An overview of weather in India in January
We consider January as one of the best months to visit India due to its pleasant temperatures and low precipitation. Winter has fully arrived all over the country which means the temperatures will drop to their lowest point of the year. However, the weather in January in India can really vary depending of which part of the country of you are visiting. Particularly so between the Himalayas, regions in North India, Goa and South India.
January is usually a dry month with almost no region in India receiving any rainfall. Overall, the weather in India in January is cold, but not harsh. As long as you don’t visit the snowy peaks of the mountains in the north you will not be too cold. The temperatures can vary largely between the day and night. Be prepared for a maximum of 30° C/86° F and a minimum of 15° C/60° F. Sometimes even lower. Best you pack for any circumstances.
Weather in North India during January
North India can be fairly cold in January. You can expect regions of Delhi – Agra – Rajasthan and central India to dip between 15 to 5° C/60 to 40° F at night and heat up to max. 28 to 30° C /82 to 86° F in the day. The average temperature would be around 23° C/73° F. Rooms with heating facilities in India are very uncommon. You would need to stay at an upper-end hotel to find one. However, hotels and guesthouses in lower categories are mostly prepared with warm blankets for the night. Carry a few woolens, a pair of warm socks and something to cover your ears at night. Jaisalmer or further north like Amritsar and Delhi can be particularly cold at night. Nature reserves given their vast acreage of forests can be particularly cold.
However, the cold just creeps in after the sun sets. In the day time the sun shines and warms you up quickly. There are rarely clouds and surely no rain in January in North and Central India. However, sometimes a very persistent fog occurs during the winters around Delhi and Agra that can last for days. It can disturb any form of transportation from air traffic to train departures. So be prepared for potential delays while travelling. Also it is main season in Rajasthan so a couple of places might be crowded with tourists and hotel availabilities might be an issue. Train tickets should be booked up to two or three months ahead.
If you are interesting in travelling through Rajasthan and north India in January, check out Henning’s two-week-trip to Rajasthan with homestay experiences or Chiara’s a little bit more flashy Rajasthan Trip. We also have a couple suggestions in this blog articles about Delhi – Agra – Rajasthan route options.
Weather in the Himalayas in January
You can expect most of the Himalayas to be blanketed in snow in January. It might not be everyone’s first choice for a trip to India as trekking and many other summer outdoor options are out of the picture. But it definitely has its charm to visit some hill stations in January. It’s a great month to ski if you are considering visiting Gulmarg in Kashmir. Do consider the safety concerns for the region due to the Indian-Pakistan border conflict! Other smaller ski resorts are in Manali and Auli in Himachal Pradesh. However, don’t expect the same kind of skiing experience you get in the West as there are less lifts or slopes.
Winter also brings the issue of closed or blocked roads and hiking paths due to ice and snow. That can make travelling difficult, expensive and tiring. Therefore, the Himalayas are best enjoyed when visiting in spring, summer or autumn. Then you can also go hiking and enjoy the views.
Weather in South India in January
The weather in South India in January is usually never uncomfortably cold. If you are traveling to Kerala, Karnataka or Tamil Nadu in the South you can expect the temperatures at night to be a pleasant 15 to 20 C/60° to 68° F. The days are sunny and usually above 25°C/77° F. The humidity levels drop and even Tamil Nadu, which faces a second monsoon until middle of December, stays dry. This makes South India a very comfortable region to travel across in the month of January. Another plus: the sea is all warmed up from the previous hot season and the current is not as strong as the rest of the year. So it is a great time to enjoy the mountains and seaside.
But it is also main tourist season and therefore quite busy in popular places like Varkala and Kochi. Accommodations should be booked long in advance or they might loose their availabilities. Check out Daphne’s two week trip from Mumbai to Kerala or Tom and Amy’s trip from the east coast in Tamil Nadu to Kerala’s west coast.
Weather in Goa in January
Goa is rarely too cold in January. However, given the vast stretches of countryside the nights can have a little nip in the air. The days are still sunny and temperatures are mostly above 25°C/77°. It’s a great time to get some sun in Goa without feeling too hot. The waters can be a little cold, but still not freezing cold. The previous hot months left quite a nice water temperature.
The only downside of visiting Goa in January is that it can be quite crowded as the months of December and January are the busiest months for tourism in Goa. Many of the popular resorts are booked out months in advance, not rarely already half a year beforehand. So plan your trip early. However, we always find a place for you to stay and enjoy. Check out Rachel’s trip from Mumbai to Kerala via Goa to find inspiration for a travel route inclusive of Goa.
India Someday recommendations for traveling in India in January
Rajasthan and North India are very popular regions in January but people often underestimate the cold weather that can occur in the dessert state and around. North India has a lot to offer as long as you carry some warm clothes. You also need to be prepared for some tourist crowds to share the Taj Mahal with. Try to get off the beaten path and also visit smaller towns like Mandawa, Chittorgarh or Chandelao. If you want to take a safari in Ranthambore National Park then you would need to book at least three months ahead. Many popular boutique hotels in cities like Jaipur and Udaipur are booked out months beforehand. You might need to choose lesser known places. Be prepared for some train and flight delays due to fog.
South India is our number 1 recommendation for a visit to India in January. The temperatures are pleasant, there is no rain and low humidity levels and the sea currents are less strong. But it can get crowded here too as it’s definitely main season.
For both regions you can expect more bustle and hustle in the first half of January rather than the second half. Some hotels also charge more from Christmas until middle of January and from then onwards it gets cheaper.
If you consider a trip to India in January, you are in the right place. India Someday can help you plan a route and the best choice of accommodations and transport modes. And if a hotel is booked out we will find a suitable alternative within your budget and expectations. Stop dreaming and plan your trip with us now!