The largest country in the South Asia Region, the land impossible to remember once you visit it, India, is located in the center of South Asia. Officially referred to as the Republic of India, it is the seventh largest country in the world by area and has a population of over one billion people. It is second only to China in population, though probably not for long.
India is an extremely memorable country, and due to its size it varies widely in geography, climate, culture, language and ethnicity across the country. As for tourist attractions and things to see and do in India, there are so many options that you would probably need to stay in India for a period of six months in order to see it all. It one of the world’s fastest growing economies and fastest developing countries which makes its cities an attraction by themselves. Though it has its parts that are ridden with poverty, it’s considered to be an emerging superpower. Among the breathtaking things to see in India is one of the world wonders – the Taj Mahal, you can see tigers in some of the best national parks, and enjoy the Goa beach that is visited by more and more tourists every year.
Warnings & Dangers in India
OVERALL RISK : HIGH
Though India is considered a generally safe country, due to its size, there are more dangerous areas and less dangerous ones. It is necessary that you remain vigilant at all times.
TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK : MEDIUM
Be wary of pickpockets in public transport, and taxi drivers (as well as tuk-tuk drivers) trying to rip you off. Be especially careful in the overnight buses or trains and don't accept any food or drinks as they might be spiked. Keep in mind that driving is dangerous because of poor road conditions and the fact that India follows the left hand driving system.
PICKPOCKETS RISK : HIGH
Pickpockets operate literally everywhere in India. Be careful not to get your pockets picked and bag snatching is another very common form of petty theft. Pickpockets are especially common in public transport.
NATURAL DISASTERS RISK : HIGH
The main threats to India when it comes to natural disasters are earthquakes, floods and severe storms that commonly hit this beautiful country causing great damage.
MUGGING RISK : LOW
Muggings and kidnappings aren't at all common in India.
TERRORISM RISK : HIGH
India keeps being targeted by terrorists so there is a great risk of them trying to carry out an attack again. Anti-Western terrorist groups sometimes operate in India, including Islamist extremist groups.
SCAMS RISK : HIGH
This is a serious issue in India. If you're a first time traveler to India, you will most certainly get scammed as this country is notorious for scams performed on tourists. Taxi scams with taxi drivers convincing you to take another accommodation are very common, as are those where vendors give you less change than they should. Whatever service anyone offers you - you find out how much it costs first, because they will try to charge literally everything.
WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK : HIGH
Sexual assaults are on the rise in India, and it is dangerous for women to travel alone in this country, whether by day or night. Always strive to be accompanied by someone when outside. Move in groups and avoid poorly lit and deserted streets.
So... How Safe Is India Really?
Generally speaking, India is mostly safe for tourists. Violent crime isn’t common in this country, especially not against foreigners, while petty theft does exists but it is more prominent in areas frequented by tourist. You can expect pickpockets in crowded places such as bus and train stations, and it is highly advised that you keep your bags and belongings tightly by your side because bag snatching is also one of the popular forms of petty crime. Thieves have been known to break into accommodations and rooms where tourists reside. Be prepared that people are going to try and scam you or extort money from you, even the police, though the situation with corruption has improved during the last couple of years.
Keep in mind that homosexuality is illegal in India under a colonial-era law, with penalties of imprisonment or a fine. The law that is still in force has been used for years to harass the LGBT community. Police officers have been known to harass, extort money from and blackmail homosexuals in India, so members of LGBT might want to think twice before venturing into this country.
India follows the left hand driving system, which can cause difficulties for tourists wishing to rent a car. If you plan on driving in India, bear in mind that Indian roads aren’t in best condition, and that Indian drivers can often times be reckless when behind the wheel, and don’t forget that you might run into wandering livestock on the road.
- Visas - Most countries need a visa in order to enter India. Make sure your passport is valid for at least six months past your planned date of return. If you are not sure about your visa status, it is best to visit www.doyouneedvisa.com which will let you know whether or not you need a visa.
- Currency - Indian rupee is the official currency in India. ATMs are widespread in most towns and as for credit cards, it is advised to always carry cash as backup. MasterCard and Visa are the most widely accepted credit cards.
- Weather - Indian climate is mostly influenced by the Himalayas and the Thar Desert. Since it is so large, climate in India vastly varies, ranging from tropical in the south to temperate and alpine in the Himalayan north. The elevated areas in the north commonly receive sustained winter snowfall.
- Airports - Indira Gandhi International Airport is the primary civilian hub for the National Capital Region of Delhi, India. It is located in Palam, 15 km south-west of the New Delhi railway station and 16 km from New Delhi city centre.
- Travel Insurance - Just like anywhere else, we recommend getting travel insurance when traveling to India, since it covers not only the costs medical problems, but also theft and loss of valuables.