What you decide to pack and wear in India will depend on where you are and what time of year it is. The weather across India usually follows the monsoon cycle, so it’s quite easy to plan what to pack when it comes to rain, but temperatures will vary quite a bit from the north to the south.

What to wear in India in winter

In the lower-altitude towns of the Himalaya, like Darjeeling (2402 m/6699 ft), the winter temperatures can drop below freezing and may experience snow. Be sure to pack thermal underwear and clothes that can be layered – a warm fleece, windbreaker, gloves and a beanie are all great ideas, as is a down jacket for the evening.

Further south, in places like New Delhi and Varanasi, light clothes should suffice during the day with a warm jumper or jacket for the cooler evenings. The same applies for Kolkata.

On the southern coast, around Mumbai and Goa, it’ll still be very warm in the winter so pack light clothes with a light jumper for any cooler evenings. It’s also worth bringing an umbrella or light raincoat if travelling to the south-eastern coast as the rain can last into December.

What to wear in India in summer

In the summertime, and in the shoulder seasons for that matter, it’s going to be hot everywhere except in the higher altitudes of the Himalaya. In Darjeeling you’ll need light clothes with a rain jacket and jumper, but if you’re travelling higher it’s best to pack warm clothes or a down jacket as well as a beanie, gloves and scarf.

In all low-altitude regions you’ll need loose, lightweight clothing with a raincoat or umbrella. Parts of India carry the risk of malaria so long pants and a long-sleeved shirt are useful to have for dusk and dawn when those mosquitos are active.

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