Summer Holidays in India
When summer arrives many people look for the perfect destination to escape the heat and humidity. Although India is not always thought of as a summer destination, it has everything a summer traveler could want from incredible medieval temples to the soaring peaks of the Himalayas and the green forests of the surrounding foothills.
In this article, we will explain everything you need to know for a perfect summer holiday in India including what weather is like, our recommendation for the perfect summer itinerary, and the best places to visit in India during summer.
- India is a great summer holiday destination because summer is the country’s low season meaning fewer crowds and better prices on hotels and airfare.
- Although India does have monsoons during the summer months, many beautiful regions of the country are not affected by the monsoon rains.
- When visiting India in summer we recommend the golden triangle itinerary for first time visitors because you can experience many different aspect of India in a short time.
- Summer is also a great time to visit Rajasthan, the northeastern Himalayan region, Ladakh, or Kerala.
India in summer
Although India is a great destination for summer trips, the country does have its monsoon season from June to the end of August. These monsoons affect most of South and Central India, but certain areas of the country are nearly untouched and are perfect for travel.
Some of the best places to visit in India during the summer are the golden triangle, the desert regions, the Himalayan foothills, and the hill stations in South India.
One of the most famous travel itineraries when visiting India is the golden triangle which includes the cities of Delhi, Agra, and Jaipur. While this area of India does experience some rain, it is still a great summer destination.
In summer the golden triangle cities see highs of 35C (95F) but they get much less rain than the rest of India. August is often the wettest month with around 230mm (9 inches) of rain.
Another great place to visit for your summer holiday is North India and the Himalayan regions. These areas of the country don't experience heavy rains during the monsoons because they are so far inland and at a higher elevation.
When the monsoon arrives, South and Central India do get hit the hardest by the rains. However, the state of Kerala only experiences short showers in this season and is a great place to visit. The hill stations of Tamil Nadu and Central India are also beautiful at this time.
India: The Perfect Summer Holiday
Summer is the end of the tourism season in India meaning that it is a great time to visit the most popular attractions while avoiding the crowds. Summer is a great time to see attractions such as the Taj Mahal, the forts and palace of Jaipur, and the markets of Delhi.
Summer also has lower prices and is a great time to get deals on hotels and airfare tickets.
Although there are many beautiful places to visit in India during the summer, our absolute favorite is the golden triangle. Visiting the cities of Delhi, Agra, and Jaipur gives visitors the chance to see some of the country's most famous attractions and get a good grasp on the history and culture of India.
After visiting the golden triangle cities, travelers can cool down in the Himalayan states of Jammu and Kashmir or the foothills of Himachal Pradesh and Darjeeling. For some experience of southern India, we recommend the beautiful state of Kerala.
Summer holiday destinations in India
Because summer in India is part of the low season, some regions are better to travel to than others at this time. Below we will describe our favorite summer destinations in India.
We chose these specific destinations because they experience nice weather in the summer, include incredible cultural experiences, and showcase what makes India unique.
The golden triangle itinerary is one of the most popular ways to experience India. The cities in the golden triangle are only a short distance apart and all connected by train. They also show different sides of India and contain some of the country’s most famous attractions and beautiful architecture.
When visiting the golden triangle, most people will start their journey in Delhi. Delhi is one of India's most important cities and has some of its largest mosques and oldest bazaars. Make sure to take a rickshaw ride in Old Delhi to see the beauty of the chaotic streets and old colonial architecture.
After Delhi, most travelers head to Agra which is famous for having one of the seven wonders of the world, the Taj Mahal. The Taj Mahal has a magnificence that is difficult to capture with a camera. It is especially beautiful during sunrise or sunset when the orange of the sky glints off the white marble walls.
After Agra, the next stop on the golden triangle itinerary is Jaipur. Jaipur is famously referred to as the "pink city" because many of the buildings in the city are made from pink sandstone. Jaipur is full of decadent palaces and temples that were made for Mughal princes and kings.
Touring the palaces and then wondering through colorful markets full of fabrics, spice, and handicrafts is a great way to spend the day in Jaipur.
After the golden triangle cities, Rajasthan is one of the most visited places in India. In Rajasthan, travelers can experience the India of the Mughal Kings by exploring the cities of Jaisalmer and Bikaner or by taking a caravan out into the Thar desert to spend the night under the stars.
Although there are many impressive Mughal forts in India, Jaisalmer is one of the most awe-inspiring due to its size. While exploring the fort and its sandstone walls, it is easy to feel transported back to when the city was full of camel caravans and traders selling their wares.
As a city surrounded by the Thar desert, Jaisalmer is the perfect base to go out to a desert camp to spend the night. While staying at Manvar Desert camp, travelers stay in white tents around the campfire to experience what it may have been like when the area was a silk road.
From Jaisalmer, travelers can follow the ancient silk trading route to Bikaner which is a smaller city in northwestern Rajasthan. Bikaner is the quintessential Indian desert city made from beautiful dusty sandstone. Here, visitors can take camel safaris out into the desert to learn more about the area.
For visitors with more time, the cities of Udaipur, Jodhpur, and Varanasi are also great places to visit for beautiful scenery and new cultural experiences.
The Great Himalaya Region
The Himalaya Mountain Range creates the northern border of India from Pakistan all the way to Nepal and then curving down to China. Visiting the Himalayan region is a great way to escape the summer heat and take in the striking mountain views.
Starting on the Indian side of the mountains, Sikkim is a state that is located between Nepal and Bhutan. Here travelers can hike through villages that are rarely seen by outsiders. Gangtok is the capital of the kingdom where visitors can stay to take in the beautiful view or explore Chogyal Palace.
From Sikkim, it is easy to cross into the Himalayan foothills of West Bengal to visit Darjeeling. Darjeeling is a hill station that is surrounded by forests and tea plantations. Here you can take in the views of Khangchendzonga, the world’s third tallest mountain or participate in tours of local plantations.
From northeastern India, many travelers like to cross into Nepal to explore Kathmandu and it's incredible monasteries or visit Chitwan National park to see the rhinos. Adventure seekers can head to Tibet to experience some of the best mountain views in the world from rural mountain towns.
Located in the state of Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh is part of the Himalayan region near Pakistan. Ladakh is located up in the mountains and has been almost isolated from the rest of India for most of its history. Because of this, Ladakh feels almost like a different country.
Staying in Ladakh feels like you are living in the Himalayas. Every city and town in the area has picturesque views with mountains in the background. Summer is the best time to visit Ladakh because it experiences cool and comfortable temperatures with clear skies.
One of the top places to visit in Ladakh is the city of Leh. Leh has a medieval old town with a maze of alleyways to explore. Here travelers can see rare Buddhist art, hike the surrounding trails, or explore Leh Palace which is located high above the city and looks similar to the Potala Palace in Tibet.
Near the city of Leh is Alchi which is a small village with buildings made from mud and earth. Alchi is a great place to get away from the city and just soak in the quiet beauty of Ladakh. The monastery in Alchi has some of the most beautiful Buddhist art in India.
When taking a summer holiday in India, many people focus their attention on North India because of its incredible history, culture, and scenery. However, if you are looking for a relaxing journey to a tropical paradise, there's no better place than Kerala.
Here travelers can lay on golden beaches, explore spice plantations, visit art galleries, and experience the local culture first-hand.
The main city of Kerala is Cochin which has been a port city and an important part of the spice trade since 1341. Once a Portuguese colony, Cochin is full of beautiful colonial buildings which can be seen on a walking tour. The city is also well-known for its art galleries, boutique shops, and delicious seafood.
When looking for cooler weather, a great place to go and get closer to rural India is Munnar. Munnar is a hill station that is located in the middle of the largest tea growing area in South India. Here visitors can hike through the hills, visit the tea museum, and explore the local spice market.
One of Kerala's most famous tourist attractions is their network of canals and rivers that make up the backwaters. The backwaters is a large area of the state where many villages are only connected via waterways. Exploring this area on a houseboat is a great way to see hard to reach villages and try the local cuisine.
Best places to visit in summer in India
Besides our favorite destinations mentioned above, there are plenty of great places to visit in India during the summer months.
Below we have listed more destinations that have good weather during the summer and would be great choices to visit for travelers with extra time.
Jammu and Kashmir
Jammu and Kashmir is the northmost region of India bordering Pakistan and the Himalayas. Although we already mention Ladakh above, this region of the country has many more places to see. Some of the most beloved destinations in Jammu and Kashmir include Sonmarg, Pahalgam, and Srinagar.
Srinagar is also known as the summer capital because it is absolutely beautiful that time of year with floating gardens and clear skies. In Srinagar, travelers can take Shikara boat rides through the serene lakes, visit Dachigam National Park, or backpack through the surrounding trails.
Pahalgam is the perfect place to relax in a resort surrounded by mountains. In summer, there is also rafting or skiing in the Aru valley.
For outdoor enthusiasts, Sonmarg is a great place for mountain camping. Visitors can also trek to Thajiwas Glacier or explore the area’s lush meadows and flowing streams.
Like Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh is located in North India giving it good weather while the rest of the country experiences rain. There are many beautiful places to visit in Himachal Pradesh but two of our favorites are Dharamshala and Shimla.
Dharamshala is a popular place for travelers seeking a spiritual connection or those who want to learn more about Buddhism. In Dharamshala, visitors can spend time meditation or in temples and monasteries. Tsuglagkhang Complex is the largest Tibetan temple complex outside of Tibet and contains beautiful artwork as well as a large meditation hall.
Shimla was once known as the British summer capital of India and is currently a popular summer holiday destination. Shimla is located on steep forest-covered hills along a 12-kilometer ridge. Travelers commonly visit the town to relax in a resort or hotel while enjoying the beautiful views and nice shops along the winding main street.
Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra
Although much of Central India experiences monsoons in summer, there are some areas where rainfall isn't as heavy. In Madhya Pradesh, the city of Pachmarhi is a lesser-known summer holiday destination.
Pachmarhi is surrounded by tall rocky hills that are covered in green forests and is a great place for hiking, sightseeing, and exploring forest gorges. One of the main tourist attractions in the city are the prehistoric caves and the rock paintings which are thought to be over 10,000 years old.
In Maharashtra, Chandoli National Park is the perfect summer destination for animal-lovers. The park is recognized as a World Heritage Site and has many incredible animals such as Bengal tigers, leopards, bison, and sloth bears.
Another interesting summer destination in Maharashtra is Mahabaleshwar which is a hill station near Mumbai with waterfalls, temples, lakes, and the Pratapgarh Fort trek.
After Kerala, another incredible place to visit in South India is Tamil Nadu. While Tamil Nadu does receive some rain during the summer months, certain areas of the state such as the hill stations are the perfect scenic summer escapes.
Kodaikanal is one of Tamil Nadu's most famous hill stations and is well-known for its beautiful meadows, waterfalls, valleys, and forests. Summer is the best time to visit Kodaikanal because the waterfalls will have enough water to make them loud and magnificent. Besides hiking, travelers often boat, bike, and take yoga classes here.
If you are a food-lover then the perfect hill station to visit in South India is Yercaud. Yercaud is famous for its coffee plantations where visitors can explore the plantations via hiking trails. Yercaud also has aromatic spice plantations and markets where spices can be purchased.
For those who are interested in outdoor adventure activities than Ooty is a great place to stay. Ooty is known as the Queen of Hills and is located in Tamil Nadu's Blue Mountains. Besides adventure sports, Ooty is famous for its small train that carries visitors on a tour through the surrounding forests.
Plan Your Summer Holiday in India with Asia Highlights
Interested in taking a summer trip to India but aren't sure where you want to go? Here at Asia Highlights, we can help you plan your perfect trip that suits your travel goals and budget. To get started planning your adventure, contact us here.