The Best Family-Friendly Vacation Spots in India

Kodaikanal hill station, Tamil Nadu | © sathish_artisanz/pixabay
Kodaikanal hill station, Tamil Nadu | © sathish_artisanz/pixabay
Photo of Richa Jain
5 February 2018

With little time on our hands thanks to our busy lives, we’re all looking to spend a little more quality time with our families. So when you do get that time, you want to make the most of it. Looking to do away with the stress and relax comfortably in a beautiful destination? If so, then break the routine and say hello to these amazing places in India where you can enjoy family time with your loved ones.

Coorg, Karnataka

Find your peace amid the natural beauty of this rural town, away from the city’s hustle and bustle. With coffee plantations, beautiful waterfalls, amazing weather and greenery all around, Coorg in the south Indian state of Karnataka, tops this list. The locals here call it ‘the Kashmir of the south’. Visit the Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary, Nagarhole National Park and Nisargadhama island with your family and discover its breathtaking views and sunset points. Also, be sure to visit the famous waterfall of Coorg, Abbey Falls.

Coorg, Karnataka | © Nikhil Verma/Flickr

Jaipur, Rajasthan

If art, architecture and history fascinate your family, then bring them to the historic city of Jaipur. Majestic forts, beautiful monuments, colourful markets and mouth-watering Rajasthani cuisine make Jaipur a must-visit. Arrive in style at the Amber Fort on top of an elephant and collect paintings, artifacts and fabrics as you explore the city’s markets. Other popular places to see here include the Hawa Mahal, Nahargarh Fort and Jaigarh Fort.

Elephant ride at Amber Fort, Jaipur | © CCO Public Domain/PxHere

Jammu & Kashmir

Known as the ‘Switzerland of India’, Kashmir is a picture-perfect place where you can find well-deserved calm. And visiting this stunning beauty with family makes the trip all the more special. Get dressed up in Kashmiri attire and take pictures on a houseboat with your partner and children. Visit the picturesque Dal Lake and enjoy a pleasurable Shikara ride with the family. Also, have a cozy and comfortable stay at the wooden houses overlooking the enthralling lakes and lovely gardens.

Kashmir Valley | © Ishan Singal/WikiCommons

Shillong, Meghalaya

There is one thing that Shillong has in abundance, and that is its natural beauty. From valleys to rivers, lakes, plateaus, waterfalls and forests, the Scotland of the East has all of these. The capital of the northeast Indian state of Meghalaya, Shillong is just a three-hour drive away from Guwahati. If you choose to go by car, you’ll surely enjoy the fun curves along the path and the pine groves. Elephant Falls and Umiam Lake are must-visit places here.

Bara Pani, Shillong | © Masrur Ashraf/Flickr

Bodh Gaya, Bihar

Bodh Gaya finds its place on this list because of its spiritual roots – your parents might just love visiting this place. It is believed that Lord Buddha attained enlightenment in the village of Bodh Gaya. This place has a number of Buddhist temples around, rich in both history and culture. If you go further from Bodh Gaya, you’ll get to visit the ancient Nalanda University, which is one of the ultimate learning centres in the world.

Large Buddha statue at Bodh Gaya, Bihar | © Man Bartlett/Flickr

Ooty, Tamil Nadu

If peaceful evenings and calm mornings are your ultimate idea of relaxation, then Ooty in Tamil Nadu is where you need to be. Known as the Queen of the Hill Stations, Ooty makes for a well-deserved break with the family. It has well-maintained laws and some rare species of flora and fauna that the entire family will enjoy. Another sight to behold is the milky waterfalls at Avalanche Falls and Pykara. Visiting the Rose Garden and boating on Ooty Lake are things that you must do here as well.

Tea gardens at Ooty, Tamil Nadu | © Siri/Pexels

Puri, Odisha

If a break by the beach with your loved ones sounds like a great idea, then head straight to Puri. Watch the rhythmic movements of tides of the Bay of Bengal as you sip on to some fresh coconut water. The Jagannath Temple here is a must-see, which goes without saying. A light chit-chat with your partner or parents while walking along the medieval streets of Puri can be time well-spent. Don’t forget to stop by one of the local food stalls to taste the city’s flavourful street food.

Shri Jagannath Temple, Puri | © Abhishek Barua/WikiCommons

Alleppey, Kerala

Alleppey is world famous for its emerald green coloured backwaters. A ride on a famous houseboat here is a must – be ready to fall in love with the warm hospitality, delicious food and amazing interiors. This could be a rejuvenating trip to take with your partner, catching a glimpse of some breathtaking landscapes and romantic views. If you’re a wildlife enthusiast, then you might also like exploring the nearby Periyar National Park.

House in the backwaters of Alleppey | © zarankumar/Pixabay

Kodaikanal, Tamil Nadu

Another family-friendly destination in South India is Kodaikanal in Tamil Nadu. Peacefully nestled amid the Pali Hills, this mesmerizing town is mostly preferred by people for family vacations. The place has a unique flower called Kurinji, which blooms only once every 12 years. Its lovely cascades, fruit orchards, picture-perfect hills and lush greenery all around make Kodaikanal a must-visit tourist destination.

Terraced farming at Kodaikanal | © Ramkumar/WikiCommons

Gangtok, Sikkim

Being the capital of Sikkim, Gangtok is an important city of the state and comprises rich flora and fauna. It has people belonging to different ethnicities, like Bhutias, Tibetans, Lepchas and Nepali. The climate here remains mostly pleasant, which makes it a favourable place to vacation with family. Coloured wild orchids and bamboo thickets can be found here in abundance. Nathu La, a Rumtek Monastery built in the 16th century and Lake Tsomgo are the main attractions here.

Gangtok city, Sikkim | © jmjslg/Pixabay

Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh

If your idea of vacationing with the family is going to a spiritual place, then look no further than Varanasi in the north Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. Situated along the holy river Ganges, the city is rich with religiousness. Take a boat ride on the river and visit the Vishwanath Temple, which is famous for its gold-plated tower. Another interesting place to see is Jnana Vapi, also called the Well of Wisdom. It is believed that Lord Shiva himself dug this well. A visit to the Banaras Silk Emporium is also a must for collecting some fine Banarasi silk sarees.

Varanasi along the river Ganga | © Miraage.clicks/Flickr

Jim Corbett National Park, Uttarakhand

A world-renowned natural reserve, Jim Corbett National Park is your place to see some exotic wild flora and fauna. Go for an elephant safari with your parents and enjoy the natural beauty of the place. You can spot leopards, wild elephants, Indian pangolins, wild boars and Himalayan black bear. In case you get lucky, you might even get to see a Royal Bengal tiger.

Elephant siblings at Dhikala Grassland, Jim Corbett National Park | © Sayanti Sikder/WikiCommons

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