When to Go

High Season: October to February

The high season officially begins in October, though many tour groups begin arriving in August and September during the rains. Monsoon days can be quite hot between showers. The peak is November through mid-February when the weather is at its best, the days are perfect for sightseeing and evenings are pleasant—and can even be chilly in the desert areas. Temperatures rarely rise above the mid-80s, but the sun is still strong, so cover up if you're susceptible to sunburn. Many hotel rates are close to double those charged in low season, and monuments are crowded with group tours with the busiest periods being around Christmas and around Diwali when Indian tourists are holidaying. This is also when the Ranthambhore National Park is open and the winter migratory birds come to Bharatpur (Keoladeo Ghana) Bird Sanctuary.

Low Season: May to July

These summer months can be unbearably hot, with temperatures, particularly in desert cities like Jaisalmer and Jodhpur, at times soaring close to 120 degrees. It's almost impossible to endure a full day of sightseeing or be out in the sun for more than an hour or two. As a result most hotels are vacant and offer great deals—often less than half their usual rates—and the monuments are close to deserted.

Shoulder Season: August to September and March to April

As long as you don't mind the monsoon, this is not a bad time to visit. The weather is neither at its best nor its worst, and crowds can easily be avoided. However, hotel deals are not as highly discounted as in the low season, and the wildlife parks are closed.

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