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CLIMATE

Being such a vast country, India has enormous variations in climate and so can be visited throughout the year depending on destination. India is at its most pleasant between October & march when much of the country enjoys balmy blue skies & fresh clean air. In the north from December to late February the nights turn chilly & a sweater or jacket is required. By mid-march the day start getting warmer & from late April the temperature in central India becomes too hot for comfortable travel.



Overall the climate has 3 major seasons: 

The dry season is from early October until end of March, which is the premium time to travel. The months of December - January can be surprisingly chilly in Rajasthan and the central regions with temperatures dropping to 3C at night. Tamil Nadu on the south east coast receives a different monsoon and most of its rainfall during October – November. 

The hot season lasts from April to June. During the hot season in the interior and some parts of the Western deserts temperatures rise to 40-45C. The hill stations of the Himalayas and the Western Ghats are particularly beautiful in April – mid June and October - November. Ladakh lying at an altitude of 3500 m and in the rain shadow of the Himalayas is best visited May – September. 

The dominant Southwest monsoon is from July to September. The monsoons full force is felt in the North East of the Country and Western Ghats, which should be avoided, but in some regions it can be pleasant with a unique light and fewer tourists.

CLOTHING

Generally, we recommend bringing light loose fitting cotton clothes for most of the Country or for during the warmer months and pale colors tend to be cooler. Additionally some form of layering will be required due to the range of temperatures which almost all areas of the country experience. 

The North and central regions of India are from mid November – Mid February a lot colder than imagined. Adequate warm clothing particularly for the evenings and early mornings should be bought. i.e. fleeces, sweaters, jackets, shawls, socks with shoes. 

If visiting the National Parks please bring green or beige colored clothes as far as possible and take account of the fact that the wind chill factor during November – February can reduce the temperature to below freezing. 

For the Himalayas it is imperative to bring sufficient warm layers due to altitude and unpredictability of the weather.

India still has very traditional customs and outside of the hotel it is not appropriate for women to wear shorts, halter neck tops or miniskirts.

Comfortable walking shoes are required due to the uneven and stony surfaces and since shoes and socks have to be removed for all visits to temples, we recommend wearing sandals or other slip-on shoes which are easy to put on and take off. When visiting temples or other religious monuments, visitors should be modestly dressed; it is very important that knees and shoulders are covered and ladies should not wear shorts or bra-less T-shirts. 

Formal style clothes i.e. jacket and tie are not required. A sarong with its multi uses is a very useful item to bring. Hats and sunglasses are strongly recommended.

Laundry facilities are widely available and quick. 

Due to the huge variations in climate, we are happy to assist with recommending appropriate clothing.

CURRENCY

The exchange rate at the banks and hotels is pretty similar. As the majority of local banks do not have an exchange facility, it is more practical to use the hotels for exchanging money. 

Most of the larger hotels offer foreign currency exchange, however if staying in some of the very small heritage style hotels or homestays, you will not be able to change money. Always carry sufficient Rupee cash when traveling to remote areas where you are unable to change money or use credit cards. 

Travelers can import USD 10,000 or equivalent in cash or travelers cheques without declaring it to customs. 

ATM machines are common in all the major cities and cards must be compatible with the following: Amex, Cirrus, Maestro, MasterCard, Visa. As a credit card Amex is not widely accepted but MasterCard and Visa are. Only Amex or Thomas Cook travelers’ cheques are accepted. 


Please remember to keep your money exchange certificates, as these will be required for reconverting Rupees back into your own currency. You are advised not to change more than you consider necessary towards the end of your holiday in case the bank at the airport is closed leaving you with a stack of rupee notes. It is forbidden to import or export Indian Rupees. Always keep small denomination notes, as small change is always a problem. Torn notes are not accepted although the banks will change them. Watch out for some INR 500 notes which can look very similar to the INR 100 ones.

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