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Top Boarding Schools in India

July 23, 2017

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Some of the best-known and best-ranked schools in India are boarding schools. These schools have produced some of the brightest academic talents, sportsmen, and administrators in the country. Here is a list of the top 5 boarding schools in the country ranked on the basis of their academics, sporting tradition, culture and extracurricular activities, discipline, community service, infrastructure, and overall development of the pupils.

Admission to most boarding schools in India is granted if the applicants clear the respective admission tests. Schools differ in the class to which admission may be sought. Parents are advised to check the education board and curriculum, sporting and cultural activities, and student itinerary before seeking admissions into a boarding school.

  1. The Doon School, Dehradun, Uttarakhand

Established in the year 1935 by Satish Ranjan Das, the Doon School of Dehra Dun continues to remain one of the most sought after full boarding schools of the country for boys. Former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi is one of the best known alumni of the Doon School.

School for – Boys

Board/Affiliation –

  • Class X – IGCSE (since 2017. ICSE till 2016)
  • Class XII – ISC or IB

Facilities – The state-of-art library, laboratories music and arts school, sports training and full- fledged medical services are its greatest highlights. The students are taken on various adventure trips and excursions. They are encouraged to participate in various sporting activities such as golf, badminton, and boxing and also in theatre and other cultural activities.

  1. Mayo College, Ajmer, Rajasthan

Founded in 1875 by the 6th Earl of Mayo, Richard Bourke, erstwhile Viceroy of India, the Mayo College is one of the oldest public boarding schools in the country. It is also one of the best CBSE affiliated schools in the country. Mayo College is a boy’s only school while Mayo College Girls’ School is an all girls boarding school. The Mayo College has been the alma mater of many royals and celebrity children in India. Current Chief of Navy Staff, Chief Admiral Sunil Lamba is from the Mayo College.

School for – Boys

Board/Affiliation – CBSE

Facilities – Mayo College is known for its rich heritage and stately school premises. The school offers students a variety of sports, arts, cultural activities. With the vast library and museum and the advanced laboratories in the premises, Mayo College offers the best to its students.

  1. Bishop Cotton School, Shimla, Himachal Pradesh

Founded in 1859 by Bishop George Edward Lynch Cotton, this is another one of the oldest and the best boarding schools in India. Bishop Cotton has produced numerous politicians and statesmen, diplomats, judges, and armed forces services officers over the years. Noted author Ruskin Bond and business magnate Ratan Tata are among its alumni. Bishop Cotton School in Bangalore and Bishop Cotton Girls’ School (also in Bangalore) were also established by the same founder.

School for – Boys

Board/Affiliation –

  • Class X – ICSE
  • Class XII – ISC

Facilities – From a modern library to a state-of-art swimming pool, from an internal war memorial to parks and chapels Bishop Cotton offers it all. The school emphasizes on the cultivation of sports and fine arts apart from other social activities.

  1. Welham Girls’ School, Dehradun, Uttarakhand

School for – Girls

Emphasizing on Indian traditional values and holistic systems of learning is the Welham Girls’ School in Dehradun.  It was established in the year 1957 and has been one of the most sought after school for privileged girls from across the country. The nearby Welham Boys’ School provides admission only to boys while Welham Girls’ School is an all girls school.

Board/Affiliation –

  • Class X – ICSE
  • Class XII – ISC

Facilities –

Apart from the regular sports options, students can choose to train in music, classical and contemporary dance forms, craft, photography, foreign languages, and dramatics.

  1. Rishi Valley School, Chittoor, Andhra Pradesh

Founded in the year 1926 by the philosopher Jiddu Krishnamurti Rishi Valley School follows the founder’s pedagogical vision emphasising on social service and environmental activism. It is built in a vast area of greenery and is one of the most sought after boarding schools in the country.

School for – Boys and Girls

Board/Affiliation – IB and ISC

Facilities – Rishi Valley emphasises on academics and holistic learning processes. It offers training in a number of cultural activities and is a well-known school for music and dance training. The sports culture of the school is also popular among its students.


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