In Delhi and its surrounding areas, the monsoon is firmly over by November. Temperatures have also cooled significantly—you may even need a light jacket at night. Highs are around 82°F, and lows at 57°F. Conditions are similar in Varanasi and Kolkata.
Rajasthan’s desert climate means it has slightly hotter weather. Daytime highs are around 90°F, and nighttime lows can reach 60°F.
In Mumbai, Goa, and the Himalayas, the monsoon is also over. Kerala is still rainy at this time, and Tamil Nadu is in the grip of the Northeast monsoon.
Crowds & Costs
November is slightly quieter than December and January, when many Northern Hemisphere tourists have a winter break, and Southern Hemisphere tourists are on their summer vacation. However, the pleasant weather conditions in India make this a popular season to travel. It’s a good idea to make your arrangements in advance.
Where to Go
Whether you’re interested in the highlights of the Golden Triangle (Delhi, Agra, and Jaipur), the peaceful atmosphere of the Himalayas or the spiritual attraction of Varanasi, North India offers excellent conditions for travelers at this time.
If you’d prefer to go further south, you can head to Goa for beaches and Portuguese colonial architecture. Or check out Mumbai’s big-city attractions, which include a world-class dining and nightlife scene, and expansive art and history museums.
It’s also a good time for exploring central India’s national parks. While the vegetation is thick in the months following the monsoon rains, making Bengal tigers harder to spot, you’ll be able to enjoy the beauty of the natural scenery and abundant birdlife.
What to Do
Those who enjoy trekking can visit Sikkim at this time for hiking and outdoor sports. Mountain biking and motorcycling are popular activities in the Himalayas. Be sure to check out Darjeeling, where you’ll be able to tour lush, green tea plantations, and purchase tea directly from the source.
The spiritually-inclined can head over to Varanasi, a holy city in northeast India where pilgrims submerge themselves in the Ganges River. Varanasi is known for its ghats, rows of stone steps on the riverfront where devotees perform pooja ceremonies.
This is a great time to see the attractions of the Golden Triangle before the winter mist sets in and tourist crowds get bigger later in the year. Try to make it to the Taj Mahal early in the morning, to beat the lines and enjoy cooler temperatures.
If you’ve always wanted to ride a camel, you can do so in Rajasthan’s Thar Desert. Overnight tours offer you the opportunity to sleep outside under the stars, and to visit some abandoned villages in the region.
And of course, every month is a great month to try the tantalizing spicy foods of India’s many diverse regions. You’ll find that every state and city has its own specialties. The big cities of Delhi and Mumbai, in particular, are known for their incredible variety of unique street foods.
Events in November
Here are some of the most exciting events happening in India in November:
In Rajasthan, the Pushkar Camel Fair happens annually in November (for an itinerary including the Camel Fair, see the following section). Held at the time of the full moon, this two-week-long event is a spectacle where thousands of livestock, including camels, horses, and cattle, are bought and sold. The fair coincides with the Kartik Purnima religious festival. Many camels are dressed in colorful costumes and paraded, and a large carnival is held featuring dancers, musicians, and snake charmers.
There's also an important Sikh holiday happening this month. The festival of Guru Nanak Gurpurab (also known as Guru Nanak Jayanti) celebrates the birthday of Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhism. This festival is celebrated at the Golden Temple in Amritsar, in the Punjab region. Parades are held, and the famous temple is decorated with lights—quite a sight to see.
Traveling to India in November? Check out these great itineraries.
Rajasthan Highlights and Pushkar Fair - 16 Days This itinerary allows you to combine a visit to the Pushkar Camel Fair with a tour of Rajasthan’s beautiful cities and temples.
Third Eye Tour of India - 14 Days Visit some of India’s most important spiritual places, including Dharamshala and Rishikesh, on this two-week tour of North India and the Himalayas.