India in January: Weather, Tips & Festive Fun

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India has one of the best weather conditions in January. Winter offers cool temperatures and clear skies, perfect for sightseeing. Now is a great time to go skiing in Gulmarg or Uttarakhand, take a trip to the beautiful coastal state of Kerala, enjoy a perfect beach holiday in Goa or visit the enchanting forts and palaces of Rajasthan. There are tons of places to go and things to do if you visit India this time of year.

However, visiting India in January is not without its drawbacks though. Since this is a popular month for tourists, Crowds and high prices may be something to contend with. But if you wish to enjoy a peaceful holiday, you can always go off the beaten track — India’s sheer size allows for flexible travel.

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India Weather in January

Gandola cable car in Gulmarg Kashmir India during the winter season, India
Enjoy a chilling ski trip in Gulmarg on your trip to India in January

India is a massive country, where the weather changes depending on where you go. Generally, temperatures across India in January are moderate with very little rain. While the northern region of the country bears the winter’s brunt with the temperatures dipping below 10°C, it is much warmer in places like Kerala and Goa in the south. Here, daytime temperatures could go up to 30°C. Central India and Mumbai are pleasantly warm during the day, but it can get chillier in the evenings and nights.

For a seasonal overview, read our article on the best time to visit India.

Weather in India in January - Rainfall and Temperatures

Dec Jan Feb
Avg Daily (°C) 21 18 23
Avg Nightly (°C) 8 7 11
Avg Daily (°F) 70 65 74
Avg Nightly (°F) 47 45 52
Avg Rainfall (mm) 10 23 18

Why Visit India in January

Traditional artists perform Cham dance in Diskit,Ladakh, India.
Learn more about the rich Buddhist culture of Ladakh on a trip to the nearby monasteries and see the majestic glaciers, India in January
Snow covered mountains in the Okhimath district of Chamoli garhwal, India
Enjoy a thrilling trek in Uttarakhand on your trip to India in January

India in January offers fantastic weather, making it popular among travelers. Tourists from the Southern Hemisphere pour into the country for their summer break during this time of year. Popular destinations could get a bit crowded due to this and the prices of accommodation could also increase. However, drawbacks aside, there are still several great reasons to visit India in January. 

  • Perfect weather: Without summer’s sweltering heat and the monsoon season’s torrential rains, January in India offers the perfect setting for adventures. Whether you are exploring cultural sites, touring different cities, or hiking through national parks, the weather will be on your side.
  • Winter activities: India’s winter destinations take center stage in January. This is an excellent time to explore India’s snow-capped regions. Head to Gulmarg, one of Asia’s best ski destinations, or go on a winter snow trek in Uttarakhand for a fun winter holiday.
  • Festive fun: Enjoy the dance and folk music in Kutch’s Rann Utsav, or head further north to Punjab for Lohri, a winter festival dedicated to the sun god that is celebrated with singing and dancing around bonfires.

Where to go and what to do

Aerial image of Benaulim beach, South Goa, India in January
If you want to escape the crowds in Goa head to the southern part of the region, India in January

Whether you are looking for winter excursions or warm adventures by the shore, India can offer them both in January. For a remarkable winter in India holiday, set your sights on Auli in Uttarakhand, renowned for its top-notch ski resorts, offering an unparalleled winter sports experience. For fun in the sun, and explore Goa’s beaches this month. If you are trying to avoid crowds, you might want to head for the beaches of southern Goa. North Goa, on the other hand, is all about fun in the crowd and is famous for its bustling nightlife. For stunning views, plan a romantic escapade to Kerala and enjoy its serene rivers, gorgeous sunsets, and fantastic food.

One of the best places to visit in India in January is Rajasthan, where the Thar Desert (also called the Great Indian Desert) is located. Cooler weather conditions mean you can enjoy a camel safari among ever-shifting dunes, explore Rajasthan and acquaint yourself with its historic cities. The January weather also offers the perfect opportunity to spy on wildlife in Ranthambore National Park. For more information, read our article on how many days to spend in India.

Great weather is January’s main draw, so if you are looking for an Indian escapade sans heat and rain, this month is one of your best bets. Your visit is bound to be exciting, as several cultural festivals add flavor to the month. The only caveat is that you will most likely encounter crowds and high prices. If you are aiming to visit popular destinations, plan your holiday in advance. While peak-season rates may be harder on your pocket, India is a relatively inexpensive destination to visit regardless of the season.

Feel free to contact our local travel experts for a customized trip to India. Alternatively, you can check out our India tours in January.

Published by David Lee, updated on June 15, 2023

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