India For Tourists - Is India Dangerous For Tourists?

Everywhere in the world, there are dangers. The only place where there are no more dangers is 6ft underground ... or speaking of India, then there is no danger anymore after the ash is mixed with the Ganges ... 

The nature of the dangers can vary from place to place and certainly, there are countries or regions in countries where the risks are too high, and then it is recommended not to arrive. 

If you plan a trip to India, in order to understand what can be a danger or risky, you should first understand a bit about India itself and based on this understanding one can talk about what is not dangerous in India and what can be dangerous.

This will certainly help you to enjoy your India travel, even more, 😊 You can consider the following information as your India travel tips, at least some of them… 

Some overview about India 

India is a vast sub-continent, home to ~1.3 billion people. It will soon overtake China and become the country with the world's largest population. 

India is a religious country but not in the Western sense of the word. The term "religion" in the West raises an association of impatience but in India, it is the opposite.  

India for tourists - photo from Varanasi, Ganges river

Religion in India was given the name Hinduism (by Westerns), and in fact, it is a system of beliefs in different gods.

When referring to Indian gods, there are tens of millions of gods, but in practice, there are a number of major gods (three main gods and few others), and most of the religious ritual takes place around them. 

Within the vast population of India, there is a very large Muslim minority of about 180 million people (~14% of the population). The history of India with Islam is very complex, specifically the recent history of the last 70-80 years. 

As a rule, Hinduism is very tolerant in comparison to Islam or Christianity (200-300 years ago, today Christianity much more tolerant), and the clash with aggression and the expansionism of Islam led to many conflicts that ended in 1947 with the fragmenting of parts that were the cradle of Indian culture (Hindu Valley civilization), and today they are part of Pakistan and Bangladesh.

By the middle of the 19th century, India and China were responsible for half of the world's GNP (Gross National Product).

Incredible India, India for tourists

The graph above published here by Barry L. Ritholtz. 

The British colonial rule and the disintegration of the Mughal (Islamic) regime have driven India to the lowest point economically, till it becomes to 2-3% of the world's GNP. 

But like China, India is in a boom, its economy is growing, its manpower reserves are endless and it is likely that together with China, these two countries will soon again be responsible (together with the US) for most of the world's GNP.

Alongside the economic boom, there is huge poverty in India, in 2014, 58% of the total population were living on less than $3.10 per day. In other words, despite the economic boom, India has a very long way to go in order to bring economic prosperity to large parts of the population. 

Indian perception about life

One of the most important terms in India is Samsara, a circle of birth, life, death, birth, life and so forth.

When you are in the Samsara, the Karma is part of your life, meaning, you have your actions and there results to your actions. The results are coming back to you in different ways. 

Karma - India for tourists

Karma, the results of your own actions 

 

If you want to reach the final destination which is the Nirvana (a state of enlightenment, parallel to heaven in other religions), you must break the magic circle of Samsara and Karma.   

Karma is the result of our actions, the result of our desires. The sadhu in India, those destitute, with very long hair, barely dressed, wandering around India with a stick in hand and a small vessel, are saints who have decided to break the cycle of karma and samsara, that is, to stop life and reach nirvana.

Sadhu in India

 

By the abandonment of material life and material lust, they remove themselves from the endless cycle of Samsara and Karma.

Nirvana in India  Nirvana, the heaven on earth when you are out of the Samsara 

At this point, you must ask yourself, how this paragraph and philosophical explanation relevant to your question about dangers in India. So in my point of view, it's extremely related.

The fundamental belief of population have a huge effect on the way this population will treat their own life and other people and the following information will show it.  

Behavior Towards Tourists

Based on my personal experience India is very welcoming for tourists. The Indians are very proud of their homeland, their culture and they are very happy to see tourists, to assist them, to take photos with them and to speak with them. 

English is the second spoken language in India, after the Hindi language (~125 million people speak English) so it's quite easy to communicate in India, especially in the big cities.

And if you compare the communication to China, the advantage of India is huge.

This is definitely something that reduces the risks when traveling in India.

In all the cases I met Indians, in India or out of India, they have always been great people, gentle and polite. I'm not saying that everyone in India is a good person, it's ridiculous.

Bad people can be found everywhere and no country is immune but overall atmosphere with people, the engagement with people, is very good.

Mobility within India

India is one of the largest countries in the world in terms of territory, it dominates 3.3 million square kilometers. 

Within this vast area there are forests, mountains, deserts, plains, jungles. There is everything. The transportation is carried out by planes, trains, buses, cars, rickshaw, bicycle, animals, you name it.

India for tourists - transportation in India

In terms of road accidents, India is not the most dangerous country in the world. There are more dangerous countries with a higher percentage of traffic accidents. See the following table from Wikipedia:

India for tourists - accidents in India

 Incredible India - accidents in India

In India, if you choose to take a car, it is best not to drive but to hire someone to do it for you. A local professional driver will save you a lot of headaches.

Besides driving in India, there are very dangerous roads in the mountains, especially in Himachal Pradesh.I spent a month with my family there.

India travel - roads in Himachal Pradesh

There are abysses on the sides of the roads, and the ride there can certainly be nerve-racking. The area is amazingly beautiful, but people who fear it do not have to get there. 

Crime in India  

There is hardly a country in the world without crime. As long as there are people, there will be bad people who will endanger other people. 

In general, India is definitely not the most dangerous country in the world. In this link you can find crime statistics in many countries and you can see that there are Western countries that rated higher on the crime table.

However, in some severe crimes like murders and rape, India is pretty high in the table. 

It is clear that there is a crime in India, as in every country, but I don't think that foreigners will really feel it, which is typical of India, Thailand, Burma, Taiwan and Japan.

In terms of crime, India is far less dangerous than many other Western countries which considered to be safe.

I wandered around Mumbai in the slums of the city center, day and night. I went around with my family in Delhi in many areas of the cities.

My wife traveled for 6 months, alone, or with her mom and her sister (without a man) and never felt threatened in India. There is a sense of security and again, the people we encountered were always very nice.

The borders of India  

India has a number of areas of tension. One area of tension with China is in Doklam plateau.

Doklam Plateau

Last year, the Chinese began to build a road in a territory that belongs to Bhutan. Bhutan called the Indian army for help (which doesn't share a common border with China at that point) and the Indian army stopped the work. 

There were a number of physical confrontations and friction in the area, lasted several months but now things get calm there. 

Kashmir

The most known and the most dangerous conflict of India. The Pakistanis claim ownership of the territorial part under India's control, the Indians reject their claims, and the Pakistanis maintain a dangerous conflict that is usually under control. 

The Pakistani army usually does not attack directly but uses terrorist organizations. A well-known practice in the Muslim world. 

The best way not to risk at all is simply not to get to the area. 

India tour, Kahmir area

However, there are quite a few travelers who visit there. I do not know of any events that have been with tourists in recent years. In general, most of the time, the situation in Kashmir is quiet without any special event. Once in a while, there is an incident in the border area.

South China Sea 

In the South China Sea, there is general tension due to Chinese activities in international waters. The Chinese took over riffs in the area and built bases on them.

India tour - the tension with China in the South China Sea 

Their general claims were that they wanted to guarantee freedom of navigation in the South China Sea and that the riffs located in Chinese territory in the South Chinese Sea. Both claims were refuted. 

The claim of belonging was refuted in the International Court of Justice in The Hague in a trial held in 2016 following a lawsuit by the Philippines.

The second claim was refuted after satellite photographs proved that the Chinese bases in the South China Sea were of a military nature.

Through the South China Sea, China challenges India in all forms, or by sending submarines to the Indian Ocean or expanding its expansion into Sri Lanka through extensive economic activity there.

These tensions do not affect nor endanger any tourist and then a person in India.

Border with China

China and India have a disputed area in Arunachal Pradesh. The conflict began with the delineation of borders made by the British more than seventy years ago. 

This area was the cause of one China-India war in the 1960s. This tension also has no effect on any tourist in India and there is no relevant danger.

East India 

There is a Maoist (Naxalite) underground in eastern India.

Due to determined action by the Indian government, the activity of the underground has decreased considerably although it is still active and once for a certain period they launch an attack on the Indian army. 

Here, too, there is no mention of any sort of deputy for tourists. From my past experience in Nepal, the Maoist underground that operated there for decades waged its war against the government and left the tourists alone. 

Only in certain areas of the Himalayas did they charge tourists who went there. I myself met them, paid money, received a receipt and continued on my way. 

Castes

Hindu society is divided into five different castes.

  • Brahmins - the most senior caste, priestly people
  • Kshatriyas - rulers, administrators and warriors
  • Vaishyas - artisans, merchants, tradesmen and farmers
  • Shudras - laboring classes and servants 
  • Dalith - Untouchables 

The legacy of caste in India is very ancient and its days begin well before more than 3000 years ago.

Less than two thousand years ago, this structure was determined by a code of laws called Manu Smriti. 

With the establishment of India in 1947, the Indian government initiated a law against the discrimination of the two lower castes and adopted affirmative action in all government positions in their favor.

This structure still exists in India, especially in villages where everyone knows the other. This structure is one of the internal social problems of India but is by no means a danger to tourists or foreigners. 

India food

Food in India does not always meet Western standards in terms of Hygiene.

If you eat in hotels or large restaurants in the cities, there should be no problem. If you eat in the street, it can be dangerous and you should take some precautions.

Indian food

I will set an example of the rules of caution that I adopted when I was traveling in India:

  • No animal foods, no meat, no eggs, no milk, no cheeses. is nothing.
  • Drink water only from closed bottles
  • Disinfecting hands before and after eating
  • When entering a restaurant, do not be too "sophisticated" and order complex dishes. It is better to eat popular dishes that are sold a lot in the restaurant. So the chances of the food being spoiled are very small.

I ate with my children and my family everywhere, in roadside restaurants, local restaurants, and home-style restaurants. We moved to India peacefully :) No halo no problem.

Drugs

Very dangerous. Do not mess with drugs at all.

Dress code

India is a conservative society. The ostensibly revealing Indian dress is traditionally dressed. It is not recommended for women to walk around there provocatively.

India tour, what not to do in India

If lying on the beach in Goa is one thing, but in general, one must remember that Indian society is a conservative society.

=========================================================

If you like this post: please comment below :)

If you didn't, tell us why: info@shopeastasia.com

--> Follow us on Instagram @shopeastasia

 


Leave a comment