When locals go sightseeing in south India, they travel in flow according to the weather and specific times of the year. Off seasons and tourist rush hours affect travel and accommodation fares across the region.
Whether you want to join crowds or avoid them, it can be good to know a little about south India’s seasons, events, travel peaks and the holiday vibe of each month.
Here’s a month by month overview of weather, events and seasonal attractions across south India to satisfy the efficient traveler in you.
January is the coldest month of the year in south India (yes, colder than December too). Among farmers January is the most eventful month because of optimum temperatures for harvesting new crops. Along with agricultural festivals, the New Year holiday increases travel prices too.
The events of January include a kite flying festival and a wood burning ritual in which people light bonfires and burn unwanted household items. These rituals acknowledge the harvest season in South India.
Traditional dance and music festivals occur in states like Tamil Nadu and Kerala. Folk performances and art forms like the Duffmuttu and the Kolkali are popular events in January.
The weather remains pleasant in February and is the last winter month of the year. Traditional festivities slow down to make way for cultural feats.
A few events like Araku Balloon festival in Andhra Pradesh and Pondicherry Heritage Festival in Tamil Nadu keep up the festive momentum.
Kochi-Muzhiris Biennale, a contemporary arts festival in Kerala causes quite a stir among Asia’s art lovers. Informal celebrations take place on Valentine’s day with most urban places decked in red.
Most regions in South India experience warm weather by the end of March. Vigils and street processions keep South Indians awake at night during Maha Shivratri, Angalamman and Kettukazhcha.
Some devotees pierce lemons all over their torsos to please the presiding deities. While others join in carefree revelry during Holi, India’s festival of colors.
Mahamaham; a purification festival in Tamil Nadu, adds to the temple festivals in March.
Kerala is the place to be in April. With rising humidity and heat levels in most of South Indian states, festivities slow down except for Nenmara Vallangi Vela, a paddy festival in Kerala’s farming communities.
Attuvela Mahotsavam is a procession of canoes that carry giant temple replicas Kerala’s backwaters. It’s the best month of the year for day trips within many regions of South India.