From riding through the by lanes which were once the strolling paths for the Maharajas to dirtying your hands in pottery; from discovering the bounties in the treasure hunt to playing Gilli danda (Indian local sport) with the locals; from being awestruck by the mystic beauty of the Taj Mahal to catching Machhali (the Tigress queen) walk in splendour through the National park in Ranthambore; from scuba diving in the Andamans to stepping into the world of Bollywood in Mumbai, there is so much to unravel in this land.
Kashmir as its glorious head and Kanyakumari as the hilt, there is so much about India to decipher from your travel. With its fusion of modernity and tradition, the vibrant colors of India are truly captivating. Travelling alone is probably not the only suitable option and here is why India is a perfect travel destination for families too.
You must have heard of India’s hospitality, but do you know how much the people of India adore children? Children being the centre of attention in almost every Indian household, you and your family will be welcomed in every part of this subcontinent! There are so many things that need to be mentioned here, the reasons for your travel.
As the sun comes down harsh on many, that is when the cooler escapes gush in. During the summers there are places like Ladakh, the Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Munnar, Darjeeling and Srinagar (to name a few) to offer a perfect ambience for you and your family to relax and have a good holiday. While on the other hand, there are places like Rajasthan, Kerala and Delhi to make it to any traveller’s wish list during the winter season.
While in Rajasthan, you can go riding on a camel or horse, scramble around forts and take delight in palaces right off the fairy tales, stay in a tented desert camp or splash in a pool complete with elephant fountains.
In Kerala, you can spend a day with a real elephant, paddle a canoe, cycle down quiet lanes and spend the night on a houseboat. Or perhaps, walk between hill villages where you can stay in a simple traditional home and learn about local farming, enjoy a picnic by a river or a barbeque on fort ramparts.
In India, you can let your children run barefoot around a temple shouting at blue-faced gods and no one will bat an eye; and if they would be eating their food with their hands, well, they would be eating it just like any other local would eat their food. Have your children learn a few basic words of Hindi and they’ll soon pick up quicker than you do.
Are your kids the young adventurers? Well then the Kanha National Park, located in the vicinity of Madhya Pradesh, is one of the premier national parks of India, taking the kids straight into the “Jungle Book” experience. A wonderful blend of historical ruins and wildlife, it is the habitat of the Bengal tiger, Sloth Bear, leopards and the Barasinghas. You will enjoy a couple of game drives that are a part of the stay there, with hopes of sighting the majestic Bengal tiger that survive among the ruined forts and temples. Leopards, jackals and hyenas can also be glimpsed, so there’s plenty to look out for!
For the majority of children who love water sports more than anything else, there are ample opportunities in India. One of them is on the islands of Andaman & Nicobar, where scuba diving is one of the popular activities. The best time to drop by this place is from December to April when the waters are the bluest and the marine life at its best! Other activities that follow the trail are parasailing, skiing, sailing, windsurfing and snorkelling, which in turn forms a short example of how amazing your trip to these islands is going to be like.
Apart from these, there are the Root Bridges in Meghalaya and the Toy train in Darjeeling that will be of utmost interest to the children. The root bridges are uniquely nestled in Cherrapunji, and are so strong that some of them can take up the weight of even fifty people at the same time; and now that you will be in this part of India, do make it a point to visit the “double-decker root bridge”, which is one of a kind in the world. Not far away is Darjeeling, fondly known as the “Queen of hill stations” and a perfect place to witness the tea plantations. Take the kids to ride on the “Toy train” as it takes you along the scenic beauty of Darjeeling and the tremendous sights you won’t witness elsewhere.
Places like Delhi, Agra and Jaipur too have the sights and sounds to engage and intrigue you. While there are plentiful activities that can capture the attention of any child, there are the rickshaw rides, visits to the doll museum with over 6000 dolls from as many as 85 countries, witnessing the majestic beauty of the Taj Mahal, visiting the Bear Rescue Centre and shaking hands with the bears present there or even better, you may spend an entire day in the company of elephants, bathing them and decorating their beautiful black bodies, the reasons that are enough to entice and excite the kids.
To the other side, there are various festivals that are celebrated every month. Two of the major festivals celebrated in India are Deepawali and Holi, the former being the ‘festival of lights’ and the latter being the ‘festival of colours’. While Deepawali is celebrated in the month of October, it symbolizes the return of Lord Rama to Ayodhya after his successful war with Ravana.
The night sky is blazing with fireworks and that sight is definitely not worth a miss!
Holi is the festival of colours and is celebrated in the month of March every year, ushering in the beautiful season of spring. But the one thing that holds common in both these festivals is how beautifully it brings all the family members to celebrate together.
Adding more reasons to make that journey even more special are the coolest offers and deals that are extended by various hotels. The months between April to August see fewer foot-falls in the country. As a result, hotels extend special offers on family vacations- another reason why you should not miss out.
Bring your family down on an unforgettable adventure in the charismatic part of our country. Apart from the colourful people, rich cuisines and remarkable landscapes, lies the beauty of our cultural traditions, its values and the bonds that we share as a family. Be it the sizzling curries in Delhi, or bathing an elephant in Jaipur, you will take back an unforgettable family experience. With plenty of cultural highlights of the adults and exciting activities for the kids, this trip is bound to excite, enchant and inspire memories to last a lifetime.