Offbeat Holiday Destinations In India For An Awesome Experience
Bored of travelling to the same old ‘popular’ holiday destinations with your family? Perhaps, it is time to check out a few offbeat spots that can be just as exciting and refreshing.
By Sumisha Arora Gilotra
As a parent, you can never be tired of hearing the words ‘quality time’ when it comes to bonding with your teen. After all, every moment you spend with your child is precious. It is an opportunity to explore, learn and create memories for a lifetime. It gets even better when you bond over activities that are not part of the usual routine. Teenagers enjoy and learn most from such explorations, which is why breaking the routine is a plus point.
As Nidhi Batra, co-founder, Little Nirvana Explorers says: “The best learning happens outdoors.”
Pick a place that has activities for both parents and child
Planning a holiday with a teen is not an easy task. The most difficult part is choosing a destination. It is important to pick a place that will have activities for both you and your teen.
Whether that activity is just lounging on the beach, interacting with the local people or jumping off a cliff (not literally!), it really doesn’t matter. It must be something that you and your child are capable of doing together. Importantly, you both should be interested in it.
“While travelling, children absorb what they don't learn in school. They learn about local cultures, experience local flavours, touch and feel their surroundings and get an opportunity to interact with people from different regions and lifestyles,” says Mit Bhatt, Managing Partner, The Grand Vacationist, an experiential travel company.
Considering these factors, we now present five offbeat Indian destinations you may want to consider for your next family vacation.
1. Gir, Gujarat (to meet the King of the Jungle)
Located in Gujarat, Gir is the only place in India where you can spot Asiatic lions in their natural habitat. Your teen will love the jungle safari at Gir. Besides lions, you can also spot around 38 species of mammals, 300 avifauna species, 37 species of reptiles and over 2000 insect species spread over 1400 sq km of the jungle. Enough adventure awaits you and your teen here.
- Best time to visit: December to March. Summers are also a good time to spot the lions.
- Closest airport: Diu
- Closest train station: Maliya Hatina
2. Auli, Uttarakhand (for some snow play)
Auli is a ski destination in Chamoli district in the Himalayan mountains of Uttarakhand. Located at a height of 8,200 feet to 10,010 feet, Auli, with its snow-covered meadows and outdoor adventure rafting in the gushing waters of Alaknanda river, is just about the perfect choice. A ski trip to the snow-capped peaks of Garhwal will not only help your child learn a new sport but also, teach him essential elements of living in remote areas. When not skiing, enjoy the stunning views of Nanda Ghunti and Trishul peaks along with the snow-laden hills of Gurson. You should also explore the charming Parsari village. Your child will definitely have plenty of stories to tell after this holiday.
- Best time to visit: March to June (summer); October to February (skiing)
- Closest airport: Dehradun
- Closest train station: Rishikesh
3. Tarkali, Maharashtra (for a beach holiday)
Tarkarli in Maharashtra has one of the finest beaches in India with clean sands and pristine turquoise waters. On this stunning beach, you can enjoy water sports like snorkelling, scuba diving, parasailing and kayaking. And if you are lucky, you can even spot some dolphins! Now, won’t that be a wonderful way to explore marine life with your child, right here in India? Well, your teen is going to be super excited for sure.
- Best time to visit: October to March.
- Closest airport: Goa
- Closest train station: Kudal
4. Hampi, Karnataka (for bird lovers)
Hampi is a UNESCO World Heritage site located near Hospet town in Karnataka. Amidst the ruins of Hampi, you will discover several history lessons, unique art forms and architectural marvels, all nestled between boulder-strewn hills. With over 500 monuments including temples and palaces, and, of course, buzzing local markets, Hampi is indeed a traveller’s delight. It is also an ideal spot for bird watching. During the peak season, you can spot over 230 varieties of birds here. Choose this destination to spend quality time with your child. Explore the sounds, smells and other nuances of nature besides teaching your child the key virtue of patience. Grab a pair of binoculars and go on a hushed ‘I spy’ adventure (hushed because you don’t want to scare the birds away with your noise).
- Best time to visit: October to March
- Closest airport: Hubli
- Closest train station: Hospet
5. Khajjiar, Himachal Pradesh (for experiencing the rugged life)
If trekking, pushing the limits and learning to explore the rugged life runs in the family, Khajjiar in Himachal Pradesh is a destination you must consider. Explore the mysteries of the hills as your teen tells you stories about her school, friends and ‘foes’. With sleepy hills peppered with lakes and meadows, Khajjiar is ideal for those looking to create unplanned memories. You can also indulge in some paragliding if your teen is interested. Alternatively, go horse-riding. Sing along the way, because this ‘Mini-Switzerland of India’ has several stories to tell.
- Best time to visit: March to July (summers); November to March (for snowfall lovers)
- Closest airport: Gaggal; more connections from Delhi and Chandigarh
- Closest train station: Pathankot
Involve your teen in planning out the holiday together with you, as a family. And don’t miss out on any opportunity that lets her explore, learn and experience something offbeat. May she observe and absorb the amazing diversity our country has to offer.
About the expert:
Written by Sumisha Arora Gilotra on Nov 26, 2018.
Ms Sumisha is a travel blogger and founder of the content agency, The Pen – The Content Powerhouse.
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