Is India A Safe Destination For UK Citizens In 2020?
When one is planning to go to a new place, the first thing that pops into one's mind is whether that new place is safe or not. Many people from the UK tend to visit India every year. Either they are traveling for tourism purposes or they are simply visiting for work purposes. Whatever be the reason, one must be careful before going to any new place. Every country can have its dangers and having an idea of such dangers will give one an upper hand to keep oneself safe.
Is India Safe?
Well, the general answer is yes. Yes, of late there have been several cases about tourists and travelers getting mugged, looted, harassed in India. But, like it is known that every country has a certain amount of crime. No place in the world is entirely safe.
It is all about being completely prepared while traveling to the new country. One should have the necessary documents, living arrangements, and traveling tickets all arranged beforehand. This will allow the traveler to be sure and certain of where one is going, where to stay, and what all transportation modes to choose. Overall India is a safe country, and if the rules are followed and the cultural sentiment is respected one can have a good time here.
Traveling In India
India is a large country and traveling to each part of the country has some regulations that need to be followed. In the northern part of the country, one should never go alone. Some areas of Jammu and Kashmir are prohibited for tourist entry by FCO. This is because of the terrorist attacks and violence is quite rife in these areas and thus a traveler should stay away.
Also, if one goes to the northern states for trekking, then make sure that the trip is guided and arranged by a reputed traveler guide group. Also fill the online C form, as there is no internet connection in the mountains and mountain hazards are quite common in those areas. Have insurance that covers the trekking trip up to 2400 meters above the sea, along with rescue costs. Also one will need a government permit to visit Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim and Andaman, and Nicobar islands.
Few areas in east India have a Naxalite presence and one should be well aware of these places and should stay away from them. Also in west India, one should stay away from border areas. Also, some places do not have a proper marking of a border and can lead to entering Pakistan illegally.
One of the major Tourist attractions for UK residents in India is goa. Though safe, it can be bi troublesome for solo female travelers. Therefore, one should avoid going there alone, should avoid going alone in the night, and should always be vigilant at all times.
The Crime Rate In India
One must know about the crime rate of a country before visiting. India crime statistics are worrisome regarding some points. However, if one knows how to keep themselves safe then it will not pose any problem. The entire trick is to be vigilant and aware while traveling to India.
One of the major things that a traveler from the UK should be kept safe is their traveling document that is their visa and passport. Always keep a separate copy of the documents, away from the originals. Also keep cloud copies of the documents, so that it can be accessed easily when needed. Go to the police as soon as there is any situation of document theft in India.
Harassment and molestation are again the categories of crime that is heard of lately, especially on foreigners. Places like Rajasthan, Delhi, goa, etc. are some of the places which tend to have higher harassment cases. Always keep an eye out on the surroundings, do not let the guard down, and never go to any place alone.
Lastly, one should be aware of scammers especially in heavy tourist spots like Jaipur, Agra, etc. Keep the handbag safe, do not go overboard with bargaining, and try to avoid small local shops.
Modes of Transport
If one is Traveling to India from UK, then the most chosen mode of transport is the airways. While booking the package to India, one should check with their operator regarding certain details like the scheduled timings, the commercial flight details, etc. Also if one is planning to come through charter then they need to go back to charter only.
One should have patience as the security, check-in, and baggage checks can take up some time. There are places where one might have to x-ray their bags and undergo security checks. Also, if one needs to transit from one terminal to another, then do make sure that there is enough time in hand.
If one is traveling by rail, while in-country take special care of the belongings and documents and handbags. Also be careful, vigilante, and also if possible avoid railways.
Also in rare cases, if one travels by sea route, then make sure that the ship has all the needed permits and documents before reaching the Indian territorial waters. Also, avoid small boats as they can be devoid of safety measures and equipment. Though piracy is rare, still one should be aware of the waters.
Few Safety Tips for Travelers from the UK
If one is traveling from the UK then these few safety tips can come handy:
- No Night Traveling: Do not travel to any new place at night and do not arrive there at night. During night time reaching out and going for help can be impossible. This is especially crucial if one is traveling alone.
- Watch The Attire: When in India try to take care of one dress. Being a conservative country, here the dressing style is conservative as well. Women should make sure that they keep their legs, shoulders hidden with stoles, shawls, or jackets.
- Don’t be Callous: When in a new place with new faces around, make sure to be vigilant and alert at all times. Do not accept food from strangers, and always buy packed food from shops. Do not go out alone in the partying scenes and do not accept drinks from people who are strangers.
- Travel in the Group: Always make sure to travel in a group and avoid going around alone. If one is not reaching India in a group, then they can join a reputed travelers group where there are many other tourists from different countries.
Traveling is not unsafe if proper safety measures are taken. Whether one is traveling in a group or alone, make sure to be aware of the surroundings and respect the country’s culture. Regardless of the news, India is still a safe country for the tourists if one knows how to handle themselves in situations. Keep an open mind and open heart and accept Indian culture will come easily.
Q. Which states tend to have the highest rate of crime in India?
Ans. Currently, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, and Kerala have the highest crime rates in India.
Q. Which is the safest city in India for travelers?
Ans. Mumbai and Kolkata are the safest cities in India, even for women travelers.
Q. What is the safe attire for a women traveler in India?
Ans. The safest attire that a woman traveler can wear in India is long skirts, Kurtis/kurtas, pants, flowy dresses, shirts, leggings, etc.
Q. In what situations the British embassy will help a UK tourist?
Ans. The Embassy can help in contacting the families in case of accidents or emergencies. They can also help in giving out info about lawyers, doctors, funeral directors in case of need. Also, they can help by sending representatives in the case of getting arrested or being in an accident.
Q. What are emergency numbers that a UK tourist must have while in India?
Ans. One should have the emergency number 112 which connects to police, fire department, and ambulance. Also one can call the tourist helpline on 1800 111363.