Weather in India in September

An overview of September Weather in India 

Most travelers don’t know it, but September is a great month to visit India. It marks the last month of the monsoon which started in June. It usually means lighter rains or heavy rains but only in short spurts. Overall India in September is drier and sunnier than the months of July and August and not quite as hot yet as in October as it is often cloudy. North India is drier than South India. Kerala can still receive persistent showers during the month of September.

It is also the last ‘off-season month’ for hotels in India. Hotels in India offer fabulous discounts during off-season. So you can stay at fantastic heritage hotels and resorts without breaking the bank. In the same time, you won’t need to share the sights, monuments and museums with huge tourist crowds as the season hasn’t started yet.

Before we go into detail about the climate conditions in the main tourist destinations of north and south India, there is one more benefit to travelling in September to India that demands attention: the beginning of the festival season. The whole months there are many celebrations happening all over India:

  • Ganesh Chaturthi. This 11 day long festival for the Hindu elephant-headed god Ganesha or Ganpati is celebrated especially largely in Mumbai. Massive elaborately crafted statues of Ganesha are kept home and prayed to for 11 days before they are paraded through the streets with singing and dancing on the last day of the festival (05/09/2017, 24/09/2018). Then eventually they are submerged into the sea – a fascinating sight at the crowded beaches of the maximum city.

Massive decorated Ganeshas are brought to the sea to be submerged in the water. Massive decorated Ganeshas are brought to the sea to be submerged in the water.

  • Onam. Onam is a 10 days festival celebrated in Kerala. Houses are colourfully decorated, feats are served and games are being played. The biggest events happen in Trivandrum, Thrissur, and Kottayam. (25/08 – 06/09/2017, 15/08-27/08/2018)
  • Onam Pulikkali Tiger Play. One of the most bizzare festivals in India includes 100 of men dressing up as tigers and dancing through the streets of Thrissur. (08/09/2017, 29/09/2018)
  • Navaratri & Dusshera. A nine day long festival celebrating all forms of the mother goddess. People fast in the day and dance and fest at night. On the 10th day Dussehra, the victory of good over evil, is celebrated. The biggest celebration happens in Kolkata (Durga Puja), but you can also observe the ceremonies all over Gujarat, Rajasthan,  in Delhi, Varanasi, Mumbai, Mysore and in the small town of Kullu in Himachal Pradesh. 

Dussehra India Fire offerings to the mother goddess. Photo by Abhishek Shirali @ Flickr

North India in September

North India is a great region to visit in the month of September. The rains are usually light and in short spells. The days are sunny and the temperature can vary from being pleasantly warm to hot. Never too cold, even at night. Since it has been raining since June the nature is still colored in lush green, the farmers are still busy working in the fields and the lakes, rivers and waterfalls are still teeming with water.

Rajasthan_Monsoon Udaipur is surrounded by hills which change colour from dry brown to lush green in the monsoon. Photo from Flickr, Evonne

Off-season rates, low number of tourists and sunny days make Rajasthan a great region to tour in September. It is less rainy than in July and August and less hot than in October so it is actually a fantastic time to visit. Overall, the rains are hardly an obstacle in Rajasthan anyways and more so in the month of September.

However, a lot of the touristy activities would not have kicked off yet. For instance, in Jaisalmer you may not be able to do an overnight camel safari as it is still off-season. All National parks in India only open towards the start or the middle of October.

Check out Henning’s two week trip in Rajasthan with homestays or Chiara’s Flashpacking Trip in Rajasthan. More route suggestions here.


September is considered to be the post-monsoon month for the Himalayas, especially in the foot hills around Rishikesh, Shimla, Dharamsala or other hill stations. While the main monsoon months of June, July and August bring dangers like landslides, cloud bursts, flooding and storms, September means clear weather with no or less chances of rain and temperatures that are pleasant without being too cold. Visibility in the Himlayas of the distant peaks is best during the post monsoon months. (i.e. September onwards). September is a great time to relax at a Himalyan hill station or set out on treks.

Ladakh_landscape Ladakh’s weather is dry during the summer months but it can start to snow and get cold in September. Photo from Flickr, Irumge

Ladakh’s main tourist season lasts from June until early September but sometimes it starts to snow and get very cold at the end of August already. This is hard to predict and can change from year to year. You can surely fly to Leh and enjoy the views from the small town and some places close by but you might not be able to travel over the passes from Manali to Leh and to the beautiful Pangong Tso or Nubra Valley.

In the North East the rain season get also weaker and the weather clearer with shorter and weaker rainfalls. Due to the weak infrastructure and road conditions though the region requires some time to prepare for the main season so it would be more ideal to visit in October of November.

If the mountains are calling you check out our tour ideas for the Himalayas here.

South India in September

Depending on which part of South India you are touring you will encounter either little or a lot of rain. Kerala is usually still very wet during the month of September. Very pretty as it is very green, but heavy rains are common. But if one enjoys the tropical climate and trekking during in lower temperatures without the strong sun shining this is the perfect month. National parks like Periyar and Eravikulam remain open in the south.

Tamil Nadu and Karnataka are usually dry during the month of September. The days are sunny and hot. The main monsoon in Tamil Nadu starts in November. It is a great time to visit Hampi, the popular backpacking destination in the center of Karnataka. This place can get very hot and dry in the rest of the year so if you want to experience a green and cool Hampi come in September. You can travel then to Mysore and Wayanad and eventually to Kerala, see here.

Hampi is surrounded with lush green rice fields in the monsoon. Photo Hampi is surrounded with lush green rice fields in the monsoon. Photo from Flickr, Manoj Vasanth

September is still a very quiet month in Goa. It can be wet, but showers are not as heavy. You can get a week of little or no rain and very sunny days at the end of the month. However, the waters are still rough during the month of September. South Goa is still very dead as the season mostly starts in October and November. North Goa would slowly be kicking into action with shacks, restaurants and activities opening up. But don’t forget that Goa also has a great country side with rain forests and impressive waterfalls. It’s worth a visit on the way from Mumbai to Hampi, see here.

In a nutshell: With off-season rates and a lower number of tourists, September is a great month to tour India. Rajasthan and the Himalayas would be the best regions to travel through. However, a South India tour of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka is perfectly possible. Kerala’s and Goa’s beaches should be avoided but the countryside and hill stations are worth visiting.

If you’re planning to travel to India in September plan your trip with us now and we create the best trip  considering the weather and other conditions. We make sure you will have a great time!

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