A Safe Family Adventure in India - Trip Ideas for You and Your Family
An exotic adventure in India offers much to the active family with pre-teen or teenaged children who can appreciate both the amazing experiences and unequaled lessons on life. A family adventure requires some amount of detailed preparation for comfort and safety. Travel decisions should be based on the family's interests, but choices are varied. Head of the family should plan to carry all important documents, safety, and health notes in a traveling briefcase so that they are easily available at all times.
Mother Ganga Gives and Receives
Those planning to visit India may think first of the Ganges River, adorned "Mother" by the Hindus who travel by the millions to Sagar Island once every January with one goal: bathing in the holy water where the river meets the sea. It is a Hindu way of worship. Sagar is also home of the endangered Bengal Tiger, beautiful temples and approximately 160,000 human inhabitants. Travel from the mainland is by ferry or small boat; buses, taxis, and privately-rented jeeps provide transportation on the island itself. There is a youth hostel and numerous ashrams for overnight stay. Safety tip: use both mosquito repellants and snake repellants.
Wildlife & Nature Lessons
Sariska National Park is home to a number of the most untamed species in the country. Tigers, leopards, wild dogs, hyenas, and jackals, reptiles such as newts, salamanders, and toads, and birds such as owls and peafowl (peacocks) bring to mind Mowgli's adventures in "The Jungle Book." The park is known as the former hunting ground of the royal family of Alwar. It is surrounded by the Aravali Hills in the District of Alwar. Families can also visit 6th century Shiva temples and explore a Mughal medieval fort. Jeep safaris allow tours of these monuments and temples.
Legend and Romance
The Taj Majal in Agra, burial place of the third wife of Shah Jahan, is considered to be one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Construction on the massive and beautiful monument to love began in the year 1632. It is surrounded by lovely gardens and other buildings. Travel tip: Security regulations permit very limited items (i.e. water bottles, small purses, cell phones) in the grounds.
Kashmir and Cashmere
The Kashmir Valley is divided by the Himalayas - providing diverse natural beauty and outdoor activity. Houseboats may be acquired as lodging on waters such as the serene Dal Lake - "The Lost Paradise." The 3rd century B.C.-city of Srinagar is known as the City of Lakes. It has a tourist-based economy with attractions of local fruits and handicrafts - including wool handiwork, silverwork, papier mache, silk-weaving and woodworking, and especially the namesake Cashmere shawls woven from wool of cashmere goats. Gardens also attract visitors including the Tulip Gardens and Gardens of Shalimar.
While political issues with neighbors and damage from an earthquake in 2005 may deter family travel to this location, it is a wondrous place to visit in the best of times. Safety tip: Check with your state department or foreign travel advisory bureau before planning this part of the trip.
Goa Provides Relaxation
After hurry-scurry travel, your family may deserve time relaxing on the beach, scuba-diving or snorkeling on one of the soft, sandy beaches of Bogmalo, Calangute or Baga. Para-sailing, wind surfing, and skiing are also available. Goa, more westernized and developed than other areas of the country, features a broad variety of shopping opportunities. Safety tip: Bogmalo is known as a very safe beach for children.
About the author
Tania Kidd writes for Briefcases Direct, a website that offers luxury briefcases direct from the manufacturer. She is a former high school English teacher who has published her own dog-breed magazine for ten years. She served as a U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer in Togo, West Africa, and has also traveled throughout Europe and Mexico, among other parts of the globe. She makes her home in So. California.