Rajasthan is the largest state in India, also known as ‘the land of the kings’ because it was one of the first places that civilisation was established in the country. The rich range of history and culture makes Rajasthan one of the most popular parts of India for travellers to visit, and you can enjoy the very best of India as you travel between the country’s towns and cities.
India is known for its scorching summers and torrential monsoon seasons, so many people choose to visit in the winter to enjoy both cool and dry weather. Visiting Rajasthan in January will give you warm and sunny daytime temperatures that are perfect for exploring cities, forts and markets, but be prepared for freezing weather as soon as it gets dark!
Reasons to visit Rajasthan in January
- There is only one day of rain on average in Rajasthan in January, so you can pretty much guarantee a dry and sunny holiday
- Whilst temperatures fall quite dramatically in the evening, average daytime temperatures in Rajasthan are quite warm and pleasant for the time of year
- One of the biggest Hindu festivals takes place in Rajasthan in January, offering a unique cultural experience for those coming to the state
Weather in Rajasthan in January
Winter in Indian states like Rajasthan is characterised by warmer weather during the day and then very cold temperatures once it gets dark. January is a very popular month to visit Rajasthan however because it is dry and not at all humid, which most tourists find to be the best weather conditions for enjoying the area.
The average high temperature in Rajasthan in January is 22°C, with the average temperature most days hovering just under 20°C. The average low temperature is 7°C but it has been known for nighttime temperatures to drop below 0°C and cold weather clothing is a necessity for anyone coming to India during the month.
Clouds and Rainfall
January is part of the dry season in India, and so Rajasthan sees almost no rain throughout the month. There is an average of 1 day in January that sees rain in some parts of the country, so you can pretty much guarantee you’re going to be dry when you visit.
There are 6 hours of sunshine a day in Rajasthan and about 12 hours of daylight. The usual sunrise time is just before 6.30 am, and the sun sets each evening around 6 pm.
Where to go in Rajasthan in January
Jodphur is Rajasthan’s second-largest city, and offers an equally exciting alternative to the capital Jaipur that will be quite busy during the winter season. Known as the Sun City, Jodphur sees sunny weather basically all year round and is a great place to enjoy good weather in January.
This dazzling location is one of the best places for travellers to visit in Rajasthan, with a prime attraction being Mehrangarh Fort which is perched on a huge hill above the city. Built in 1459 AD, the architecture of this ancient building is spectacular and it’s an absolute must-see if you’re coming to Jodhpur.
Another good place to visit in Rajasthan in the busy month of January is the desert city of Jaisalmer, which is found in the middle of the Thar desert. You’ll feel like you’ve stepped out of the present and straight into Arabian Nights as you wander the streets of sandstone buildings, admiring the architecture and visiting temples and markets.
The entirety of Jaisalmer is built inside a fort, making it one of the most impressive (and oldest) forts in Rajasthan. Whether you’re staying the night or just visiting for the day, it’s a brilliant spot for history enthusiasts, or if you’re just looking for a unique city experience whilst visiting India.
Things to do in Rajasthan in January
Visit Ranthambore National Park
If you’ve come to India hoping to spot a tiger, then the Ranthambore National Park in Rajasthan is one of the best places to do just that. Whilst you might run into a lot of other tourists in January, it’s a brilliant spot for wildlife and history, as the park is also home to the impressive, 10th century Ranthambore Fort.
Pay Your Respects at Ajmer Sharif Darga
Whether you’re a spiritual person or not, visiting the Ajmer Sharif Darga shrine in Ajmer is an unmissable thing to do when visiting Rajasthan. The Sufi Saint, Moinuddin Chisti, is buried at the shrine, and as well as being a beautiful piece of architecture, it’s a very peaceful and moving place in which you can escape the bustle of Rajasthan’s cities.
Shop in a Bazaar
No matter which of Rajasthan’s cities you are visiting, each will have a bustling, colourful bazaar in which you are bound to find the perfect holiday souvenir. You can immerse yourself in local culture as you browse the variety of items on offer, and hopefully snap up a couple of bargains if you manage to successfully haggle with stall-owners!
Crowds & costs
Rajasthan sees a relatively steady stream of tourists coming to the area throughout the year, but the winter months are the most popular because of the cooler temperatures. January is right in the middle of the high season for tourism in Rajasthan, so you can expect relatively high prices for travel and accommodation.
Because Rajasthan is a popular January holiday destination, you can expect bigger cities like Jaipur to be quite crowded. If you’d rather avoid getting tangled up with lots of other tourists, consider visiting places like Dungarpur, Abhaneri, Narlai and Deogarh.
January festivals & events
Rajasthan, like most of India, is a Hindu state and Sankranti is one of the most important festivals in the religious Hindu calendar. Dedicated to the Hindu sun god, Sankranti marks the journey of the sun into the earth’s northern hemisphere. The festival is celebrated on the 14th of January every year.
Sankranti traditions are a little different across India and in Rajasthan, Hindu women give gifts to other married women, families and friends gather for traditional meals, and other small gifts are given to certain members of the community. Kite flying is also a part of the Sankranti festival, and if you’re in places like Jaipur you’ll likely see hundreds of kites being flown by adults and children.
Jaipur Literature Festival
This literary festival is the world’s biggest free literature event, attracting visitors from a huge range of different countries. As well as hosting talks and discussions from a range of famous writers. The Jaipur Literature Festival also features ideas from politicians, humanitarians, entertainers and business leaders who come together to champion the freedom of expression.
The festival takes place every January over five days in the cultural and heritage capital city of Jaipur. There has been a huge range of internationally renowned speakers coming to the festival over the past years, and even if you’re not particularly interested in literature, it’s still certainly an event you should get involved with.
Frequently asked questions about Rajasthan in January
What clothes to wear in Rajasthan in January?
Whilst temperatures during the day in Rajasthan in January are very pleasant, it can get very cold in the evening and you will need to wear appropriate clothing for chilly temperatures. During the day it will be warmer, but it’s still a good idea to pack lots of layers to accommodate changing temperatures.
Is Rajasthan safe for tourists?
Rajasthan is a safe place for tourists to visit, and you are unlikely to run into any problems if you visit the state on holiday. As when visiting most foreign places, you are advised to take sensible precautions such as not walking around alone at night, keeping valuable items close to you or in sight at all times, and exercising caution if approached by any locals or persuaded into what feels like a tourist scam.
Visiting India in the winter is one of the best ways to avoid getting caught in any unpleasant hot or wet weather, and definitely offers an exciting and unusual winter holiday experience. If you’re looking for an exotic destination that is crammed full of history, myth and beauty, Rajasthan is the perfect place for you.