Best time of year to do "Portrait of India"??

Searched the forum but not really a consensus on best time to take this tour. 2024 dates are Jan, Feb, Oct.. Anyone have reasons to choose one over the other? We can travel on any of these dates so just trying to choose a better time. Prefer weather to not be overly hot. Not sure if scenery is better in Jan/Feb vs Oct??

I appreciate any input! Thanks!


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    Of the three months January is the coolest and October is the warmest.

    I did the tour in late January. The temperatures in Hanoi were a bit cool, but they were wonderful everywhere else.

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    Not sure if you were thinking Hanoi and travel in Viet Nam or thinking India and subconsciously typed out Hanoi? ;)

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    edited January 2023

    😂😂 A complete senior moment.

    I’ve done both trips but my comment was relative to VCT, not India.

    We did The India tour at the end of October, beginning of November. Diwali, the Indian Festival of Lights was during our visit. It was wonderful. The temperatures were warm, but not too warm, at least for me.

    You might check when Diwali is in 2024. The country gets a bit decked out for it.

    Edited based on MikeHenderson’s data - Diwali is October 31 - November 4 in 2024.

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    No worries! I checked the date for Diwilli 2024 and it is Nov 1, 2024. There is a small group starting Oct 20 so that may work!

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    I did the Portraits tour in February. The weather was pleasant everywhere except in the south (Kerala and Mumbai) where it was warm. FYI: definitely bring a swimsuit for the meandering pool that snaked through the entire resort.

    As a matter of fact, the air throughout the trip was very clear. The views of the Taj Mahal from the hotel were completed unobstructed. The TD remarked that the air quality was highly unusual.

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    I think Diwalli is from October 31 to November 4 in 2024.


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    I took this tour mid-December. The weather was pleasant throughout. It was cool in Dehli; Varanasi was borderline cold but mainly because the main activity was at night on the water...bundle up for that one; the nights in Jaipur and Udaipur were chilly, but still very pleasant, Kerala and Mumbai were warm. Echo Nancy...bring your bathing suit for the Kerala resort. It's wonderful, relaxing and you actually had time to enjoy it!. The pool at the Leela Palace was very nice; with a great view as it sits on the roof-top; however, there wasn't much time to enjoy even though I had an extra day there. The the pools in Udaipur were also very nice. Someone on our tour skipped the activity one day and stayed to enjoy that pool.

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    Thank you, PureLuxury. You answered my question about the temperature for the times on the river Ganges in Varanasi. I'll pack a warm jacket and some tights.

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    no-one has mentioned the air quality in Delhi at the moment....wondering how bad it really is.... I bought special masks (pre Covid!) for the China trip, and absolutely did NOT need them.

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    edited November 2023

    I believe that unless you have a respiratory issue that makes you especially sensitive that you won’t need a mask in Delhi to combat the air quality. The sun mostly looks like a red fireball, especially when it is lower on the horizon. Here is what the sun looked like in Delhi during our November 2018 trip. This was taken from the roof of the Leela Palace Hotel.

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    When I was based in Bombay/Mumbai with Air India ‘many’ years ago it was common for the people to use animal dung as fuel. The whole place had an ‘interesting’ odor, and the visibility was awful. We could sometimes see the airport from a hundred and fifty miles away. Then when you got down to fifty feet above the runway it would disappear in the ‘smoke’. Fortunately, if you are properly lined up at fifty feet, it is pretty hard to miss the runway, which in most cases is a hundred and fifty feet wide. It was only a momentary ‘oh s***tt’ and then the runway markings or lights would come back into view.

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    I just reviewed by photos from my February 2017 Portrait of India trip. In Delhi, we wore sleeveless or short sleeves for touring. In Varanasi, in in the evening on the water, we wore tee shirts with either a light cotton sweater or wind breaker jacket. Once we got to Kerala, it got fairly warm. We did not have an issue with air pollution. It was a phenomenal trip. Go and enjoy.

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    On my arrival in China about 5 years ago, I rented a bike in Beijing for a day. The pollution was bad. Later that day, my throat started burning. I asked the hotel concierge where I could get a mask. He opened a drawer and asked how many I wanted. I took a few and wore them the rest of the trip (the air was bad everywhere except Hong Kong). N95 masks work wonders for pollution like that.

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    The air pollution was like soup when we went to Delhi and I’ve just been reading on the news this week that it is very bad there right now, mainly due to the fireworks from Diwali.

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    I have been to India twelve times in both Rajasthan and further south. I have always found Feb (as they like to say) to generally have nice weather. It is a phenomenal experience, please enjoy and be safe!

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