What clothes to take to India

Deciding on what clothes to take to India shouldn't be difficult but when it really comes down to it, it is actually a series of quite difficult decisions about highly important topic. Hopefully this page should help a little.

India is a massive place meaning that climates and environments change dramatically from place to place. These extremes can take a toll not only on your mental wellbeing but also on what you’re wearing.

OK, so maybe it’s not that bad but one still needs to seriously consider what clothes you take to India, whether you’re travelling in luxury or poverty. So let’s take a look at what factors you need to think about when deciding whether to take your favourite white linen shirt or those beautiful but wholly impractical high heel shoes.


The climate is perhaps the most important thing you need to consider when deciding what to take to India. If you decide to travel to the south then you need to expect warm, humid weather and at times heavy rain. Well that is in the Autumn/Winter anyway – the months between October and May, the main tourist season.


In India mosquitos are hard to avoid wherever you’re going so you need to be prepared for this not only with a suitable repellent but also with regards to long trousers, shirt.

The Sun

The sun can be too much at times so you need to think about what clothes can help protect you from its relentlessness, again some long trousers, shirts etc. A sun hat is a must – if you’ve ever had heatstroke you know not to go anywhere sunny without a suitable sun hat which covers your neck and not only your hat.

Leisure activities

Another point to consider when thinking about what clothes to take to India is of course what your actually going to be doing. Swimming is an easy one to forget especially if you’re destined for the hostels and not the 5 stars. But nevertheless, bikinis and trunks are a must as no trip to India would be complete without a dip in that famous Indian ocean. Ladies should consider which outfit to wear of course. Most places you’ll be fine but it is all too easy to be a little too revealing in many parts of India. Most of the touristy beaches in Goa you’ll have no problems but some states have strict rules on how much flesh to show so make sure you find out before you strip off.

So, what clothes should I take then?

Of course this is just my ideas, you may have your own and of course depending on where you’re going etc you need to think carefully about what to take. Also whether you’re backpacking then you need to travel light so here’s a list for the recommended clothes to take to India.

  • 2 x T shirts, approximately.

  • 1 x Nice shirt (for those special occasions)

  • 1 Long sleeve shirt (maybe a special water proof one with special ‘sweat technology’ – you know the ones I mean)

  • 1 x Lightweight pair of trousers (good for cool evenings and mosquito protection)

  • 2 x Pair of shorts

  • Underwear/socks – up to you but it’s pretty easy to get it washed on a regular basis so you don’t need to take a huge amount.

  • Pullover/jumper/sweater – whatever you call it. One should be enough, medium thickness. Of you’re going to North India like Delhi, Rajasthan, Agra it can get quite chilly in the evenings so dress appropriately. Of course even further North of Delhi, into the Himalayan foot hills it gets really rather cold so thermals could be useful.

  • Pyjamas – up to you.

  • Sunhat

  • Swimming costume/trunks – a must!

  • Towel (strictly not clothing but important nonetheless)

  • Shoes – strong, quality lightweight training shoes are perfect for most scenarios you may find yourself in India.

  • Flip-flops/thongs – Important not only for the beach but also for showers, toilets etc in hostels.

Well that more or less sums up what clothes to take to India. Of course this is travelling light – depending on what you’re prepared to carry, the size of your bag etc. you may wish to take more or less.

I hoped you found this list useful but if you’ve anything to add or just say then please feel free to comment.

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