You might not instantly think of India as a luxury family holiday destination but the sub-continent caters fantastically for any children who like buzzing cities, beasties, battlements and beaches - so pretty much all of them, then.

The obvious place to introduce the family to India is Rajasthan with its unparalleled vibrancy, colour and remarkable cities. We defy any child not to get thoroughly over-excited by an elephant ride, visit to a massive fort or tuk tuk trip in Jaipur, Jodhpur or Udaipur, while the city of Jaisalmer bears a more than passing resemblance to a huge sandcastle in the desert, with the chance to ride camels and camp in the desert all adding to the magic.

Then, of course, there's the full Jungle Book experience available in India's beautiful national parks. In Rajasthan, Ranthambhore National Park is easily combined with the famous cities, and seeing shere khan-like tigers and some of the other cast of characters in the flesh and in the wild is about as memorable as it gets, particularly on an adventurous 4x4 drive from a characterful jungle tented camp.

There are other superb national parks in Central India and in Karnataka, and Kerala, to the south of Karnataka, is another wonderful state for family holidays. For a more conventional coastal holiday many of India's best beaches are here, and the pace of life is far less frenetic than in the Rajasthan. Exploring the backwaters of Alleppey on an overnight cruise aboard a converted rice barge is a pretty magical family experience, and older children may also find a visit to a tea plantation interesting.

Wherever you decide to go in India, we know all the most family-friendly hotels from which to explore the fascinating country and retreat back to for some well-earned R&R and parental pampering time. That will be particularly relevant if your trip coincides with the fun festival of Holi (in February or March every year), when the children will have free licence to throw powdered paint as India becomes an even more kaleidoscopic riot of colour. Just make sure the hotel has a decent laundry service.

Perfect for families

Family activity

Original Travel has teamed up with the much loved children’s party people Sharky & George to inject some (much needed) creativity and fun into the family holiday process.

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If your children love the Jungle Book, they'll adore exploring the National Parks of India

Miranda, Original Traveller

Where to go

Seat with a view

Rajasthan & Agra

Visit evocative cities such as Jodphur and Jaipur and the iconic Taj Mahal, alongside enjoying a slower pace of life in the villages of Rural Rajasthan.

Houseboats on the backwaters

Kerala

Drift through backwaters on a rice barge, explore Cochin, chill on a beautiful beach and hike among tea plantations in the hill country.

Indian man in traditional dress

Central India

Classic tiger country combines with Delhi and some of India's cultural highlights.

Where to stay

Sher Bagh

Sher Bagh

Just minutes from the gateway into Ranthambore National Park, Sher Bagh is a charming and romantic jungle camp that remains probably our favourite place to stay in the region.

Pool at Taj Lake Palace, luxury hotel in India

Taj Lake Palace

Built on top of a small island in 1746, the structure was purposely designed without any land visible beneath or around it, creating a surreal and enchanting atmosphere.

The Lotus Houseboat

The Lotus Houseboat

The Lotus Houseboat allows guests to cruise uninterrupted through the backwaters of Malabar in Northern Kerala, soaking up the sights of the diverse surrounding nature and wildlife.

Thank you so much for the wonderful wonderful Sharky and George packs! They are quite marvellous - and I thought the way the tickets and itinerary were packed was top notch! We really will be booking again with you!

Sandra

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Miranda, Rosie and Carrie are our 'Family India' experts and as seasoned travellers they have the inside track on the most memorable adventures.

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