For that next big family holiday, don’t look beyond India to make your break worth it! Here’s India’s top destinations for that perfect family vacation. By Deepali Sharma
Coorg is the perfect place for a serene family vacation. Nestled in the lush green mountains of Karnataka, the place is usually referred to as ‘the Scotland of India’. A paradise for coffee lovers, Kodagu, as the locals call it, has a lot of places to check especially for nature and adventure lovers. From hiking up the Raja’s seat for panoramic views of the amazing sunset to basking in the natural beauty at Talacauvery, take your pick.
Pro tip: Best time to visit Coorg is from October to March. Mangalore International Airport, which is 135 km away is the nearest airport to Coorg.
The cold and dry Ladakh attracts many tourists all year round due to its captivating vistas. The natural beauty and the rugged landscape is perfect if you’re looking for an adventurous family vacation. Breathtaking views with Indus streaming through, Ladakh is considered one of the most beautiful places in India.
Pro tip: Enjoy the archery contests at the Ladakh Festival held every September, or relish quality dry fruits and apples, and witness the rare double humped Bactrian camel in the ethereal Nubra valley. The nearest airport to reach Ladakh is the Kushok Bakula Rimpochee Airport of Leh.
The fascinating white desert of the Rann of Kutch is both, awe-inspiring and amusing. And a place such that you have to experience with your near and dear ones. Explore the real rural India with your family in the largest district of Gujarat. From temples, to pristine beaches to wildlife sanctuary, Kutch has everything to offer.
Pro tip: Try the naturopathic therapies based on Gandhian ideals at the famous natural cure centres in Kutch. November to February is the best time to visit; you can also enjoy the annual Kite festival in February. The nearest airport to Kutch is Bhuj.
The picture-perfect setting of this city is what takes you in from the word go. Shillong is well-known for its ancient traditions, stunning waterfalls, and breathtaking natural views. Visit the Don Bosco Centre and explore the indigenous culture of Meghalaya. This museum cum research center exhibits many cultural artifacts. You can’t afford to miss the highest point of the state. The Shillong peak is 1965 meters above sea level and offers a spectacular view of the entire misty city wrapped in clouds. Hence the name ‘the abode of the clouds’ is perfect for the place.
Pro tip: A must-visit for any nature lover. The nearest airport is in Guwahati, which is about 103 kms away.
The ethereal beauty lies in the name of the place itself. The literal meaning of Gulmarg is the meadow of flowers. This beautiful place is a ski resort for the enthusiastic adventure lovers.
Pro tip: The best season for skiing is from November to February. Gulmarg’s newest attraction is the newly constructed gondola lift through pine-clad slopes above 15,000 feet, which is one of the highest in the world. You can easily access Gulmarg through the Srinagar airport, which is just 57 km away.
This pristine white sandy beach of Andaman is the place to go to for a fun family time. The island is lined with lush green forests all around. You can either explore the greenery or just go diving to experience the marine life and discover the rich coral reefs.
Pro tip: Reach Havelock island via government ferries from Port Blair airport or you can avail helicopter services as well.
This backwater haven in ‘God’s own country’ is a must-visit for your family. The canals, silver beaches and the resplendent snake boat races will make your vacation, a trip to remember.
Pro tip: Spend some time in Vembanad backwaters to experience the charm of the city, and enjoy the beauty of the lush paddy fields while living in a houseboat. The Cochin International Airport is the nearest airport to the city.
The city of Lakes and palaces is the ultimate luxe getaway for a family vacay. Explore the heritage and culture of India in this city of Rajasthan. The streets and enormous palaces of Udaipur echo the rhythm of traditional India, its culture, art and rich history.
Pro tip: Visit Sajjangarh fort or the Monsoon Palace for its architectural marvel or Lake Palace in Lake Pichola for scenic views. You can land in Udaipur at Maharana Pratap Airport.
Udhagamandalam or Ooty is the headquarter of Nilgiri district, between the union of two mountain ranges. Known for tea and coffee plantations this hill station in Tamil Nadu will provide you with a serene vacation. Eucalyptus, Conifers, Pine and Wattle Dot surround this hill station. Botanical Garden, Pykara Lake and toy train from Mettupalayam to Ooty will make your family vacation memorable. At a distance of 88 km, Coimbatore airport is how you can reach the hilly paradise.
Undertake a tour of Gangtok with your family to cherish the snow-capped Himalayas or visit the 200-year-old Enchey Monastery. The place is vibrant with different cultures and practices, and offers both tranquility and adventure. You can hike up the lush forested mountains to get a jaw-dropping view of the magnificent Kanchenjunga peak.
Pro tip: The best time to visit Gangtok is September to June. You can now easily access Gangtok with the newly inaugurated Pakyong airport in Sikkim.