Travelling with kids can be fun but most of us face trouble while selecting a destination in India. Since the country is vast and travelling modes can become uncomfortable at times, we may have to settle for nearby or known destinations each time we plan a holiday with kids. But you know this way, we are losing out on so much that this beautiful country has to offer to us and our children. So, what is the solution? Should we stay ignorant and take our kids to monotonous destinations? No, I say! India is such a colourful land and our growing kids deserve to see the different hues of this iconic country.
Here are some of the best places that you must visit with your kids in India. These destinations may inculcate broader perspective in our kids and inspire them to care of the country:
For obvious reasons Kashmir is at the top of this list because there is so much that our kids can learn from it. Unparalleled beauty can be the first thing that will catch the eyes of kids here but once you start taking them places and explaining why all these destinations are important, your kids might realize how fortunate they are to be here. Having to see the simple lifestyle of Kashmiris and their attachment towards their land despite all the tribulations can give your kids a different outlook towards life. Also, the opportunity to stay in a houseboat; ski in Gulmarg (seasonal); visit tulip gardens (seasonal) and horse riding in Aru Valley might give them an experience for which they cannot be thankful enough to you.
Places of Interest: Srinagar, Pahalgam, Sonmarg, Yusmarg, Gulmarg
Things to Do with Kids: Houseboat Stay, Horse Riding, Skiing, Golfing, Trekking
Photo: Shri Krishna Das, Flickr
No you don’t have to be a follower of a certain faith to visit a place like Puri. Yes, it is one of the prominent Char Dham sites in India but it has lot to offer in terms of rich architectural heritage. Blessed with a serene beach that is comparatively very clean and numerous ancient buildings including the majestic Jagannath Temple, this place deserves to be in the list to make your kids understand the rich history of the country.
Places of Interest: Jagganath Temple, Puri Beach, Puri Beach Market, Loknath Temple, Raghurajpur Artist Village, Chilika Lake
Things to Do with Kids: Visit Chilika Lake Bird Sanctuary, Taste the Maha Prasadam of Jagannath Temple, Try Seafood, Visit Konark Temple (35kms from Puri), Sunset View at Puri Beach
As a good parent it is our duty to give our kids the education that their school curriculum do not have and I believe the best way to do it to make them travel to different places. In a country like India where diversity plays an important role, you can impart a great deal of knowledge to your kids that can be helpful all through their lives. So, moving forward in our list, I would add Aurangabad to the list of places you should visit with kids in India. This place in Maharashtra has incredible monuments that can surely interest kids. The famous 2nd century BC Ajanta and Ellora Caves are the places that your kids would definitely be interested in. Apart from it, the Bibi Ka Maqbara, which by the way looks similar to Taj Mahal is also situated here. The bank of Kham River can also be a place to take your kids after a hectic day of sightseeing.
Places of Interest: Ajanta Caves, Ellora Caves, Daulatabad, Pitalkhora Caves, Panch Chakki Khuldabad, Guatala Sanctuary, Dnyashewar Udyan, Sunheri Mahal, Jayakwadi Dam, Mhaismal
Things to Do with Kids: Visit Ajanta and Ellora Caves, Camp at Sharnapur, Wildlife tour to Guatala Sanctuary, Bird Watching at Salim Ali Lake and Bird Sanctuary
Yes Bihar, you need to take your kids to this infamous state. Why? Because Bihar boasts of incredible history that all our generation should know. Once the royal seat of Emperor Ashoka the Great and the place where Lord Buddha attained enlightenment, Bihar is an important destination to take your kids in India. The best place in Bihar for a thorough tour with children would be Gaya. This place boasts being an important site for Hindus, Buddhist and Jains with number of temples and monasteries arrayed at the bank of Phalgu River. Also, there still exists the tree under which it is believed Buddha attained enlightenment. So, you see, your kids have a lot of things to be excited about and learn as well.
Places of Interest: Vishnupad Temple, Mangla Gauri Temple, Pawaipuri, Bodhgaya, Brahmajuni, Tergar Monastery, Tibetan Refugee Market
Things to Do with Kids: Climb 1000 stone steps to reach Brahmajuni, Shop at Tibetan Refugee Market, Witness the Great Buddha of Statue
You must take your kids to this place in India. Spread in an area of 7,505 sq km this great stretch of white salt is a sight that your children will never forget and neither will you. Camel rides are available to this place and if incase you plan your travel during the Rann Utsav then you can enjoy the traditional and music here as well. A trip to Great Rann of Kutch is an excellent opportunity to help your kids realize the diversity in India. You may also introduce your children with the traditional art and craft by taking them to nearby Hodka and Dhordo Village. Also, a sightseeing tour to Bhuj can also enhance the charm of this very informational tour.
Places of Interest: Bhuj, Hodka Village, Dhordo Village, Kala Dungar
Things to Do with Kids: Camel Ride, Introduction to local art and craft, Sightseeing at Bhuj, Taste the local cuisine especially Khamman Dhokla
Jaisalmer is a complete package on its own and it can be recommended to all kinds of tourists. What makes it an ideal destination in India for kids is the fact that it gives them plenty of things to do. You can take your kids for Camel Safari in the wide stretches of SAM Dunes, heritage tour and camping in Jaisalmer and trust me; your children are going to love it! Jaisalmer can be an excellent place to teach your young ones about rich culture and why it is important to preserve it.
Places of Interest: Jaisalmer Fort, Gadsisar Lake, Desert Culture Centre & Museum, Jaisalmer Folklore Museum, Government Museum, Jaisalmer fort palace museum, Jaisalmer fort outside and insider, Bada Bagh, Lodhruva, Desert National Park, Bhaniyana, Lanela, Patwon Ki Haveli, Tilon Ki Pol, Nathmal Ki Haveli, Laxminarayan Temple, Salim Singh Ki Haveli
Things to Do with Kids in Jaisalmer: Camel Safari, Wildlife Safari to Desert National Park, Museum Visits, Camping
Photo: Athur, Flickr
South India can be an exhilarating experience for your kids. One of the most appealing sites to take your children in South India can be Hampi. Recognized by UNESCO World Heritage Site, Hampi boasts of rich history and ample of knowledge is to be collected from it. Now almost in ruins this place might not catch the attentions of your kids at first but as they spend more time here, they may realize the worth of this place and why it was once reckoned one of the world’s richest and largest cities.
Places of Interest: Achyutaraya Temple, Badavi Linga, Chandramauleshwara Temple, Malyavanta Raghunathaswamy temple, Hazara Rama Temple Complex, Krishna Temple Complex, Vittala Temple Complex, Virupaksha Temple known
Things to Do with Kids in Hampi: Wildlife Tour to Daroji Sloth Bear Sanctuary, Rock Climbing, Visit Hampi Waterfall, Photo Exhibition at Hampi Heritage Gallery
Tea Estate in Munnar, Kerala, Photo: Flickr
We all know how beautiful Munnar is, so it makes perfect sense to visit this place with kids. Steeped in beauty, Munnar is also one of the world’s highest tea-growing centers. It seems a good idea to visit Munnar with kids as the place allows one to step-aside from the maddening rush of city life and spend time in the lap of nature. One might like to take their kids for short as well as long treks as you can find plenty of them here. The tour of the tea-estates can also be the part of the itinerary as it will help children learn more about Munnar.
Places of Interest: Tea Museum, Punarjani Traditional Village, St. Anthony’s Statue
Things to Do with Kids in Munnar: Tea Valley Tour, Village Sightseeing Tour, Sandal Valley Tour, Bicycling in Munnar
Rameswaram is the holy Hindu site but what attracts the travellers to this place is its location. Situated off the coast, Rameswaram is connected with a help Pamban Bridge with mainland India. Beautiful and pious, this small island is a wonderful place to visit with kids in India. Each place in Rameswaram has a story related to Ramayana and this is what makes this place even more interesting. You can visit the temples, out of which Ramanathaswamy Temple is the most important one and you might also like to take your kids to the beach, which by the way is very clean. Guide your children to other temples present here and make them realize the worth of this surreal place.
Places of Interest: Ramanathaswamy Temple, Temple Tanks, Gandhamathana Parvatham, Dhanushkodi, Kothandaramaswamy Temple
Things to Do with Kids in Rameswaram: Jeep Safari to Dhanushkodi, Visit Fishermen Village, Stop by Pamban Bridge to Enjoy the View, Climb up to Gandhamandana Parvatham, Visit Beaches Ariaman and Vallinokkam
This is guaranteed to be the best trip for your kids. Majuli in Assam is altogether a new experience; I mean being on India’s largest river island cannot get any better than this! This is one of its kind of place in India, therefore it truly deserves to be included in this list. Your kids will be excited to see a whole new culture and a place that doesn’t bear resemblance with any other place. Remote yet full of colours and soaked in rich traditions, Majuli will inspire your kids to travel more and have better understanding of cultures.
Places of Interest: Kamalabari, Museum at Auni Ati Satra, Garamur
Things to Do with Kids in Majuli: Birdwatching, Bicycle Tour
Photo: Ankur, Flickr
Andaman is a place for all! So, without a doubt it should be mentioned in this blog as well. Situated off the coast on a beautiful island, Andaman is probably one of the best places to visit with kids. The surreal landscape, decent watersports facilities and rich flora and fauna are the highlights of this place. Also, the fact that it is a less frequented tourist destination adds delight to your holiday plan to Andaman. The kids will love you to bring them to destination with so many adventure activities as well as you get an opportunity to teach them about different kind of flora and fauna. So, it becomes a win win situation!
Places of Interest: Cellular Jail National Memorial, Ross Island, Radhanagar Beach, Little Andaman Lighthouse, Chatham Saw Mill, Lalaji Bay, Anthropoligical Museum, Corbyn’s Cove, Beach 5, Kalapathar, Samudrika Marine Museum, Viper Island, Netaji Nagar, Limestone Caves, Chiriya Tapu Biological Park, Gandhi Statue, WWII Bunker, Clock Tower, Butler Bay
Things to Do with Kids in Andaman: Visit Museums, Cellular Jail Tour, Watersports
Am I getting a few raised eyebrows look from you rightnow? Well, I would like to justify my choice. The temples at Khajuraho date back to 9th century AD, so they are indeed very old, apart from this they are amongst the well-maintained temples in India. Yes, we might have a couple of other heritage building that are equally well-maintained and date back to the same century but at Khajuraho, you have the opportunity to offer your kids a broader horizon when it comes to India. I am guessing that you indeed have an interest for seeing a world in a different way altogether, so it is your duty to encourage your younger ones to do the same. Don’t hold experience from them, let them explore and find out for themselves how historically rich India is.
Places of Interest: Khajurajo Temples (Western, Eastern, Northern and Southern Group of Temples), Kandariya Mahadev Temple, Raneh Falls, Panna National Park, Khajuraho Museum
Things to Do with Kids in Khajuraho: Witness the massive Raneh Falls, Visit Western Group of Temples, Light and Sound Show (held daily in evening), Wildlife Tour to Panna National Park, Visit Ken Gharial Sanctuary
Photo: Marina Makhova, Flickr
Manali is quite an obvious pick for this list as the place is beautiful and has many attractions that might interest kids. A drive to Rohtang Pass, which connects Manali to Lahaul and Spiti Valley and further to Leh is a thrilling experience. If the weather permits, you can enjoy snow scooter, skiing and mountain biking with your kids here. Also, in summer, paragliding can be enjoyed at Solang Valley (16kms from Manali), short trek from Manali to Vashisht can be done with kids too.
Places of Interest: Hidimba Temple, Vashisht Temple and Hot Springs, Rohtang Pass, Solang Valley, Rahala Waterfalls.
Things to Do with Kids in Manali: Paragliding, Trek to Vashisht Temple, Skiing (winter)
Photo: Phil, Flickr
Amritsar can be a good experience for your kids who are learning to travel like a pro. Apart from famed Golden Temple, your kids will have the opportunity to see the India-Pakistan border along with the wonderful beating retreat held in the evening and Jallianwala Bagh, where the heinous massacre took place. Besides Amritsar can be a great destination for a food tour with its scrumptious and mouth watering cuisine.
Places of Interest: Golden Temple, Jallianwala Bagh, Mata Temple, Maharaja Ranjit Singh Panorama Museum, Baba Atal Tower, Amrit Sarovar, Summer Palace (Ram Bagh)
Things to Do with Kids in Amritsar: Visit Golden Temple, Visit Maharaja Ranjit Singh Museum, Food Tour, Witness Beating Retreat
Photo: Drew Hamilton, Flickr
Bandhavgarh National Park without a doubt is one of the best places to go with kids in India. The national park situated in Madhya Pradesh is blessed with a good count of tigers in India and this makes an important reason as in why one should visit here. There is fairly a good chance to spot this big cat and I am sure, you kids are going to be very excited when they hear about it. Apart from tigers, Bandhavgarh is a home to many species of flora and fauna. The park also has a fort inside it, which is quite likely be able to thrill your children. By visiting Bandhavgarh, you can make your kids understand the value of wildlife conservation.
Places of Interest: Bandhavgarh Fort, Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve
Things to Do with Kids in Bandhavgarh National Park: Jeep Safari
It is such an important task to teach the young ones about our environment. There are so many endangered even threatened species that might extinct in next few decades and there are number of historically significant monuments that are facing bad days because of the human race thought these issues to be of no importance. Thus as responsible travellers and citizens, it is our duty to impart our future generation knowledge about the importance of our ecosystem and culture and it can best be done by taking our kids out on a trip to such places.
If you have more ideas to share with us, kindly feel free to comment.
Image Courtesy: Google & Flickr
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