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Monsoon Season in India: When It Is, 5 Best Places to Go

The monsoon season in India, also referred to as the rainy season, lasts from June to September. In most areas, the wettest months are June and July. The rain starts slowing in August and becomes much less frequent in September.

For those who don't like crowds, a good way to avoid them in India is to visit in the monsoon season (June to September).

You may be wondering: isn't the monsoon season a terrible time to travel?

The answer to this question is: maybe. While the monsoons makes certain areas of India unpleasant for travel, other parts are barely affected and are great places to go. Generally, the north and far north India are less affected by the rain than the south and central India.

The Best Times to Visit India and the Rainy Season

Agra — Home to the Taj Mahal Pay a visit to Agra — home to the Taj Mahal

In general, the best time to visit India is from December to February when most of the country experiences the dry and cool season.

India is actually affected by two different monsoons (seasonal winds): the southwest and northeast monsoons.

The southwest monsoon affects the majority of the country. It starts in June near Kerala in south India then slowly progresses northwards and spreads across the rest of the country. The southwest monsoon typically lasts from June to September.

The northeast monsoon only affects south India, especially the states of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, and Kerala. This monsoon takes place in December and November.

During the monsoons it does rain a lot. However, the monsoon rainfall doesn't happen continuously. The first monsoon downpour can last for days, but then the rains start to slow and only happens for a few hours a day.

Travel is still possible, and is often quite enjoyable if you go to the right places. Also, you can benefit from great value offers, quieter attractions, and lush green nature.

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5 Best Places to Go during the Monsoons in India

The rains affect each part of India differently. While the south (like Kerala) and central India (like Mumbai and Goa) get hit with a lot of rain, certain areas in North India (like Delhi, Agra, and Jaipur) experience much less.

If you DO mind the rain, then there are also some parts of India that are not affected by the monsoon, such as far-northern Leh in Ladakh.

Below we have listed the best places to visit in India during the rainy season. These destinations either have less rain than the rest of the country or have specific activities that are best done at this time of year.

1. Delhi — Get a "Capital" First Impression of India

Take a tuk tuk to discover Old Delhi Take a tuk tuk to discover Old Delhi

As the capital city of India, Delhi is usually the first stop on an India tour. It is in north India near the Thar Desert. Though it still receives rain, it gets less rain than many other parts of the country, like Mumbai, largest city before Delhi in population.

The monsoon releases Delhi from the extreme heat of May, reaching 45°C (113°F). June and July are still hot with maximums around 37°C (99°F), but by August and September, the maximum temperature decreases to around 33°C (91°F). >>>The Best and Worst Times to Visit Delhi

Delhi experiences the most rainfall in July and August with moderate to high average monthly rainfalls around 200 mm (8 inches), compared to around a monthly deluge of 800 mm in Mumbai. In June, it experiences around 50 mm (2 inches) of rain, and in September around 100 mm (4 inches).

The monsoon season doesn't attract many visitors to Delhi, due to the hot temperatures and rain, but this allows for less crowded tourist sites and more affordable travel expenses.

Suggested read: Top Places to Visit in Delhi with Tour Itinerary and Travel Tips >>>

2. Agra — Home to the Taj Mahal

Nearly all travelers visiting India go to the Taj Mahal. Agra is another stop on the classic Golden Triangle, together with Delhi and Jaipur.

Agra meets much less rain in June with average rainfall around 51mm (2 inches). It is around the beginning of July when the monsoon reaches Agra with an average rainfall around 207 mm (8 inches). The wettest month is August with an average rainfall 272 mm (11 inches). The monsoon lasts until September in Agra, with the average rainfall falling to 127 mm (5 inches).

The most popular sites in Agra are the Taj Mahal and Agra Fort, most visiting areas of which are indoor. This will protect you from sunburn as well as rainfall. But you still should prepare a raincoat or umbrella for the walk to the sites.

Though you might meet some rain, visiting these marvelous heritage sites during their low season will be rewarding with fewer crowds.

Suggested read: Best Times to Visit Agra>>>

3. Rajasthan — Princely Palaces, Magnificent Forts, and Ancient Markets

Rajasthan is not a city, but a state, located in the middle of the Thar Desert. The top cities to visit in Rajasthan are Jaipur, Jodhpur, and Udaipur. There you can explore princely palaces, magnificent forts, and ancient markets.

Rajasthan is affected by the southwest monsoon, but because this state is in the desert, its dry and arid landscape receives much less rain than other parts of India. Rain only happens in short bursts.

Recommended read: 14-Day Classic Rajasthan Tour to Explore the 'Land of Kings' >>>

4. Kerala — Affordable Ayurveda and Yoga Retreats, Backwater Cruises, Tea and Spice Plantations

Located in south India, Kerala does get heavy rains during the monsoon season, but if you don't mind getting a little wet, this south Indian state is a great place to be due to the great prices and packages that are offered on their high-quality Ayurveda or yoga retreats.

Traditional Ayurvedic medicine is often said to work better during the monsoons because the humid atmosphere helps open up the body's pores.

While most national parks in India close during the monsoons, Kerala's Periyar National Park stays open, offering you the chance to explore lush green tropical jungles. The state also has one of its biggest festivals, Onam (September 15th in 2024), at this time.

How to Plan a Trip to Kerala >>>

Houseboat cruise in Karala Take an overnight houseboat cruise in Karala

For cooler temperatures and better weather, you can head to Munnar, Kerala's lush green hill station that is covered in tea and spice plantations. It is about 3 hours by vehicle from colonial style Cochin, capital of Kerala.

Recommended: 9-Day Classic South India Tour including Cochin, Munnai, Periyar National Park, backwater cruises, and beach relaxation >>>

5. Ladakh — Cold Desert, Snowcapped Mountains, Buddhist Monasteries, and Hiking

Stakna Monastery Leh Ladakh Jammu and Kashmir India Stakna Monastery Leh Ladakh Jammu and Kashmir India

Located in the far north India, Ladakh is also called "Little Tibet" for its Buddhist culture, plateau landscape, pristine villages, clear blue skies, and snowcapped mountains.

Because it is surrounded by the Himalayas and Karakoram mountain ranges, it is almost entirely protected from the monsoons. In fact, June to October is the best time to visit Ladakh because it has the best weather, and the passes are not blocked by snow.

In Ladakh, you can relax while taking in the mountain views in dry weather with blue skies. One of our favorite places in Ladakh is Leh with its rustic old town, Buddhist monasteries, and nearby trekking trails. The wettest month in Leh is August with an very low average of 31 mm (1 inch) of rainfall. Leh also experiences great temperatures at this time, with highs around 25°C (77°F).

Suggested read: Top 20 Things to Do in Ladakh >>>

Places to Avoid during Monsoon Season

Besides south India, the monsoons typically hit central India the hardest. In general, south and central India are not the best places to go during the monsoon seasons as you will likely see heavy rain every day.

Mumbai experiences tons of rain during the monsoon season with super-high averages of 885 mm (34 inches) falling in July and 620 mm (24 inches) in August. If you travel to Mumbai during this time, you will probably want to spend a lot of time in your hotel, so pick a good one!

Mumbai - What to Know Before You Go >>>

Goa is also hit hard with around 795 mm (31 inches) of rain in June and 540 mm (21 inches) in July. The waters around Goa get quite choppy with large waves and strong currents at this time and are not good for swimming. But if you don't mind getting wet and would like to explore the spice plantations or take in the beautiful colonial heritage buildings and churches of Panjim, monsoon time is still a good time to go for its affordable prices on yoga retreats and less crowding.

Best (and Worst) Times to Visit Goa, When is Monsoon Season? >>>

Some of the lowlands like Kalkata and Darjeeling in West Bengal should be avoided as well because flooding can be very severe during the monsoons.

Or you can spend some wonferful and leisurely days in a fantastic resort.

Check out How Long to Spend in India: Find Itinerary Ideas from 5 Days to 1 Month to get itinerary suggestions in India.

Tips for Traveling in the Rainy Season in India

Enjoying your time in India during the monsoon season is much easier if you come prepared. Check out the travel tips below to help you navigate India's rainy season more comfortably.

  • The rains may interfere with your travel plans so it's a good idea to add a few extra days to your trip to India.
  • Pay close attention to weather reports so that you know when it will rain. Have some indoor activities on standby to do during rainy times and arrange the outdoor activities flexibly for when the rain stops.
  • Check with your travel advisor if the tiger safari in the national park etc. is open as most national parks will be closed during monsoon season.
  • Be vigilant about water cleanliness and food safety. Food hygiene is sometimes bad in India and can get worse during the rainy season. Never drink water that hasn't come from a sealed bottle and avoid eating raw fruits and vegetables as they may have been washed in tap water.
  • Pack waterproofs and quick-drying clothes.
  • Buy the right insurance. Before you travel, verify that your comprehensive travel insurance plan has the coverage you may need for possible delays and interruptions. If you are mentally prepared and covered by insurance, you'll experience less stress on your trip even while traveling in rainy weather.

Traveling during the monsoon season is a great opportunity, but can be tricky to plan. If you would like to visit India at this time, but don't know where to start, go ahead and reach out to one of our travel experts for advice. At Asia Highlights, we specialize in creating private tours that have been tailor-made to fit the goals of each individual client.

More Private India Tours, India Private Tour Packages >>>

Monthly Weather and Travel Information for India

Learn about the weather in India for 12 months and find out the best places to visit each month.

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