At has been in the news frequently and the issue of woman’s safety in India is the one we always hear. Majority of the female travelers express their concerns regarding traveling to India and sometimes they don’t even want to consider that country at all. Now that when we think of it, isn’t it a prejudice to think that all women traveling there will be facing the same kind of problem. Truth is, no two women will experience the same thing. Serious threats like staring, stalking, groping, or the most serious, raping, are all playing in the back of someone’s mind when it comes to women traveling alone in India. But not everyone in that country will treat you badly. Some of them are among the nicest and friendliest people you’ll ever know.
Below are some tips for women traveling to India alone :
Learn The Country And Its Customs – Spend time in learning about India, the people, the culture, traditions and religions. Always visit a country with eyes and mind wide open, and be prepared to be educated while traveling abroad. Understand that the situation of that particular country is far more different when compared to your own country. And since India is quite well-known for crimes, do not attempt to go to those regions where crimes related to drugs are rampant. Read guidebooks and ask people in forums to find out whether or not your travel destinations falls into that particular category.(image by Teresa Parker)
Dress Appropriately – India is a conservative country and this statement deserves repeating especially to those who are first-timers. Dress appropriately and always be respectful of other people’s culture and tradition. Cover your shoulders, legs and cleavage. And wearing Indian attires are always desirable. It is a way of showing your appreciation towards a culture different from yours. Kurta and shalwar kameez can easily found at local markets or from Indian clothing stores. However, this is by no means a guarantee of your safety in India, but at least, it will help to draw lesser attention to you.
Book An Upper Berth – When traveling on train in India, try to request for an upper berth. It will give a sense of privacy, help to keep your bags secure during the day and keep you out of the fray at night when you sleep. Since Indian trains are always famously known for its hustle and bustle, you will be surprised to experience constant stream of vendors selling food and drinks during the day, and the night passengers getting on and off constantly at night. Although this might sound fun at first, you will eventually need an upper berth to your self at night.
Travel In A Group – Even though traveling alone in India might sound a good and brave idea, it does not sound that way anymore if you’re going to face problems during your trip there. If you’re uncomfortable of traveling alone, consider traveling in a group of people. This will ensure your safety more and you can feel more comfortable being surrounded by more people.(image by Rob)
There is no doubt in saying that India can be a very difficult place to travel but there is no way we can confirm that the country does not worth a visit. We hope that by using the tips above, you can mitigate your feeling whenever having eyes constantly staring at you inappropriately. Always keep in mind that the threats that most female travelers are facing actually the same kind of threats that the Indian women have been dealing with throughout their lives. It’s not a new thing. Just be brave and always stay positive.
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Feature image Chetan Karkhanis