We have travelled to over 25 countries and spent a total of 5months exploring incredible India. So is India safe? To be honest we found India to be one of the safest places to travel too, more on this topic later in the article.
However, every country will have locations which are safer to travel too and we definitely visited locations in India where we didn’t feel the safest. So we have created this comprehensive list of the safe places to travel to in India, so that you can enjoy a safe and unforgettable India travel experience.
Is It Safe to Travel to India?
Before we get started on the list of safest places in India, we wanted to share our general experiences of travel in India and how safe it is. We had planned a 5month budget adventure across India and were prepared for the worst. We had read all the negative media and blog posts, we listened to family members share their second hand horror stories of scammers, assaults and kidney thieves.
The truth turned out to be vastly different. We were overwhelmed with the kindness and honesty of the local people. Many locals went out of their way to make sure we were safe, and during our 5months in India we had no major safety issues.
In fact the people of India hold strong religious beliefs and we were constantly made to feel welcome and safe. In fact, India’s crime rate at 42 is only slightly higher than in our home country New Zealand which is 40 (source).
One story I share a lot is when we first arrived in India. We paid a rickshaw driver, he was one of the eager drivers who came rushing up to us as we got off our train. He charged us ₹300/$4 for a 15km journey, a price we found very fair.
However, we were new to the country and new to the currency and mistakenly paid him ₹3000/$40 instead of ₹300/$4! He realised within 5mins and returned to our hotel to give us the money back. We were absolutely blown away!
This is just one of our many similar stories we have showing the kindness and honesty we experienced during our journey across India. However, like all countries, some places are safer than others, so let us get into our list of safest travel destinations in India:
Safe Places to Visit in India
- 1. Rishikesh
- 2. Laluri Village
- 4. Chennai
- 5. Kasol
- 6. Bikaner
- 7. Meghalaya
- 8. Goa
- 9. Sikkim
- 10. Ziro
- 11. Dharamshala
Rishikesh is a popular tourist destination located about 250km north of Delhi. This small town is located in the Himalayan state of Uttarakhand which is considered one of the safest states in the country. Rishikesh is a holy pilgrimage town which also contributes to its safety, as people come here to honour the gods, not to cause trouble.
We really enjoyed the vibe in Rishikesh, it felt extremely safe and relaxed. Many travellers including solo female travellers will visit Rishikesh to practice yoga and meditation. The main safety issue we encountered was the cows, wow they can be bossy!
Not only is Rishikesh a safe travel destination in India, but it is also an extremely beautiful and charming town. Located on the magnificent Ganges river with grand mountains as it’s towering backdrop. We recommend Rishikesh as a safe, beautiful and peaceful place to visit in India. You can even check out our Rishikesh travel video below:
2. Laluri Village
Just a few hours north of Rishikesh you will find the beautiful and authentic village of Laluri. Laluri is a small traditional Himalayan settlement nestled on the hillside. This charming village is adorned with traditional homes and kind locals who live the true rural lifestyle.
If you make the trip to visit Laluri you will enjoy a traditional homestay with a welcoming local family in one of the safest places in India. If we had to recommend one experience in India for those looking for a true insight to Indian culture, this would be it! You can read our full guide to Laluri in our article here >> Rural Homestay in India: For An Authentic Village Experience
Chennai is a large, bustling city located on the east coast of south India in the state of Tamil Nadu. This is the 4th largest city in India population wise. However, what surprised us when visiting Chennai was it’s calm and laid back atmosphere. The people of Chennai are also some of the friendliest and most helpful we have ever met.
There is a real relaxed vibe in this city and we felt extremely safe and welcome here. Not only is Chennai safe, it is also a very interesting travel destination with authentic south Indian culture, food and architecture in abundance. Chennai is also within one hour or so drive to Mahabalipuram, an ancient temple ground dating back to the 7th and 8th centuries. For a full travel guide to Chennai you can read our detailed article here >> Chennai Attractions: A Full Travel Guide.
Kasol is a picturesque village located in the Himalayan region of Himachal Pradesh. Kasol is a beautiful mountainous region to visit and is close to many stunning hikes and adventures including the famous Kheerganga Trek pictured above. Kasol and the wider Parvati Valley is a particularly safe place for travellers. During our time in Kasol we felt protected by the locals and never encountered any troubles.
Perhaps the most dangerous thing about travelling to Kasol is the journey getting there! As Kasol is located in the mountains the roads are often windy and narrow, but the experienced drivers in the area handle the roads well!
Bikaner, the red city, famous for its incredible history and grand havelis has recently been labeled the safest city in Rajasthan. We found the people of Bikaner to be very helpful and kind and our time in this energetic city was safe and hassle free. Bikaner is slightly off the beaten track, but still has all the charm and incredible things to discover that major tourist cities do.
Our time in Bikaner was vibrant and exciting, a true authentic Rajasthani experience. You will notice women wearing bright coloured saris, incredible street food, historic architecture, bustling bazaars and camels roaming the streets.
Meghalaya is a hidden gem of India, located in the remote North East of the country. This state has a very low crime rate and the local people of Meghalaya are peaceful and nature loving. Meghalaya is a very unique part of India, a natural paradise which holds many incredible wonders to be discovered, including the fascinating 500 year old living root bridges.
Our travel memories of Meghalaya will last a lifetime and what stood out to us was how safe we felt during our two weeks exploring this state. Although Meghalaya is a little off the beaten path, we recommend making the journey to see this unique and unexplored corner of incredible India. For more information on travel to Meghalaya, you can read our post here >> Is August a good time to visit Meghalaya? The Wettest Place on Earth!
We have actually never visited Goa, but we had to include it on this list as it is known statistically as one of the safest states in India. Goa is one of India’s most popular travel attractions, a place where many tourists flock to enjoy beach time, great cafes, live music and cheap beer.
Our guess is, your biggest risk here is falling for a harmless travel scam, as we have noticed the more touristic a place, the more scammers you will find! So if you enjoy beach life and don’t mind a more touristic experience then Goa is a great choice and a very safe place to visit in India.
When thinking of safe places to visit in India, Sikkim is at the top of the list. Sikkim is one of India’s safest and most beautiful travel destinations. Set in the Northern Himalayan mountains this state is home to many great tourist places such as Darjeeling, Gangtok, Pelling and many more.
Although Sikkim is India’s second smallest state, its scenic beauty, unique culture and enduring charm makes it an unforgettable travel destination. Sikkim is a very safe place for travellers with warm friendly people and a very low crime rate. Although slightly off the beaten track for foreign tourist, many Indian tourist travel here for it natural wonders and safe communities.
We were surprised to learn that the massive metropolis city of Kolkata has been named the safest city in India two years in a row. It has the lowest official crime rate among 19 of the largest cities in India. Many Indian nationals agree with the statistics and say that this city feels much faster than other large cities in India.
Not only is Kolkata the safest large city in India, it is also a great place for travellers to visit. This city is full of old colonial charm, deep history and most importantly some of the most delicious street food on the planet! It is important to note that although violent crime is low in Kolkata, petty theft can occur, so make sure you valuables are secure when you are out and about.
10. Ziro Valley
Ziro is a mystical tribal valley steeped in unique culture. Located in the North Eastern State of Arunachal Pradesh, this is perhaps one of the most off the beaten path locations on this list. Ziro is a place for true adventurers wanting to experience rare and authentic tribal culture.
Ziro is a very safe place to visit in India and during our time here we found the people to be extremely kind and welcoming. Getting to Ziro is the most dangerous and difficult part of visiting this valley as roads can be narrow and windy and prone to landslides. For more information on Ziro Valley you can read our full guide here >> Ziro Travel Guide – The Ultimate Cultural Experience
Home to the Dalai Lama, Dharamshala is a hill station located in the Himalayan state of Himachal Pradesh. This is the place to come if you are wanting to combine history, culture, spiritually and natural beauty. A city known for its unique Tibetan culture and history, you will see many buddhist monasteries….and monks walking the street is a common occurrence.
Dharamshala is also a very safe place for travellers to visit. The security in Dharamsala makes it a very popular travel destination for families & solo travellers who flock here for the unique culture and safe environment.
Tips for Safe Travel in India
As we mentioned earlier, India surprised us with how safe we felt throughout our journey. However, every travel destination comes with its risks and it’s important to know how to keep safe while travelling to India. So here are some tips we learnt along the way to help keep you safe in India:
Dress Modestly: This tip is mainly for the ladies, it is recommended in any part of India to dress with your shoulders, legs and chest covered and to avoid tight fitting clothes. Dressing modestly will be respecting local customs and will also help reduce unwanted attention from men.
The best thing to wear is actually the traditional Indian Kurta which is super comfortable and flattering. I lived in my Kurta’s during our India travels and still wear them today in my home country. You can purchase Kurta in India or you can search for beautiful designs online >>Link to Indian dresses online.
Go where the Families, Couples and Women Are: If you notice lots of families and women out and about, for example in a marketplace or busy street corner, you know it’s safe. This is also true for public transport. If the train or bus has families and couples it is automatically safer than a half empty bus or train with just men.
One tip we have for travelling on public transport is to make friends with the families and couples around you. This connection will make you feel even safer on your journey and you might even make a life long friend! Connecting with your neighbours on the bus or train won’t be hard as many locals are very friendly and will likely offer you snacks and food!
Check Hotel Reviews: Feeling like you can return to a safe haven is so important when travelling to a new country. So it is important to book hotels which have lots of good reviews from other travellers. This was one thing we always did to avoid dodgy hotels….and it never failed us!
In our 5months of travel in India we always felt safe and looked after by our hotel and homestay hosts. We usually used booking.com to read reviews and book our stays across India. Remember safe does not have to mean expensive!
Avoid Walking Late at Night: We recommend avoiding walking late at night on quiet streets and alleyways. This tip is common for most places around the world and it is also true for India. Unless the streets are bustling and there is an event or festival on we would say avoid them too late after dark. Not only are there less people to protect you if a crime was to happen, but also there is an increased risk that stray dogs become more aggressive at night.
Ask Locals for Help: If you are lost, confused, worried or scared, do ask locals for help. Indian people are kind and caring by nature and many locals want tourists to have an amazing travel experience. Most people will go out of their way to help you if they can, so do not be afraid to ask for help especially from couples, women and families.
Avoid Travel Scammers: You will only find travel scammers in the touristic destinations, the more off the beaten path you go, the less scammers you will find. It’s important to know how to avoid travel scammers and we have learnt over our many years of travel the best ways to avoid getting scammed, see our full guide here >> 10 Tips to Avoid Travel Scams
We hope this article on safe places to visit in India was helpful. If you have any further questions about safe travel in India, let us know in the comments and we will try our best to answer your questions.
Cheers, Native Travellers
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