In Delhi and its surrounding areas, October means cooling weather and the end of the monsoon. The city rarely experiences rain at this time. Highs are around 91°F, and lows at 70°F. Rajasthan has similar, if slightly hotter, weather. The monsoon is also ending in the areas east of Delhi, making this a good time to visit Varanasi and Kolkata.
In addition, Mumbai and Goa experience little rain and moderate temperatures in October. Kerala is still rather wet. In Tamil Nadu, the Northeast monsoon is just kicking off at this time, so it may not be the best time to visit there.
At this point, the monsoon is ending all over the Himalayas, making it a good time to visit Himachal Pradesh and Sikkim.
Crowds & Costs
October isn’t as busy as December and January, when many Northern Hemisphere tourists have a winter break, and Southern Hemisphere tourists are on their summer vacation. However, this is still the high season, and you can expect prices to begin to go up at this time. It’s a good idea to make your arrangements in advance.
Where to Go
October is a great month to check out the attractions of the Golden Triangle (Delhi, Agra, and Jaipur) before they get too busy. If you have more time after seeing the highlights, lovers of history and architecture may want to head west to Rajasthan, while the spiritually-inclined can head east to Varanasi.
If you’ve already seen the Taj Mahal or are in the mood for something different, you can visit Mumbai for the glamorous Bollywood experience. Otherwise, sprawl out on the famous beaches of Goa, where the weather is perfect for relaxation.
What to Do
If you end up in the Golden Triangle, try to visit the Taj Mahal early in the morning to beat the lines, and enjoy cooler temperatures.
Once you’ve seen Delhi and Jaipur’s attractions, you can explore some of the other unmissable towns and cities in the region. The urban centers of Rajasthan are filled with historic buildings, and each city has an unmistakable color palette. To complement Jaipur’s pink sandstone, you have Jodhpur’s blue-painted houses, Udaipur’s white marble palaces, and Jaisalmer’s golden-hued havelis. If you have time, don’t miss taking a tour of the Thar Desert by camel.
For those who want to visit Mumbai, be sure to check out the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Elephanta Caves, accessible via a short ferry ride from the famous Gateway of India monument. The Chhatrapati Shivaji Museum is also interesting to see, and has extensive displays on Indian history and art.
When you’re done sightseeing, you can wander through the streets and take in the city’s ambiance—Mumbai is filled with some of the country’s best eateries and nightlife. The historic neighborhoods of Fort and Colaba are filled with British colonial architecture in the Indo-Saracenic style, while Bandra and Juhu in the suburbs are the hangouts of Bollywood stars.
Events in October
There are many events you can attend in India in October. Here are some of the best:
The Rajasthan International Folk Festival is an annual event showcasing local music and art from this Indian state. It takes place over a period of several days in mid-October near the Mehrangarh Fort in Jodhpur. Visitors to the city will be able to enjoy singing, storytelling, and dance performances. But this isn’t the only festival in Jodhpur during this time—there’s also the Marwar Festival, where travelers can watch a game of Jodhpur’s most famous sport, horse polo.
There’s also an important Indian religious holiday that takes place around this time (the dates of religious events can change every year, according to the lunisolar calendars used on the subcontinent). This holiday is Diwali, or the festival of lights. Celebrated by Hindus, Jains, Sikhs, and some Buddhists, Diwali is commemorated with candles and fireworks displays. You can take part in Diwali celebrations anywhere in India, except for the state of Kerala, where it is not widely observed.
Traveling to India in October? Check out these great itineraries.
Explore Rajasthan: Palaces, Forts, and Thar Desert - 9 Days This nine-day tour will give you a taste of the sprawling and impressive Thar Desert, plus the bustling metropolis of Delhi.
Golden Triangle & Rajasthan - 11 Days With this tour you can see Rajasthan, learn craft skills from local artisans, and experience the world-famous Taj Mahal.