Best Time to Visit India for Your First Solo Trip | My Guide to Seasons
If you Google this question, ‘what is the best time to visit India?’, you’ll get an answer which says November to March. Being an Indian solo female traveller myself, let me tell you that you can visit India all year round! But do keep in mind that the experience you get from visiting a certain place can differ during different seasons.
Basically, there are three climates in India –
- Winter – The winter season in India starts in November and goes on till the end of February.
- Summer – India experiences the heat of the sun starting from March, and the temperature drops towards the end of May.
- Monsoon (rainy season) – You can see it drizzle and rain starting from June and continue up to October.
When you’re planning your solo trip to India, you must have these seasons in the back of your mind and look for places to visit that are the best during these seasons. I know it can be a real pain to search for places to visit during a particular season. So, to reduce your work, I have shortlisted some places that you must visit each season during your solo trip to India. Before booking your tickets to these amazing places, remember these tips!
Best places to visit in Winter
Winter being my favourite season, I travel a lot during these times. My favourite part about solo travelling during winters is that I get to add extra layers to my outfit! Also, it can be one of the most comfortable times to travel.
Another fascinating fact about solo travelling during winters is that the people celebrate a lot of festivals during these times, and it depicts the variety in cultures that India has to offer. Having travelled to a lot of places in winters myself, here’s a list of some of my favourite places to visit during this season –
Average temperature: 7°C to 20°C
The capital of Meghalaya, nicknamed the ‘Scotland of the East’, is a beautiful hill station located 1,496 metres (4,900 feet) above sea level. The temperature here is cold without snowfall, a perfect example that shows how cold places can be beautiful even without snow!
It is a picturesque hill station with greenery, waterfalls, and lakes. All of this makes Shillong a great place to visit during winters. Boating, trekking, horse riding, visiting waterfalls are some of the many things you can do in Shillong. And don’t be surprised with frosting in the morning on the windows of your room!
Tawang, Arunachal Pradesh
Average temperature: -9°C to 8°C
Tawang is a small town in Arunachal Pradesh with a population of only 11,000 but a major tourist hotspot. Located 3,048 metres (10,000 feet) above sea level, it is one of the most beautiful places in North East India, known for the famous Tawang Monastery.
If you are someone who enjoys snow, Tawang could be your pick for your next solo travel destination as it snows here from late November to early December. People living here have built their houses from bamboo-wood on stones, and that’s something you won’t see anywhere else.
During my solo travel to Tawang, I was surprised to see people’s houses, and it looked like magic! The mountains, lakes, and the Himalayan beauty are other things that I got to experience and loved every bit of it.
Darjeeling, West Bengal
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Average temperature: 3°C to 20°C
Nicknamed the ‘Queen of the Hills,’ it is known for its tea industry, the views of Kangchenjunga – the world’s third-highest mountain, and the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway. You can enjoy snow here during December and January and also enjoy trekking, mountaineering, and paragliding if you’re interested.
The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, also known as the toy train ride, is another major tourist attraction. It is a 2-hour long ride on a train that runs from New Jalpaiguri to Darjeeling, covering a length of 88km. I enjoyed my time on the toy train during my solo trip to Darjeeling. As it can get quite boring on the long ride, I ended up talking to a few travellers on the train and learnt new things about the culture in Darjeeling! It was truly one of the best memories of all my solo travel experiences.
Gulmarg, Jammu, and Kashmir
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Average temperature: -10°C to 6°C
Nicknamed ‘The Jewel in the Crown of Kashmir,’ the beauty of Gulmarg comes to life in the winter season due to snowfall. This place is a major tourist attraction during the winter seasons, and you’ll see a lot of international and local tourists enjoying holidays in Gulmarg.
You can also enjoy winter sports like snowboarding and skiing on your solo trip to Gulmarg. Coming to the most famous part about the town – the gondola rides, this is a must during your solo trip to Gulmarg. The ride cost me Rs. 740 ($10) for phase 1 and Rs. 950 ($13) for phase 2, and the experience is more than worth it!
Best places to visit in Summer
People usually think that Indian summers can get unbearably hot, it can sometimes be true, but this is what makes the country unique! Travelling during summers can be your worst experience if you don’t pick the right places for your solo trip or don’t pack the right things. This is the time when you get to shop a lot in this country, and before you go out to shop your heart out, learn how to bargain like a pro!
Summer not being my favourite, I pick my destinations very carefully. And to make this task easier for you, here’s a list of my top places to visit in India during summer –
Average temperature: 15°C to 26°C
Located above 1,600 metres (5,200 feet) above sea level, Munnar is a popular hill station in South India and is also known as ‘Kashmir of South India.’ It is known for its tea plantations, beautiful lakes, impressive valleys, and thick forests.
The weather of Munnar makes this place a must-visit in the summers. Unlike the scorching heat in other parts of the country, Munnar offers a cool breeze even in the summer season, perfect for leisure solo female travellers.
During my stay in Munnar, I thoroughly enjoyed the weather and had an amazing experience, something that I hadn’t experienced earlier in my life!
Kodaikanal, Tamil Nadu
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Average temperature: 17°C to 29°C
A popular tourist destination, known as the ‘Princess of Hill Stations,’ the natural beauty of Kodaikanal is a sight to behold! A big chunk of the population is indulged in the hospitality industry, and tourism boosts the economy of this place. A possible interpretation of Kodaikanal from the Tamil language means “a place to see in summer.”
This beautiful hill station has calm weather even in the summer seasons and is a perfect excuse for you to plan your solo trip to South India and escape the scorching heat. The picturesque Western Ghats, serene environment, and pleasant weather sound nothing less than heaven on Earth!
Dzukou Valley, Nagaland
Average temperature: 10°C to 24°C
Situated 2,452 metres (8,000 feet) above the sea, the Dzukou Valley is well known for its flora, fauna, and seasonal flowers. The famous Dzukou Lily is found only in this valley.
If you are someone who loves nature, this is the place for you. The valley is covered with a wide variety of flowers in the summer season, the beauty of which cannot be expressed in words! Usually, the Dzukou Valley is not jam-packed with tourists, so you will be able to spend some quality time in nature peacefully.
Average temperature: 18°C to 31°C
Officially known as Kodagu and nicknamed the ‘Scotland of India,’ the weather in the summer season is comfortably hot here, and it is a very popular tourist destination all year round. The adventures, foggy landscapes and the rich culture and history of Kodagu is the main attraction.
Abbey Falls, Dubare Elephant Park, Madikeri Fort, Raja’s Seat, and Namdroling Monastery are some of the places you must visit during your solo trip to Coorg. You will be amazed by the variety of natural beauty in Coorg. And also, Coorg remains my favourite destination for solo travel to date due to its perfect weather!
Best places to visit in Monsoon
The rainy season in India lasts from June to October, and the rains here are very unpredictable. Solo travelling in the monsoon season can be tricky, but it can be a wonderful time to explore India, and the experiences are those that you’ll cherish for a lifetime.
The rainy season in India brings relief from the hot summers in the country. It can be tricky to plan your solo trip to India during the monsoon season, so here’s my pick of the best places to visit in India during the monsoon season –
Average temperature: 14°C to 24°C
Known as the wettest place on the planet, Mawsynram receives 465 inches of rainfall on average every year. Compared to the 25-inch average in the country, that’s 440 inches more! Now you might be wondering why I should travel to a place where it rains almost all the time? Well, the answer to this question is the experience you get. You will be baffled to see it rain all the time (just like I was) and start questioning yourself, how is it even possible?
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Although it doesn’t rain all day here, it rains every day. But there are some amazing places to visit here too. Mawsmai Caves, Mawsmai Falls, Nohalikalai Falls, Mawlyngbna, and Cherrapunji are some of the most famous places you must visit during your solo trip to Mawsynram.
Valley of Flowers National Park, Uttarakhand
Average temperature: 14°C to 33°C
This is one of those places that you must visit during your solo travel. You can visit this place only during the monsoon season as it is covered in snow for the rest of the year. The best time to visit is mid-July to mid-August because that’s when the flowers are fully bloomed and look amazing!
Not only is this place famous for the flowers, but it is also very famous for its natural beauty, endangered animals, endemic alpine flowers, and it is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. I promise your solo trip to Valley of Flowers National Park is going to be a magical one, just like mine!
Average temperature: 23°C to 34°C
The Konark Sun Temple, another UNESCO World Heritage Site, is the reason for the fame of this town. Other than visiting the Sun Temple, there are many beaches and museums that you can check out during your solo trip to Konark.
It also receives a good amount of rainfall in the monsoon season and provides relief from the scorching heat in the summers. The weather is also another reason to visit Konark as it can get calm and beautiful in the monsoon season. But beware of the tourist scams.
Average temperature: 20°C to 30°C
Known for its production of chikki (a hard candy), Lonavala is the perfect place to visit during the monsoon season. The rain and the smell of fresh wet soil on a hill station is the perfect way to spend your monsoon season. Other than this, Lonavala has beautiful green valleys, amazing waterfalls, quiet lakes, and some caves to visit as well.
Tiger’s Leap, Bhaja Caves, Duke’s Nose, Tikona Fort, Rajmachi Fort, and Pawna Lake are some of the places that I visited during my solo trip to Lonavala. Even though Lonavala may not be my first pick to visit during the monsoon season, I had a great time exploring the place, and it will remain a memorable experience that I will cherish forever. The overcast sky and the cool breeze make Lonavala a must-go-to place during the monsoon season.
Something for everyone!
I’ve covered quite a few places for you to choose from for your next solo trip to India. And if you have a hard time choosing a destination for your first solo travel experience, just read this blog. I’m sure it will help you choose the right place/destination for you.
Remember that India has something to offer during each season, but make sure that you choose the right place to visit if you don’t want to ruin your experience. Also, Indians celebrate a lot of festivals all year round, so it’s highly likely that during your visit to the country, you will encounter people celebrating festivals most of the time. My favourite festival is Diwali, and it is an absolute bliss to witness its diversity in different states of India. All of this only adds up to your experience that you gain from visiting a culturally wealthy country like India.
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India makes a great beach destination as well! Yes, it has Goa, the perfection solo travel destination for fun, food, party, spiritual experience – you name it, Goa has it!
If you end up travelling to any of the places that I have mentioned in this blog, please feel free to let me know about your experience in the comment section. And finally, don’t forget to carry these things if you are going on your first solo trip!
An introverted blogger who is looking to make unforgettable solo travel memories with one short life.