Is India Safe for Female Travellers?
This is a big question, which most of us face when planning a trip to India. Not only foreign nationals but also various Indian solo female travellers have the same question in mind before planning a trip.
I guess you have the same question in your mind “Is India safe for female travellers”
Trust me, being an Indian and a guy, it would be very hard for me to answer a question like this “Is India safe for female travellers”. Being a solo Indian traveller, I do face people who tried to scam me. But that doesn’t count in safety, I guess.
So to answer this unanswered question “Is India safe for female Travellers”?
I have done a lot of research and questioned various solo female travellers, just to get an idea on what they think, what they have faced and if they can provide me with some tips for women travellers in India.
In recent times, women safety is on the forefront of various news channels and media outlets. With news of Rapes, murders, and scams various women travellers and tourists are reassessing their travel plans.
It is not only about you, a lot of Indians are also staging protests against these gruesome and violent attacks by various anti-socials. Various laws have been changed, amended to safeguard the interest of women.
So let’s check out some statistics to get an idea whether is India safe for female Travellers or not?
Before going through any stats, you have to keep in mind the population factor. India has the second highest population in the world just next to China. We are 1.362 billion strong. Give us some time, if not in Olympic Gold Medals we will beat you all in terms of population. Trust me on that. Even with a booming Condom and contraceptive market, we are still growing rapidly. These don’t work in India, I guess.
See, when Europe was fighting for supremacy between various rulers, we were busy in decoding various sex positions or also known as Kamasutra. Hahaha 😛
Yes, that is correct.
O yeah fine, let’s ends this self-boasting session and dive into facts to answer the question Is India safe for female Travellers or not?
According to United Nations Office on Drugs & Crime, reported rape In India is 1.8 incidents per 1,00,000 people whereas the same rate touches 27.3 in the US. It might be shocking for many of us. But as I said, you always have to keep in mind about our reproduction factor too.
By the way, this statistic might be misleading as very few rapes in India get reported due to family and pressure from society.
“Log kya kahengey”
“What will others say”
It is very normal in towns and cities to cover up these types of acts plus in some cases, even police don’t show much interest in filing a FIR. Plus marital Rape, Oral sex, and rape of men are also not included. See in India, these types of sexual violence don’t happen on papers.
Hey, that was sarcasm…. 😛
But in these reported rapes or sexual violence, a vast majority of those victims knew their culprits very well. Plus sexual violence with tourists and travellers is very rare if we compare that with millions of travellers who visit every year to India.
Yes, there are some cases where we as Indians have lost our credibility but trust me, it’s not black and white everywhere. Yes, there are some parts where it would be a good idea to keep a track of yourself apart from that India is a very safe destination to plan for your next travel.
So if someone asks me,’ Is India safe for female travellers’?
My answer would be yes.
Before trusting my words, you can also check out these blogs: What other Female Travellers are saying about India?
- Sommer Shiels: A travel blogger, who has been to 52 countries including India.
India has been portrayed by western media in a very bias way. Indians are very traditional, religious, caring and warm hearted people. Being a backpacker, her trip to India has changed her life in a very positive way.
You may follow her at: EastStayLive
- Pankti Shah: A Solo Female Traveller, a yoga instructor and a travel blogger from India
I have been travelling throughout India for a long time but apart from a couple of rare scams. The overall experience is awesome.
You may follow her at: CrazyWanderer
- Sheena: An Indian Traveler and a famous travel blogger who has been featured by media-outlets
These type of things may happen anywhere be it India or any other parts of the world. But there are lots of good people. Travelling in India, is a hard task but its all worthed.
You may follow her at: TheSheena
- The World Wanderer: A backpacker who has been travelling all round the globe for more than 05 years
In terms of safety, India is kind of same like anywhere else. If you are travelling solo, you might face some problems and that’s a truth for any country be it India or Britain or America.
You may follow her at: TheWorldWanderer
No, it is not over yet. Let me share with you some tips for women travellers in India.
Tips For Women Travellers In India By Various Government Agencies
Although the crime rates are going high in India but crimes against foreign nationals is very rare. Yes, there are some instances but if we compare that with the number of travellers visiting here, the ratio is not that high.
Plus do remember, our police’s main priority is to take care of you, not us (Indians). See, no one would want to receive a call from your countries embassy 😛
Before sharing you my tips for women travelling in India, let us check some tips and tricks advises offered by other government agencies:
Never travel alone is the advice which The Canadian government gives it to its citizens.
Be cautious when travelling in India: UK Government
And don’t travel by Public transport at night: By Australian Government
You may check out their websites as given above for more details on this topic.
Now, ThePoorNomad’s Tips For Women Travellers In India
Be Bold and Be Brave
India is not a place for faint hearted. It will fascinate you but frustrate you too. One moment, it would bring you down to your knees and after a split second, you would be having a beer with locals. You have to be on your toes every time but trust me it is totally worth it.
People out here can be confusing for some of you but they can move you by their helping and caring nature. They are loud, they love music with large woofers but they can treat you with a “Masala Tea” when you have missed your last flight.
So if you are the one who doesn’t like surprises then India is not for you…because that is what you will be getting.
Always Do Your Homework
Besides worrying how to get the best pictures for your profile picture, have a look at their culture, their traditions, do’s and don’ts and medication. Believe me, travelling in India is more than a mental challenge or adjustment which you need to take. As The culture, traditions and the way of life is very different as compared to many other countries. It is not going to be a leisure walk.
Don’t Try To Be the Centre Of Attraction
Try to keep a low profile if needed. Some of the Indian’s are very conservative so try to wear clothes like Kurti’s , Salwar Kameez and all. You may get these traditional wears from any local markets. Wearing jeans and tops is also quite ok in India, it is not that conservative. But in some places like Temples, Mosques, Gurudwaras or any other place where people worship, go for a traditional wear as most of them don’t prefer wearing revealing clothes there. Plus if you are visiting any villages in South India or in some parts of North India, It would be a better option to go for a simple wear.
Although Goa is an exception where it is ok to wear anything. It is more westernized than other parts of India.
Never Show All your Cards To Anyone
You might be the one who loves to share your stories with anyone. Or you might me the one who loves to listen to other’s stories. Or might love to mix with everyone, understanding their culture, their values, their traditions and all.
Take a break. I am not saying..not to do this. I am just trying to tell you, not to disclose all your cards or information to everyone who ever meets you on the road. For suppose, if you are a solo female traveller going for a whole India trip. It would be good if you don’t share it with everyone.
Share with those who you think are trustworthy or whom you know for some time.
Or wear a ring on your wedding finger if needed, just to avoid unwanted attraction
Use your sixth sense and it would surely guide you to the right path
Hack While Travelling in Indian Railways
Travelling in Indian Railways is fun and an adventure of its own. You wouldn’t meet so many people in a single journey. Indians prefer railways due to its availability for long journeys and cheap tickets. Every traveller has a tale of their own when travelling by Railways.
Indians are very helpful in general, sharing you their homemade food when starved or waking you up when your station arrives or someone just helps you with random stuffs is very normal. So do expect that.
But also remember “Helps come to those who ask for it”
But even after all these; it would be a better option to take some precautions like always try to book an upper birth. As during daylight time, you would face a lot of hustle and bustle plus a lot of vendors walk down the corridor to sell food, drinks, and other stuff. And even at night, lots of passengers get on and off the train. You would never be alone. So if are travelling by a sleeper class or you have booked a third-AC ticket then I would better suggest you to book an upper berth ticket. It will not only help you to have a little bit of privacy plus your luggage will also be out of sight from other passengers. Or else you if have budget, you may also book a 2nd Class AC ticket.
Don’t Arrive At Night
There would be some bad apples everywhere who would try to scam you or take advantage of you. But you can’t judge a whole nation by meeting those one percent. Is India safe for female travellers? Yes, it is safe unless you intentionally do some avoidable mistakes.
If you are going to a new destination and have no idea about that place then try not to reach that place during night. As there are chance people would try to take advantage of travellers with no idea about their plans. Plus getting a good hotel sometimes is a hard task during night. In small cities and towns, hotel guys prefer sleeping rather than welcoming new travellers.
Btw for some reason, if you reach late at night try taking help from police or try to ask a local family rather than trying to work-out by your own self. Or better call up any hotel and tell them that you have a room booked there, so tell them to help to navigate their hotel.
And one more note, most of the Indian cities and towns have OLA & Uber service. So better, download their app on your mobile and book a cab. It would be much safer rather than waiting for a tuk-tuk during night.
Body Language Issue
Always remember, some gesture which is quite ok in your culture, might get misinterpreted in a different form here in India.
Like showing love or touching someone’s arm. So try to, keep a distance with others in terms of physical touch. You can be open to them about your plans and culture but better keep some distance when sitting with them. It would not give them any chance to misinterpret anything or any gesture. In India, interaction is a kind of game… where you need to keep a balance between you and others.
Random Invitation Is a Big No
Always keep in mind, people are very helpful in India but that doesn’t mean you would accept any invitation just after a small hi-hello session. Take your time, try to judge and understand that fellow guy or girl and accept any invitation. Never go for any invite for a tea or dinner unless you know them very well. Indians somehow see white, fair or blonde skin as a superior race and hence would try to start a conversation with you or call you up for a dinner at their place. It is very normal but use your sixth sense and before accepting try to analyze his intentions if possible.
So these were some major tips and tricks which you must keep in mind.
Apart from these major tricks and tips for women travellers in India, let’s check out some smaller but important
Small Hacks Or Tips For Women Travellers In India
There are very rare chances that you are going to face any violent crime but if you face so, better scream or shout it out. Ask for help and you would be surprised to see the kind of help you would get. We do love our guests so always ask for help.
India is one of the biggest markets for the Porn industry and we do love porn. And there are some guys who still have a miss-conception that foreign nationals are easy to sleep around. So always try to keep an eye on those guys.
Note: Not everyone but truth to be told there are people who still think the same.
Any invitation, any hi-hello or anyone trying to start a conversation.. try to say no. No means no. Don’t just start an interaction just because one fellow guy come and said so.
If travelling during night..try to travel with a group or maybe with a family, whom you can trust. Nothing happens but better be safe.
Better be ready for a mass photo taking sessions. People will be there who will come up to you to click a picture with you. You might find it fascinating but sometimes it is damn irritating.
Open drinking or marijuana is a big no. Indians don’t like it. Try to have it when you are in a pub or in your hotel room. You can smoke but try to avoid in public places.
As soon as you reach India, try to get a local number. It would be much easier to call up police or someone you know with a local number. I would suggest you, to go for Airtel and Vodafone. These two have the best connectivity all over India. Even in remote places.
Always keep an offline map of the city you are visiting.
Avoid eye-contacts with an unknown person, if possible or try to wear a sunglass.
Try to keep a pepper spray in your purse.
If travelling by bus and feeling uneasy ask for a ladies seat. As most of our buses have ladies seat.
If facing any problem or need any help, just scream or ask any local if anyone understands or speak English. English is kind of our second mother tongue.
Hill stations are much safer than cities.
Always trust your sixth sense. If your sixth feels something shady..believe me, it is shady.
And always try to smile; a smile goes a long way to communicate your feelings.
So finally, I am done with all my tips for women travellers in India.
So, is India safe for female travellers?
For me yes it is safe for female solo backpackers if you follow these tips for women travellers in India.
Always remember, Indian women have been facing these kinds of issues for a long time and it is not that hard. There are some guys who don’t respect other and would try to scam you but we cannot judge a whole nation by judging those anti-socials.
Ultimately, there is no secret which I can tell you to remain safe in India or in any other parts of the world. You just have to be wise with your decisions and listen to your guts…just like what you do in any other country or place.
For many of us, India is a complicated destination to go for but it can be incredibly rewarding too.
So hope you have a safe journey and do visit India. It might change you.
Hope you liked this article and if you want to mention something that you have faced during your travel, do mention it in the below comment section.
As I love to listen to new stories.
Or if you need help do mail me or connect with me.