India is considered one of the most diverse nations in the world and there are several cultural zones in India.  India currently has 28 states and 8 Union territories and almost each and every state or UT has a city that is believed to be the cultural capital of the state or geographical region.

With home to a considerable population belonging to 5 major religions of the world, 100 different languages, over 700 different tribal groups, 38 UNESCO World Heritage Sites and 6 classical dance forms, India is an ethnically and culturally rich nation, befitting of its title as ‘Incredible India’..

Related Article: 10 Incredible India Experiences to Add to Your Bucket List in 2022

In this article, take a look at the cultural centres in India which are perfect for family holidays.

Cultural Capitals of India

1.      Kolkata, West Bengal

Kolkata, the city of joy is not only the cultural capital of West Bengal but is also the cultural capital of India. From being the capital of the British empire in India, the birthplace of modern Indian literature to being the seat of Bengal renaissance and Indian nationalism, Kolkata has always been at the frontlines of culture, taking the nation forward. If you are planning to visit Kolkata for a family holiday, here are some of the places to visit in India:

  • Victoria memorial hall
  • Dakshineswar Temple
  • Howrah Bridge
  • Mother Teresa House
  • Park Street
  • Eden Gardens
  • Princep Ghat
  • College Street
  • New Market
  • Indian Museum
  • Kumartuli (Just Before Durga Puja)

Apart from going on a solid sightseeing trip, some of the other things to do in Kolkata, India are:

  • Visit Coffee House previously known as Albert Hall in College Street to grab a cup of tea/coffee and a plate of ‘pakoras’.
  • Taste the food heritage of park street, the famous ‘Chelo Kebab’ at Peter Cat.
  • Enjoy the delicious Chicken A La Kie at Trincas while you enjoy the music.
  • Try the famous coolers at Paramount in College street after a day of book hunting.
  • Experience the 100-year old Jewish legacy at Nahoum’s.
  • Taste the famous ‘Mishti doi’ in any of the famous Sweet shops in South Kolkata.

To ensure that your trip ends on a comfortable note, make your booking at Club Mahindra Bliss in Kolkata for a luxurious family holiday.

Related Article: Top Seven Places to Visit in West Bengal | West Bengal Tourist Places

Kolkata, West Bengal Madurai, Tamil Nadu

2.      Madurai, Tamil Nadu

Madurai, known as the city that never sleeps, was once the capital of many kingdoms such as the Cholas, Pandyas, Nayaks and the British. Being the birthplace of Sangam literature, it is the main cultural centre of Tamil Nadu, India and also the administrative headquarters of the Madurai District. When you are visiting this city, some of the things to do in Madurai, India will be as follows:

  • Madurai Meenakshi Amman Temple
  • Aayiram Kaal Mandapam
  • Pazhamudir Solai
  • Alagarkoil Temple and Shrine
  • Thirumalai Nayakar Mahal
  • Gandhi Memorial Museum
  • Koodal Azhagar Temple
  • Vaigai Dam

Apart from visiting these places, some dishes you must try in order to make your India Tourism complete are:

  • Fluffy soft idlis
  • Crispy golden dosas
  • Idiyappam
  • Kari dosai
  • Kola urundai
  • Elumbu roast
  • Parotta and mutton curry
  • Sooji appams
  • Bun parotta

Additionally, you can check out Club Mahindra Bliss, Resort & Spa at Rameswaram, which is only 175 km away from Madurai.

Related Article: 10 Foods to Make Tamil Nadu Tourism a Delicious Affair

3.      Pune, Maharashtra

The city of Pune is held to be the educational capital and cultural centre of Maharashtra, India. Owing to its pleasant climate, safe neighbourhoods, affordable residential places and excellent connectivity to the business capital of India, Mumbai, people prefer not only to stay here but also drop by for a visit during a family holiday. Some places to visit in Pune, India, are as follows:

  • Lal Mahal
  • Shaniwarwada
  • Nehru Stadium for cricket matches
  • Peshwe Park
  • Sarasbaug

If you want to try some local Maharashtrian cuisine, you must indulge your taste buds in the following dishes:

  • Keema Pav
  • Chicken jumbo burger
  • Sitafal mastani
  • Mawa cake
  • Jumbo vada pav
  • Chutney sandwich
  • Mysore masala dosa
  • Maharashtrian thali
  • Puneri misal pav

 Related Article: Looking for weekend getaways from Pune? These are the Top 5 Choices!

Pune, Maharashtra Varanasi City, Uttar Pradesh

4.      Varanasi City, Uttar Pradesh

Varanasi or Banaras or Benaras, is the cultural capital of Uttar Pradesh and the spiritual capital of India. People visit this city to attain nirvana and break free from the cycle of rebirth and karma. People also visit the ancient city to start afresh, to seek blessings and to shop the famous Benarasi saree.

Below is a list of places to visit in Benaras, India that are included in the itinerary of Indian Tourism:

  • Dasaswamedh Ghat
  • Manikarnika Ghat
  • Assi Ghat
  • Vishwanath Temple

Varanasi is also famous for a couple of dishes that are sold in the many ancient bylanes of this city that you must try when you are on your family holiday:

  • Kachori-sabzi
  • Chena dahi vada
  • Malaiyyo
  • Thandai and lassi
  • Dahi chutney wale gol gappe
  • Laaiya chana
  • Baati chokha
  • Tamatar chaat

5.      Jaipur, Rajasthan

Jaipur is a cultural reservoir of Western India and definitely one of the most beloved cultural centres in India. Whether it be its many palaces, its food or its handicrafts, Jaipur is a historically and culturally rich city that continues to excite tourists from both near and far.

When in Jaipur, you must visit the following places:

Any family holiday is incomplete in India without exploring the rich food culture of Incredible India:

  • Rajasthani thali (veg/non-veg)
  • Dal-baati churma
  • Laal maans
  • Dal baluchi
  • Pyaz kachori
  • Ghewar

 To make your trip to Jaipur, one of the cultural centres in India complete, you must book your stay with Club Mahindra Resorts in Jaipur.

Related Article: Must-Try Cuisine Of Jaipur During A Family Vacation With Club Mahindra

Jaipur, Rajasthan

Apart from the cities mentioned above, there are a few more cultural centres in India like Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh; Thrissur, Kerala; Srinagar, J & K; Mysore, Karnataka; and Almora, Uttarakhand. These places and those described above are all worth a visit during your family holiday in India.


About Club Mahindra

Mahindra Holidays & Resorts India Ltd. (MHRIL), a part of Leisure and Hospitality sector of the Mahindra Group, offers quality family holidays primarily through vacation ownership memberships and brings to the industry values such as reliability, trust and customer satisfaction. Started in 1996, the company's flagship brand ‘Club Mahindra’, today has over 290,000 members , who can holiday at 140+ resorts in India and abroad.

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