When to Go in Mumbai

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India has three distinct seasons, although some people say there are actually four-- winter, summer, monsoon and post-monsoon--and refer to them as hot, hotter, wetter and wet.


December through February is considered Mumbai's winter. Temperatures can go as low as 12 degrees C at night, but during the day they hover in the upper 20s and occasionally reach 32 degrees C. Winters are generally dry and sunny, and cool breezes keep travelers from feeling too hot in the city. As the season progresses both humidity and the smog increase.


From March through May Mumbai experiences its summer weather. Lows never go below 20 degrees C and highs often reach 40 degrees C. Weather is warmest at the beginning of March when the humidity increases and in May, before the rains hit. Occasional breezes may provide relief but generally the heat is intense. Smog is at its worst in March.


Monsoon season is the longest season, lasting from June through September. Thunderstorms in early June signal the start of the season and heavy rainfall peaks during July and August. Rainfall and winds during this time are often non-stop. At times, traffic comes to a halt while the drains take a heavy beating and the streets become flooded. In September the rains begin to ease and the season concludes with thunderstorms matching those in early June. Throughout the season travelers can expect temperatures ranging between 24 and 32 degrees C.


October and November are characterized as post-monsoon simply because the weather is not wet enough to be considered monsoon season and not cool enough to be considered winter. During this period days are drier but there are occasional unpredictable rainstorms. Nights are cool but days are be quite hot, with temperatures ranging between 20 and 33 degrees C.


The peak season for travel to Mumbai is between October and the end of February. Weather is at its best but travelers need to be prepared to pay higher prices for everything from airline tickets to hotel rooms. This period also coincides with the Kala Ghoda Festival for arts and crafts that takes place every Sunday through the peak season. In December you can witness the beautiful decorations and celebrations associated with Christmas. In January the Banganga Music Festival is popular and in February travelers enjoy the Elephanta Festival, a large dance festival held on nearby Elephanta Island.

Travelers who decide to brave the weather to take advantage of low season prices can also witness some great festivals. The Indian New Year takes place in either March or April and is a fantastic celebration. In August or September travelers can enjoy Ganesh Chaturthi, a festival of dance and music in honor of Lord Ganesh, who is said to bring happiness to the people of India.

Regardless of the month you decide to visit Mumbai, there will be plenty of things to do and many amazing sights to see. Mumbai is a city where the action never stops--even for the rains!

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