Is India Safe for International Tourists?
Once they decide on the destination, first time travellers to India often grapple with the question – Is India Safe to travel?
Well, simplest of questions demand greatest of attention and research. Having covered the length and breadth of the country- and mostly with travellers from countries like the UK, USA, Australia etc. – let us try to give you an honest perspective on an oft-repeated query- Is India safe?
Safety of Female Travellers in India
Informal discussions with our friends from overseas time and again brings up the topic of safety in India, especially for female travellers. Almost all of our women guests agree they did feel attention they are not accustomed to in their native places yet, it was totally harmless and more of a curious glance rather than a hunter preying his target.
If we believe a discerning source like WSJ, Control Risks, a global risk consultancy firm, in a travel briefing issued in response to the alleged rape of a Swiss woman, said that “although the incident is serious, violent crime against foreigners remains relatively rare in India.”
Yes, there have been sporadic incidents in Goa and Delhi that have birthed doubts but let me assure you, these are as rare as an unbiased newspaper. If you analyze carefully, every such incident happened only where the travellers chose to stay at shady, small and unrated low priced guest houses or they decided on wandering in remote areas with strangers.
India is an economical destination no doubt but the hunger to save more money can have misfortune knocking aggressively on your doors.
India today gets around 10 million international visitors every year and this is multiplying every year. A lot of women groups coming to the country is testimony to the fact that it is a safe country. We have very strict laws related to women safety, and in the unfortunate event of an international tourist, our courts ensure justice is served swift.
Remembering a few travel tips should help a traveller eager to explore India:
- Dress modestly in public places
- Do not wander off to remote locations
- Pick accommodation that has positive reviews and ratings
- Book your accommodation / holiday with a reputed travel agency (offline/online)
- Do not trust strangers. Never get too close or appear too friendly to a stranger
People of India in general are warm, friendly and afraid of getting on the wrong side of the law. Still, good and bad elements are present everywhere and India is no exception. Hence, we request you to be mindful of your belongings and surroundings and use your intuitive senses to keep distance from situations that make you uncomfortable.
Air Pollution in Delhi
Lately, another question has started in many online travel communities – Is India safe during pollution? There are only a few days in October/ November when Delhi’s pollution grows over permissible limits. This is just a temporary phenomena which occurs due to farm stubble burning in some neighbouring states. Lots of measures are being taken by local authorities, which has considerably reduced pollution this year.
We advise using a nose mask during these days. Rest of the northern region is not impacted with these phenomena.
Use of Public transport can help travellers reduce overall transport costs and therefore may seem attractive. However, public transport and their suitability for international travellers vary across India. So we recommend a selective use only.
Large cities such as Delhi, Kolkata, Kochi, Mumbai, etc. have metros that match steps with any other such service around the world. However other local trains or trams at these cities are not recommended by us. State transport buses for some states are very organized and offer good quality air-conditioned buses.
India has one of biggest organized rail networks. Air-conditioned Class is recommended for International Travellers. Non Air-conditioned Class suffers from poor cleanliness and overcrowding and is therefore not recommended by us.
Airline services in India are ranked among the best in the world. Connectivity except to some remote locations is now excellent. India is the size of a continent – therefore, booking through a travel agent will make for a genuinely memorable tour to this amazing colourful country.
India is a safe destination to travel; however some large cities require you to be a little careful like you will be in any big city in Europe, America or South East Asia.