Saturday, 23 August 2014

Where to Go on Holidays in India with Elderly Parents

It’s been less than a week since I went to Nainital and saw this really old couple, about 75 years of age, enjoying boating in the sparkling lake in monsoon… It was definitely a moment of a lifetime to capture! Sadly, the fact is that most of us do not include our elderly parents in family trips and everyone has their own reasons ranging from their old age, inability to travel to simply their lack of interest to explore something new. Well, honestly, your old parents need a vacation or two to escape their ill health and despondent state of mind; and since we live in a diverse country like India, you can never be out of choice for planning a trip with your aging parents. Here is a list to help you choose the destinations that you can go on a holiday with your elderly parents in India.



Spirituality is something that always clicks with aging people. That is why there can be no better place for holidaying with your elderly parents than Shirdi. Located in the state of Maharashtra, Shirdi is one place that no elderly parents would say no. A quite little town with bustling pilgrims and spiritual ambiance, Shirdi is a perfect spiritual escape for you and your parents. Hotels in Shirdi are available in every budget, although you won’t find a 5 Star hotel here. One can settle for good 4 star accommodation options here and other than there are some comfy budget hotels here as well. If your parents are willing you can explore the surroundings of Shirdi as well, Alandi, Shegaon, Trimbakeshwar, Sakori, Shanisinghnapur, Nashik and Ajanta & Ellora Caves are the places of interest near Shirdi.



By the River Vaigai, Madurai stands humbly, offering indescribable peace and rejuvenation of the mind body and soul. Madurai in Tamil Nadu is yet another destination that is ideal for holiday with elderly parents. This temple town will definitely attract the attention of your parents and chances are that your parents may ask you to bring them back here someday. Known for the majestic Meenakshi Temple, impressive architecture and holy environment, it is indeed a perfect holiday getaway. Besides Meenakshi Temple, you can take you parents to Alagar Koil, Gandhi Museum, Koodal Azhagar Shrine, Thirupparankundram, Tirumalai Nayakar Mahal and Vandiyur Mariamman Teppakulam. There are fewer luxury hotels and more budget hotels here, so depending upon your budget and convenience you can pick your choice.



Elderly people want to spend their time in peace; as a matter of fact, I guess most of us also require some lone time at some point or the other in life. Luckily, there are numerous destinations in India that cater to our need of spending some quiet and quality time AND Thekkady in Kerala is one such place. Proffering the opportunity to spend some magical moments amidst scenic nature, Thekkady is a perfect destination for those seeking some good time with their old parents or family members. Part of the Periyar National Park, Thekkady is bestowed with the beauty of lush green forests, unending chains of hills while the traces of diverse wildlife shall give those wrinkled eyes something to widen their size. It shall also add to countless beautiful memories they have treasured. There are a large number of hotels in Thekkady and they all range between luxury class and budget hotels; most of the hotels are within budget so you can expect a comfortable and leisurely stay here.



I believe you don’t need to convince anyone that Munnar is an ideal place for a holiday escape. The rhapsodic landscape and the pristine ambiance is more than enough to convince anyone to plan a holiday in Munnar in Kerala. A quite little hill station with undulated hills is what is going to pursue your aging parents to take up this holiday with you. The accommodation options are brilliant here and you shall be spoilt for choices. Whereas on one hand luxury hotels and resorts proffer an out and out memorable stay, the budget hotels on the other hand by no means compromise with the comfort of the guests. Scenic views from the window of each hotel can definitely be called a luxury.



The name of Varanasi conjures up image of Ganga ghats that are often thronged by colourful Sadhus and other pilgrims, the slow paced water of Ganga that is regularly sailed by wooded boats, the evening Ganga Aarti and the enchantment of Mantras… Varanasi is a ‘SHOW’ in all senses. The divine air is what all the more makes it one of the best places to go on a holiday with elderly parents in India. For many devotees, Varanasi is nothing short of a dream destination AND you may not realize it but it could be the same for your aging parents also. Take them to temples like Durga temple, Vishwanath temple, Sankat Mochan temple, Tulsi Manas temple and the Bharat Mata temple and let them also attend the Ganga Aarti in the evening. I would also recommend an early morning boat ride from one ghat to another to keep things simple yet interesting for them. There are many hotels in Varanasi but the best hotel would be the one that offers a closer view of some or the other ghats and of course offers good services.



Gift your parents a trip to the holy city of Haridwar. Haridwar is the best choice for a family getaway if you are in North India as it is easy to reach. Your parents will surely like the sacred vibe of the city, which is dotted with a number of temples and surrounded by a chain of hills. Moderate climate will also be an advantage here if you avoid the month of June. Take your parents for the evening Aarti at the ghat and to Har Ki Pauri for a superficial dip in the holy water of Ganges. At Haridwar accommodation is good and you can easily book in to a comfortable hotel without burning a hole in your pocket.



Not sure, if your parents have made a trip to Manali while they were young, Manali can still be a great place to go with them at their greying age. Well, I agree upon the fact that weather and altitude can be a challenge, still Manali in Himachal Pradesh would be a great holiday option. The mysterious healing powers of the hills can be a boon for your parents; the fresh air and the unpolluted surrounding would lend them a couple of years  and put the string back in their steps. At Manali, nature walks are absolutely a must;you can take them to Mall road here and to the famous Hadimba Temple. Manali is replete with hotels, although accommodation is an expensive affair, you can still manage to get a decent comfortable hotel here. Avoid planning a trip during winters and monsoon; April to June is the best time to visit Manali.



Whatever goes for Manali in terms of beauty and the power of nature applies to Darjeeling as well. This beautiful hill station of West Bengal is yet another ideal destination for a holiday with elderly parents. The jade green rolling hills and the view of the Mt. Kanchenjunga is what keeps Darjeeling alive in the memories of those who have visited here. Being a hill station, Darjeeling is a laidback destination with a slow pace of life that actually matches to our old parents’ lifestyle. Make sure you take them on a toy train ride to give them a pinch of thrilling experience. They also would like to walk around the city and visit places like Tiger Hill, Ghoom monastery, Batasia Loop and Senchal Lake. All these places can easily be reached by a vehicle. Darjeeling also has a large number of hotels that range from luxury to budget, so one can freely choose the type of hotel that suits one the best.


Taj Mahal

I would love to take my parents to Agra and get a beautiful picture done in front of the impeccable Taj Mahal. I guess going to Agra on a holiday with elderly parents is a wonderful plan! Just about everyone in the world wants to see the Taj Mahal and what greater feeling it would be than to see it with people whom you love the most! Now only 2.5hrs to 3hrs away from Delhi, THANKS to Yamuna Expressway, Agra can be a great getaway with your parents. Other than the majestic Taj, you can visit Agra Fort, Sikandra and if your parents take interest then Fatehpur Sikri can also be included in the list. At Agra, accommodation is easy and most of the 3 stars can be booked at reasonable prices. There are a number of luxury hotels also to choose from if budget is not a concern.



Yes it’s going to be a little difficult to take your parents to a city as bustling as Jaipur, but trust me it is worth the effort. The majestic structures, cultural extravaganza and delightful hospitality…You shall get it here in Jaipur, Rajasthan. For your aged parents, Jaipur would be a great place to witness the colourful culture. Besides visiting Amber Fort, City Palace, Nahargarh Fort and Hawa Mahal, take your parents to watch a folk dance and puppet show. I am sure this new experience shall be welcomed with a warm heart by them. In Jaipur, hotels are available in plenty, ranging from luxury to budget; you have the choice of booking at the one that best suits you. Avoid planning a trip in summer; the best time to visit Jaipur would be the months between November and February when the weather is cooler and more pleasant.



Some places are worth exploring, no matter what age you are! If you thought that the majestic structure, natural beauty and temples are the only things that can woo you and your greying parents, well you need to rethink! Hampi in Karnataka cuts you off from the mundane travel destinations and proffers an invigorating place to explore. Unlike many tourist destinations in India, Hampi offers the bewitching view of architectural ruins that lay well majestically till today. It is believed that one must in his lifetime visit an unusual place and Hampi can exactly be that place. It will be an equally thrilling experience for you and your old parents to have visited together. Hampi is just off the coastal strip and is far away from hustles and bustles and I believe that should be a factor that may make it a pleasant holiday destination for your family. There are many good hotels in Hampi, Bellary and Hospet that offer good services and a comfortable stay and you can choose from the ones that you think cater to your need the most.



Shimla is an unbeatable summer destination for people belonging to any age. Reasons can be many like good commutation service, good roads, scenic landscape and salubrious climate… Shimla offers total rejuvenation. The best thing about Shimla is that you will see less traffic; cars are restricted from entering the Mall Road and Ridge area, which keeps the area free from unwanted noise. You can spend hours sitting on the bench at the ridge opposite the St. John’s Church or wandering on the Mall road. You can also take your parents to Jakhoo Temple as vehicles are available till there. Enjoy a slow ride from Shimla to Kalka or vice versa on the Toy Train. There is a wide range of hotels in Shimla, most of which are situated on the Mall Road.



A laidback destination, Pushkar adds new meaning to Indian tourism. In the name of tourist attractions Pushkar has a few temples and a lake. But more than that this place has something magical to boast about! You ask me why it is a perfect place to go on a vacation with your parents, that too aging parent. Well, I say, Pushkar has everything that is needed for your parents to change their state of mind… sitting by the lake will bring the sense of strange accomplishment; visiting the oldest Brahma Temple is also nothing less than an achievement for a lifetime. Pushkar sometimes makes you forget that you are in India as you encounter foreign tourist at each nook and corner here. Hotels in Pushkar are available at a very low price and if budget is not a concern for you then you can avail a pleasant staying place here.

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