The India monsoon season is still fairly predictable, although the weather in Asia seems to be changing at a rapid pace. Figuring out when to go to India depends on when the rainy season starts there.
India actually experiences two monsoons: the northeast monsoon that hits the east coast around November, and the more significant southwest monsoon that starts around June and spreads rain throughout most of the country.
When to Go to India?
Before making a decision based on the monsoon season in India, understand the following:
- Life -- and travel -- go on during the monsoon times. Although some transportation may be affected, you will also encounter less tourists and may be able to negotiate for better prices.
- India is huge! Differences in elevation and temperature affect how much rain and snow that each region receives. While one part of India may be rainy, another part will be perfectly enjoyable.
- The world's weather has changed. What was once a clearly defined, predictable season is more often than not a guessing game.
- India's monsoon season may not be a reason to change travel plans; you will still find many fascinating places to explore in India that are barely affected by the rain. Rajasthan is a India's fascinating desert state -- rain is rarely an issue.
- Temperatures in India, especially in the massive, polluted cities, can become nearly unbearable during the peak of the dry season. Dust and particulate matter in the air can present health problems for travelers with asthma or respiratory conditions.
The India Monsoon Season
In a nutshell, the India monsoon season begins in early June and lasts until approximately October. The rain begins to dry up in North India first; South India and places such as Goa usually receive more rainfall during the monsoon season.
The southwest monsoon in India is considered earth's most productive wet season. The rains typically start as thunderstorms, then culminate into torrential downpours -- sometimes unexpectedly as blue-sky days can change quickly into soggy cloudbursts.
The monsoon season in India lasts roughly four months.
Read about where to go during India's monsoon season.
The Wettest Months in India
Based on place:
- Goa: The rainiest months are June, July, and August.
- New Delhi: The rainiest months are July, August, and September.
- Mumbai: The rainiest months are June, July, August, and September.
- Manali: The wettest months in Manali are July and August.
Where Not to Go During the India Monsoon Season?
These places receive the most rainfall in India (in order from the wettest):
- Port Blair
Although tourist numbers tend to fluctuate based around India's rainy seasons, big events and festivals should also be taken into account when choosing the best time to visit India.
Go through this list of big Indian festivals that will certainly affect your trip. Holidays such as Thaipusam, Holi, and Diwali will draw big crowds. You'll need to arrive early enough to enjoy the festivals or time your trip around the festivals to avoid dealing with disruptions and inflated prices.