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Is India safe to Travel? Latest Safety Updates
4 min read
Updated on May 14, 2024

As you plan your trip to India, it's natural to wonder about safety.

India's diversity is one of its greatest strengths, but it also means that safety conditions can vary widely across regions. By staying informed, respecting local customs, and following practical safety tips, you can significantly enhance your safety.

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Let's dive into the essential information you need to ensure your journey is not only enjoyable but also secure.

Current safety status in India

The US State Department issued the travel advisory for 2024 and categorized India as "Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution," primarily due to crime and terrorism.

Specific regions, particularly the borders with Pakistan, the union territory of Jammu and Kashmir, and certain states in the northeast and central regions, are advised against for travel. However, this leaves most of the country open and welcoming to tourists, including popular destinations like Rajasthan, Goa, Kerala, and the southern states, which are known for their hospitality and safety.

The UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office advises caution in specific areas like Manipur but also underscores that many parts of India remain accessible and inviting for travelers.

Urban centers in India, such as New Delhi and Mumbai, offer a bustling and lively experience but come with challenges, like any major city worldwide. Awareness of your surroundings and taking standard safety precautions can make a huge difference as you travel.

Cities like Mangalore, Vadodara, Ahmedabad, and Chennai are noted for their relatively higher safety rankings, making them excellent choices for those seeking a more relaxed urban experience.

Health and medical information

  • Vaccinations: Before your trip, check with a healthcare provider about vaccines for diseases like hepatitis A and B, typhoid, and Japanese encephalitis. These are commonly recommended for India. Also, ensure your routine vaccinations, like your yearly flu shot, are up to date.

  • COVID-19: Follow the latest India guidelines and requirements for COVID-19 vaccinations and any travel-related protocols to keep yourself protected​.

  • Food and water: The street food scene in India is something that every traveler should experience. However, good hygiene, especially handwashing, should be practiced to prevent illnesses like cholera. Be cautious with what you eat and drink. Stick to bottled or purified water and ensure your food is cooked and served hot.

  • Medical care: Familiarize yourself with the locations of reputable healthcare facilities, especially if you'll be traveling to remote areas. Make sure you have travel health insurance that covers medical evacuation, as healthcare facilities may vary across different regions of India.

  • Mosquitoes bites and malaria prevention: Some diseases in India are spread by mosquitoes, like malaria. Use repellent, wear long sleeves and pants, and sleep under a mosquito net if needed. Depending on your destination, you may need to take prescription medicine to prevent malaria.

Understanding India's local customs and laws

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  1. Dining etiquette: In India, it's customary to eat with your right hand, as the left hand is traditionally considered unclean. When sharing food or drinks, avoid direct contact with your lips to prevent contaminating the shared item​.

  2. Temple etiquette: Temples are sacred spaces where you should remove your shoes before entering. Dress modestly, covering shoulders and legs, and follow rules like not carrying leather items into Jain temples or ensuring proper attire in mosques and Sikh gurudwaras​.

  3. Public behavior: Displaying affection publicly, such as hugging or kissing, is not widely accepted, especially in conservative areas. Dress conservatively to respect local sensibilities and minimize unwanted attention​. ​​

  4. Respect for elders: Touching the feet of elders is a sign of respect in Indian culture. Be mindful of body language, particularly the use of hands and feet, as feet are considered the lowest part of the body and should not be pointed at people or sacred objects​.

  5. Social interactions: Expect questions about your personal life, as inquiries about family and occupation are common icebreakers in Indian social settings. While it may seem intrusive, it's usually a sign of curiosity and friendliness​.

What should every traveler know before visiting India? Check out our travel guide.

Where to get support

For assistance while traveling in India, your country's embassy or consulate can provide support. Use our Embassies Finder to locate the nearest diplomatic mission.

If you want to apply for an Indian visa and have questions, you can get in touch with our customer support team. Contact them any time via WhatsApp or through the iVisa chat.

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