India attracts millions of tourists every year, and for a good reason. It is a beautiful, exotic country rich in history and culture. Oh, and let’s not forget the fabulous food. Indian food is renowned for its rich flavors and spices. So, if you’re thinking about going somewhere a little different this year, why not fly to India? You and your family will have a truly unforgettable experience in this marvel of a country. Here are ten ideas for family holidays in India:
1 Srinagar, Kashmir
If mountains and lakes are your things, you’ll be blown away by the scenery in Srinagar. Majestic mountains and the renowned Dal Lake, you can enjoy watching the houseboats and gondola-esque boats and immerse yourself in the natural beauty of this place. There are beautiful gardens to go on a walk with the family, old-school exotic bazaars in the old town, and many historic mosques to visit. This is certainly a great choice for a culturally vibrant family holiday.
2 Nainital, Uttarakhand
Luscious green hills surround another great place for nature lovers, Nainital and a lake often referred to as the ‘Queen of Lakes.’ This location offers a calming and relaxing environment so that you and your family can sit back and enjoy the wonders of this Indian town. While you’re here, why not take the kids to the Nainital Zoo? The zoo boasts rare species that you will not see elsewhere, like the snow leopard and Himalayan black bear.
3 Darjeeling, West Bengal
It might be famous for its tea, but there’s plenty more to see and do in Darjeeling than sip tea all day! Firstly, this is where you will find Khangchendzonga (that’s a mouthful!), the world’s third-highest mountain. Feeling adventurous? Climbing to the top is reserved solely for experts of course, but there’s no harm in going for a mini hike!
4 Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh
Varanasi is known as the spiritual and cultural capital of India, but it’s certainly not for the faint-hearted. This is not the kind of destination you visit on your first trip to India, as it can be culturally shocking for westerners. It is sacred and has a truly soulful vibe, but you have to remember that India has different religious beliefs and customs. If you’re the open-minded sort, you’ll truly love it here. It is truly the heart and soul of old-world India.
5 Ooty, Tamil Nadu
Another lake destination, Ooty Lake is perfect for several family activities, including picnicking and paddle-boating. Ooty also features a beautiful botanical garden that covers an impressive area of around 22 hectares. In this garden, you can explore the wide variety of plants and flowers. With over 650 species, it is a truly magnificent place to enjoy the beauty of nature.
6 Alleppey, Kerala
Alleppey is an area known for its network of waterways. These waterways were used in ancient times for transport, long before the creation of roads. Travel through the backwaters and peruse the remote farming villages, rent a houseboat, and experience an authentic feel for the Indian way of life.
7 Ladakh, Kashmir
Immerse yourself in the spiritual culture of India by visiting Ladakh, an other-worldly region. This place is a Buddhist ex-kingdom, so you get to see lots of Tibetan Buddhist monasteries. Thus, you can indulge the Indiana Jones adventurer in you by imagining yourself in a land outside of time. For the kids, there are lots of activities that can be easily arranged, including cycling, climbing, trekking, and rafting. There will certainly be lots of fun for the entire family here.
8 Shillong, Meghalaya
If you want to ease yourself into the culture shock of visiting India, you might want to start with a trip to Shillong. Shillong is an exciting place in that it has a more western feel than many other towns in India. It’s very urban, with lots of concrete. Still, it retains a degree of authentic Indian life in certain parts, so it’s an excellent place to visit if it’s your first time in India.
Who says India doesn’t have it all? Sure, you might be traveling to India because you want something different to a generic beach holiday. But there’s no harm in spending a day or two here! Goa’s main tourist draw is its expansive golden-sand beaches which stretch along the coastline of the Arabian sea. It is still a very spiritual place where you can learn a variety of alternative spiritual practices, including meditation, reiki, and morning yoga on the beach.
10 Agra, Uttar Pradesh
I bet you were wondering if we were ever going to mention the Taj Mahal? Last but certainly not least, Agra is the town where you’ll find this famous landmark. However, many seasoned travelers talk about how crazy the hustle and bustle is around this area, so if you want a low-key, peaceful holiday, you should save this town for the next visit. Alternatively, there are tons of other historical sites and unique places to go to. Don’t miss out on a trip to Sheroes Hangout, a cool graffiti cafe staffed entirely by women who are survivors of acid attacks.
India is one of those countries where it almost seems like an infinite number of countries within itself. This is because there are so many different vibes throughout the land. Some areas are busy and noisy with an urban, modernized feel, and then areas that are entirely the opposite. Moreover, history and architecture is a prominent feature throughout. So, even if you’re not keen on going to a tourist hotspot, you will have no problem finding beautiful landmarks to visit. Our ten ideas are by no means a comprehensive list, but they will certainly help to inspire you for your next holiday.