Unfortunately, there has been a lot of negative press in terms of India’s tourism efforts in recent years. It can be a dangerous place, especially for women, due to the fact that security isn’t particularly tight in some parts of the country. But despite this, don’t let this deter you from experiencing India’s beautiful culture and magical landscapes. It has a lot of spots for tourists to explore, and the rewards for visiting the country definitely outweigh the challenges.
Are you familiar with India’s MG Road? It is one of the busiest streets in Bangalore, which is filled with retail stores, food outlets, and restaurants. It is a beautiful street where local foodies and tourists congregate to taste the culinary specialties that the country has to offer.
Apart from food, India is also home to the famous Dadabhai Naoroji Road, which has a lot of Neo-Classical and Gothic revival buildings, and parks built in the 19th century – all of which are reminiscent of traditional British architecture. It has a strange liking to the famous British soap opera Coronation Street. To the uninitiated, Coronation Street features a lot of buildings that were purpose built to resemble British architecture formed at the start of the 1900s. The soap’s popularity hasn’t waned as it’s still the UK’s most loved soap opera and even has online games based on the popular television program. And if Coronation Street has the Rover’s Return, Roy’s Rolls and the Kabin, India’s Dadabhai Naoroji Road has Victoria Terminus, Times of India Building, and The Crawfort Market – all of which have retained their Victorian-esque, Gothic architecture regardless of their age. Which is why Dadabhai Naoroji Road has become such a popular haven for tourists, especially women due to the many retail shops littered along its busy road.
If you’re a woman who wishes to visit this amazing country some day, here are some tips that you might want to keep in mind in order to stay safe at all times.
Be assertive instead of being polite
Being assertive emits the idea that you’re confident and that you know what you’re doing. Don’t be too polite by following whatever the locals suggest you to do, as it may be taken as a sign of weakness. Stand up for yourself and don’t be afraid to speak your mind. If someone is harassing you or even teasing you, make a point of telling them to go away. Often, the kind-hearted locals will come to your aid if you start shouting. It’s also best to ignore people, especially salesmen, instead of saying no to them, as engaging in a conversation with them could be taken as a sign of interest. Point is, don’t make yourself an easy target and appear confident at all times.
Cover up and be conservative
India is an extremely conservative country, and women showing their skin will no be tolerated, however hot it is. Respecting the local culture means thwarting unwanted attention. This doesn’t mean that you have to wear bundles of clothes every time you go out though. You can always refer to the resources that recommend what to wear in the country, so that you blend in and avoid being stared at.
Don’t be somewhere new late at night
Plan your travels, and familiarize yourself with the neighborhood of your lodgings. Not everywhere in India is safe so arriving at a strange city in the middle of the night could be dangerous. You should plan you trip so that you know what to expect where you arrive there, and to make sure it’s away from known areas that are prone to scams and petty crime.
Get an Indian SIM card to navigate the streets
Getting an Indian SIM card requires paperwork but it’s worth it. By having a phone, you can always look at a GPS map when you feel lost or see if a taxi or rickshaw is actually taking you to your destination.
Choose a safe place on trains and buses
When traveling at night, it’s best to choose an upper berth to avoid potential thieves, and so that you get plenty of privacy. Go to women’s coaches when on trains, and try to book seats near the front of long-distance buses. If you can, sit next to other women. When women are in groups, they are less likely to be attacked.