By Vineet Rajan
When it comes to travelling with family, kids are usually the first we think about. Would they like the place? Would they have fun there? Is it a child-friendly destination? India is full of places that kids would definitely enjoy.
Here is our top seven picks of child-friendly destinations, but mind you we had a tough time coming up with this and we’re sure there are so many out there.
Amritsar is the largest city in Punjab. This place is rich in culture and tradition as it is the centre of the Sikh religion and is house to their most famous place of worship, The Golden Temple. It is also the birth place of the Amritsari Kulcha. While here, you can enjoy food along with all the sightseeing and shopping. Kids will have so much to learn from this place with everything that this city has to offer. Another important place that you can visit is the Jallianwala Bagh. It is a great source of learning more about the massacre and, for the kids, Amritsar is a great family vacation destination.
Near Amritsar, one can also make a short trip to the Wagah Border where the kids can enjoy the majestic closing march by the respective sides – India and Pakistan. This duel of marches is quite a sight and a once in a lifetime experience for the kids; and also inculcating a spirit of patriotism.
Known as the City of Lakes, Udaipur is a city in Rajasthan. Every inch of it screams royalty. Udaipur is all about palaces and lakes. You must visit the Lake Pichola, Fateh Sagar Lake, Jaisamand lake, the City Palace and Lake Palace. You can also visit the vintage cars museum with the kids, something that they would truly cherish. Another thing that you would not want to miss is the Mewar sound and light show at the city palace which tells you the history and legacy of Mewar. A cycling tour of the city is what all the kids love. You get to experience the culture of the city while cycling through it.
Coorg, also known as Kodagu, is a small district in Karnataka. This quaint hill station gets travellers from all over the world. This place has waterfalls, lush green landscapes and mountains. Coorg is called the Scotland of India. It is famous for its rich coffee plantations. The most popular destination of this place is the Abbey falls. Then you have the Dubare Elephant Camp which is a fun experience for children. This camp is home to about 150 elephants. Here you can see these elephants being fed and you can see them been given baths to. Coorg is also a great location to go on treks. Brahmagiri peak is a trek you must go on as it is one of the most beautiful locations here.
Lonavala is small hill-station about an hour out of Mumbai in Maharashtra. It gets its name from “Lonavali” which means a group of caves. It is a great Monsoon destination. This place might be small but it definitely has lots to see. Lonavala is a great place to go trekking and camping which is what make it’s a kid friendly destination. Kids would have a lot to see here – the Bushi Dam, Karla caves, Bhaja Caves, Rajmachi Fort, Tikona fort and Adlabs Imagica. Lonavala can be great as a weekend getaway as well.
One of the best beaches in India, Tarkarli is home to water sports in India. Kids can indulge in spotting dolphins, parasailing, jet-skiing, banana and bumper boar rides, snorkelling and scuba diving. The water in this beach is far cleaner than the ones up north like Alibaug and the ones down south in Goa; which is safe for kids to play around as well. Near Tarkarli, there are many places like the Dajipur Bison Reserve, Sindhudurg Fort which is one of the hallmarks of medieval architecture. Tarkarli also has some house boats to its credit which can be a very different stay option.
Jim Corbett National Park
This National Park is the oldest National Park in India. Jim Corbett National Park is located in the district of Nainital in the state of Uttarakhand. This national park was named after Mr. Jim Corbett who helped establish this. It takes two days to tour the entire National Park. While here, you must go on the jungle safari, elephant ride, the Corbett museum, the hilltop temple and something the kids would really love, that is river rafting. All these things definitely puts this destination in the list of kid friendly places.
Gulmarg is a hill-station in Jammu and Kashmir. This town is in PirPanjal Range in Himalayas. It is popular as a ski destination. It’s the seventh largest Ski destination in Asia. Gulmarg is also popular for its cable car called the Gulmarg Gondola which is Asia’s largest cable car project. Everything about this place makes it a kid friendly destination. It’s a place where the adventurous experiences create memories. On the list of must-see places, is the Biosphere Reserve which is famous for its bird watching. The Children’s park is also worth visiting with kids. This park has beautiful views, games and activities for the kids. It is situated on a height which makes it the highest children’s park in the world. Now, which kid wouldn’t play here? Gulmarg is should definitely be on your list if you’re planning to travel with kids.
Now that you have seen our picks, sit with your kids and decide where your next family vacation must be. They would love nothing more than to be a part of the decision making. This would make them look forward to the vacation all the more.
(The writer is Co-founder, ScoutMyTrip.)