Typical of India’s eastern coast, Kolkata has a tropical climate with fairly clear-cut seasons that include fiery summers and cool winters. The city is at its hottest between April and May when daytime temperatures average between 35°C and 40°C. Sunglasses, SPF and light cotton clothes are a must for travel during this period. The autumn and winter period, between October and March, provide more pleasant sightseeing conditions, as well as being a great time for festivals (including Durga Puja). June to September sees the famously heavy showers and thunderstorms of India’s monsoon season, with August being the wettest month. Expect a dip in temperature but rise in humidity.
The delightful hill station of Darjeeling in West Bengal draws the majority of its visitors in the spring (between March and May). Sunny days, little humidity and temperatures between 15°C and 20°C provide the ultimate conditions for strolls through the tea fields and plantation visits, as well as admiring the blooming magnolia and rhododendrons. Summer and Autumn are also inviting, with pleasant temperatures and only the odd isolated shower. Avoid July and August when the heavy rains bring roadblocks and travel disruption to the region.
Visit Assam anytime between October and April and you’re likely to be met with sunny days, fresh nights and only the occasional shower. Following the high rainfall of the monsoon season, the state and its green paddy fields are beautifully lush and the trekking opportunities are fantastic. For wildlife enthusiasts, the summer months of April, May and June are a great time for visiting places like Kaziranga National Park with animals found congregating around waterholes. Whilst travellers typically avoid the monsoon season, it is a great time to visit the beautiful river island of Majuli as the showers bring life to the stunning landscape.