Holidays in India take you far away from the mundane opening up a world of vibrant color, diverse culture and extraordinary landscapes. They are truly an experience of a lifetime. India is the land of abundance. Like its diversity, the country also has a profusion of many cherished travel experiences. From the scenic beauty of the mountains, beaches, backwaters, jungles, deserts and all that you could ever ask for. Family holidays in India are a little difficult to plan but definitely worthwhile. To make things simpler, let me introduce you to India’s best experiences and places to visit broken down by the different regions. Our recommendation of places to visit and tips will further help plan an unforgettable family holiday in India.
Ultimate Guide for planning family holidays in India
North India – A peek into the kaleidoscopic diversity
North India is the perfect start for a vacation with family in India. Representing the kaleidoscopic diversity, the north is home to hill stations, adventure hubs, magnificent architecture, charms of the desert, bustling cities, and not to forget the Taj Mahal, there is so much here to explore that words fall short.
With a surprise in every corner, holidays in North India are extraordinary. City tours, sightseeing, adventures, experiences, luxury stay create fond memories. While the amazing thrill comes from trains, elephant rides, boat, camel, rickshaw, and other such unique joys. The varied flavors of Indian gastronomy add a special touch.
Top Experiences in North India
Taj Mahal- Awe-inspiring, the white-marble mausoleum is one of the “Wonders of the World”. Nothing can prepare you for the surreal feeling you will experience when viewing the magnificent beauty.
Mountains- Himalayas stretch over North India, providing some of the best places and pleasures of a holiday in India. There are plentiful hill stations, lakes, viewpoints, trekking trails, luxury boutique resorts, activities to indulge in.
Thar Desert- Timeless golden sand dunes as far as the eye can see is a marvelous sight and even a better experience. Camel safari, stay in camps, village excursions, a night under the stars, festivals make it truly unmissable.
Rann of Kutch- One of its kind, the salt marsh landscape of Rann of Kutch is surreal beauty. You must not miss the view of eerie white sands stretched over the horizon, speckles of colors in the form of villages, wildlife, and enjoying the Rann Utsav.
Tiger Safari- Abounding in wildlife, India is home to a number of Royal Bengal Tigers. Tiger safari gives you an absolutely amazing reason to vacation with family in India. Go exploring the wild jungles in search of the creatures.
Architecture- India is home to distinct styles of architecture. A mix of Mughal, Rajputana, Persian, Indo-Saracenic designs lends a charming appeal. Royal palaces, mighty forts, intricately carved temples, and masterpieces of various styles keep you hooked on your Indian holiday. Learning about the fascinating architectural styles is certainly an enriching experience.
Hiking near the Himalayas
Things to do in North India
- Sightseeing tours.
- Ride on the luxury trains or the Kalka-Shimla Toy Train.
- Wildlife safari.
- Heritage Walks
- Go shopping.
- Stay at heritage hotels as North India has quite many.
- Attend mesmerizing festivals.
- Taste the diverse delights of cuisine.
Best places to visit in North India
Recommendations and Tips
- Opt for a Golden triangle tour for a quick introduction to the charms of North India.
- Take guided tours of cities and tourist attractions.
- Try to learn more about local culture for an exciting time.
- Attend festivals as they make your holiday all the more joyous.
South India – Generously bestowed part of the country
A blissful retreat to the mind, body, and soul, South India is for all those yearnings for unique and diverse family holidays. The quest for something different from the rest of the country surely ends at this part of the country. The absolutely striking region flaunts temples, beaches, stunning architecture, unique traditions and what not. Bounded by three oceans, the area presents a unique spectacle.
From beaches, wildlife to family tourist places in South India, everything is worth exploring at least once in a lifetime. Besides, savoring the exceptional views amidst spectacular settings and scrumptious South Indian cuisine complete your trip.
Top Experiences in South India
Temples – Of course, temples in South India are a delight for ardent devotees and architecture lovers. Tirupati Balaji in Andhra Pradesh along with Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple in Kerala is amongst the richest temples in India. Rameshwaram in Tamil Nadu is one of the twelve Jyotirlingas of Lord Shiva whereas Sabarimala in Kerala is a highly revered site. Furthermore, the Group of Monuments at Mahabalipuram and the ruins of Hampi are titled as UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Tea Gardens – Scenic views of the lush green tea gardens are definitely a delight for the eyes. Adorning Munnar, the tea estates lure visitors in huge numbers. The aroma of the tea leaves and sights of the smiling ladies picking tea leaves and tossing them in the basket is a visual retreat.
Spice plantations – Besides the tea estates, spice plantations are also worth-watching in South India. The history of the spices in this part of the country can be dated back to 7,000 years. Thus, taking a spice plantation tour not only helps you savor delicious cuisines but also make you aware of a lot of interesting things.
Beaches – Owing to a number of amazing beaches, South India is a paradise for beach lovers. Not only the lively beaches of Goa but also the pristine beaches of Andaman cast a spell. Bequeathed with soft sand and palm-fringed shores, some of these beaches awestruck you with spectacular sunset views.
Tea estates near Munnar
Things to do in South India
- Go for wildlife Safaris.
- Enjoy the toy train ride.
- Experience the natural bliss at Ooty.
- Pay homage at the temples.
- Go shopping.
- Delight in lively nightlife.
- Explore popular cities of South India.
- Partake in various festivals.
- Rejuvenate with Ayurvedic therapies.
Best places to visit in South India
- Tamil Nadu
- Andaman and Nicobar Islands
Recommendations and Tips
- Try your hands at the water sports at the beaches.
- Plan a trip in winter.
- Monsoon season is the best time to visit Kerala for Ayurveda therapies.
- Explore the offbeat destinations as well.
- Hire services of a guide while exploring the heritage sites in South India.
Northeast India – A blissful family of seven sisters and a brother
Showcasing a perfect mélange of cultural richness and natural beauty, Northeast India transfers you into a different world altogether. Though previously seven, the eight states of Northeast are jam-packed with uncountable delights for best family holidays in India. With each state more beautiful than the other, this part of the country exudes a surreal charm. Breathtaking sights, stunning monasteries, ethnic diversity, and a simple lifestyle makes the area even special.
Furthermore, indigenous tribes along with exotic wildlife call this part of the land there home. Spending vacation with family in India in the Northeastern part gives you a feel of Tibet without visiting there. Wait! Did you know there is a river island as well?
Top Experiences in Northeast India
Wildlife –If you haven’t heard about the Kaziranga National Park then probably you’re missing a lot in India. Pride of Assam, the National Park besides being a UNESCO World Heritage Site is also home to one-horned rhinoceros. Then there is the Khangchendzonga Biosphere Reserve which is a high-altitude National Park and also another UNESCO World Heritage Site. Dibru Saikhowa National Park, Manas National Park, and Namdapha National Park are home to a variety of floral and faunal species.
Monasteries – Interestingly one of the largest and most significant monasteries, the Rumtek Monastery share space with other Gompas in Northeast India. In addition, Pemayangste Monastery, Tawang Monastery, and Enchey Monastery look absolutely stunning.
Lakes – Even words fall short to describe the timeless beauty of the lakes in Northeast India. Nothing less than a wonder, these lakes are way too serene an untouched. Dominated with an utmost magical vibe, these lakes are truly hypnotic. Loktak Lake stands out amongst the rest for the phumids floating over it. Also, Shilloi Lake resembles a footprint.
Villages – From breathtakingly gorgeous Dwaki to remote Touphema, Northeast India boasts of exceptional villages. Offering a delightful escape from the bustling cities, these villages help you create memories of a lifetime. Astounding views of the imposing peaks and waterfalls are enough to urge you to plan a trip often.
Rhino at Kaziranga National Park
Things to do in Northeast India
- Fun ride on the UNESCO heritage site, Darjeeling Toy Train
- Attend the famous Hornbill Festival.
- Visit the Majuli Island.
- Explore the tea estates in Assam.
- Pay homage at the Kamakhya Devi Mandir.
- Trek up to the Sela Pass.
- Unveil the mysteries of the Mawsmai Cave.
- Admire the beauty of the Nohkalikai Falls.
- Delight in an excursion to the Living Root Bridges.
- Take a trip to the Neermahal.
Best places to visit in Northeast India
- Arunachal Pradesh
Recommendations and Tips
- Spend a day amidst the tribal people.
- Soak in the Tibetan culture.
- Savor local dishes.
- Discover offbeat places.
- Do not spoil the untouched beauty of the place.
West India – A region dressed in diversity like no other
Coalescing the different tastes of India and nurturing the best of everything from Bollywood, beaches, desert, coastal towns, and hill station to pilgrimage sites. All of it can only be relished on a family vacation in West India. Starting from the tip of the India-Pakistan bordering the state of Gujarat, to the rejuvenating beaches of Goa, there are so many sightseeing places in between that will win your heart with just a snap.
A West India tour would also take you through the lanes of Maharashtra which is the abode of Lord Ganesha. And that’s not all as there are more must-visit destinations in West India like the union territories of Daman & Diu and Dadra & Nagar Haveli which are elegantly veiled inquietude.
Top Experiences in West India
When you fly down to West India, expect to be swayed by the spiritual wave of the holy temples dotted here. Flowing from the state of Gujarat, the state is blessed with Somnath Temple, Dwarkadhish Temple, Swaminarayan Akshardham Temple, Bala Hanuman Mandir, Rukmini Temple, and Sun Temple. The chain then leads to Goa which is known mostly for its shrines namely Church Of St. Francis Of Assisi, Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception Church and Church of St. Cajetan. Besides, when it comes to Maharashtra, the state seeks blessings at Shirdi, Siddhivinayak Temple, Shani Shingnapur Temple, to name a few.
Beaches are definitely the lifeline of the west region. After all, the tourist destinations that you find here are etched to the coastline. Leave behind the monotony and soak some sun at Diu Beach, Nargoal Beach, Tirthal Beach, Dwarka Beach to name a few. When it comes to Maharashtra, you have the chance to relish the mix of sun, sand, and beach at Alibaug, Kashid, Shrivardhan, Murud and Karde, Diveagar, Bhogwe. Coming down to Goa, the state has innumerable beaches, the best to get the tan are Baga, Calangute, Palolem, and Anjuna.
Kutch Rann Utsav
Things to do in West India
- Meet the Asiatic Lions on a game drive.
- Set foot on the roaring ground of Maharashtra.
- Hold close the wonders of nature.
- Bow your head at pristine shrines.
- Splurge on local craft.
- Be a part of Rann Utsav.
- Know about the diverse culture during festivals.
- Groove your way into a happy mood.
- Feed your mind about different architecture.
- Delight your taste buds with lip-smacking spices.
- Know about the UNESCO Heritage Sites.
- Relax your muscles with a soothing spa.
Best places to visit in West India
Recommendations and Tips
- Visit the vast number of temples.
- Come here in winter.
- Witness the Rath Yatra in Jagannath, Ahmedabad.
- Discover the heritage sites of West India.
- Join the crowd of wanderers during festival time.
Central India – The heart of India
The central region is the joy in the heart of India. Even though all the other states run in different directions, the chore always binds them together. Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh are what make this region the gem travelers come to see from far ends. From ancient architecture, traditions, diverse cultures, everything flows from here and spreads like the scent of unity. Moreover, the different festivals make people come close to their land and also know about the legacy. There is no limit to what you can explore here, expect to be taken by awe any moment when in Central India.
Top Experiences in Central India
There has been something astounding about temples in Central India that travelers keep on coming here every now and then. Whether it be the art and architecture of these shrines or the soothing aura, there is indeed something astounding. From the Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga, Saas Bahu Temple, Kal Bhairav Mandir, Annapurna Temple. These are some popular places of worship where you can connect to the almighty and feel a certain calmness taking over.
A huge part of India’s heritage finds its place in its heart, i.e., Central India. The state of Madhya Pradesh is the ideal destination for travelers with a knack for history. That being said, a number of dynasties and empires left their beautiful imprints here in the form of temples and forts mostly. Surprisingly, some of them are UNESCO World Heritage Site like Khajuraho. Along with that, Mandu, Gwalior, Bhopal, Panchmarhi and Ujjain are popular tourist destinations in India with a touch of ancient art and culture.
Things to do in Central India
- Discover the marble rocks of Jabalpur.
- Gaze at the architecture of forts of Gwalior.
- Attend Ganga aarti in Varanasi.
- Learn about different dance forms.
- Meet the wild creatures in Madhya Pradesh.
- Experience culture in every corner of Khajuraho.
- Pay homage at spiritually enlightening temples.
- Try bungee jumping in Jagdalpur.
- Applaud the intricacy of Bhimbetka cave paintings.
- Refresh your senses by being surrounded by natural wonders.
Best places to visit in Central India
Recommendations and Tips
- Take part in various festivals.
- Plan a tour to the ancient town of Sirpur.
- Relish the flavors of different cuisines.
- Feel the bliss with a boat ride.
- Travel in winter.
- Visit natural wonders in monsoon.
Stick to the cooked food and bottled water when visiting India and ask for mild spicy if can’t handle spicy food
Tips for a family holiday in India with kids
Research- Before making plans for a family holiday in India, make sure to research. Keep in mind the interests of your people. Choose packages accordingly or get your tour customized.
Plan out ahead- Be prepared with flight bookings, hotel reservations, and other travel services or family tour packages in India to keep aside worries and simply enjoy the thrills.
Health precautions- Be up to date with your medications, vaccines and even emergency health issues.
Be careful about what you eat and drink- While in India we suggest you to taste the diverse cuisine, you must be at all-time careful of where you eat.
Learn the art of bargaining- On your family holiday in India, you will be shopping for memories to take back home. While you shop you must practice the art of bargaining.
Dress appropriately- Dressing in India is not just according to culture but also weather and comfort. Pack lightly on your travels in the country.
Come prepared for surprises- When you travel in India be prepared to be awed, shocked and surprised. Be ready for a life-changing vacation in India with your entire family.
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Rekha Bisht is a travel enthusiast who loves to visit the most popular as well as offbeat places in the world. She loves to share her travel experiences with fellow travelers. For planning memorable holidays in India or any world destination, you follow her write-ups.