What is it like for a Woman to travel in India Alone?

African Tribals perform at the Asiatic Lion Lodge Gir Forest Gujarat
African Tribals perform at the Asiatic Lion Lodge Gir Forest Gujarat

This post is about solo female travel in India and my personal experience traveling 26 states in India filming a documentary series ‘Backpack’. I decided to post this on my blog as I once again commence uploading my personal diary and adventures while traveling India.

I will start by stating that the media has some unfortunate perceptions of a wonderful country. I have many friends who are very well traveled (one with Indian heritage) who were against me going to travel India as a woman alone for 3 months.

It was the best decision of my life and I had some of the best experiences and saw some of the most amazing and beautiful things!

India is an incredible country and EVERY traveler should experience travel to India, at least once, solo or with a group you will be fine- it is a safe country:

Here is my experience as a solo female traveling India for 3 months:

I thought I had seen the world. I had traveled to more than 50 countries and walked through more than 100 cities in my 31 years before visiting India. I didn’t know why I waited so long to travel to India. India had shown me that I had seen nothing. I knew nothing.

This thought may seem daunting  to some, not to me, to me this thought was comforting. I had previously thought the world to be a very small place. India had shown, a seasoned and experienced traveler, that the world was a huge place and we are incredibly small.

Bhuthanath Temple afternoon reflection Badami, Karnataka

Bhuthanath Temple afternoon reflection Badami, Karnataka

India has been the most varied and unique country I have visited. India feels like 10 countries already, and so far and I have barely even seen a few States.

Diary Entry from Gujarat in India (Gir Forest):

This morning I was within arms reach of 2 male Asiatic Lions. No fence, no zoo just lions being wild and free. The feeling was unforgettable. In the past week I have lived on a house boat in Kerala and slept anchored next to a 9th century sculpture of Buddha, I watched elephants roaming wild in Kabini, cycled through lush green tea plantations, explored 7th century temples and visited the ashram where Gandhi once lived and led India to political independence.

Male Asiatic Lion Gir Forest Gujarat India

Watch in ore as the last Wild Asiatic Lions roam free in the Gir Forest in the last Asiatic Lion Retreat on Earth

Prior to embarking on this 90 day journey through India I had spoken with many fellow travelers, including Indian expats about my trip. I was taken aback by the negative feedback I received even from Indian nationals.

I was shocked at how people described India. I was lectured by fellow travelers who had warned me about stories of rape, violence, disease, malaria and whole host of other ‘problems’ when traveling in India. I can recall one conversation I had with a photo journalist in Hawaii who had traveled to India, Afghanistan, Iran and many other places off the beaten tourist trail. The photographer, who was in his late 60’s had experienced more than most people do in two lifetimes. This journalist actually tried to deter me from this trip.

I’m questioning why I had not made this journey earlier.

While I am not denying that its important to have your wits about you when traveling, and have personal safety in mind, I feel that India is and has been very misjudged and is often met with suspicion and negativity by the media. The media focuses heavily on the negative and in my opinion does not show the whole story of India.

 

Children of Badami, Karnataka, India

Children of Badami, Karnataka, India

 

Elephant Blessing Hampi Karnataka India

Elephant Blessing Hampi Karnataka India

While I am traveling through India filming a documentary series, I am having a truly authentic experience living with locals here in India. I hope after this journey to share my India story without prejudice.

I hope you enjoyed this article on solo female travel in India. I would love to hear from you and your experiences traveling in India as a solo female traveler in India or other! Please comment below and let me know about your experience in Traveling India.

 

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10 Comments

  • Akshay says:

    Hi, I liked your article, you have shown a very positive response about India and I liked it, Yeah There are some problems happened regarding women safety In India, but most of it are just Media-hyped, The problem do occur everywhere in world, its just that because of large population the numbers seems large and media exagerate it in wrong way and it does affect bad impression om my country.Hope u have enjoyed every moment in India and visit other states of India too. even sometimes we Indian feel like in foreign land even when travelling in india :). So i feel good and over-whelmed by your good response toward my country so Thank You!

    • Akshay, thank you for your feedback. Unfortunately the media misrepresents many places. I have traveled extensively and can see that! I adore India and cannot wait to go back. I’m glad you enjoyed the post

  • JOHN KENNEDY says:

    thank you mam , showing what india is, an incredible place. i shall proceed to the great place next week. thank you once again

  • Shajil says:

    Very good Post. People outside forgets that India is a huge country with a massive population of more than 1.5 billion people !! Some crimes will always take place among a Billion people. But comparatively, the crime rates are much lower than many so called “safe” countries.

    As per https://www.numbeo.com/crime/rankings_by_country.jsp India’s Safety Index is 56.04 (higher the value means safer) which compares favorably with USA – 51.24 or Italy – 55.34
    So the ground realities are much different. The vibrant, free media in India brings out the smallest issues on a National level giving the much needed attention to fight these crimes.
    This should not go against the largely peaceful people of India.

  • Ankit Verma says:

    Hello Sommer,
    I liked your blog and I also love to travel. I have also travelled a lot in India and I can’t agree less with you that it is majestic. Someone told me that India is like a wave either you ride on it and enjoy or oppose and fall.
    Though we indians need so much to learn but we are heading in right direction. Thank you for your support.

  • You’ve been to places that even I, being an Indian never visited xP God! You love India more than me! The photos and the fun you had in India speaks a lot! If, by any chance you plan to visit Hyderabad, do meet me! I’d love to meet you in person :) happy travelling :)

  • Charu says:

    Fixed next destination ?

  • Charu says:

    Curious to know whether you have read Eat Pray Love ?

    I just love that book…like a candy !

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