Where to travel in July and August to avoid Monsoon in India

“I’m traveling in July and August, where can I go to avoid monsoon in India?

Unfortunately, the time when most people in the UK, Europe and America have their big Summer holidays coincides with the season for the monsoon in India.

So I get many emails from readers asking if they should come to Goa in July or asking what it will be like to travel in India during monsoon.

So should you travel India during the monsoon?

There are advantages to traveling during the monsoon in India, for example:

  • It’s off peak season so attractions are less crowded
  • Prices are lower
  • And the rains are a respite from the summer heat and wash the dust away leaving the countryside gorgeously, glistening and green
Portuguese house and lush green fields in Goa during monsoon season

Portuguese house and lush green fields in Goa during monsoon season

 

Whilst some people, especially Indians, enjoy the rainy season (if that’s you check out the best destinations to enjoy the monsoon in India) , in my honest opinion I think monsoon is not the best time to visit India – perhaps this is just because I’m British and I see so much rain that I really don’t want to fly half way around the world for more rain!

There are pros and cons to visiting Goa during the monsoon, come if you like it quiet and green but be aware that most of the beach shacks, markets and parties are not open during the rainy season and the sea can be rough for swimming.

Visiting Goa in monsoon is very different from peak season

Visiting Goa in monsoon is very different from peak season

When’s the best time to visit India?

The best time to visit (the majority of) India is in the winter months, between November and March when the weather is cool and dry perfect to enjoy sightseeing. April and May start to get pretty hot ( a good time to escape up to the mountains) and in June the monsoon in India starts to arrive.

What’s the monsoon in India like?

The monsoon usually arrives in Kerala around 1st June and sweeps its way up the country. The rains should hit Goa about a week later, then Mumbai and usually reach Delhi by the end of June.

It can be quite fun to watch the locals welcome to start of the monsoon as children run around and everyone dances in the rain because its such a refreshing change from the heat and humidity of summer. Goa even has a really fun festival called Sao Joao at the end of June where the locals jump into wells!

tropical rain and palm trees in monsoon in India

Unlike the monsoon in Southeast Asia where the rains usually pour heavily for an hour or two in the afternoon or overnight and needn’t disrupt your sightseeing plans too much the monsoon in India is heavy and unpredictable and can cause flooding, but still, it doesn’t rain non stop for 3 months.

July and August are the rainiest months in India but not everywhere receives the same amount of rain – Mumbai, Kolkata (Calcutta) and the North East see the most rain but other places see less.

640px-Mumbai_monsoon

So if you really can’t visit India any other time and don’t like the rain here’s where can you go to avoid the worst of the monsoon:

  • If you’re coming in late June or early July then head up to the mountains of Himachal Pradesh for Dharamshala, Manali, Parvati Valley, Shimla and Kashmir as they receive the monsoon last. Just don’t go to the North East India and the eastern Himalaya region, around Sikkim and Meghalaya as these are some of the wettest places, not just India, but in the world!
  • August is the perfect time to visit the surreal and beautiful town of Leh and region of Ladakh. It’s a remote and out of this world beautiful place in the Tibetan plateau of the Himalays with an alpine desert, dry barren landscape and interesting, historic Buddhist monasteries. Popular Leh has a very short tourist season as it’s only accessible by road from late June till early October and the absolute best time to go is July and August. Ladakh escapes the monsoon rains entirely but you won’t be the only one there – this is peak season and it can get pretty crowded. Spiti Valley also offers a similar high-altitude desert landscape but with fewer visitors.
ladakh india

Ladakh doesn’t get the monsoon rains

  • The desert state of Rajasthan with it’s rich heritage, flamboyant palaces and imposing forts doesn’t see as much rain as some areas of India and traveling here in monsoon time is an opportunity to see some of India’s most enchanting sights without the crowds and stay at some fine heritage properties, even palaces, for less.
  • While the rains are lashing Kerala and Goa, on the South East coast Tamil Nadu, a state of interesting ancient temples and culture, sees less rainfall in July and August as it gets most of its rain from the northeast monsoon in October to December.
  • The Deccan Plateau on the eastern side of the Western Ghats mountain range also sees less rain and is home to interesting sights like the Ellora and Ajantha Caves, the cities of Hyderabad and Bangalore and also in Karnataka popular Hampi plus some more off beat historical places like Badami, Bidar and Bijapur.
  • Also Try: The Valley of Flowers, in Uttarakhand is a stunning high-altitude Himalayan valley that most of the year is covered in snow but has over 300 different varieties of flowers that comes alive with the monsoon rain in a spectacular show of colour. It’ll be rainy but it will be worth it!
The valley of flowers in Garhwal, Uttarakhand

The valley of flowers in Garhwal, Uttarakhand

So there’s my suggestions of where to go in India in July and August to avoid the monsoon rains.

Read More:

The pros and cons of visiting Goa in monsoon

FAQ – Should I come to Goa during monsoon – Hippie in Heels

9 Reasons to visit India in monsoon – CNN Travel

Have you travelled India during monsoon? How was your experience?  Let me know in the comments below.

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Sunset over romantic Udaipur in Rajasthan

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Traveling India in July and August: Where to go to avoid the monsoon in India

 

 

 

 

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