Fascinating and thrilling India will be even more astounding for children than for their wide-eyed parents. The country's scents, sights and sounds will make for an unforgettable adventure and one that most kids will take in their stride.
Vibrant festivals, medieval forts, fairy-tale palaces, tiger safaris, camel rides across desert dunes and a well-oiled tourist infrastructure for hassle-free travel.
Palm-fringed white-sand beaches, seaside activities and inexpensive exotic food; an ideal choice for family holidays, whatever the budget.
The picture-perfect Taj Mahal and the nearby abandoned city of Fatehpur Sikri will set young imaginations ablaze.
Canoe and houseboat adventures, surf beaches, Arabian Sea sunsets, snake-boat races and wildlife spotting.
Pony and yak rides around colonial-era hill stations, rafting, horse riding, tandem paragliding (kids can do it), walks and, for older kids, canyoning around Manali.
Travel with children in India is usually a delight, though you (and your kids) may have to get used to being the centre of attention. Locals will thrill at taking a photograph or two beside your bouncing baby. This may prove disconcerting, but you can always politely decline.
As a parent on the road in India, the key is to remain firm, even if you feel you may offend a well-meaning local by doing so. The attention your children will inevitably receive is almost always good-natured; kids are the centre of life in many Indian households, and your own will be treated just the same, but it can be invasive and tiring for kids, and being continually touched by an array of strangers can bring hygiene issues.
Hotels will almost always come up with an extra bed (although they rarely have more than one, so you may need to do some bed sharing as a family, or get two rooms), and restaurants can usually find a familiar dish or two for inexperienced tummies.
You can also get these items in many parts of India:
Palolem, Goa Plump for a beachfront palm-thatched hut and take it easy at beautiful Palolem beach, with Goa's shallowest, safest waters.
Patnem, Goa Kick back at peaceful Patnem, with its appealing beach and cool, calm, child-friendly restaurants.
Kovalam, Kerala Family-friendly beach area.
Varkala, Kerala Also family-friendly, Papanasham Beach comes with a stunning cliffside backdrop.
Havelock, Andaman Islands Splash about in the shallows at languid Havelock Island (Swaraj Dweep), where there’s also fabulous snorkelling and diving.
Tiger parks, Madhya Pradesh The land of Kipling's Jungle Book has plenty of opportunities for tiger safaris. Delve deep into the jungle or roam the plains at the tiger parks of Kanha, Pench or your best chance for seeing one, Bandhavgarh.
Elephants, Kerala In Wayanad kids can spot wild elephants, as well as langurs, chitals (spotted deer), sambars (deer), peacocks and wild boar.
Dolphins, Goa Splash out on a dolphin-spotting boat trip from almost any Goan beach to see the marine mammals cavorting among the waves.
Lions, Gujarat Go on safari through Gir National Park at dusk or dawn and spot the only Asiatic lions in existence.
Keoladeo National Park, Rajasthan Rent bikes for a leisurely cycle around this lakeside bird reserve.
Jaisalmer, Rajasthan Enjoy playing knights around the world's biggest sandcastle, Jaisalmer’s centuries-old fort, and take a camel ride in the Thar Desert.
Ranthambhore National Park, Rajasthan Hop aboard a jeep to search for monkeys, peacocks and tigers. Evening safaris are best for young children: morning ones tend to be too early, too long and, before the sun rises properly, too cold.
Udaipur, Rajasthan Go boating on the lake, take a horse-riding excursion and explore enchanting palaces.
Madhya Pradesh The land of Kipling's Jungle Book has plenty of opportunities for tiger safaris. Again, evening safaris are best for youngsters.
Autorickshaws, anywhere Bump thrillingly along at top speed in these child-scale vehicles.
Bikes, Delhi Older children who are competent riders, and toddlers who can fit in a child seat, can enjoy a DelhiByCycle tour.
Toy train, Darjeeling, West Bengal Take a joy ride on the cute-as-a-button steam train from Darjeeling to Ghum and back.
Hand-pulled rickshaw, Matheran, Maharashtra From this monkey-infested hill station you can continue to the village on horseback or in a hand-pulled rickshaw.
Houseboat, canoe or kayak, Alappuzha (Alleppey), Kerala Go boating on the state's beautiful backwaters, with lots of interesting stops en route. If you hit town on the second Saturday in August, take the kids to see the spectacular Nehru Trophy boat race.