May 20th, 2016 | Updated on June 5th, 2020
Schools are closed for summer vacations, making summer a prime season for family travel. Summer vacation is the time to relax with your family and kids. So how about giving your kids some memories to cherish?
Here’s our pick of the top 33 summer holiday destinations in India for your family. Use this list to jumpstart your vacation planning.
Ladakh is a region in the Indian Administered Jammu and Kashmir that currently extends from the Kuen Lun mountain range to the main Great Himalayas to the south, inhabited by people of Indo-Aryan and Tibetan descent.
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Sikkim is a small state in northwest India, bordered by Bhutan, Tibet and Nepal. Part of the Himalayas, the area has a dramatic landscape including India’s highest mountain, 8,586m Kanchenjunga. Sikkim is also home to glaciers, alpine meadows and thousands of varieties of wildflowers. Steep paths lead to hilltop Buddhist monasteries such as Pemayangtse, which dates to the early 1700s.
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Manali is a high-altitude Himalayan resort town in India’s northern Himachal Pradesh state. It has a reputation as a backpacking center and honeymoon destination. Set on the Beas River, it’s a gateway for skiing in the Solang Valley and trekking in Parvati Valley. It’s also a jumping-off point for paragliding, rafting and mountaineering in the Pir Panjal mountains, home to 4,000m-high Rohtang Pass.
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4. Andaman and Nicobar
The Andaman Islands are an archipelago in India’s Bay of Bengal. These roughly 300 islands are known for their palm-lined, white-sand beaches, mangroves and rainforested interiors. Surrounded with coral reefs that support marine life including sharks and rays, they’re destinations for scuba diving and snorkeling. They’re also popular for water skiing, windsurfing and fishing. Oceanside camping and hiking is possible on some islands.
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Can any list that speaks about summer destinations in India be complete without the mention of Kashmir? The trio of Gulmarg, Srinagar and Pahalgam in Kashmir valley are without doubt the biggest crowd pullers when the sun beats down! A plethora of activities are on offer and the views these places provide are something that you need to experience to believe it.
Mahabaleshwar is a hill station in India’s forested Western Ghats range, south of Mumbai. It features several elevated viewing points, such as Arthur’s Seat. West of here is centuries-old Pratapgad Fort, perched atop a mountain spur. East, Lingmala Waterfall tumbles off a sheer cliff.
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Darjeeling is a town in India’s West Bengal state, in the Himalayan foothills. Once a summer resort for the British Raj elite, it remains the terminus of the narrow-gauge Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, or “Toy Train,” completed in 1881. It’s famed for the distinctive black tea grown on plantations that dot its surrounding slopes. Its backdrop is Mt. Kanchenjunga, among the world’s highest peaks.
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Wayanad District is a district in the north-east of Kerala state, India with headquarters at the town of Kalpetta. The district was formed on 1 November 1980 as the 12th district in Kerala by carving out areas from Kozhikode and Kannur districts
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Munnar is a town in the Western Ghats mountains in India’s Kerala state. Munnar, a hill station and former resort for the British Raj elite, is set within rolling hills dotted with tea plantations established in the 19th century. Eravikulam National Park, home to the endangered mountain goat Nilgiri tahr, is a seasonal trekking destination encompassing the Lakkam Waterfalls and 2,695m-tall Anamudi Peak.
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10. Mount Abu
Mount Abu is a hill station in western India’s Rajasthan state, near the Gujarat border. Set on a high rocky plateau in the Aravalli Range and surrounded by forest, it offers a relatively cool climate and views over the arid plains below. In the center of town, Nakki Lake is a popular spot for boating. Close by are the centuries-old Dilwara Temples, ornately carved from white marble and of great spiritual importance.
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Rishikesh is a city in India’s northern state of Uttarakhand, in the Himalayan foothills beside the Ganges River. The river is considered holy, and the city is renowned as a center for studying yoga and meditation. Temples and ashrams (centers for spiritual studies) line the eastern bank around Swarg Ashram, a traffic-free, alcohol-free and vegetarian enclave upstream from Rishikesh town.
Tawang is a town situated at an elevation of approximately 3,048 metres in the northwestern part of Arunachal Pradesh in India.
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Udhagamandalam and abbreviated as Udhagai and Ooty is a town and municipality in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. It is located 80 km north of Coimbatore and is the capital of the Nilgiris district.
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Shimla is the capital of the northern Indian state of Himachal Pradesh, in the Himalayan foothills. Once the summer capital of British India, it remains the terminus of the narrow-gauge Kalka-Shimla Railway, completed in 1903. It’s also known for the handicraft shops that line The Mall, a pedestrian avenue, as well as the Lakkar Bazaar, a market specializing in wooden toys and crafts.
15. Panchmarhi, Madhya Pradesh
Pachmarhi is a hill station in Madhya Pradesh state of central India. It has been the location of a cantonment since British Raj.
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16. Kodaikanal, Tamil Nadu
Kodaikanal is a hill town in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu. It’s set in an area of granite cliffs, forested valleys, lakes, waterfalls and grassy hills. At 2,000 meters above sea level, it has a cooler climate than the plains below and is a popular holiday destination. The town centers around star-shaped, man-made Kodaikanal Lake, bordered by evergreen forest.
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17. Wayanad, Kerala
Wayanad District is a district in the north-east of Kerala state, India with headquarters at the town of Kalpetta. The district was formed on 1 November 1980 as the 12th district in Kerala by carving out areas from Kozhikode and Kannur districts.
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18. Shillong, Meghalaya
Shillong is a hill station in northeast India and capital of the state of Meghalaya. It’s known for Lady Hydari Park’s manicured gardens. Nearby, Ward’s Lake is surrounded by walking trails. North, the Don Bosco Centre for Indigenous Cultures features displays on the region’s native people. Waterfalls include the Elephant Falls to the southwest. East of here, forested Shillong Peak offers city views.
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19. Coonoor, Tamil Nadu
Coonoor is a Taluk and a municipality in the Nilgiris district in the state of Tamil Nadu, India. It is known for its production of Nilgiri tea.
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Auli is an important ski destination in the Himalayan mountains of Uttarakhand, India. Auli, also known as Auli Bugyal, in Garhwali, which means meadow, is located at an elevation of 2500 to 3050 meters above sea level.
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21. Spiti Valley
The Spiti Valley is a desert mountain valley located high in the Himalaya mountains in the north-eastern part of the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. The name “Spiti” means “The Middle Land”, i.e. the land between Tibet and India.
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Gulmarg is a town, a hill station, a popular skiing destination and a notified area committee in Baramula district in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. The town is situated in the Pirpanjal range in the western the Himalayas
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Dharamshala is a city in the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. Surrounded by cedar forests on the edge of the Himalayas, this hillside city is home to the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan government-in-exile. The Thekchen Chöling Temple Complex is a spiritual center for Tibetan Buddhism, while the Library of Tibetan Works and Archives houses thousands of precious manuscripts.
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Mussoorie is a hill station and a municipal board in the Dehradun District of the northern Indian state of Uttarakhand. It is located about 35 km from the state capital of Dehradun and 290 km north from the national capital of New Delhi
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Kalimpong is a hill station in the Indian state of West Bengal. It is located at an average elevation of 1,250 metres. The town is set to be the headquarters of the announced district of Kalimpong.
Pachmarhi is a hill station in Madhya Pradesh state of central India. It has been the location of a cantonment since British Raj
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Almora is a municipal board and a cantonment town in the Almora district in the state of Uttarakhand, India. Almora was founded in 1568. It is the district headquarters of Almora district
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Ranikhet is a hill station and cantonment town in Almora district in the Indian state of Uttarakhand. It is the home for the Military Hospital, Kumaon Regiment and Naga Regiment and is maintained by the Indian Army
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Pahalgam is a town and a notified area committee in Anantnag district of the Indian state of Jammu & Kashmir. It is a popular tourist destination and hill station.
Kullu, or Kulu, is the capital town of the Kullu District in the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. It is located on the banks of the Beas River in the Kullu Valley about ten kilometres north of the airport at Bhuntar.
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Nainital is a Himalayan resort town in the Kumaon region of India’s Uttarakhand state, at an elevation of roughly 2,000m. Formerly a British hill station, it’s set around Nainital Lake, a popular boating site with Naina Devi Hindu Temple on its north shore. There’s shopping in Bara Bazaar, and hiking trails with mountain views crisscross the surrounding area’s wooded hills.
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Matheran is a hill station and a municipal council in the Raigad district in the Indian state of Maharashtra. It is a hill station in Karjat Tahsil and is also the smallest hill station in India.
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The Mudumalai National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary also a declared tiger reserve, lies on the northwestern side of the Nilgiri Hills, in Nilgiri District, about 150 kilometres north-west of Coimbatore city in Kongu Nadu region of Tamil Nadu.
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We welcome you to add your top summer holiday destinations in the Comments below.