In Delhi and its surrounding areas, September is hot but relatively dry. The month sees an average of just six days of rain, with highs at 93°F and lows at 77°F. The weather is similar in Rajasthan, with even fewer days of rain.
In Kolkata and West Bengal, the monsoon is still in full swing in September, with an average of 14 days of rain. Kerala, Mumbai, and Goa are also still wet during this time. In Tamil Nadu, September means a brief pause between the Southwest monsoon and the Northeast monsoon, so rainfall slows down during this month.
The eastern Himalayas (Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim, etc.), are still rainy during this time. Kashmir and Ladakh are fairly dry, and the cold of winter hasn’t set in yet.
Crowds & Costs
Peak season in most of India begins in October. September is still quiet, with the receding monsoon and warmer weather keeping the crowds away. Most visitors are heading back to school and work at this time, making September a “shoulder season” month: it’s a good time to take advantage of reasonable weather and cheaper prices.
Where to Go
September is the perfect time to explore the famous attractions around Delhi. Hot spots like the Taj Mahal will be quiet and not too crowded, while visibility is good and the weather is amenable for sightseeing. The palaces of Rajasthan are also splendid during this time, offering great views and short lines.
If you’d prefer, you could also head south to Tamil Nadu to experience the region’s awe-inspiring temples before the next monsoon hits. If you’re eager to combine it with a trip to Kerala, you can do so. Although Kerala stays quite rainy until December, the rains start to slow down and become more intermittent near the end of the year, making sightseeing easier.
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What to Do
The drier weather makes September a perfect month for urban exploring, and seeing North India’s highlights. The Golden Triangle’s attractions are very photogenic at this time of year. If you’re planning to visit the Taj Mahal, try to go early in the morning. This will give you the chance to see the sunrise, beat the lines, and enjoy cooler temperatures.
Delhi also offers a plethora of things to do: besides highlights like the Red Fort, the city is also packed with historic attractions like the Lodhi Gardens, Qutb Minar, and Humayun’s Tomb. This is also a great opportunity to wander through the streets of Old Delhi. In the open-air market of Chandni Chowk, you can buy local goods and try some of the city’s street food.
If you end up traveling to Rajasthan, don’t miss taking a tour of the Thar Desert by camel from the town of Jaisalmer. For those who would rather head down to Tamil Nadu, some interesting sites to see are the temples at Madurai and Trichy, the French colonial city of Pondicherry, and the spiritual commune at Auroville. And if you do choose to add on Kerala, you can tour the Kerala backwaters by traditional wooden houseboat.
Events in September
Here are some of the events you can attend in India in September. Note that the dates of religious events can change each year, according to the lunisolar calendars used on the subcontinent.
In Kerala, the important harvest festival of Onam takes place around this time. It’s celebrated with floral decorations, boat races, singing and dancing, and feasts served on banana leaves in the traditional South Indian style. To experience Onam, you could head to any Keralan town or city, such as Trivandrum or Kochi.
Navaratri is another festival happening in India around September. This nine-day festival is dedicated to the Mother Goddess (Shakti) and her various manifestations. In Delhi, Navaratri is celebrated with Ramlila plays—traditional folk performances of the sacred Sanskrit epic, the Ramayana.
Finally, if you visit Mumbai in September, you might get to experience Ganesh Chaturthi, an 11-day festival honoring the birth of the elephant-headed god Ganesh. At the end of the festival, statues of Ganesh are paraded through the streets and immersed in the sea. This festival is very popular and the city gets crowded, so it’s a good idea to make arrangements in advance.
Traveling to India in September? Check out these great itineraries.
Explore Rajasthan: Palaces, Forts, and the Thar Desert - 9 Days With this nine-day tour, you’ll get to see some of the highlights of Rajasthan’s majestic cities, plus Delhi.
India’s Golden Triangle: A Local Perspective - 5 Days This tour offers you the chance to immerse yourself in local communities, while seeing the highlights of Delhi, Jaipur, and Agra.