Lions, Tigers and Bears
With Tiger populations in India finally getting back on their feet, Ranthambore, Rajasthan, is the one of the best spots for catching a glimpse of these magnificent creatures. The park has over 30 tigers and due to its good accessibility and developed tourism industry, in nearby Sawai Madhopur, it’s a very popular location for wild life enthusiasts. Keep your eyes peeled for other animals like Leopards, Crocodiles, Sloth Bears, and a range of Monkeys. For accommodation there are plenty of luxury options like Aman-I-Khas, Oberoi Vanyavillas, and Sher Bagh. Other destinations for wildlife holidays in India include Gir Forest National Park, in Gujarat, home to the Asiatic Lion, and Bandhavgarh National park, an alternate Tiger spotting destination.
Rishiskesh is the capital for India adventure holidays. This reputation was founded predominantly on the amazing white water rafting opportunities on the Ganges River. The mother river of India provides a range of rapids classed from one to four plus (the highest rating possible being five), so is suitable and challenging for any skill level. You can go out for just a days excursion but much more exciting is to go for a couple of days staying in river-side camp accommodation and partaking in the extra-activities like cliff-jumping, body-surfing, rock-climbing, rappelling or just some plain old chilling and swimming in the fresh water. Sure to be a hit with the kids this is an ideal spot for family holidays in India.
For those of you with further adrenaline convictions there is bungee jumping, Asia’s longest flying fox, and a canyon swing run by the reputable Kiwi team at “Jumpin Heights”, easily accessible from Rishikesh. The flying fox is a reported 1km long whilst the canyon swing and bungee, both over a rocky cliff above a tributary of the Ganges, are 83m high. The best place to stay while experiencing the thrills of Rishikesh is the opulent Ananda hotel, fitted with an immensely impressive spa and all the trimmings associated with luxury tourism.
Swaswara Yoga Retreat
After your close encounters with wild beasts and defeating the rapids at Rishikesh a bit of rest and relaxation is in order. Yoga retreats in India come in all shapes and sizes, not surprising considering it has existed here for over 2000 years. Swaswara is one very indulgent option; this hotel-cum-life-guru will help you re-invent yourself in sumptuous comfort. Set in the double-coved Om Beach, near the ancient pilgrimage site of Gokarna, Karnataka, the waves of “shanti” are literally lapping at your feet. Indulge in private yoga classes on the roof of your individual hut then unwind with Ayurvedic treatments to soothe those stretched muscles. The fact the CGH group are keen to call this eco-friendly spot an “experience” rather than a hotel is totally warranted.
There is no reason to be bored in India. The range of exciting activities discussed here hopefully highlights why family holidays in India are so popular: there’s something for everyone. From spotting wild animals, to taking on extreme sports challenges, before finding yourself in the most relaxing yoga retreat, a well-planned trip to India can be once in several lifetimes worth.