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 India comes alive in a different way altogether. Let’s take a look at some of the best times to visit India.
A nine-day festival in celebration of the feminine, Navratri falls in the months of September or October. Dedicated to the goddess 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 is involved either directly or indirectly in agriculture, and so Makar Sankranti is very significant in the country. The festival also offers an opportunity to 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.
Holi is the festival of colors, celebrating the arrival of spring. It is a festival that men and women, and young and old participate in, dousing each other with color and reveling in the fun. Holi is a pan-Indian festival and usually begins with a bonfire called Holika. Music, singing and dance are an integral part of the celebration, as is the consumption of bhang, a drink made from cannabis leaves.
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. 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 to 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.