Autumn in India - Climate, Places to Visit, Things to Do and More

Autumn in India occurs from September to October and brings stunning warm shades of yellow and orange to nature. Colourful falling leaves, cool weather and the vibrant festivals accentuate the subcontinent’s beauty and truly is a season of joy. In contrast to popular belief that autumn in India is short-lived, the season extends for two months in most parts of the country and marks the transition from monsoon to winter. 

The countrywide pleasant climate and romantic natural vistas of autumn make India an idyllic haven for vacations. With an annual average of 10.4 million foreign visitors, India has snow-capped Himalayan peaks, sun-soaked plains, lively beaches and warm deserts waiting to be explored in the quaint hues of autumn.

1. Autumn in North India - Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh and Kashmir

Spiti Valley, Himachal Pradesh
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  • Time of the Year - September
  • Best Places to Visit - 
  1. Roopkund Glacial Lake, Uttarakhand
  2. Manali and Kullu, Himachal Pradesh
  3. Nanda Devi National Park, Uttarakhand
Autumn in north India occurs in short spurs but is the best time to travel to the Himalayas. High-altitude areas like Roopkund, Bhrigu Lake and Kuari Pass are trekkers’ abodes as it turns pleasantly chilly while the terrain remains strewn with vibrant leaves and wildflowers. At Manali, where you are likely to find hipsters skiing on snow, there are dramatic transitions in entire landscapes from plainland subtropics to alpine glaciers. Interestingly, Valley of Flowers in Uttarakhand boasts of acres of blooming flora in autumn even above the line where no plants grow.

2. South Indian Autumn at Kerala, Karnataka, Pondicherry and Tamil Nadu

Wayanad in Autumn
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  • Time of the Year - September to early November
  • Best Places to Visit - 
  1. Wayanad, Kerala
  2. Kodaikanal, Tamil Nadu
  3. Nilgiris Tiger Reserves, Karnataka
Fresh off verdant monsoons, South India is known to have long and “green” autumns. Whether it is the mountainous forests of Kerala, pristine hill-bound beaches of Visakhapatnam or exotic coffee plantations of Western Ghats, South India’s autumn destinations are preferred by tourists to exclusively enjoy the ambient weather, trekking and cruising along lofty palms and coconut groves at Backwaters. Pondicherry has its fair share of upscale beaches and Portuguese influence on architecture and culture, making it one of the most lavish holiday spots in the south.

3. Autumn in West India - Gujarat, Goa, Maharashtra, Diu and Rajasthan

Rock Formation at Palolem Beach
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  • Time of the year - September to November
  • Best Places to Visit - 
  1. Rann of Kutch, Gujarat
  2. Mahabaleshwar, Maharashtra 
  3. Amber Palace, Jaipur
  4. Palolem Beach, Goa
West India is known for its hot climate owing to the Thar desert, but during autumn in India this region offers comfortably cool weather. You can venture into the mighty desert in Rajasthan and enjoy camel safaris. This season is perfect to explore historic, lake-bound Rajput-era forts of Jaipur, Diu’s pulsating beaches and Goa, the party capital of India with strong Portuguese culture. Autumn in the hill station of Mahabaleshwar is magical as cascading strawberry fields and rivers for white-water rafting welcome you to the Western Ghats.

4. Autumn in East India - West Bengal, Assam, Meghalaya and Sikkim

Elephants at Kaziranga National Park
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  • Time of the year - September to mid-November
  • Best Places to Visit - 
  1. Yumthang Valley, Sikkim
  2. Sunderbans, West Bengal
  3. Kaziranga National Park, Assam
  4. Shillong, Meghalaya
In east India, autumn alters how monsoon leaves the region humid. In such satisfying weather, visiting the mangrove forests of Sunderbans is a rewarding experience. While staying at treehouse resorts or cruising the river on a rustic boat here, you can spot the endangered Bengal tigers and a myriad of tropical wildlife. West Bengal also has some of India’s vivacious beaches, namely Digha and Mousumi Island. Moving up the hills, Shillong and Yumthang Valley witness picturesque autumns, flanked with native flowers and adventurous trekking routes.

5. Border States of Ladakh, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland and Punjab During Autumn in India

Doyang Dam, Nagaland
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  • Time of the year - September and October
  • Best Places to Visit - 
  1. Dras, Ladakh
  2. Japfu Peak, Nagaland
  3. Kamlang Wildlife Sanctuary, Arunachal Pradesh
  4. Pathankot, Punjab
Vast territory and geographical variation endow the extremities of India with diverse climates. Chadar Trek at Ladakh’s Zanskar Valley is a coveted trek with entire snow-laden rivers to walk on, while Dras and its Himalayan peaks boast of being the highest inhabited village in the world. At 9500 feet above sea level, Japfu Peak offers one of the country’s most challenging and scenic treks along lush bamboo groves. Pathankot city is overlooked by the snowy Dhauladhar Range that feeds River Chakki, the shores of which are flanked with temples showcasing regal architecture.

Autumn Festivals in India

Durga Puja
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The most popular autumn festival is Diwali, the festival of lights, mouthwatering Indian sweets and beautiful rituals. 
One of India’s most important and secular festivals, Durga Puja is held in autumn and extends a sense of oneness to all countrymen for five days of celebration. 
Navratri is another Hindu festival celebrated across the country during autumn in India and showcases amazing cultural traditions like dances, music, worshipping deities with pomp and ceremony.

Places to Visit During Autumn in India

Havelock Island
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India has no shortage of excellent autumn destinations with visuals that look straight out of a movie. Here are some of the best places to travel in India during September and October: -
  • Kashmir - Regarded as a traveler’s paradise year round, Kashmir has very prominent autumns with red-carpeted valleys just as you’d expect. Whether it is the endless layers of golden Chinar leaves lining the shores of Dal Lake or the radiant flowers of Gulmarg Valley, Kashmir has gorgeous hues for every nature lover. You can hop onto a shikara and cruise along the idyllic Pir Panjal range.
  • Wayanad - This quaint hill station in Kerala’s Western Ghats retains its post-monsoon emerald forests in fall. Boasting of sprawling paddy fields, coffee plantations and well-preserved wildlife sanctuaries, Wayanad offers picturesque hills and lakes for camping, trekking and nature walks. Dazzling your palate at local tea tasting hubs of Chembra Peak is a must during autumn.
  • Jodhpur - After sweltering summers, Jodhpur experiences cozy autumns and offers ideal weather for desert safaris, museum visits and exciting Rajput festivals. The city is flanked with medieval forts, semi-arid mountains and posh restaurants serving authentic Duringajasthani delicacies known for their unique, spicy flavours.
  • Dzongri - Perfect for adventure aficionados, Dzongri in Sikkim is a challenging trekking spot with awe-inspiring rhododendron forests, creeks where Himalayan blue sheep, red pandas and civets roam free. You can enjoy the landscaped valleys with Kanchenjunga in the backdrop, a famous Himalayan peak with year round snow caps.
  • Andaman and Nicobar Islands - Even out of the mainland, autumn in India has exhilarating water sports and beaches in store at this union territory. Fringed with coconut and palm groves, Port Blair and Radhanagar Beach assume their best natural splendour in October. You can enjoy surfing, swimming and island hopping at Neil Island, while Havelock Island is the place to enjoy glamourous 5-star accommodations.

Things to Do in India During Autumn

Paragliding at Sholang Valley, Shimla
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Autumn in India is a feel-good vacation season with several opportunities for adventure sports. It’s time to put on your backpacks and embark on a picture-perfect journey while enjoying the seasonal activities India has to offer.
  • Camping: Whether you want to pitch a tent atop grounds strewn with orange leaves or on dreamy stretches of snow, India has exquisite campsites for everyone. Log onto holidify.com and find the best seasonal deals on luxury camping and dining.
  • Mountain biking: This is one of the most popular autumn activities in India, owing to the country’s mix of hill stations as well as flat plains. Most resorts and campsites provide rentals for you to set out on a bewitching journey as the autumn breeze gushes through your hair.
  • Paragliding: Nothing beats an aerial view of autumn in India and its alluring landscapes. Bir-Billing is known as Asia’s best paragliding location, while most hill stations mentioned in this article have similar state-of-the-art facilities. Remember to carry a camera and record the experience of a lifetime!
  • Botanical research: As unconventional as the activity is, autumn in India is one of the best times and places to enrich your knowledge of botany. The greatly variable vegetation offers great opportunities to discover natural diversity of the peninsula. There are several institutes to guide you while locals are known to have the deepest insights.
Come experience the land of invigorating colors, rich traditions, delicious food and heartwarming people during India’s graceful autumns. If you are planning your next visit here or have further queries, we would be happy to hear from you in the comments below.

This post was published by Koushiki Kundu

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