Yay!!! It’s summer- and summers bring with them the anticipation of a much deserved cooling-off period. India has no dearth of destinations to choose from, but child-friendly holiday destinations in India have to lock in the unique combination of fun, adventure, freshness, ease and relaxation- since travelling with children as a family comes with its own set of unique challenges. The best places to travel with kids must have an eclectic mix of knowledge, openness, experience and fun.
We bring to you a curated list of our favorite picks for holidaying with children.
Darjeeling is one of the oldest places that entices you with the toy train ride, allowing you to drink in the wilderness of Darjeeling through panoramic views while on the move. A trek to the Tiger Hill provides a mesmerising view of the sunrise. Many families have strengthened their bonds by strolling along the famous Darjeeling tea and rock gardens, taking a cable car ride or plonking down for a picnic on the foothills of the waterfalls.
Udaipur is a place rife with culture and history, making it a great destination for a family getaway. While the Udaipur museum offers a peek into the great cultural background of our history, the boat ride in the serene lake offers time with Nature. The light and sound show at the Udaipur Museum is known to be pure fun, for children and adults alike.
Mahabaleshwar- the name brings vivid images of the great Shiva temple at Gokarna. Mahabaleshwar has a lot more than meets the eye. Any child who has watched “Charlie and the chocolate factory” will jump at the chance to see the famous Chocolate Factory in Mahabaleshwar. The Mapro Gardens in Mahabaleshwar welcomes children to run wild in its expanse, urging them to pick strawberries and feel the grass under their feet(an increasing rarity for city kids).
The Echo Point is exciting for children where they experiment over and over again with their own voices. Pony rides, boating and bingeing on fresh crush jams are some of the other common attractions here. Not to forget that Mahabaleshwar offers some of the best strawberry products in the country.
Mahabaleshwar is the perfect destination for a do-nothing holiday.
Gir is home to the Asiatic lion, the only place in the world apart from Apfrica where lions can be found roaming freely. The place also hosts the Discovery Channel of India office situated approximately 65 Kms South East of Junagarh District. The thick forest offers a break from the city air and the Safari ride is a not-to-be-missed childhood experience. Other animals like black buck, jackal, leopards and plenty more can be spotted here.
Travel tip: Book the Safari ride early in the morning as it can get really hot during the day.
The Andaman and Nicobar islands are a perfect combination of Nature, serenity and adventure. islands entice tourists with azure blue waters, clean sandy beaches, coral reefs, coconut trees and a rich marine life. This archipelago of 300 islands is situated in the Bay of Bengal are home to the only living tribes from middle palaeolithic times. Known as the Paleolithic people and the Sentinelese people, these tribes have no contact with any other people. The famous cellular jails also help us reminisce history closer to our times. Deep sea walking, snorkelling, scuba diving and playing other water sports are experiences that kids will cherish.
Ooty, a hill station in the Nilgiris is a favourite spot loved by children especially for the home-made chocolates unique to the city. There are several resorts that offer adventure activities. The Honey Bee Museum, Botanical gardens, toy train and boat rides make for a memorable trip.
Gulmarg, rated as Asia’s seventh best ski destination is known as the “heartland of winter sports in India.” The natural meadows of Gulmarg are covered with uncommon wildflowers like daisies, forget-me-nots and buttercups during spring and summer. Some points on the Apharwat peak in Gulmarg offer panoramic views of Nanga Parbat and Harmukh from the Himalayan ranges.
Majuli is located on the river Brahmaputra in Assam and is the largest river island in the world! Majuli is a haven for nature-lovers as it is home to many migratory birds. Majuli is also a cultural powerhouse portraying Assamese civilization since the 16th century. The main village, Naghmar, hosts all the important events, festivals and prayers. Two important festivals in Majuli, Ras Mahotsav and Majuli Mahotsav are major crowd-pullers.
Travel tip: Should be avoided during winters as the island tends to shrink in size.
Home to the marvellous Golden Temple, Amritsar is a city that welcomes you with arms wide open. The Jalianwala Bagh takes you through the course of history that happened not so long so. The mouth-watering halwa and lassi, the mystic pond, the golden sheen of the temples provide an unexplainable source of delight and solace alike. This is a city holy for the Sikh community, but believers of all faiths throng this lovely city.
To have a glimpse of the culture of India and its lost glory, pay a visit to Hampi. Not for nothing is it counted among as one of the World Heritage Sites. Children deserve to witness what has captivated travellers from all over the world for centuries.
Travelling also requires certain common precautions. Here is a list of travel tips that might come in handy.
Have you planned that itinerary yet?