winter.
Dabolim - Sea temperature
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Temp (°C)282828293029282828292928
Temp (°F)828282848684828282848482

Further south, in Mangalore, Karnataka, where the Malabar Coast begins, the maximum temperature is 33 °C (91 °F) even in January, and precipitation reaches 3,300 mm (130 in) per year. Here, the first thunderstorms occur in May, while the monsoon runs from June 5 to October 15 or so.
Further south, in Calicut, Kerala, the first thunderstorms occur in April, while the monsoon lasts until November, when 130 mm (5.1 in) of rain still fall.
In Trivandrum, at the southern tip of Kerala, the rains are less abundant, amounting to 1,700 mm (67 in) per year, but the rainy season is very long: as early as in April, 110 mm (4.3 in) of rain fall in the form of showers and thunderstorms, and 170 mm still in November. Therefore, in this southernmost part of the west coast, the retreating monsoon is partly felt as well.
The west coast is very rainy because of a mountain range parallel to the coast called Western Ghats, which forces the ascent of moist air coming from the sea. Along the western mountain slopes, rainfall is more abundant, so much so that in some places it even reaches six meters (20 feet) per year! The scenario is very different on the eastern side, where the south-west monsoon penetrates with difficulty, and as we said, the rainfall drops below 1,000 mm (40 in) per year.

Ooty

During the empire, the British who were in this area, in summer took refuge in Ootacamund (Aka Ooty or Udhagamandalam), located at 2,200 meters (7,200 ft) above sea level, 100 kilometers (60 miles) east of the coast of Calicut. Here, the summer monsoon is still felt, and partly that of autumn (ie the retreating monsoon), but in a manner not too evident; in fact, more than 100 mm (4 in) fall per month from May to November, with two peaks in July and October. Here is the average precipitation.
Ooty - Average precipitation
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecYear
Prec.(mm)20102575150135180125135190140551240
Prec.(in)0,80,4135,95,37,14,95,37,55,52,248,8
Days1125881099117475

In return, during the monsoon period the temperature is cool, with highs around 17 °C (63 °F) in July and August, and about 11 °C (52 °F) at night. Compared with the monsoon months, winter is a bit colder at night and a bit warmer during the day because the sky in this season is clear.
Ooty - Average temperatures
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Min (°C)6791111111111101097
Max (°C)202122232218171719191920
Min (°F)434548525252525250504845
Max (°F)687072737264636366666668

In Udhagamandalam too, the sun shines often in the dry season and quite rarely in the rainy season, however, this city is a little less sunny than the coast because of its position in the mountains, where it is easier for clouds to form.
Ooty - Sunshine
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Hours999874445667

Islands

We now turn to the islands. Here, the climate is hot all year round, with lows around 24/25 °C (75/77 °F) and highs around 28/30 °C (82/86 °F); here too, there's an increase in temperature between March and May, but it's not remarkable.
In the Lakshadweep Islands, located in the Arabian Sea, from 1,500 to 2,000 mm (60 to 79 in) of rain fall per year, and the rains occur from May to mid-December. Since the temperature slightly increases by March, the best time on these islands is from late December to February.
On the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, located in the Bay of Bengal, the rains are a bit heavier, since they range from 2,500 to 3,000 mm (98 to 118 in) per year. The rains are abundant from May to November. In Car Nicobar and on the southern islands, the rains continue even in December and mid-January, while they end earlier in Port Blair and in the northernmost regions. So, you can go from late January to March on the southern islands, and from late December to March on the northern ones.

Tropical cyclones



Areas affected by cyclones in India

Now, let's talk about tropical cyclones. They are more common in the Bay of Bengal than in the Arabian Sea, but they are also possible in the latter. In southern India, towards the tip of the continent, cyclones can penetrate inland and pass from sea to sea; in the eastern part, they may penetrate for a few hundred kilometers along a trajectory that goes from the south-east to the north-west; in the north-west, they may affect the coast of Gujarat. The map shows the areas that have been hit by cyclones in the past, so it's just an indication: nothing prevents cyclones from following a different trajectory, although it is unlikely.
In the states crossed by the Himalayas, especially the central-eastern ones, the remnants of cyclones can cause heavy rainfall in the plains as well as snowfall in the mountains.
Cyclones generally occur from April to December, with two peaks at the beginning and at the end of the period (April-June and October-December). The area most at risk is that of Bengal, in the huge Ganges-Brahmaputra Delta, where there is water everywhere and the mainland is flat and located at sea level.

Best Time



Since in India there are different types of climate, it is difficult to find a single period that fits for all of the country. Nevertheless, the best time to visit most of India, at least in plains and hills, runs from November to February. March is still a dry month, but it begins to be hot, with peaks that during the month can exceed 35 °C (95 °F) in the south.
On the south-east coast and the southern islands, the rains continue until December; moreover, cyclones in this month are still possible, so you can go in January and February.
If you can only travel in summer, you can choose the northwest: in Rajasthan, the monsoon is less intense; you will find hot and muggy weather and some downpours, usually not abundant. In summer, you can visit the mountains of Jammu and Kashmir too, because they are located in a "rain shadow" area. A very different situation is found on the eastern part of the Himalayas, which is affected by the summer monsoon in full strength.
As mentioned, the sea in India is warm enough for swimming all year round. For a beach holiday, the west coast (see Goa) is good from December to February, and the eastern coast only in January and February.

What to pack



In winter: in the far north at low altitude (see Jammu, Amritsar) and in the southern mountainous areas (see Ootacamund), bring spring/autumn clothes, and a sweater and a warm jacket for the evening.
In the north (see New Delhi, Jaipur, Varanasi, Patna), bring spring/autumn clothes (light for the day), a jacket and a sweater for the evening, and possibly a hat and a scarf for cooler evenings.
In the center and in inland south-central areas (Calcutta, Hyderabad), bring light clothes for the day, and a sweater and a light jacket for the evening.
On the south-central coast (Mumbai, Goa, Trivandrum, Chennai, Pondicherry), bring light clothing, a scarf for the breeze, and a light sweatshirt for the evening; on the south-east coast (Chennai, Pondicherry), a light raincoat or umbrella still in December.
On the islands (Lakshadweep, Andaman and Nicobar Islands), light clothing, a scarf for the breeze, a light sweatshirt for the evening, and a light raincoat or umbrella until December or mid-January.
When going to the reef, you can bring snorkeling equipment, including water shoes or rubber-soled shoes.
In the Himalayas: around 1,500/2,000 meters (5,000/6,500 feet, see Srinagar, Darjeeling), pack warm clothes, a jacket, a hat, and a scarf. Above 2,000 meters (6,500 feet), warm winter clothes, hiking boots, sunglasses, and sunscreen. At the highest altitudes, cold weather clothing, synthetic, thermal long underwear, gloves, a down jacket, a hat, and a scarf.

In summer: in all areas at low altitude, bring tropics-friendly, loose-fitting clothing, made of natural fibers, a light raincoat or umbrella, a light sweatshirt and a scarf for air conditioned places; a desert turban in the north-west; a scarf for the breeze on the coast, and a light sweatshirt for the evening at low-mountain elevations (see Bangalore).
In the southern mountains (see Ootacamund), spring/autumn clothes, a raincoat, a sweater, and a jacket.
In the Himalayas: around 2,000 meters (6,500 feet, see Darjeeling), spring/autumn clothes, a raincoat, a jacket, and a sweater. At the highest altitudes, a warm jacket, a down jacket, a hat, gloves, and a scarf.

When visiting temples, it is customary to remove shoes, dress neatly and cover a little.
In rural areas, closed-toe shoes may be useful against snakes.

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