The autumn or post-monsoon season lasts from October to November in India and is largely dry except for pockets of the east.
In the Northwestern India region, virtually cloudless conditions prevail in October and November. In India’s second city Mumbai, capital of Maharashtra, the autumn temperature ranges between 20-34 °C, with hardly any rain. It’s a wonderful time to visit the northwestern state of Rajasthan, whether the jewel-shops of Jaipur, the fairytale castles of Udaipur or the holy lakes of Pushkar. Temperatures averaging 15 to 32 °C (59-90 °F) in this desert region in autumn. Pushkar camel fair occurs late October to early November and is one of the largest camel, horse and cattle fairs in the world, though you are not obliged to buy!
The South is relatively dry over this period with the exception of some of the eastern coastal states such as Tamil Nadu, which despite its location on the country’s south eastern tip still feels the autumnal northeast monsoon. Temperatures in the state average 24-32 °C (75-90 °F) with rainfall of around 300 mm per day. Compare this with Goa on the Malabar Coast in the west, which has similar temperatures but 120 mm of rain in October and only 30 mm by November, the vast majority of days dry. One of the most spectacular and unusual attractions at this time is the 10-day Dasara festival held in the city of Mysore in Karnataka state, typically held early October, though it varies slightly. A Hindu festival of huge pomp and ceremony, it celebrates the goddess Chamundeshwari slaying the demon Mahishasura, symbolizing the triumph of good over evil. Mysore Palace is lit up each day with nearly 100,000 light bulbs, and processions of elephants amble through the streets carrying Hindu icons.
Diwali, also known as the Festival of Lights, is an important religious festival taking place over five days each Fall, all throughout India. The element of light in this festival represents good overcoming evil. The main festival night consists of prayers, fireworks, feasts and the exchange of gifts.
Location: Countrywide, India
Thikse Monastery Festival
Known as the Gustor ritual, this annual three-day Fall festival features sacred dances, a trade fair, and prayers. The festivities take place at the Tibetan-Buddhist Thikse Monastery, perched on the top of a hill in Ladakh, India. Chams - masked dances - are performed by monks, and a sacrificial cake is cut up and dispersed.
Location: Ladakh, India
Pushkar Camel Fair
October - November
An astonishing 50,000 camels converge on the tiny desert town of Pushkar, in India's state of Rajasthan for the Pushkar Camel Fair. For five days, the camels are dressed up, paraded, shaved, entered into beauty contests, raced, and of course traded. It's a great opportunity to witness an old, traditional style Indian festival.
Location: Pushkar, Rajasthan, India
September - October
Also known as Mysore Dasara, this elaborate 10-day state festival takes place in Southwest India’s Karnataka. The last day, Vijayadashami, is the festival’s most auspicious, said to denote victory of good over evil. The festival has a long history, having celebrated its 400th anniversary in 2010.
Location: Mysore, India
Jaipur Forts: Inside Nahargarh, Amber, and Jaigarh
Author : Ronan O'Connell
The Jaipur forts offer distinctive views into one of the most important cities in Rajasthan. We take a closer look at Nahargarh, Amber, and Jaigarh.
George Orwell's extraordinary talent for understanding the human race was born from the streets and back alleys of British India and Myanmar; these Eastern lands informed one of the greatest literary minds of the Western world.
Seeing the festivals of India isn't difficult if you get a flight and a car, but to see it in style takes a little Remote Lands know-how. This luxury guide to India festivals will put you on the right track.