India has long been unfortunately touted as an unsafe destination for women travellers from all over the world. While safety should always be taken seriously, there’s really no use sitting home waiting for trouble is there? As long as you follow some simple rules and guidelines to keep yourself out of trouble’s way. So ladies, it’s your time to tie your shoes and explore the country like never before! Here’s a list of 15 destinations in India which are notable for their undoubted charm but are also known to be rather safe.
Situated in the serene valleys of Uttarakhand, Nainital is truly the definition of dreamland on earth. Inhabited by local Kumaoni people known for their warm nature and friendly smiles, the small town of Nainital is both an incredibly safe and incredibly fun place to explore all by yourself.
#MustDo: Snow View, Tiffin Top, China Peak, Bhimtal, Naukuchiyatal, Saattal, Lover’s Point, Himalaya Darshan, Ropeway (Cable Car), Nanda Devi Temple, Jama Masjid, Pangot, Corbett National Park
The cultural hub of Karnataka is also one of the safest places in the state for a woman to travel alone to. The streets are populated till the sun goes down and while it is advised to not loiter around at night, the city still feels safe at due to it being a popular tourist destination and people travelling at night. Mysore is a must visit for any lady who has a taste for Indian culture and history.
#MustDo: Mysore Palace, Chamundi Hills, Government House, Rangacharlu, Jubilee Clock, Sri Chamundeswari Temple, Rail Museum.
Shimla, Himachal Pradesh
Hill stations, by rule of thumb, are generally safer due to the number of people present at any given time. However, when it comes to hill stations, few can match the beauty and charm of the valleys of Shimla. The hilltop town is an absolute delight and the crown jewel of Indian tourism. Shimla also offers lots of attractive and safe lodging options which makes it a very viable destination for a female traveller.
#MustDo: Viceregal Lodge, Town Hall, Jakhu Temple, Gaiety Museum, Christ Church, State Museum, Kali Bari Temple, Himalayan Bird Park and Kufri
Khajuraho, Madhya Pradesh
Recognized by UNESCO as a world heritage site, the temples of Khajuraho are truly a sight to behold. There can be slight reservations about Khajuraho due to the amount of heckling that goes on here but once you learn how to deal with the guides and vendors, it transforms into one of the safest spots in the country to spend a quiet weekend.
#MustDo: Lakshmana Temple, Kandariya Mahadev Temple, Old Village, Lakshmi Temple, Matangeshwar Mahadev Temple, Parshwanath Temple, Lord Mahavira Temple and Adinath Temple
Rajasthan in general is inhabited by people who are very friendly and helpful in nature, and no city exemplifies this more than the city of Udaipur. The rich culture running through the veins is easily seen in every street. The only issue you may face is that Udaipur is generally a couples destination and so travelling alone can sometimes be frustrating, but if your sense of adventure can overcome that, you are in for a treat.
#MustDo: Lake Palace, City Palace, Lake Pichola, Ahar Museum, Sajjan Garh/ Monsoon Palace, Bagore ki Haveli, Sunset Point
Rishikesh is a destination geared towards the more adventure loving amongst us. With activities like white water rafting, rappelling and fox flying, Rishikesh is an ultimate adventure package which can be enjoyed alone or with a group of your own friends. If adventure is not your cup of tea, they also have some nice yoga classes you can try out with the Himalayas for a backdrop.
#MustDo: Swarg Niwas Temple, Shri Trayanbakshwar Temple, Swarg Ashram, Lakshman Jhula, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi Asharam, Neelkantha Mahadev Temple, Neergarh Waterfall.
Nothing says that a national park should be out of limits for a female traveller, right? With its abundant population of the one-horned rhino, Kaziranga in Assam sure makes a great attraction to see the wildlife up close and personal. The government run park provides private jeep safari and Elephant tours to help the tourists explore the park and we find the tour highly recommendable!
#MustDo: One-horned Rhino, Leopard, Fishing Cat, Large Indian Civet, Small Indian Civet, Sambar, Barking deer, Hog deer, Gaur, Hog Badger, Hoolock Gibbon, Capped Langur, Assamese Macaque and Rhesus Macaque
Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh
The holy city of Varanasi is the religious hub of the northern region of India. The City of Temples is known for its large number of ghats built next to the holy Ganges. The people in Varanasi are very friendly, and will often go out of their way to help out a stranger in need. The city thrives on tourism and as such is considered a very safe spot for travellers to soak in the Hindu culture.
#MustDo: Vishwanath Temple, Assi Ghat, Dashwamedh Ghat, Manikarnika Ghat, Ramnagar Fort and Museum, Gyan Kupor Well, Tulsi Manas Temple, New Vishwanath Temple, Durga Temple, Bharat Mata Temple
This union territory provides what a lot of places in the country are sorely lacking, a moment of peace. The calm and serene setting looks more like a French city of time gone by than a modern Indian city. It is a great place for shopping or trying the delicious French cuisine and is certainly full of amiable people who are happy leading their simple lives.
#MustDo: Sri Aurobindo Asharam, Churches, Puducherry Museum, Sri Manakula Vinayagar Temple, Notre Dame des Anges, Our Lady of Immaculate Conception Cathedral, Botanical Garden, Sacred Heart Basilica, Goubert Ave/Beach Road
The North East has the power to blow you away and more particularly Sikkim with the looming Himalayas, low valleys and Buddhist monasteries in between. It also has a very rich culture of hospitality which is always a plus when travelling somewhere alone.
#MustDo: Rumtek Gompa, Samdruptse, Norbugang Park, Ganesh Tok, Khecheopalri Lake, Guru Padmasambhava Statue, Rabdentse, Pelling, Hot Water Springs, Dubdi Gompa, Sakyamuni Complex, Old Rumtek Gompa, Tsomgo Lake, Namchi, Yamthang Valley, Golden Stupa, Yuksom, Ravangla
Ladakh, Jammu & Kashmir
Ladakh is the ultimate of solo travel. Definitely not for first-timers but a must visit after you are used to lugging around your own luggage. The serene calm of the valleys weaves its silent magic on men and women alike, and to experience Ladakh is to truly experience the beauty of the Himalayas. If you really want to travel to Ladakh for starters it is advisable to have a group of friends with you who can help you out with pointers.
#MustDo: Leh Palace, Pangong Lake, Lake Tsomoriri, Nubra Valley, Zanskar Valley, Markha Valley, Lamayuru Monastery, Hemis Monastery, Tso Kar, Alchi Monastery, Shey Monastery, Phutkal Monastery, Diskit Monastery, Hemis National Park, Stok Palace, Wanla Gompa, Likir Monastery, Sham Valley, Thiksey Gompa, Phyang Monastery, Rizong Monastery, Sar – Zung Temple, Khardung La, Namgyal Stupa
As mentioned earlier, the people in Rajasthan are probably the most friendly faces in the country. So, travelling to a small town like Churu is a great idea. Keep in mind however that this could be a day trip as there is not much to do apart from spending time with the locals. Once you are done soaking up the culture, make a short trip to any of the famous cities around to move further in your journey.
#MustDo: Mingle with locals, learn pottery and Rajasthani cooking
Munnar, though famous for its tea plantations, is also a place of breathtaking beauty and amazing landscape. The green backdrop to every image just adds to the over all charm of the place. Located in the state of Kerala, Munnar is considered a very safe place to travel to, owing to the honest and hardworking nature of the people working here.
#MustDo: Mattupetty, Pallivasal, Tea Museum
Hampi will simply change your mind set about India, as this small village destination has so much to impart to its urban counterparts! Hospitable, friendly and culturally wealthy people are what you are likely to encounter here. Hampi is yet another UNESCO World Heritage Site to add to it all. If you are a backpacker, you are going to love this place as it offers cheap accommodation, gives you the chance to meet with people from different countries and makes you feel free.
#MustDo: Vittala Temple, Virupaksha Temple, Zenana Enclosure, Sule Bazaar and Achyutaraya Temple, Nandi Statue, Elephant Stables, Hemakuta Hill, Underground Shiva Temple, Queen’s Bath and Royal Centre
Ziro Valley, Arunanchal Pradesh
One of the most picturesque places in India, Ziro Valley in Arunachal Pradesh has to be visited once in a lifetime. Picture perfect with lush greenery, careening rice-fields and snaking rivulets and rustic habitats, the valley is nothing short of paradise. The indigenous tribes have their own culture and traditions which can be studied easily if you spend some time here. This really must be on your bucket list!
#MustDo: Hong, Hija, Hari, Bamin, Dutta, Ziro Putu, Tarin Fish Farm, Talley Valley, Tapyo Salt, Dolo Mando, Kile Pakho, Dilopolyang Maniipolyang, Shiva Lingam at Kardo Forest
The post first appeared on Thrillophilia. Read the full post here.