20 Top Boarding Schools In India For Boys, Girls, Co-Education


From prime ministers to army chiefs, from globally acclaimed writers to mega stars of Indian cinema, from scientists to economists, boarding schools in India can boast of producing top achievers in nearly all walks of life. This article offers thumbnails of the 20 top such schools in the country. The list features 7 co-educational, 6 girls schools and 7 boys schools. While all of them are affiliated to one of the two Indian central boards – the ICSE/ISC or CBSE – a few offer international certificates. Although all the schools are among the most expensive ones in India, they also offer excellent facilities and a very high quality of education and personal grooming. Most of them attract both Indian as well as overseas students. None of the schools impose any restrictions with regard to caste, creed or community but their students come from families that belong to the crème-de-la-crème of society.


1. Sahyadri School, Pune

Sahyadri School Pune

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No of students/teachers: 280/45
Type: Co-educational
Established: 1995
Affiliation: ICSE/ISC
Campus Size: 50 acres
Famous Alumni: Not Known
Website: http://www.sahyadrischool.org/

The school’s education policy is inspired by the teachings of the philosopher Jiddu Krishnamurti and it is one of several schools in India run by the Krishnamurti Foundation India (KFI). Considered to be an institution that provides alternative education, the school’s curriculum includes activities such as handicraft, music, dance and drama. It holds no tests or examinations till Class VII as it believes that students are best driven by self-motivation rather than competition.

2. The Lawrence School, Sanawar

Lawrence School, Sanawar

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No of students/teachers: 700/70
Type: Co-educational
Established: 1847
Affiliation: CBSE
Campus Size: 139 acres
Famous Alumni: Vishnu Bhagwat (Former Chief of Naval Staff, India), Omar Abdulla (Former Chief Minister of J&K), Maneka Gandhi (Union minister), Preity Zinta (Film Actress)
Website: http://sanawar.edu.in/

Sanawar is one of the oldest boarding schools in Asia and was founded by Sir Henry Lawrence, elder brother of Sir John Lawrence who was Viceroy of India from 1864 to 1869. It is the school of choice for officers of the armed forces. The school’s alumni known as Old Sanwarians can be found among the top achievers in nearly every field. The school created history in 2013 when its students successfully scaled Mount Everest. Considered at par with Eton or the Royal Military College, Sandhurst, it is a member of the Round Square Conference, a club of top schools around the world.

3. Sherwood College, Nainital

Sherwood College, Nainital

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No of students/teachers: 700/90
Type: Co-educational
Established: 1869
Affiliation: ICSE/ISC
Campus Size: 10 acres
Famous Alumni: Field Marshal S.H.F.J. Manekshaw, Amitabh Bachchan
Website: http://www.sherwood.edu.in/

One of the oldest surviving boarding schools in India, Sherwood was established by a few British gentlemen under the patronage of the Rt. Rev. Robert Milman, DD, the seventh Metropolitan of India. The school has been named after Robin Hood and his Sherwood Foresters. All students have to take part in sports and cultural activities. The school has a well-stocked library, an Internet-enabled computer laboratory, a swimming pool and excellent facilities for sports. The school has literary and dramatics societies as also a photography club.

4. New Era High School, Panchgani

New Era High School, Panchgani

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No of students/teachers: 1000/100
Type: Co-educational
Established: 1945
Affiliation: CBSE
Campus Size: 20 acres
Famous alumni: Twinkle and Rinke Khanna
Website: http://www.nehsindia.org/

This is a private international school established under the supervision of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of India. Apart from well-equipped science and computer laboratories and three libraries, the school has a gymnasium-cum-auditorium, an open air amphitheatre, vocational workshops including a metal fabrication workshop and excellent sports facilities. Award-winning Aamir Khan film “Taare Zameen Par” was partly shot in the school campus. The school has also hosted the “Amul Junior MasterChef Swaad ke Ustaad” (a cooking reality show) where the contestants prepared food for the students of the school.

5. Orchid International School, Nashik

Orchid International School, Nashik

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No of students/teachers: 270/27
Type: Co-educational
Established: 2006
Affiliation: ISCE/ISC
Campus Size: 52 acres
Famous Alumni: Not known
Website: http://www.school.sapkalknowledgehub.org/

It is one of the youngest boarding schools in India. However, in a short span of just six years since its founding, this private, unaided school managed to join the league of the more famous vintage and legacy boarding schools of India when in an Education World-C-Fore survey it bagged the 10th position in the overall India School Rankings 2012. The school has excellent academic and co-curricular facilities, especially for sports and cultural activities.

6. Lawrence School, Lovedale, Ooty

Lawrence School, Lovedale, Ooty

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No of students/teachers: 700/80
Type: Co-educational
Established: 1858
Affiliation: CBSE
Campus Size: 750 acres
Famous Alumni: Anand Mahindra (Chairman & MD, Mahindra Group), Arundhati Roy (Writer), Amish Tripathi (Author)

Website: http://www.thelawrenceschool.org/

Lovedale is one of the four surviving “Lawrence Military Asylums” founded by Sir Henry Lawrence, founder of the Lawrence School, Sanwar. It is now an autonomous institution under the Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India and embraces an educational framework that is very similar to the Sanwar school. The school is now putting a special emphasis on digital literacy and students must learn to use online tools while operating in a collaborative research-based environment. Like other Lawrence schools, Lovedale too has excellent infrastructure.

7. Rishi Valley School, Chittoor

Rishi Valley School, Chittoor

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No of students/teachers: 360/60
Type: Co-educational
Established: 1926
Affiliation: ICSE/ISC
Campus Size: 375 acres
Famous Alumni: Varun Gandhi (Politician), Ajit Varadaraj Pai (Commissioner, Federal Communications Commission, US)
Website: http://www.rishivalley.org/

Founded by the philosopher Jiddu Krishnamurti himself and run by the Krishnamurti Foundation, India (KFI), Rishi Valley is often described as the best boarding school in India. The school offers an innovative curriculum free from examinations till Class VIII. Apart from academics and development of intellectual capabilities, the school makes a conscious effort to make children aware of the world around them. It is the only school in India that has set up an institute for ornithology.

8. Welham Girls School, Dehradun

Welham Girls School, Dehradun

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No of students/teachers: 600/60
Type: Only girls
Established: 1957
Affiliation: ICSE/ISC
Campus Size: 12 acres
Famous alumni: Brinda Karat (Politician) Deepa Mehta (Film Maker), Radhika Roy (Co-founder of NDTV), Kareena Kapoor (Actress), Tavleen Singh (Journalist)
Website: http://www.welhamgirls.com/

This school was named after the Welsh village from where the founder Miss H. Oliphant hailed. She had earlier set up the Wellham Boys School in 1937. The school requires students to take up at least two different extra-curricular activities each term from among music and dance, nature study, photography, art and craft, debating and dramatics, and several sports disciplines. Multiple in-house publications enable students to hone their writing and journalism skills. The school has exchange programmes with Millfield School and St Edwards School in England.

9. Mayo College Girls School, Ajmer

Mayo College Girls School, Ajmer

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No of students/teachers: 800/86
Type: Only girls
Established: 1987
Affiliation: ICSE/ISC
Campus Size: 46 acres
Famous Alumni: Princess Shruti Rajya Laxmi Devi Shah of Nepal
Website: http://www.mcgs.ac.in/

Set up much later as a sister school of the more famous Mayo College for boys, this school has emerged as one of the best boarding schools for girls in India. Apart from strong academics and excellent extra-curricular facilities, the school organises mid-term educational trips within and outside India that all students have to participate in. It also has student exchange programmes with schools in Australia and the UK.  It is a member of the Round Square Conference.

10. Scindia Kanya Vidyalaya, Gwalior

Scindia Kanya Vidyalaya, Gwalior

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No of students/teachers: 500/50
Type: Only girls
Established: 1956
Affiliation: CBSE
Campus Size: 35 acres
Famous Alumni: Yashodhara Raje Scindia (Politician)
Website: http://www.skvgwalior.org/home

Founded by the Late Rajmata of Gwalior Srimant Vijaya Raje Scindia, the school offers girl students a progressive modern education despite remaining grounded to traditional roots. The school is a member of the Round Square Conference and has a student exchange programme with Woodbridge School in Suffolk, London. It regularly organizes educational trips abroad. Through tie-ups with International Students House, London and the University of Westminster, London, every year, the school offers its students scholarships for study in the UK.

11. Ashok Hall Girls Residential School, Ranikhet

Ashok Hall Girls Residential School, Ranikhet

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No of students/teachers: 250/37
Type: Only girls
Established: 1993
Affiliation: ICSE/ISC
Campus Size: 25 acres
Famous Alumni: not known
Website: http://ahgrs.net/

Founded by Mr. B.K. Birla and Dr. (Mrs.) Sarala Birla, this is one of the newer boarding schools in India for girls. However, through its commitment to excellence the school has begun to hold its own against some of its older and more famous counterparts. The school offers excellent facilities for both academics as well as extra-curricular activities. It is a member of the prestigious Indian Public Schools’ Conference and is ISO 9001: 2008 and ISO 14001: 2004 certified.

12. Ecole Globale International Girls School, Dehradun

Ecole Globale International Girls School, Dehradun

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No of students/teachers: 300/20
Type: Only girls
Established: 2012
Affiliation: CIE/CBSE
Campus Size: 40 acres
Famous Alumni: not known

Website: http://www.ecoleglobale.com/index.php

Though one of the youngest boarding schools in India, Ecole Globale stands out for its bespoke educational curriculum.  It seeks to produce young ladies who are ready to face the myriad challenges that women face in today’s world. It is perhaps the first and only girls’ school in India that requires all its students to go through a specialized finishing school to learn skills needed to make them charismatic leaders, efficient homemakers and gracious ladies in their lives ahead.

13. Mussoorie International School, Mussoorie

Mussoorie International School, Mussoorie

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No of students/teachers: 240/20
Type: Only girls
Established: 1984
Affiliation: CIE & ICSE/ISC
Campus Size: 40 acres
Famous Alumni: not known
Website: http://www.misindia.net/

Founded by the disciples of Pandit Shriram Sharma Acharyaji, founder of All World Gayatri Pariwar of Haridwar, this school seeks to blend the traditional values of India’s cultural heritage with the technological, pedagogical and creative advances of modernity. In 2016, Education World ranked the school No 1 in Best All Girls Residential School for Pastoral Care and No 4 in Best All Girls Residential Schools in India. The school has managed to attract students from as many as 27 countries.

14. Bishop Cotton School, Shimla

Bishop Cotton School, Shimla

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No of students/teachers: 500/23
Type: Only boys
Established: 1859
Affiliation: ICSE/ISC
Campus Size: 56 acres
Famous Alumni: Ruskin Bond  (Author), Montek Singh Ahluwalia (Former Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission of India), Virbhadra Singh (Politician), and current Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh, Fali Nariman (Supreme Court Advocate)    General Akhtar Abdur Rahman (Former Chief of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence)
Website: http://www.bishopcottonshimla.com/

Established by Bishop George Edward Lynch Cotton, this school is one of the oldest boarding schools in India after the Lawrence Military Asylums. Over the years, it has consistently retained a top rank among the best residential school for boys. The school has produced army officers, ambassadors, authors, advocates, judges, defense and paramilitary officers, ministers and politicians. The alumni of the school are known as Old Cottonians and members of the Old Cottonians Association are spread all over the world.

15. The Doon School, Dehradun

The Doon School, Dehradun

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No of students/teachers: 550/70
Type: Only boys
Established: 1935
Affiliation: ICSE/ISC & IB
Campus Size: 72 acres
Famous Alumni: Rajiv Gandhi (Former Prime Minister of India), Naveen Patnaik (Chief Minister of Odisha), Vikram Seth (Author), Amitava Ghosh (Author), Ramchandra Guha(Historian), Prannoy Roy (Founder of NDTV), Karan Thapar (Journalist), Abhinava Bhindra (Shooter and Olympic gold medalist)
Website: http://www.doonschool.com/

Founded by Satish Ranjan Das, a Kolkata lawyer, Doon is considered to be one of the best schools in the world. In the Indian sub-continent, it is the school that has produced the largest number of political or military leaders with nine Cabinet Ministers, two chief ministers, several members of the Indian Parliament and state Legislative Assemblies; a Naxalite, nineteen generals, two admirals, former heads of the Indian and Pakistani Air Forces and twenty-four ambassadors, including those from India, Pakistan, Nepal and the United Kingdom. The school’s alumni is its strongest certificate.

16. The Scindia School, Gwalior

The Scindia School, Gwalior

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No of students/teachers: 600/60
Type: Only boys
Established: 1897
Affiliation: CBSE
Campus Size: 110 acres
Famous Alumni: Air Marshal Arjan Singh, Arjun Singh (Former Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh), Madhav Rao Scindia (Politician), Mukesh Ambani (Chairman of Reliance Industries), Salman Khan (Actor)
Website: http://www.scindia.edu/?screen_check=done&Width=1600&Height=900

Founded by the late Maharaja Madho Rao Scindia of Gwalior, the school, earlier known as the Sardar School, began by admitting only royalty, especially the Marathas. Located in the historic Gwalior Fort, it became a public school admitting all without class discrimination in 1933 and was renamed as The Scindia School. Today it is ranked among the top five boarding schools in India and is known for its advanced IT facilities. Its alumni have become top achievers in many fields.

17. Mayo College, Ajmer

Mayo College, Ajmer

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No of students/teachers: 850/85
Type: Only boys
Established: 1875
Affiliation: CBSE
Campus Size: 336 acres
Famous alumni: K. Natwar Singh (Politician), Vir Sanghvi (Journalist), Siddharth Vardarajan (Journalist), Tinu Anand (Film Director)
Website: http://www.mayocollege.com/

Mayo has consistently remained among the best schools in the world for more than a hundred years. The founder Richard Bourke, 6th Earl of Mayo, who was Viceroy of India from 1869 to 1872, sought to create an “Eton of India” and he largely succeeded. Over the years, the school has educated members of not only Indian royal families but also of other countries. Mayo offers some of the best facilities for sports and extra-curricular activities among all schools in India. Its alumni known as Mayoites includes successful people from all walks of life.

18. Welham Boys School, Dehradun

Welham Boys School, Dehradun

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No of students/teachers: 700/70
Type: Only boys
Established: 1937
Affiliation: CBSE
Campus Size: 32 acres
Famous Alumni: Rajiv Gandhi (Former Prime Minister), Sanjay Gandhi (Politician), Mani Shankar Aiyer (Politician), Vikram Seth (Author)
Website: http://www.welhamboys.org/

For 48 years since it was founded by Miss H. Oliphant, this school remained a preparatory school for boarding schools in England and India, especially the Doon School. Today it offers education right up to Class XII. Over the years it has consistently remained among the best residential schools in India and is known for being a child-friendly institution that combines the traditional with the modern. It is at present implementing a slew of innovative projects.

19. Birla Public School, Pilani

Birla Public School, Pilani

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No of students/teachers: 1100/80
Type: Only boys
Established: 1944
Affiliation: CBSE
Campus Size: 100 acres
Famous Alumni: Vinod Rai (former CAG), Gen V.K. Singh (Former Chief of Army Staff)
Website: http://www.bpspilani.com/

Founded by the Birla Education Trust, this is the only school in India that was personally guided by Dr Maria Montessori who pioneered the globally acclaimed Montessori method for children’s education. Today known as Vidya Niketan, it became a full-fledged residential high school in 1954 and has since then remained among the top 10 boarding schools in India. The school lays special emphasis on the individual child and seeks to stimulate intellectual curiosity together with fostering a capacity for problem solving.

20. St. Joseph’s School, North Point, Darjeeling

St. Joseph's School, North Point, Darjeeling

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No of students/teachers: 1200/80
Type: Only boys
Established: 1888
Affiliation: ICSE/ISC
Campus Size: 23 acres
Famous Alumni: Jigme Singye Wangchuck (Former King of Bhutan), Birendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev (Former King of Nepal), Gyanendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev (Former King of Nepal), Lawrence Durrell (Poet & Novelist), Louis Banks (Jazz Artist), Michael Ferreira (Former World Billiards Champion)
Website: http://www.sjcnorthpoint.com/

Owned and managed by the Jesuits, the school was founded by Father Henri Depelchin. Often referred to as the “Harrow of the East”, its alumni includes members of the royal families of Nepal, Bhutan, Cooch Behar, and Burdwan. In the 1950s, the school had students coming from as many as 28 countries. North Point has often been featured in films including those by Raj Kapoor, Satyajit Ray, and Anjan Dutt. It is one of the best boarding schools in India and bagged the 10th rank in the Education World-C Fore 2015 survey of schools.