A good many studies identified year-specific heat wave (HW) and cold wave (CW) using a percentile approach, the present study tried to identify and grade consecutive two and five days HW and CW spells using consistency and frequency coupled approach using the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) endorsed gridded data across India since 1961 to 2021. The entire period was split into dry (1961–1990) and wet (1991–2021) phases to explore the long-term average of extreme temperature patterns and HW and CW change. The study revealed that wider parts of north western and central India were prone to statistically significant 30 years, 7 years, and 1-year average extreme temperature hot spot, and J & K and parts of north western India were prone to cold-spot (at 95 and 99% levels). The hot-spot and cold-spot dominated areas were again spotted as highly consistent and high-intensity HW and CW. About 60–65% area of north-western and central India was found consistent HW covering north western and central India. However, frequency and consistency coupled with HW intensity were recognized at five patches of the same area. Rajasthan and Delhi regions were found as the most intense HW zone. The average phase-wise change of HW was not very clear, however, some grids of this region recorded an increasing frequency of HW. CW intensity was increased by 13–26% in the northwestern tract over the phases. HW and CW matrix exhibited the co-existence of high intensity of HW and CW in the Rajasthan and Delhi region indicating high socio-ecological susceptibility. The findings of this study would be instrumental for regional priority planning and building adaptive capacity for combating the situation.