5 reasons why travel to India in October
Many of us will be planning to travel to India in October and for an excellent reason. If this is you, then I will tell you everything you need to know about making the most out of your time in this incredible country. The monsoon is pretty much over by September though its legacy will be visible everywhere. The jungles will be lush and green. The rivers will be full, the temperature will be dropping, and the skies will be clearing. This is a dreamy time to visit by anyone’s standards.
Unfortunately, you will not be the only person who thinks of coming here at this glorious time. This is the start of the peak season for tourism. That will mean peak prices, and at times it becomes difficult to find a bed in the key tourist areas. The main attractions will be heaving with your fellow tourists, which can be troublesome for your camera lens.
However, you should definitely not be discouraged by that as this is one of the best times to visit the country’s vast position. I say the vast portion as the far northern reaches such as Ladakh and Spiti are now largely impassable due to the oncoming winter and there will be heavy snowfall closing off many of the roads.
Different areas of the country come into their own at different times, and there is plenty to look forward to. For a broad overview of when best to come to India, check out my post. It may be helpful for you to work out when best suits you. Now we have covered all of the downsides of visiting at this time lets take a look at all of the amazing things that this country has to offer in October.
Desert travel in October.
It does not take a genius to work out; it is a wise move to come to the desert in the cool season. The days will be considerably cooler and the nights will be pleasant but not yet freezing. That’s right, the nights get bitter in a month or two, but they are glorious at his time. That alone is an excellent reason to travel to India in October.
Now camel safaris are coming into their own, and it is possible to travel for multiple days. Camel safaris are hard on your body at the best of times without making it harder by trying this in the middle of summer. The culture and landscapes in Jaisalmer are quite unlike anything else you will find in the rest of the country. To discover these places in any depth, you will need to go on a multi-day jaunt. To secure your seats on the best camels, check out my in-depth post on backpacking in Jaisalmer.
It is not just the deep deserts of Rajasthan that are coming into its prime. The harsh deserts of Gujarat are now becoming considerably more palatable to travel in. The baking salt flats of Kutch are now considerably less baking and ripe for travel. This enchanting part of the country has plenty on offer, from its unique culture to the surprisingly abundant wildlife. Head here for an off the beaten track kind of adventure.
Indias National parks.
The national parks have begun to open, so India’s fantastic wild places are finally becoming accessible. Most have been inaccessible since June due to the rains. The foliage will be at its most abundant, so it is not the best time to actually spot the animals. It is all a game of chance at this time of year due to the countless water bodies. If you come in after April in the hight of the Indian summer, it is like shooting fish in a barrel as only the largest water bodies will still support life.
However, the scenery will be astonishing. India is blessed with mountains of natural beauty, and its national parks reflect that with immaculate clarity.
The tourism is still minimal at this point so you will get the parks largely to yourselves. If you wait a month, they will be brimming with visitors, and you will have to share your experience with oodles of tourists who are eager to perhaps find a tiger or two themselves in the great Indian wilderness.
The complete lack of other jeeps will dramatically increase your chances of getting lucky. Despite November to February is the peak season for most of India’s premier national parks, it is the worst time to see anything. After mid-October when they open, you will avoid the worst of the traffic, so it’s a smart move.
Pushkar camel fair.
Pushkar camel fair is one of the largest livestock markets on earth and is quite the experience. About 200,000 visitors descend on this tiny village from all over Rajasthan over the course of a few weeks to trade their animals. Camels, horses, cows, sheep and goats are all up for sale. Camel drivers dress their camels in their best getup to negotiate the best possible price for their prize animals. Some of them look incredibly psychedelic. The people are there to drive a hard bargain so try your luck if you feel like investing into your own trusty steed.
Locals set up stalls to trade handicrafts, clothes, textiles and fabrics. You are sure to find something that takes your fancy, and you will be supporting local communities. The whole fair is spread around the incredibly vibrant and atmospheric lake. The whole area is steeped in history and draws in tourists from around the world at the best of times. This is just the icing on the cake if you can time it right. Your time here will surely stay with you for the rest of your life.
The fair takes place on the eighth month on the Hindu calendar known as Kartik. This is at the end of October to the beginning of October. You can reach Pushkar by public bus from Ajmer in only half an hour. Ajmer is connected to the mainlines by train, and that means you can reach here easily from just about anywhere in the state. It also runs on the tracks that connect Mumbai and Delhi Directly. Check the Indian railway’s website to best plan your route.
The stunning beaches of the south.
Now is the very start of the good season for the beaches of the south. There are some dreamy stretches of sand that have hardly seen a footprint in them for months. The sea won’t be overly calm at this point, but the clear skies will make everything dreamy. The beaches of Kerala, Goa and Karnataka are just starting their peak season. The prices won’t be crazy at this point and let’s face it there is nothing like soaking up the ambience of a tropical beach.
Personally, I think the beaches of northern Kerala and Karnataka are stunning. Partially the around Kannur. Goa will already be in full swing of the tourist season. It is a great place to meet other travellers and socialise if that is what you are looking for. Where ever you decide to go you will find endless stretches of squeaky white sand to stretch your toes in. You can do a lot worse than invest your time exploring the beaches of the south of the country.
The wilds of Northeast India
Now here is a place to be heading for the more adventurous of you. The weather should be mostly calm now opening-up the states to travellers. Majuli Island will be beautiful right now as the monsoon has finished and the emerald green fields will be at their stunning best. I also recommend the root bridges of Meghalaya as the rivers will be reducing down to cristal clear streams towards the end of the month. These are incredibly beautiful and are sure to take your breath away.
The far north of Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh will be too cold to attempt to visit, but the rest of the seven sisters will all be fair game. Kaziranga national park would have reopened, and here you can spot some of the most spectacular Meghafauna on the subcontinent such as the One Horned Rhynocirus and the Bengali Tiger. Guwahati is the gateway to these incredible states, so most people make your way to this town and start your route from here.
I must reaffirm that this part of the country is reserved for the more adventurous of you. Things dont work the way they do in the south of India. What do I mean by that? Buses dont run on time and sometimes not at all. The food is very different from the rest of the country, and there are vast tracts of these states are deeply tribal. If you would like to find out more about what to do in Northeast India, check out my in-depth post on this beautiful corner of the universe.
In summary of my post on why travel to India in October.
This post was meant to be just a general overview of what’s good in October. I hope you enjoyed my post and found some inspiration for what to do with your time. While this is the beginning of the peak season, the number of tourists will hopefully not be too high. It is an enjoyable time to visit, and you can do a lot worse than come at this time.
If you would like to know more about any of the topics I have spoken about in this post, I am always happy to help. It is a big country, and it can seem daunting to work out where best to go. Different parts of the country come into their own at different times, and it is important to consider when is best for you to get the most out of their time. It is a big investment of your time and money, so I would imagine you would want to get the most out of your time, right? That will do for now so until the next time my fellow intrepid traveller’s happy planning.Follow me on social media 🙂