When is the best time to visit Kashmir? There is actually no straight answer to this question because it will depend on what kind of trip you were looking forward to.
The months of January, April, and September are considered to be the best time to go to Kashmir but will this suit you as well? Read on to find out.
Kashmir remains beautiful for all 12 months, there is absolutely no doubt about it. It presents a different color in each season. When should you visit is really a matter of which color you want to see and when was it convenient for you to go.
Itinerary planning will also come into the picture. There are certain regions that remain cut off in the winter season and cannot be accessed by road.
Your interests like photography, trekking, winter sports, etc will also play an important part in deciding the best time to visit Kashmir for you.
In the post below, I will talk in detail about the best time to visit Kashmir. For any other information like what to see, things to do, where to stay, and public transport, please take a look at How to Plan a Trip to Kashmir- A Complete Travel Guide.
Best Time to Visit Kashmir
Let me start by first providing a detailed breakdown of all 12 months. After that, I will move on to describe which month will be the best for which activity.
Kashmir Trip in January
January is the month when all of Kashmir is covered under a thick sheet of white. Places like Gulmarg, Sonamarg, and Pahalgam continue to receive heavy snowfall throughout the month and even the roads can sometimes get blocked.
The average temperature at this time remains to be close to 0 degrees Celsius. It gets even colder at night with the temperature plummeting several degrees below 0 as soon as the sun goes down.
January is a good time to visit if you want to see a white Kashmir and snowfall. This is also the best time for snow sports like skiing. There is even a winter festival held in January in Gulmarg and skiing competitions take place.
January is not a good time if you are not fond of the cold weather and cannot bear the freezing temperatures. It is also not a good time for photography and trekking.
If you were a budget traveler or sometimes who tends to avoid the crowd, you should skip January. A lot of people visit Kashmir in January to see the snow. This results in all the tourist spots getting crowded and prices of almost everything rocketing sky high.
Kashmir Trip in February
Much like January, February also is a good time to go if you want to see snow. In fact, the snow on the ground in the early part of the month will be even more than in January.
The weather will continue to remain terribly cold throughout the month. The average temperature will range between 0 to 10 degrees Celsius, depending on the time of the day and the location. The night temperature will drop below 0 still.
One thing that you should keep in mind is that in the winter months, places like Sonamarg, Gurez Valley, Doodhpathri, and Yusmarg may become accessible. Depending on the snow on the ground, the road may remain blocked throughout the month.
February is a good time to go if you want to enjoy the winter in Kashmir and see plenty of snow all around. It is a bad time to go if you want to visit any of the offbeat destinations I listed above, or if you were a budget traveler.
Kashmir Trip in March
The snow starts to melt in the month of March and is mostly all gone from the lower regions by the end of it. There could still be light snowfalls in places like Gulmarg and Sonamarg but the intensity will not be that high.
By the end of March, the roads to Sonamarg and Gurez Valley also get declared open. The weather however will still remain very cold and you should pack your clothes accordingly.
March is considered to be a good time for a honeymoon in Kashmir. You will still find snow in a lot of places like Gulmarg Gondola, Thajiwas Glacier, Zojila Pass, and Razdan Pass. The views will be a mix of both white and green.
The weather as I stated above will be cold but not as cold as it was in the previous months. The temperature in Srinagar in March can go as high as 15 to 20 degrees Celsius sometimes.
Kashmir Trip in April
April is one of the peak tourist months in Kashmir and there will be tourists all around unless there was some sort of unrest in the valley.
You may not even find a hotel in Kashmir in April and the ones available will be overcharging like crazy. So it is definitely not a good time for a budget trip.
On the other hand, the weather in April is just perfect. It will neither be too hot nor too cold. The average temperature will range between 10 to 20 degrees Celsius pretty much everywhere and you will be able to enjoy the trip properly.
April is also the time of the spring season. This is when the famous Tulip Garden is in its full bloom. The views will be lush all around surrounded by snow-capped mountains.
Chances of snowfall in April are rare. But you can still find some snow on the ground in Thajiwas Glacier, Gulmarg Gondola, Zoji La, and Razdan Pass. This is also the time when you will find a lot of families vacationing in Kashmir.
Kashmir Trip in May
The weather starts to turn a little hot in May. You will actually be surprised at how hot it can actually get in places like Srinagar or Gurez Valley during the day.
May is the perfect time if you want to go on a trek. There are hundreds of treks leading out of Srinagar, Sonamarg, and Pahalgam and all of them remain accessible in the month of May.
It is also a good time for a budget trip if you wanted to plan towards the end of the month. Depending on the tourist rush, you may be able to get a better deal on accommodation.
The average temperature in May will range between 20 to 30 degrees Celsius, with nights being slightly colder. You can easily manage the entire trip in just your regular cotton clothes and a light jacket. A jacket will only be needed in the early mornings or late evenings.
Kashmir Trip in June
If planning a trip in June, it would be best to do so towards the start of the month for 2 reasons. The first is that the monsoon season hits Kashmir in late June. The second reason is that the Amarnath Yatra also begins at the end of June and Kashmir will start to get crowded once again.
The weather will be hot in lower regions like Srinagar and Pahalgam and pleasant in the upper areas like Gulmarg and Sonamarg. The average temperature will range between 20 to 30 degrees Celsius and you only need your regular clothes for a trip in June.
It is another good month to go trekking in Kashmir. All of the treks will remain accessible and the weather, as you trek up to the higher reaches, will be perfect. It is also a good time to enjoy camping in Kashmir.
Kashmir Trip in July
July may not be the best time to plan a trip to Kashmir because of the monsoon season. If it was raining heavily, it may very well ruin all your sightseeing plans and trap you indoors in the hotel.
Amarnath Yatra will also be on in July. There will be a lot of people, especially in Sonamarg and Pahalgam. Finding a place to stay can also become a challenge this month.
In terms of the weather, it will still be hot with the average temperature ranging between 20 to 30 degrees Celsius. It is also not a good time for trekking expeditions because of the monsoon.
On the upside, the views in July will be great. Because of the rains, it will be lush green all around and you will love the scenery.
Kashmir Trip in August
Security measures are tightened around Independence Day and the overall environment gets a little tense. It may not be the best of ideas to visit Kashmir in the week of 15th August.
Monsoon season will be in full swing and it will continue to rain throughout the month. Amarnath Yatra gets over sometime in August so yes, it will also be a bit crowded in early August.
Towards the end of the month though, there will hardly be anyone around. August is considered the off-season which makes it a great time for anyone wanting to be away from the crowd for a while.
It is also a good time for budget travelers because, with the lesser number of tourists, hotels and taxi drivers wouldn’t mind dropping their rates a little bit. Flight costs to Srinagar are also a little cheaper this month.
Kashmir Trip in September
September is my favorite month to visit Kashmir or anywhere else in the Himalayas for that matter. Monsoon would be all gone but would have left plenty of greenery behind. The scenery will be breathtaking, making it a perfect time for a photography trip.
The weather in September starts to turn a bit colder. The days will still be very hot in lower areas like Srinagar but pleasant in the upper reaches of the valley. The average temperature will range between 15 to 25 degrees Celsius.
September is also considered to be the off-season and will suit budget travelers. With moderate weather and pleasant views, it is also a good time to plan a honeymoon trip to Kashmir.
Kashmir Trip in October
October marks the arrival of the autumn season. All that was green in September will now start to turn Orange. It is a good time to go only if you want to see the autumn colors in the valley. For this as well, you should plan to visit after 15th October.
October is a dry month in Kashmir. The only color you will see is the orange in the Chinar trees but other than that, it will just be dry grass all around. It is not a good time to visit if lush green views were on your mind.
Surprisingly though, tourism this month increases because of the Durga Puja holidays. Hotel prices increase and the overall cost of the trip will turn out to be a little higher.
Kashmir Trip in November
November is the time of the red. All that was orange in the Chinar trees will now turn red, giving a magical look to the valley. But all this is in the initial part of the month. By November mid, the trees would have shed their leaves and the scenery would just be dull and dry.
You should visit Kashmir in November only if you are on a budget trip. Other than that, it is not a good time to visit at all. The weather would have gotten cold and there won’t even be any snow around.
Also Read: How to Rent a Bike in Srinagar
Kashmir Trip in December
It starts to snow in Kashmir sometime in October itself. The upper regions and the mountain peaks continue to receive light spells of snow throughout November and early December.
It is only by the end of December that it starts to snow heavily in places like Gulmarg, Sonamarg, and Pahalgam.
The roads to Sonamarg, Gurez, Doodhpathri, and Yusmarg get closed towards the end of the month. The temperature will start dropping close to 0 degrees at night. Overall, it is a dry month and not a good time to go unless you are on a tight budget.
If you wanted to see snow, you should plan your trip to Kashmir in December only in the latter part of the month, in the last week or 10 days.
Best Time to Visit Kashmir
The best time to visit Kashmir is in the months of January, February, April, and September. But as you can guess from the information above, it can be a little different based on your preferences. Let me provide a brief overview.
Best Time to Visit Kashmir for Snowfall
The best time to visit Kashmir for snowfall is in the month of January. This is when the intensity and chances of snowfall are highest. You can plan in February and March as well but you will get better odds if visiting in January.
Also Read: Places to Visit in Gulmarg & Things to Do
Best Time to Visit Kashmir for Honeymoon
The best time to visit Kashmir for a honeymoon is the months of April and September. This is when the views are at their best and the weather would also be very pleasant.
Best Time to Visit Kashmir for Apple
September and early October are the apple harvesting season in Kashmir. If you want to see the orchards heavy with apples all around, this is when you should plan your trip.
Best Time to Visit Kashmir with Family
April, May, and September are the best time to plan a family trip to Kashmir. The entire valley is open in these months, the weather would be pleasant and you will be able to enjoy the trip to the fullest.
Best Time to Visit Kashmir for Greenery
August and September are the best months to visit Kashmir for greenery. This is when the scenery is lush and you will find the valley covered under a carpet of green.
Also Read: Taxi Rates in Kashmir
Best Time to Visit Kashmir Great Lakes
May and June are the best time to go on a trekking expedition to the great lakes. The trek routes will be open, and the weather will be dry and pleasant.
Best Time to Visit Kashmir for Flowers
If you specifically want to see the Tulips, then April will be the best time. Otherwise, September is the best month to visit Kashmir for flowers.
Best Time to Visit Mughal Gardens Kashmir
The best time to visit the Mughal gardens of Kashmir is post-monsoon, in the months of August and September.
Best Month to Visit Kashmir
April and September are the best months to visit Kashmir overall. For honeymoon as well, these will the ideal months. January is the best month to visit Kashmir for snowfall.
Best Season to Visit Kashmir
Spring and post-monsoon are the best seasons to visit Kashmir.
Best Time to Visit Kashmir Gulmarg
January and April are the best time to visit Kashmir if Gulmarg was the main destination on your mind.
Best Time to Visit Kashmir and Leh Ladakh
If you want to visit Kashmir and Ladakh together, you should plan your trip for May and June. This is when the Srinagar Leh highway is declared open.
You can do it in the later months as well but the monsoon season can sometimes pose a risk. If you weren’t able to make it in May and June, the next best month would be September.
Best Time to Visit Kashmir Tulip Garden
The best time to visit the Tulip Garden in Kashmir is the month of April.
Best Time of year to Visit Kashmir – Conclusion
I hope the information above on the best time to visit Kashmir was of help. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask in the comments section below. You can also follow me on Instagram and chat with me live or subscribe to my YouTube channel and ask a question there.