With 750 languages, 29 states and over 3650 ancient heritage monuments, India’s diversity and culture make it a great place to visit. Though the country has much to offer throughout the year, there are certain times when the country comes alive in a different way altogether. Let’s take a look at some of the best times to visit India.
The Monsoon (June-October)
India’s monsoon has a legendary quality attached to it. The incessant pattering of raindrops and the powerful, howling winds have inspired both poets and crime novelists. The monsoon also forms the backdrop for many a romance in Indian films. India turns lush and green in the monsoon season, and many of its forests and jungles are best visited during this time.
According to Facts About India, the first landfall of the monsoon at the coast of the South Indian state of Kerala is an eagerly awaited moment, and traditionally, people line up at the beaches on June 1, hoping the catch a glimpse of the first rain-laden clouds.
Since flights to India are almost always packed at these times of the year, plan ahead of time to get the best deals for travel and stay.
A nine-day festival in celebration of the feminine, Navratri falls in the months of September or October. Dedicated to Durga, the festival showcases various aspects of her, from the fierce to the gentle. Navratri is also a time when India’s classical arts truly bloom. Indian classical music concerts and dance performances are held every night in most town and cities. They offer an opportunity to experience an aspect of Indian culture unchanged for many hundreds of years.
Makar Sankranti (January)
Makar Sankranti is a harvest festival that celebrates growth, fertility and the birth of new life. A large percentage of India’s population are involved either directly or indirectly in agriculture, and as such Makar Sankranti is very significant in the country. Makar Sankranti is also the time when one can participate in kite flying and aerial “kite battles.” The paper quadrangles are ubiquitous in every corner of the country at this time of the year, and the kite flying competitions are a treat to watch.
Kashmir is the northernmost state of India and lies snugly in the arms of the mighty Himalayan Mountains. Its scenic beauty, pleasant climate and delightful cuisine are best experienced between August and October, before the heavy winter snows hit. Watch out though, the state is currently reeling under the impact of floods, though this is a relatively rare phenomenon. Also, it’s best to avoid the north-eastern regions of the state since they are a disputed region between India and China.