India is one of the world’s premier tourist destinations, with 10 million visitors from foreign countries arriving every year. Still, questions are often raised about the risks to safety and security whilst traveling in India and whether it is safe it is to travel in India.
India, on the whole, is safe to travel in and many tourists enjoy a fun and fulfilling stay while in the country. Although, as the following article details, there are a few risks to take caution with. Yet, awareness is normally key and by being mindful of the potential dangers they are often easily avoided.
First of all, before planning your trip, be sure to bear in mind that in order to travel to India you may require an India eVisa. Citizens of 166 countries must have an authorized Indian visa, which grants up to a 90-day visit to the nation and multiple entries during your stay. This can be easily obtained online and just takes a few minutes to fill out.
Avoiding Crime in India
India is home to over 1.3 billion people and among that population, there is naturally a proportion of criminal activity. Crime in India is sometimes serious in nature, although the most dangerous criminal activity isn’t often directed towards tourists. Still, it is important to be aware of what felonies you may encounter in different locations in order to avoid any negative incidents.
Crime In Major Indian Cities
Indian cities are some of the most populated in the world and like any big city around the globe, there are crimes that occur. Although, most tourist crime is opportunistic in nature. The most common violations that occur in the bustling metropolises of Dehli, Mumbai or Bangalore, are incidents like:
- Pickpocketing and bag snatching
- Counterfeiting of train tickets and other travel documents
- Drink spiking with Bhang Lassi (a narcotic cocktail that can cause disorientation, nausea, and confusion, sometimes known as “special lassi”)
These can all be avoided by keeping aware of your surroundings, hiding your valuable possessions safely out of sight and exercising caution and common sense. There is practically no risk of kidnapping whilst in India. Nevertheless, some violent crime does occur, therefore it’s best to avoid areas in cities with links to organized crime or gangs.
Crime In the Indian Countryside
In most regions of the country, you’re very unlikely to encounter any serious criminal activity. However, in some of the border regions near Pakistan or Bangladesh or unstable regions such as Assam and Kashmir, there are cases of rebel activity as well as road closures and strikes. In some cases, it’s best to give yourself additional time to visit certain regions experiencing upheaval or avoiding them entirely.
How Safe is it for Women Travelling in India?
Women traveling to India from foreign countries should take a few steps of additional care whilst in the country. Cultural norms between the sexes are quite different in Asia and women may experience harassment and treatment they may not be used to in their own country.
There have also been reported increases in sexual assaults in recent years, so care should be taken to not attract unwanted attention. Yet, there are many steps you can take in order to avoid this and enjoy a safe and secure trip in India with little-to-no hassle:
- Dress modestly, with ankle length clothing to avoid unwanted attention
- Avoid walking alone in cities or at night
- Try to sit with other women on public transport or in the women-only carriages on trains
- Keep doors locked from the inside if you are staying in a hotel room by yourself
- Avoid physical contact (including shaking hands) and don’t agree to pose for photos with local men
Staying Healthy While in India
India is a country of many different climate extremes and tourists may come across one or more viruses or ailments that are not common in their home country during their stay. Sanitation levels also vary somewhat compared to Western Countries, so it is necessary to come to India prepared to deal with any health issues that might arise.
However, staying healthy in India is relatively easy. Travelers should always ensure to follow a few important steps while on their trip:
- Never drink the tap water in India
- Take care with ice in drinks
- Eat in places where there’s a high customer turnover
- Practice good personal sanitation throughout your trip
- Only eat freshly cooked food or fruit you can peel
- Avoid lying in the sun between 10:00 – 14:00
- Keep hydrated
- Avoid contact with wild animals
Common Travel Illnesses you may Experience in India
Of course, it is vital that you are fully prepared with the correct vaccinations for India before you travel. This will help you avoid the nastiest, more risky illnesses caused by mosquito bites and viral transmission via food or drink.
While there is a risk of contracting serious illness without proper care or protection, this is unlikely to affect the majority of tourists. However, travelers should be aware that the following non-serious ailments are often reported:
- Travellers Diarrhea
- Heat Stroke
- Altitude Sickness (only in mountainous regions)
- Dengue Fever
What health Essentials to bring to your Trip to India
When packing for your trip to India, you should be ready to deal with any health issues that could arise. The most important thing you must have prepared, however, is health insurance. If something does go awry, you should have a policy that will allow you to get the healthcare you need, especially if your case is urgent.
However, being prepared to deal with less dangerous maladies can make a trip to India much easier and add extra peace of mind before you depart. To protect against milder illnesses, which can make your trip uncomfortable, tourists should keep the following items in their possession:
- Insect repellant
- Malaria medication
- Diarrhea medication
- Hand sanitizer
Being aware of the risks of traveling to India will not only get you prepared prior to travel, but it will also help maximize your enjoyment of your time in the country. However, don’t forget, to meet all eVisa requirements in order to get your India eVisa before you depart. Simply fill in the application form online and receive your travel authorization in as little as 48 hours.