Best Places To Visit In March In India
Clear blue skies, cool gusts of winds, vibes of festivities, blossoming flowers and the colors of Holi—that is March in India for you!
Marvellous March is an excellent time to visit India. It marks a blissful interregnum between a winter that is on its way out and a prolonged summer that is slowly making its way in.
Many of India’s most cherished cultural and religious festivals are held in March, including the festival of colors, Holi, the Elephant Festival in Jaipur, the International Yoga Festival in Rishikesh and the Shogim Festival in Goa.
In this guide, we will discuss whether it is worth traveling to India in March and give you a run-down of the best places to visit, the sights to see and things to do.
Let us begin.
Why Should You Visit India In March?
One of the primary reasons why you should be visiting India in March is the weather—springtime in many parts of India.
April is when the mercury starts rising, especially in South India. March is the perfect prelude to a hot and humid summer.
Another reason why you should India in March is the color-filled festival of Holi that is celebrated throughout India with great enthusiasm. You will find merrymaking, jubilation and joy everywhere you go in India.
Cultural Celebrations and Festivals
Another reason why you should visit India in March is the spring-inspired cultural festivals and celebrations.
Holi is celebrated all over India during this month. Uttar Pradesh holds the Taj Mahotsav Festival in Agra.
Goa puts on a carnival-like display for the Shigmu Festival. Jaipur celebrates the Elephant Festival and Udaipur the Gangaur Festival. Karnataka also puts on a spectacle with the Hoysala Mahosava Festival.
Read on to learn more about these events.
Ideal Time For Yoga Retreats
In a world marred by the stress and complexity of modern existence, everyone needs some inner rejuvenation and healing.
And, what better way to do that than entering the tutelage of a celebrated master of yoga, meditations and deep thinking in Rishikesh, Auroville, Kerala or Varanasi?
Rishikesh also holds the world’s biggest Yoga congregation during this month.Plan A Trip
The Best Places To Visit In India In March
1. Udaipur: Unveiling The Charm Of The “City Of Lakes”
The “City of Lakes” Udaipur is the closest thing India has to Venice. Udaipur gets its epithet, “Venice of the East”, due to a series of seven major lakes, all of which are interconnected through an intricate web of canals and bridges.
This historical capital of the Kingdom of Mewar is famed for its old-world Rajput warrior charm, scenic lakes, palaces, Havelis (medieval castles), temples, vibrant culture, and an aura of romance.
Winter (November-March) is the peak tourist season in the state of Rajasthan, where Udaipur is located.
There are so many other options in Rajasthan for the perfect Indian holiday, like the “Pink City” Jaipur, “Golden City” Jaisalmer, “Blue City” Jodhpur, and the desert realm of Thar Desert.
But if you are looking to travel in the region in March, Udaipur is arguably the best place to visit due to the Gangaur Festival which is held this month.
A Celebration of the divine love story of Lord Shiva (symbolized by the god Gana) and Goddess Parvati (symbolized by the god Gauri), the Gangaur Festival symbolizes love and eternal bonds. What should you expect to see in Udaipur during the festival? A lot!
Gangaur is marked by an exciting carnival-like atmosphere accompanied by vibrant dancing, joyous processions, music, drums and traditional rituals. Processions feature
Adorned in their best outfits and holding idols of the Goddess Parvati, women keep fasts and walk the streets of Udaipur singing folk love songs. Marital bonds are renewed. Love flutters in the air and young love birds pray for their “happily ever after”.
What Else Can You Do in Udaipur?
- Stay at a Royal Palace. The Maharana of Udaipur and his descendants had a flair for building opulent palaces, many of which have not been converted into heritage hotels where you can luxuriate like a Rajput King.
- Serenade on Lake Pichola. The banks of this legendary lake are dotted with royal palaces and Havelis, which are excellent for a relaxing stay. Top it all with romantic sunset boat rides.
- Visit the majestic City Palace of Udaipur. Constructed in the 1550s by Maharana Udai Singh, founder and ruler of the city, the City Palace is the grandest of all Udaipur palaces.
- Go on a Temple Tour to Jag Mandir, Jagdish Temple, Monsoon Palace, and Neemach Mata Temple.
- Take a Heritage Tour of the Udaipur Old City Center.
2. Jaipur: Royalty And Romance In “The Pink City”
Rajasthan’s elegant capital Jaipur is known as the “Paris of India” due to its majestic palaces, heritage Havelis, regal elegance and formidable forts.
Drawing millions of visitors from India and beyond, Jaipur is one of India’s most visited cities and is one-third of the trio of cities that make up the famous Golden Triangle tourist circuit—along with Delhi and Agra.
The city was painted in pink, the color of hospitality, to welcome Prince Albert in 1876. The color theme has persisted and today Jaipur is known as the “Pink City.” Tourists are attracted to this stylish city due to its glamorous architecture, vibrant culture, warm hospitality, festivals and regal mystique.
If you visit India and fail to visit Jaipur, you will have made a huge mistake.
March is a particularly great time to visit Jaipur as the city celebrates the famous Elephant Festival which attracts a large number of tourists annually.
Elephants are considered symbols of royalty and power in Rajasthan culture. For centuries, these magnificent animals featured on emblems of the Maharajas spearheaded the war infantry, led religious processions and cultural parades, helped in royal hunting expeditions and got tough labor work done in pre-machine age.
Jaipur’s Elephant Festival processions of beautifully adorned and bedecked elephants, camels, horses, drummers, music bands and folk dances. Elephant owners compete with each other in decorating their animals and the most beautifully decorated elephant is declared the winner. Games like elephant polo, elephant racing and elephant tug-of-war are also held.
What Else Can You Do in Jaipur?
- Visit the 16th-century Amber (Amer) Fort. Considered one of India’s greatest landmarks, the fort is an architectural fusion of Mughal and Rajput architectures and also features labyrinthine secret passageways, majestic royal Durbars and halls. You get splendid views of all of Jaipur from its walls.
- Stay at a Royal-Palace-turned-Heritage Hotel.
- Witness Jaipur’s City Palace, arguably the greatest of all palaces in the Land of Kings and Palaces and other attractions like the Hawa Mahal, Jantar Mantar Observatory, and Albert Hall Museum.
- Visit the Nahargarh Fort and Jaigarh Fort, which along with the Amber Fort formed a defense ring around Jaipur.
- Go shopping in the Johari Bazaar for jewelry; Chandpol Bazaar for handicrafts; Tripolia Bazaar for bangles; Kishanpol Bazaar for ethnic wood carving and Bapu Bazaar for camel leather wear.
- Soar into the Rajasthan sky with a Hot Air Balloon to get panoramic views of the landscape of the city and surrounding mountains.
3. Mount Abu, Rajasthan: Finding Solace In The Aravalli Hills
Mention of the word Rajasthan conjures up images of vast deserts and rugged arid terrains. But the land of Kings also has its exotic hill stations. Before an intense and scorching summer sets in Rajasthan by early April, March is a great time of the year to visit the Aravalli Hills.
Perched at a height of 1,220 m (4,000ft) above sea level in the Sirohi District of Rajasthan, Mount Abu is an idyllic hill station that is home to rivers, lakes, waterfalls and ever-green forests. The region also has many ancient Hindu and Jain Temples.
Things to Do in Mount Abu?
- Visit the scenic Nakki Lake.
- Hike up to the Guru Shikhar Peak, the highest peak in the region (1,722m/ 5,650 ft).
- Visit the Achaleshwar Mahadev Temple which dates back to 1412 AD.
- Visit the 14th-century Achalgarh Fort of the Kingdom of Kumbha of Mewar.
- Pay respect at the Kantinath Jain Temple built in 1513 AD.
4. Rishikesh: Yoga, Serenity, And Himalayan Bliss
The Himalayas gets you to take a deep dive into the depth of your soul and seek inner peace, meaning, and purpose. That is why some of India’s great centers of spirituality, yoga, and meditation are nestled in foothills of Himalayas.
Rishikesh in Uttarakhand is an excellent destination in March as it gears up to host the world’s largest congregation of yoga practitioners, masters and gurus.
Known as the International Yoga Festival, the Parmeth Niketan Ashram in Rishikesh is the venue for the event. Located on the banks of the holy Ganges River, the Ashram is a world-renowned center of yoga and spirituality.
Comprising 1000 rooms. the Parmeth Niketan is nestled in lush green gardens of the foothills of the Himalayas and welcomes people of all colors, creeds, castes and beliefs.
What Else Can You Do in Rishikesh?
- River rafting. There is more to Rishikesh than just spirituality and meditation. The Ganga River tosses up thrilling grade III & IV levels of rapids which are ideal for rafters.
- Ayurveda-inspired Spa Retreats. Rishikesh is home to many excellent destination spas offering a range of traditional Indian Ayurveda and modern European treatments and therapies.
5. Mathura, Uttar Pradesh: The Colors Of Holi
March is the best time to visit India to enjoy the festivities of Holi.
The Festival of Colors Holi heralds the arrival of spring. It is a festival of love and a celebration of the triumph of good over evil, of light over darkness.
In the Hindu tradition, Holi marks the triumph of Lord Krishna (the embodiment of good) against the villainous demon Hiranyakaship (the embodiment of evil). Holi also celebrates the divine love story of Lord Krishna and goddess Radha.
Holi is typically celebrated at the end of winter, on the evening of the full moon day (Purnima) of the month of Phalguna in the Hindu calendar, which corresponds with March in the Gregorian calendar.
It is a time to rejoice, have fun, bury hatchets and renew bonds. People greet each other’s cheeks by smearing colored Holi powder called Gulal. Bonfires are lit on the eve of Holi to symbolize the victory of good over evil.
Holi is celebrated all over India, but the best place to witness this exhilarating cultural festival is in the ancient town of Mathura in Utter Pradesh. Believed to be the birthplace of Lord Krishna—the central figure in the mythology of Holi— festivities go on for 14 days.
Mathura is flocked by tens of thousands of devotees of Krishna during these two weeks of celebration.
What Else Can You Do in Uttar Pradesh?
- If you are in town in March, there is so much you can do in Uttar Pradesh.
- Marvel at the Taj Mahal in the District of Agra—arguably one of India’s greatest landmarks.
- Offer a pilgrimage to Varanasi, India’s holiest city.
- Visit Sarnath, one of Buddhism’s holiest sites, where Lord Buddha is believed to have offered his first sermon.
6. Leh, Ladakh: Himalayan Bliss
Ensconced at a height of 11,5000 meters above sea level in the Himalayas, the idyllic town of Leh in the Ladakh (“Little Tibet”) region is famed for its breathtaking beauty, snow-clad mountains, serene lakes, colorful festival, spiritual aura and indigenous cultures. Formerly a part of the state of Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh is now an independent Union Territory.
The landscape of this “Land of Mountain Passes” is dotted with traditional Tibetan Buddhist “Gompa” monasteries that draw devotees and pilgrims from all over the Buddhist world.
In addition to its spiritual and scenic attractions, Ladakh is also famous for its outdoor adventures, wildlife and beautiful nature trails.
What Can You Do in Leh and the Rest of Ladakh?
- Take a guided tour of ancient monasteries, typically located in seclusion on hilltops. We recommend the Likir and Thiksey monasteries.
- Stay at a luxury nomad-inspired camp and wake up to spellbinding views of the Stok mountain range.
- Stay at Heritage Palace Hotel in Leh.
- Take a bike tour to Khardung La, the highest motorable pass in the world at a height of 5,359 meters.
7. Shillong, Meghalaya: “Scotland of the East”
Located in the northeastern state of Meghalaya, Shillong is known as the “Scotland of the East.” The rolling hills of the town reminded officers of the British Raj of the Scottish Highlands, which is how Shillong got its moniker.
The capital of Meghalaya is famous for Elephant Falls, Ka Phan Nonglait Park, Ward’s Kale, and one of the largest natural golf courses in world.
Shillong is one of the best places to visit in the northeast region. March is a particularly good time to visit and enjoy its rolling hills, cascading waterfalls and serene lakes.
Things You do Do in Shillong
- Stay lakeside at the scenic Umiam Lake (Barapani Lake).
- Visit the “Living Root Bridges” of Cherranpunji and Mawlynnong.
- Visit the Elephant and Nohkalikai Falls.
- Hike up to Shillong Peak to get panoramic views of the city.
8. Lakshadweep: Your Very Own Island
Have you ever dreamt of having the perfect tropical white sand island all to yourself on a romantic getaway with your loved one? The Lakshadweep Islands are your dream tropical paradise.
Located 120-170 miles off of the coast of Kochi in Kerala, Lakshadweep is a collective of 35 islands, some 17 of which are uninhabited.
Take a seaplane ride to Lakshadweep and enjoy a romantic escape of a lifetime.
The Minicoy Thundi Beach is one of the only 12 Blue Flag Beaches in India certified by the Foundation for Environmental Education. This certification is provided to beaches that pass strict cleanness, eco-friendliness and other environmental tests.
9. Ratnagiri, Maharashtra: Watch Turtles Hatch
Yes, you heard that right!
Every year in the month of March, the Ratnagiri region of Maharashtra holds what is called the Velas Sea Turtle Festival.
The small village of Vilas in the coastal region of Ratnagiri serves as the nesting place for the extremely rare and endangered Olive Ridley Turtles.
Placed on the “vulnerable” Red List category by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, these turtles are fighting a desperate battle for survival on a planet that is threatened by Climate Change and Global Warming.
The Sahyadri Nisarga Mitra (SNM) organization teams up with the village of Vilas to hold the Vilas Turtle Festival to raise awareness and take measures for the conservation of this endangered species.
If you are around the Mumbai region in March, be sure to visit Ratnagiri.
10. Karnataka for the Hoysala Mahosava Festival
Karnataka often plays second fiddle to its more popular sister state Kerala. However, this southern Indian state is also blessed with serene beaches, glorious ancient temples, exotic wildlife, vibrant cultures, and rich treasures of heritage.
Its capital Bengaluru is one of the driving forces behind India’s modern IT juggernaut. It also boasts the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Hampi, the beautiful hill stations of Chikmagalur and Coorg in the Western Ghat and “the City of Palaces” Mysore.
But the best reason to visit Karnataka in March is to attend the Hoysala Mahosava Festival. This traditional festival of dance and music is held in the Hosala Temples of Belur and Halbid and marks the victory of King Hoysala in 1117 AD. The region puts on an exuberant carnival that attracts a large number of visitors.
Other Places to Visit in Karnataka in March?
- “The City of Royalty” Mysore.
- Landmarks of Bangalore (Tipu Sultan’s Summer Palace, Bangalore Fort, Bangalore Palace)
- Coorg’s Coffee Plantations.
- Hampi Temples.
- Kabini Wildlife Sanctuary, home of the Black Panthers.
11. Chikmagalur, Karnataka: Hill Station Serenity, Coffee Plantation, and Hikes
While you are in Karnataka, the Chikmagalur hill station located in the Mullayanagiri mountains of Western Ghats is a perfect getaway for a relaxing family vacation.
Known for its tropical rainforest and coffee estates, Chikmagalur boasts rolling hills, picturesque waterfalls and lush green valleys.
Things to Do in Chikmagalur
- Visit a Coffee Plantation. Take a tour of the lush coffee estate and learn about the process of coffee-making. Sit down with the farmers. Get to know them.
- Hike up to the Mullayanagiri Peak.
- Trek to the Babadudangiri Hills.
- Visit Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary, home to tigers, elephants, leopards and many species of rare birds.
- Visit the Hebbe and Kalhatii Falls.
- Pay respect at the Hoysala Temples at Belur.
12. Darjeeling, West Bengal: Toy Trains, Himalayan Beauty and Tea Estates
One of the greatest sunrises on the planet can be witnessed at the 2,590-meter Tiger Hill located a few miles outside of the town of Darjeeling, where you can watch the first rays of sunlight up the Kanchenjunga mountain and other peaks of the Himalayas.
The scenic town of Darjeeling in West Bengal is famous for its emerald green tea gardens, national parks, wildlife sanctuaries, UNESCO World Heritage “Toy Train” and Himalayan flora.
Things to Do in Darjeeling
- Go river rafting in river Teesta.
- Trek to the Sadakphu Peak.
- Take the famous Toy Train ride.
- Visit the Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park to watch Red Pandas.
13. Taj Mahotsav, Agra, Utter Pradesh
Every year in Agra, for 14 days between late February and early March, the state of Utter Pradesh organizes a grand cultural festival called Taj Mahotsav.
Comprising folk art, dances and music, the festival highlights the rich culture of the state.
Utter Pradesh—the state of Taj Mahal, of Agra, Varanasi and Sarnath—is India’s most populous state and one of its oldest.
What Else Can You Do in Agra
- Visit the Taj Mahal.
- Spend a spiritual stay in Varanasi.
- Visit Sarnath, the site of the Lord Buddha’s first sermon.
- Explore the rich cultural heritage of Lucknow.
14. Goa: Shigmo Festival
Goa, India’s most popular beach destination, puts on quite a few carnivals in the months of winter. The Goa Carnival in February is followed by Shigmo Festival which falls in the month of Phagun (march) according to the Hindu calendar.
During this five-day festival, people from the Konkan region paint elaborate murals on their buildings which depict legends and mythologies from the old scriptures. There are dance performances performed by local troupes and exciting processions highlighting the culture of region.
What Else Can You Do in Goa?
- Enjoy the perfect beach holiday and treat yourself to a luxury pampering spa experience.
- Roll the dice at a casino or go nightclubbing on the city’s famous nightclub circuit.
- Cruise into Arabian Sea on a yacht.
- Cycle through Goan countryside and explore the local villages.
15. Rameswaram, Tamil Nadu
The small town of Rameswaram in Tamil Nadu, together with Varanasi, is considered one of Hinduism’s most sacred places.
It is one of four holy sites of what is considered the Char Dham (Chatur Dhama) pilgrimage which is essential to journey of Moksha (salvation) in the Hindu faith. The other three are Dwarka (Gujarat), Jagannath (Puri, Odisha) and Badrinath (Chamoli, Uttarakhand).
March is considered an especially auspicious time to visit this sacred pilgrimage site. The weather during this time of year is pleasant and there is a strong religious aura about the place.
Tens of thousands of devotees from all over Hindu world flock to the Ramanathaswamy Temple (the main site of Char Dham pilgrimage).
What Should You Do In Rameswaram?
- Take a Holy Bath in the 22 Teertham (holy water bodies) around Ramanathaswamy Temple.
- Take a holy dip at the sea in Agni Theertham.