Saturday, 24 January 2015

Where To Travel SOLO In India?

In my post ‘5 Best Solo Travel Destinations In India’ I mentioned places that are suitable for easy and comfy solo travel in India. Today, I’d like to talk about some more places in India that are also quite apt for travelling alone. Before I unravel the places ideal for solo travel in India, let me suggest you to be confident and courageous about the whole concept of solo travel. I often get asked how to travel solo and whether India is safe for female solo travellers. Well, I have only one answer – Just do it!

Okay now, let’s focus on the destinations –

North India

Sikkim
      
If you ask me where to travel solo in North India, my instant response would be Sikkim. Of course, it’s in Northeast India to be precise, but let’s consider it in North India. Gangtok is the perky capital of Sikkim, where you can enjoy cafĂ© hopping, shopping and maybe clubbing. The rest of the state of Sikkim is quite rural and thus, pristinely picturesque and peaceful.

Sikkim is suitable for female solo travel for many reasons – people are respectful, good and safe accommodation options are available, and lastly, nobody gets too surprised to see a woman travelling alone.

Read my earlier posts to know what to explore in Sikkim –

Rajasthan

Perhaps Rajasthan is the easiest destination for solo travel. Besides the popular cities like Udaipur, Jodhpur and Jaisalmer, there are also many interesting villages to explore in Rajasthan. I’d say solo travel is a joy in a state like Rajasthan, which is so obviously enchanting and yet a little secretive.

Why is Rajasthan ideal for female solo travel – it’s a state that values its culture and traditions, tourists are respected and there are lots of safe and quality stay options available.

East India

The Offbeat Darjeeling

Darjeeling is a charmingly beautiful district in West Bengal. To explore its real beauty, avoid the beaten path and follow the trails that are lesser known, such as Kurseong – a modest town that remains hidden under the shadow of the more ‘touristic’ Darjeeling Town, and then there are villages like Dilaram Village, Lamahatta and also quite a few beguiling tea estates.

A solo traveller would love Darjeeling because – the people are nice and friendly, there are lots of scenic places to explore on foot and home stays are beginning to emerge gradually.    

West India

Maharashtra

Besides Mumbai, which is known to be the safest city in India, there are various other towns and regions in Maharashtra that are quite inviting for solo travel. You can start with something popular like Matheran and then head towards the rural Maharashtra to unearth its hidden gems. Places like Alibaug and Murud are quiet and modest, which any solo traveller would love to explore.

Solo travel in Maharashtra is cool because - the people are chilled out, there is no apparent nuisance of any sort and nobody bothers to even look at you!      

Goa

The ‘party-goers’ and the ‘boozers’ Goa is just the gloss on the face of the genuine Goa. In my opinion, if you choose to skip the parties and the hippie beaches, Goa is so much more beautiful and highly recommended for solo travel. There is the countryside Goa and then there is the Portuguese Goa, which can be easily explored on a bike (or bicycle).

Why is it easy to travel alone in Goa – the locals are friendly and helpful, the atmosphere is peaceful and there are quite a few family-based home stays to choose from.


South India

Karnataka

As far as my experiences go, Karnataka is the best state for solo travel in South India. From a big metropolitan city like Bangalore to a heritage village like Hampi, Karnataka brims with quirky places for solo travellers. If you choose to go off the beaten path, consider going to Dandeli in North Karnataka, which is an incredibly beautiful place ideal for trekking and adventure.

Solo travel is amazing in Karnataka because – most of the places are tourist friendly, lots of food options, people are nice and the transport connectivity is quite good, too.

So are you ready to explore India alone in 2015?

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36 comments:

  1. This is a super helpful post, Renuka! India is a country that I definitely want to visit one day soon, but it is also a country that greatly intimidates me. Part of it is surely that I don't know a whole lot about the country and its culture, but another part is definitely that India seems so very different from everything I know - but that's probably precisely the reason why I should visit! :) I'll definitely be sure to check out all your suggestions once I do get around to planning a trip to India! :)

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    1. I'm so glad to know that you found this post helpful. :-) Melanie, all I want to tell you today is that traveling to India will be one of your best decisions in life. It's an amazing country! Yes, there are many annoying things to deal with, too. But I guess, no country is perfect. Solo travel in India is fantastic as long as you research and plan properly.

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  2. Great post, Renuka! Very keen to visit Rajasthan and Darjeeling. I think most of Tamil Nadu is great for solo travelers as well :)

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    1. Thanks Gay! :-) Yes, I am sure Tamil Nadu is good too. I have been to only Ooty and Coimbatore so far.

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  3. Nice post, Renuka, as all of your posts are! And right on about all the destinations!

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    1. Thanks Param :-) Such kind words keep me going!

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  4. amazing! u r really bold! I wish I could travel alone like you!

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    1. You are bold too, Ankita! Just set out! Solo travel is as amazing as the first love or a new born baby! :-)

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  5. Renuka, I love India, and I think it's high time I head back there. You mention so many places that I want to go. This is a great post, since India has gotten some bad publicity lately. I think it's important to know that it is safe. I agree....go!

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    1. Thanks Corinne! :-) Yes, India is not so bad. It is an interesting country and these destinations are ideal for solo travel.

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  6. Hey, Have you been to Himachal as Solo traveller? and how was your experience?

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    1. I have been to Himachal many times. It's one of my favorite destinations. But I am yet to go there as a solo traveller.

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  7. Great Post, Renuka! Thanks for sharing your views. It will help a lot. I personally feel the same about Rajasthan and Sikkim. And I am planning for a solo travel to Darjeeling which I had visited a long time ago in my childhood :)

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    1. Sure, you must revisit Darjeeling. :-) It is a lovely place as long as you skip the touristic area.

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  8. For some reason I've always been so intimidated by the thought of traveling in India. I'm not sure why, it just seems like it can be a really challenging country to explore. It's so refreshing to hear that solo travel is so easily done in India. I honestly wouldn't have expected that (before I started reading your blog, that is!) but it just makes me want to book a ticket to India and start exploring!!

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    1. Absolutely Justine! Solo travel in India is as easy as in any other country. It's all about the willingness to explore, and of course, planning your travel properly.

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  9. Yet to travel to Sikkim & Darjeeling ! You have provided a lovely synopsis.

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    1. Both Sikkim and Darjeeling are wonderful solo travel destinations.

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  10. Nice Post !!! Everytime i read your post, i feel like packing my bags n visit those lovely places !

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    1. That's nice to know! :-) I hope you explore at least one of these destinations in 2015!

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  11. Hi, I think , you forget to travel in Gujarat. have you seen it.

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    1. No Rina, I haven't forgotten Gujarat. It's on my radar in 2015!

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  12. Hi Renuka
    Thank you for you post. I'm thinking about taking the leap of faith and booking a ticket to India in February. I was thinking of going to kerela area. What are your thoughts about this? If there are any female travelers that are planning a trip in feb and March please let me know and I'd love to meet up.

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    1. Hey Jakie! Glad that you're coming down to India and visiting Kerala. It's a very beautiful state. North Kerala is pretty safe for women travelers. Can't say much about South Kerala. I have been to Cochin (Kochi) and the backwaters of Kerala and I enjoyed a lot. I don't know if any group of female travelers are going there or not. All I would like to advise you is to research well about where you are going, your accommodation and the transport.

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  13. Sikkim is definitely on my list. I have also heard that Himachal and some parts of Uttarakhand are pretty safe for solo travellers. Technically, Sikkim falls into the Eastern region, I think. :)

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    1. Yes, Sikkim is technically an eastern region, but as I mentioned, I would like to consider it in the North :-)

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  14. You will add Ladakh to this list once you visit...Awesome place and equally nice people...another such place would be the Andamans....

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    1. Yep. I'm sure. I think I will be able to tick off Ladakh this year!

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    2. Great!...I would suggest you to include Zanskar valley(Rangdum and Padum) in your itinerary if you have enough time..its kind of offbeat destination and landscapes are out of the world :-)

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    3. Yeah, I will try to do that. :-)

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  15. Hi Renuka. I loved your post. I am planning for solo travel to Sikkim for pang Lhabsol festival in august end. How is the transport facility within Sikkim? Should I rely only on cab? Pls give your inputs.

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    1. Hi Geeta, Sikkim is a wonderful place for solo travelers. I'm sure you will enjoy a lot. As far as transport is concerned, shared taxis are cheap, but I'd advise you to book 2 seats every time you travel. That way you will get more space to sit comfortably.

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  16. Hi Renuka. I have been planning a solo trip to Sikkim for a while now. One thing I've been confused about is the journey to NJP (I'll be travelling from Kolkata). Is it safe to take an overnight train (say, sleeper class) alone? What would you suggest?
    Thanks in advance!

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    1. Yes, an overnight train should be okay, but don't opt for sleeper class. Book in AC 3 or 2. Sikkim is safe for women. However, book your accommodation in advance. Try staying at a home stay.

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  17. I've always wanted to visit India. These tips are just great, Renuka!

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    1. That's to great to hear, Agness! You're welcome to India! :-)

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