Fellow Women Travelers: How safe did you feel in India?

#1 Jul 4th, 2015, 09:26
Join Date:
Jul 2015
Location:
United States
Posts:
6
  • cms2212 is offline
#1
Hi all!

I'm new here and a woman trying to plan a solo trip to India in October. I've heard the fear-mongering and I've heard the "India is amazing, just go!" opinions. But I'm looking for a realistic impression of what it is like in terms of safety.

I know the question of women's safety has come up a lot in the forums. (Believe me, I've read through all the threads I could find.) I appreciated all the viewpoints I read and all the opinions expressed. However, I often found that many of the commenters were men. What I would really love is to hear from other women. What were some of your experiences with harassment (if you feel comfortable sharing)? How safe did you feel while you were traveling?
#2 Jul 4th, 2015, 11:05
Join Date:
Oct 2011
Location:
USA
Posts:
191
  • Ashgirl is offline
#2
Not sure if this is helpful but I'll share anyway. I'm a white 40-something yr old American. Maybe younger women have more issues. I'm not a goddess by any means but I work out, am in decent shape & not TOO unattractive (lol ...maybe others would disagree). I went to India alone HOWEVER I stayed with Indian friends while I was there. So my experiences might be different from others, but here goes:

I've twice been to India for one-month visits in the past few years. I did not dress in Indian attire &, in fact, wore shorts when it was too hot for much else. I can honestly say that only once did I feel somewhat nervous & that was simply my own paranoia 2 years ago after several gang rapes made international headlines. I was near Aurangabad at the very top of a quiet fortress with one male Indian friend & there were about 9 other males up there too (no women). I received the usual "foreigner" looks/stares & at least one candid photo was taken of me. No one ever said anything to me or came near me or made any threatening or disrespectful comments. I just had a few minutes of anxiety brought on by my own brain over-working.

Once, in Goa, a car full of young guys driving by made catcalls at me as I was standing on the side of a road. It seemed no different than a couple experiences I've had here in the US when I was younger. Wasn't threatening in my opinion. A couple young guys working at a provisions store at a mall in Mumbai kept watching me & smiling & talking amongst themselves every time I walked by.

Other than that I once spotted a young man taking a candid picture of me as I walked by him at Agra Fort. (I'm sure many more have been taken.) And in the parking area of Ellora Caves I was surrounded by & hounded by about 5 men trying to sell stuff as my friend had to use the restroom; one man did start asking if I was married to my friend, etc & it became irritating but wasn't threatening; I pulled out my camera & started taking pics of them & they finally scattered.

I've had groups of young men, single men, young women, schoolgirls, schoolboys & extended families want to have a picture taken with me.

But I've never actually felt scared. I'll be going back to India later this year & I have no worries. However ... I'll be with Indian friends once I get there. I know my situation isn't quite the same as yours buy maybe I've helped.
#3 Jul 4th, 2015, 15:08
Join Date:
Jul 2011
Location:
UK
Posts:
2,523
  • Fing Fang is offline
#3
Quote:
Originally Posted by cms2212 View Post What I would really love is to hear from other women. What were some of your experiences with harassment (if you feel comfortable sharing)? How safe did you feel while you were traveling?
I had 3 things that you might call harassment happen to me in India, but even when they were occurring I still felt safe, or least I felt I could deal with the problem anyway.

1. I was coming back down the hill from Jodphur fort back to the town and two guys came towards me. People in India like to take photos and some don't ask permission first. Before I knew it one guy has his arm around me groping towards my chest and his mate is taking a photo. I elbowed the guy really hard in his ribs and shouted at him telling him he was "rude and what if this was his sister or mother blah blah and he shouldn't grope women etc etc and he was a bad example of a decent man"... I had a huge loud rant in the middle of the pathway. The two lads ran off blushing. I still felt safe because 20m around the corner were all the shops and houses and other tourists coming my way, so I wasn't completely alone.

2. In Mumbai a guy followed me back from Crawford market towards the train station, he tried to grab my hand a couple times. Why he didn't try to grab my ass I don't know... maybe I need more exercise... but anyway, I couldn't get across the road because there was no way I was gonna be stupid enough to use the dark subway with him following me. So I stopped with a large group of tourists taking pics thinking he'd move along, but he didn't. Then I just turned around fed up and said to him (pointing to security and police over the road) that if he didn't stop following me and leave me alone I'd go over there and tell the guards. He left straight away.

3. In Delhi a small boy, around 12 followed me from Red fort all the way down Chandi chowk. I asked him why he was following and he didn't reply. I never felt unsafe cos he was just a kid but just incredibly annoyed that he was following, following, following. If I stopped then he did too. I decided if I tried to hide in mcdonalds or the sikh temple he'd most likely follow me too. In the end I got soooooo bugged that I found a random police officer and told him. The female officer was telling me check my bag and make sure nothing was missing (nothing was)... and the male was giving the kid a huge telling off in Hindi to not follow women.

The tips I followed for staying safe were this.... I never liked arriving in a place before 5am or after 9pm, especially if it was a new city. I always got people to pick me up from airports and stations if I could. Every time I moved to a new place I told my family where I was staying (Father Fing's only strict orders when I was away)... and there's no excuse not to update family, wifi was everywhere I went. If in doubt, buy a roti stick from the market and carry it around, no one dares bother you then
#4 Jul 4th, 2015, 17:01
Join Date:
Apr 2011
Location:
UK (mostly) - India (sometimes)
Posts:
466
  • Mirjam2 is offline
#4
I am a white woman and have travelled extensively in India (and lived and worked there for about a year too), mostly on my own, since I was young (not so young any more ). In short, I feel safe travelling there, otherwise I would not have been doing it quite so often.

However, I do follow a lot of precautions (I also follow some of these in other places, such as London, of course). For example, I hardly go out after dark and if I do, I try to go with other people I trust, or get a taxi, stay in crowded places etc. If I stay in a room on my own, I always lock and bolt the door from inside. I am not over-friendly with local men and do not make friends or hang out with men, unless I have known them for a while through friends or work etc. I do not accept lifts from men I do not know well. It is a good idea to bear in mind that what is considered normal, friendly behaviour between men and women in the West (for example, smiling, making small talk, having a drink together etc.) can be interpreted differently in India, i.e. the man in question might assume the woman wants a relationship when this might not be the case.

Regarding harassment: I might get negative comments to this, but I say the truth, even if this might not make me popular on this forum. So yes, I have been harassed a lot in India by men (and no, not because of my dress - I almost always wear 'modest' Indian clothing in India, complete with dupatta etc.). I have been followed around, groped, etc. many-many times, and I understand that this is unfortunately quite common and happens to local females too. I am sure there are some very lucky people this never happened to, but it is not unusual, unfortunately, and while similar incidents can and do happen in Europe too, it is definitely a lot more common in India, in my experience. On the other hand, nothing 'serious' happened to me so far, and I hope that it never will.

I am quite a confident person and can stand up for myself. I find that what works best is to confront the man (or men) trying to harass you straight away, be as loud as you can, ask other people for help (not just police but anybody - my experience is that Indian people tend to be helpful in these situations, I got help from bystanders many-many times). Threaten to call the police, etc. This works 99% of the time.

Also, there is no point trying to be polite with the men hassling you. Just say, 'I do not want to talk to you' or similar when they start asking if you are married, if you want to go somewhere with them etc. There is no point trying to give them hints such as 'I am tired, maybe another time' etc. as this will not work. If you want them to leave you alone, you can tell them. The same goes for men trying to take their picture with you: you do not have to agree. I think as long as you are confident, set boundaries and take precautions, you should be fine and it is safe for you to travel.
'Enlightenment is not a matter of having answers, but a matter of having no questions.' (I.D. Garuda)
#5 Jul 4th, 2015, 18:00
Join Date:
Sep 2008
Location:
4221'N, 7103'W
Posts:
2,595
  • RWeHavingFunYet is offline
#5
Quote:
Originally Posted by fing fang View Post if in doubt, buy a roti stick from the market and carry it around, no one dares bother you then
I like the ones that make loud sound when hit.

Name:  Comic_Power_of_a_woman_-_1.JPG
Views: 3671
Size:  48.9 KB

.
"Space isn't remote at all. It's only an hour's drive away if your car could go straight upwards." Sir Fred Hoyle (1915-2001)
#6 Jul 4th, 2015, 18:26
Join Date:
Feb 2009
Location:
Dis Location
Posts:
766
  • Sajish is offline
#6
Quote:
Originally Posted by fing fang View Post in mumbai a guy followed me back from crawford market towards the train station, he tried to grab my hand a couple times.)
Name:  B1.jpg
Views: 594
Size:  55.0 KB
#7 Jul 4th, 2015, 19:29
Join Date:
Aug 2010
Location:
United States
Posts:
4,434
  • DaisyL is offline
#7
I traveled to India twice. Both times I was solo for half of the trip and with an Indian friend for half of the trip. As a blue eyed blonde, I was stared at all the time, whether I was alone or with my friend. I didn't mind being stared at, I was told ahead of time that it would happen and don't consider it to be rude. I also had pictures taken of me without permission. Again, I knew it would happen and didn't worry about it.

I really wasn't harassed on either trip. On the second trip, two things happened that could have upset me if I let them.

1. At the Agra train station I was reading while waiting for the train. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a group of teen-age boys walking towards me, and I noticed that they noticed me and are talking in low voices among themselves. I'm in full view of everyone in public so I'm not really worried, but I do keep an eye on things. As they get closer, one of them says just loud enough for me to hear, in English, "Hey, hey baby, you wanna...husband?" And they all laugh. I had to hide behind my book because it made me laugh. Yes, it was rude, but it was so much less rude than it would have been in the U.S. I mean, "husband" would not have been the word of choice here. Anyway, I work with children and I know how they try to impress each other. It didn't upset me, and I wasn't afraid at all.

2. In Khajuraho, I was with a friend. We had been out to eat and then came back to our hotel rooms. We said good-bye at the door and each went into our rooms. I put on my pajamas (yoga pants and long sleeve t-shirt - it covered more than I wore during the day). I was brushing my teeth when there was a knock on the door. I thought my friend must have wanted to tell me something, so I opened the door. It was a very old bellboy. He asked me if I wanted the laundry service. I said no, and started to close the door. He quickly asked me, "Anything else for madam? Whiskey? Massage?" I started laughing and shut the door in his face. And locked it. I told my friend the next day, but he didn't laugh. He reported the bellboy for being disrespectful. That's what I should have done myself, and that's what I'd advise you or anyone else to do if it happens to you.

I seriously think that if those are the worst things that happened in two trips, that's not bad at all. I understand that not everyone will have my experiences, but in my case, I felt very safe while traveling in India. I hope that you have a great time in India as well.
#8 Jul 4th, 2015, 20:00
Join Date:
Sep 2008
Location:
4221'N, 7103'W
Posts:
2,595
  • RWeHavingFunYet is offline
#8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fing Fang View Post In Delhi a small boy, around 12 followed me from Red fort all the way down Chandi chowk. I asked him why he was following and he didn't reply. I never felt unsafe cos he was just a kid but just incredibly annoyed that he was following, following, following. If I stopped then he did too. I decided if I tried to hide in mcdonalds or the sikh temple he'd most likely follow me too. In the end I got soooooo bugged that I found a random police officer and told him. The female officer was telling me check my bag and make sure nothing was missing (nothing was)... and the male was giving the kid a huge telling off in Hindi to not follow women.

This someone following, happened to me when I was trekking in the Nepal Himalayas. I was on a three-week trek and in trekking you pass through several villages. I trek alone and I passed one village and at the outskirts I had a strange feeling that someone was following me . I turned back and looked and I noticed a dog ~30 feet away. It was just following me, keeping a safe distance. I walked for a while and I suddenly stopped, and noticed the dog stopped too. It doesn't look at you but acts busy, in place, as if it is looking for something lost.

I started walking again and the dog started walking too . This stop&go game happened for 30mins. I was worried that dog is getting away from its village. I decided to take a break and sat down on a stone and the dog took a break too. I offered food but it ignored me. It was not actually looking for food or affection. It was quite happy sniffing and smelling the surroundings and following me. After an hour or so I suddenly noticed that dog was gone. It just vanished, no where to be found. This is when I realized that I was missing the dog.

I discussed this strange behavior of dog with Sherpas in the kitchen and they told me that it is quite common for dogs to join people on the trails, following one for periods ranging from few minutes to several days.

.
#9 Jul 5th, 2015, 02:04
Join Date:
Mar 2005
Location:
The Land of Enchantment. Soon.
Posts:
12,145
  • Sama is offline
#9

Exclamation

I agree with what all the women here say.

I will do my 10th trip next month and have never felt unsafe in India. For the most part I always travel solo from the South to the North, all over, have traveled alone in huge cities and rural. I've taken the metro in Calcutta back to my guesthouse at night (although not LATE at night.) I wear both western clothes (jeans/leggings and tunic) and salwar kameez depending on where I am. I've traveled on buses, trains, and the backs of motorcycles.

I have never been what I would call harassed although I have been noticed a lot in some places. I don't wear long sleeves to cover my tattoos nor do I tie back my long, very curly hair as I have been told to do so men don't notice me. my hair and tattoos are usually what men comment on. I also wear sunglasses all the time while outside so eye contact is very minimal. Even when wearing jeans and a sleeveless/short sleeved tunic I always wear a dupatta to cover my shoulders and chest and head, if need be (as in a mosque in Rajasthan.)

I have not been hassled as I have read what some women experience probably because I walk confidently and carry myself in a certain big city (Chicago) way. Have never experienced anything I can not handle and I have found that men back down quickly if you raise your voice, loudly. During my second trip I got off the train in Madurai and was immediately surrounded by rickshaw drivers all wanting to drive me, cracking jokes, laughing, etc. It was obnoxious and they surrounded me and got too close for my comfort. I threw my bag down and yelled at the top of my lungs and I never saw a group of men shut up so fast.

I can be damn fierce, not that I've had to use that too many times. Probably the most annoying thing I can think of right now is some guy following me all over the place, trying to take my picture at the Kumbh Mela in Haridwar -- really obnoxious, getting in my face even though I was practically running from him. I finally had enough of that shit and turned around and confronted him. He ran like a scared rabbit without a pic.

Having been to India so many times I now have more than a few friends in the places I usually go and I let them know where I will be and I can text or call if anything arises. Of course, your first time in India you might not have this option. If you travel by rickshaw or cab, take a pic of the license plate or even the driver. Maybe even let someone back home know where you will be during the day or night via whatsapp or whatever.

I agree wholeheartedly with Mirjam2:

"I find that what works best is to confront the man (or men) trying to harass you straight away, be as loud as you can, ask other people for help (not just police but anybody - my experience is that Indian people tend to be helpful in these situations, I got help from bystanders many-many times). Threaten to call the police, etc. This works 99% of the time.

Also, there is no point trying to be polite with the men hassling you. Just say, 'I do not want to talk to you' or similar when they start asking if you are married, if you want to go somewhere with them etc. There is no point trying to give them hints such as 'I am tired, maybe another time' etc. as this will not work. If you want them to leave you alone, you can tell them. The same goes for men trying to take their picture with you: you do not have to agree. I think as long as you are confident, set boundaries and take precautions, you should be fine and it is safe for you to travel."

Use common sense, stand up for yourself if you feel threatened in any way, walk confidently, don't be a shrinking violet! Always listen to your gut - if something feels dicey it usually is! As for speaking up, don't worry about hurting anyone's feelings! I think too many times women worry about hurting someone's feelings (that's social conditioning) if they stand up for themselves in certain situations. Hell with that, look out for yourself.

Don't listen to anyone's FEAR TALK and enjoy India! Frankly. I would never travel with anyone or in a group for safety's sake -- I'm a loner and love traveling solo. I can't wait to get back next month and in fact, am planning to live in India during the brutal Chicago winters, as long as my tourist visa allows (180 days at a time!)
My India Photos, 2005-2017
"When you are truly genuine there will invariably be people who do not accept you. And in that case, you must be your own badass self, without apology." -- Katie Goodman
Last edited by Sama; Jul 5th, 2015 at 04:00..
#10 Jul 5th, 2015, 04:58
Join Date:
Jul 2015
Location:
United States
Posts:
6
  • cms2212 is offline
#10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ashgirl View Post And in the parking area of Ellora Caves I was surrounded by & hounded by about 5 men trying to sell stuff as my friend had to use the restroom; one man did start asking if I was married to my friend, etc & it became irritating but wasn't threatening; I pulled out my camera & started taking pics of them & they finally scattered.
I might find guys surrounding me a little threatening. But as so many have mentioned here, I'll definitely stand up for myself. That seems to be the most important point. Also, I'll remember your tip about taking pictures of them - that's ingenious!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ashgirl View Post I've never actually felt scared. I'll be going back to India later this year & I have no worries. However ... I'll be with Indian friends once I get there. I know my situation isn't quite the same as yours buy maybe I've helped.
You've definitely helped! Thanks so much for sharing about all your experiences. I've really appreciated reading them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fing Fang View Post I had 3 things that you might call harassment happen to me in India, but even when they were occurring I still felt safe, or least I felt I could deal with the problem anyway.
This definitely seems to be the consensus by most women. That I will have to deal with some harassment at some point, but they will probably be situations I can handle if I'm prepared for them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fing Fang View Post at him telling him he was "rude and what if this was his sister or mother blah blah and he shouldn't grope women etc etc and he was a bad example of a decent man"... I had a huge loud rant in the middle of the pathway. The two lads ran off blushing.
Yes! I love this advice! I once read an article by a woman who gave a man such a telling off that she was known as the "dragon lady" from then on. That advice has really stuck with me and it's comforting to know that it might actually work if I try it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fing Fang View Post I just turned around fed up and said to him (pointing to security and police over the road) that if he didn't stop following me and leave me alone I'd go over there and tell the guards. He left straight away.

In the end I got soooooo bugged that I found a random police officer and told him. The female officer was telling me check my bag and make sure nothing was missing (nothing was)... and the male was giving the kid a huge telling off in Hindi to not follow women.
This is definitely solid advice! Happy that threatening legal action produces such a great response.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fing Fang View Post Every time I moved to a new place I told my family where I was staying (Father Fing's only strict orders when I was away)... and there's no excuse not to update family, wifi was everywhere I went. If in doubt, buy a roti stick from the market and carry it around, no one dares bother you then
Simultaneously great and hilarious advice! Thank you so much!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mirjam2 View Post It is a good idea to bear in mind that what is considered normal, friendly behaviour between men and women in the West (for example, smiling, making small talk, having a drink together etc.) can be interpreted differently in India, i.e. the man in question might assume the woman wants a relationship when this might not be the case.
That is definitely something for me to think about. I tend to be really smiley and friendly. Sometimes American guys even think I'm flirting with them when I'm not. Will need to work on this, I think.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mirjam2 View Post Regarding harassment: I might get negative comments to this, but I say the truth, even if this might not make me popular on this forum. So yes, I have been harassed a lot in India by men... I have been followed around, groped, etc. many-many times, and I understand that this is unfortunately quite common and happens to local females too...On the other hand, nothing 'serious' happened to me so far, and I hope that it never will.
I think that is actually quite a common opinion. From all the comments, I am expecting to have to deal with some harassment, unfortunately.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mirjam2 View Post ask other people for help (not just police but anybody - my experience is that Indian people tend to be helpful in these situations, I got help from bystanders many-many times).
This is very, very comforting. I have read other accounts where people have said that bystanders didn't seem to care and, honestly, I found that really worrying. Because one strategy to staying safe has always been make sure lots of other people are around, but if those other people don't care...
I'm happy to hear that they have been very helpful in your experience. That's a bit of a relief! Thanks so much for sharing your experiences!

Quote:
Originally Posted by DaisyL View Post I didn't mind being stared at, I was told ahead of time that it would happen and don't consider it to be rude. I also had pictures taken of me without permission. Again, I knew it would happen and didn't worry about it.
Yeah, I understand both of those are common and am trying to mentally prepare for them. I don't love to be stared at.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DaisyL View Post two things happened that could have upset me if I let them.
I think this is an excellent point! And one that I will often draw on often. I decide what I am going to let upset me! Some accounts detail similar experiences to those that have been described here and the women writing about them say they were psychologically traumatized. You wonderful women have experienced similar things and chosen not to let those experiences ruin your trips. I'm going to do the same. The feminist in me does make me want to add that, of course, this doesn't make any of the harassment defensible or acceptable. I also acknowledge and respect that some person are just more sensitive and that's okay too. But I'm not going to let situations like these ruin my trip.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DaisyL View Post I told my friend the next day, but he didn't laugh. He reported the bellboy for being disrespectful. That's what I should have done myself, and that's what I'd advise you or anyone else to do if it happens to you.
I think this type of advice is my favorite. Where you don't let any harassment go unchecked and always say something. It's very similar to turning around and yelling at people who grope you or saying something to the local police if someone's following you. Very empowering. Thank you for sharing!

Quote:
Originally Posted by RWeHavingFunYet View Post After an hour or so I suddenly noticed that dog was gone. It just vanished, no where to be found. This is when I realized that I was missing the dog.

I discussed this strange behavior of dog with Sherpas in the kitchen and they told me that it is quite common for dogs to join people on the trails, following one for periods ranging from few minutes to several days.
.
I'm not sure if this was genuine or in jest, but I love this! I'm a dog person and would love to have a dog following me on the trail. I would make it my personal mission to make friends with him/her.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sama View Post I also wear sunglasses all the time while outside so eye contact is very minimal.
This is an interesting piece of advice. I hadn't considering this before.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sama View Post Maybe even let someone back home know where you will be during the day or night via whatsapp or whatever.
I haven't heard of this before. I'll have to do more research. I've been wondering how best to stay in touch with people back home.

Quote:
Use common sense, stand up for yourself if you feel threatened in any way, walk confidently, don't be a shrinking violet! Always listen to your gut - if something feels dicey it usually is! As for speaking up, don't worry about hurting anyone's feelings! I think too many times women worry about hurting someone's feelings (that's social conditioning) if they stand up for themselves in certain situations. Hell with that, look out for youself.
Excellent, excellent advice. And I think you're right. As women, we are very conditioned to not hurt anyone's feelings and sometimes I do have trouble with speaking up for myself when I think I'll hurt someone's feelings. Thanks for the advice! Definitely going to try to follow it!
Last edited by aarosh; Jul 5th, 2015 at 23:44.. Reason: Fixed quote
#11 Jul 5th, 2015, 16:07
Join Date:
Jan 2006
Location:
Ireland
Posts:
5,303
  • JuliaF is offline
#11
Some great posts in this thread (and a post by a man who was followed by a dog in Nepal )

I totally agree with the point that if you create a fuss and draw attention to what's going on, people around will step in to help. You might not even need to shout. I remember one time a guy was bothering me on a bus (nothing serious, but annoying) and the bus conductor came and made him move to a different seat.

I also totally agree with deciding in advance that you won't allow low-level harrasment to upset you and ruin your trip.

Looking strong and behaving confidently is great, as is dressing sensibly but I have come to the conclusion that these are not so important compared with the the key risk factor which is age. If you are young and have a pair of breasts then you are unlikely to be able to avoid some harrassment, sorry to say. I have been visiting India since my early 20s, sometimes alone and sometimes with a man, and have had many cases of groping, staring, cat-calling etc. Sometimes the gropes (tit-grabs) happen so fast as you're walking along the street that by the time your brain registers what happened you couldn't identify the culprit anyway, so I would just ignore it and continue what I was doing. Being confident and wearing loose clothes with a dupatta didn't make any difference. The good news though is that as I have got older that kind of harrassment has disappeared (not to say that some older women don't experience it, sadly). On my last trip I got no bother at all, and I don't think I did on the one before either.

[We have a thread here in Indiamike which started with a woman asking if she should dye her blonde hair black. I have joked before that it might help to dye your hair grey ]

Needless to say, I have been to India many times (I don't know how many ), I love it and hope to continue visiting.

Now, as you did ask for experiences of harrassment, here are some of mine -

1. I was staying on my own in a hotel in Bhopal (probably in my late 20s at the time) and a group of men started knocking on the door. I probably said that no, I wouldn't open it. Then it moved on to shouting and banging on the door. The hotel receptionist phoned my room and told me to open the door. Then they started pushing the door in, trying to break it down. The lower part of the door was being pushed into the room but the bolt was in the middle of the door and the bolt held. I can't remember how long all this went on but I did consider either locking myself in the bathroom or jumping out of the window (the room was on the first floor (second floor for Americans)). Strangely I stayed quite calm while all this was going on but felt very shaken up the after I had left the hotel the next day. Motto: don't take a hotel room unless it has a bolt.

2. In Udaipur I was cycling back from some craft village outside the city (early 20s) and a guy on a motorbike stopped me, grabbed my chest and ripped my shirt. That incident was scary because of how much worse it could have been as it was in an isolated area.

3. A guy exposed himself on a train in Orissa (it could have been meant for 2 Indian girls, 10 or 12 years old who were sitting near me )

4. A man followed me one evening in Shimla. It was annoying and creepy but I darted into a chai shop and lost him.

The rest is just the standard staring, cat-calling and groping which, as I said, has dropped right off now.



A couple of funny incidents -

1. I have a streak of grey in my hair which has been there since my early 30s I'd say. Some times it shows more than others. One time a group of young guys were near me and one of them said "Indira" and all his friends laughed. It made me laugh too but I pretended I hadn't heard them.

2. In Pachmarhi I was having breakfast of chai and samosa in a food shack somewhere outside the town (Pachmarhi is a beautiful hill station on a plateau in central India and there is a police training college there, possibly army training too I'm not sure). My male companion was sitting inside the shack and I was standing outside with my chai gazing at the gorgeous mountains. Then a platoon of police recruits came along on their morning run and EVERY ONE of them turned his head to the right to look at me. Hilarious. I was hoping they'd all start falling over each other


I'm trying to think of any other times where I've felt scared and can't think of any. What is MUCH more scary in India is the roads and the way some people drive .
#12 Jul 5th, 2015, 16:18
Join Date:
Mar 2011
Location:
perth, australia
Posts:
727
  • zamba is online now
#12
Yes I am a MAN but commonsense is all you need. Of course limit the potentially risky stuff that we all do and, above all, enjoy India. Some good advice in the replies above as well, so heed all that and you should have a hassle free trip. Zamba.
#13 Jul 5th, 2015, 22:38
Join Date:
Feb 2014
Location:
Delhi
Posts:
5,712
  • BholeBaba is offline
#13
Quote:
Originally Posted by JuliaF View Post Some great posts in this thread (and a post by a man who was followed by a dog in Nepal )

.
Men can sometimes be as sage and sensitive as women.
Men can sometimes be dogs.
Nepal is nearly India.

#14 Jul 5th, 2015, 22:47
Join Date:
Jul 2015
Location:
United States
Posts:
6
  • cms2212 is offline
#14
Ugh! Thought I had gotten the quoting thing down, but I guess I missed the very last one in my reply.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JuliaF View Post but I have come to the conclusion that these are not so important compared with the the key risk factor which is age. If you are young and have a pair of breasts then you are unlikely to be able to avoid some harrassment, sorry to say.
Yeah, that's the impression I'm getting, sadly. Looks like I'm definitely going to have to deal with some harassment...

Quote:
Originally Posted by JuliaF View Post [We have a thread here in Indiamike which started with a woman asking if she should dye her blonde hair black. I have joked before that it might help to dye your hair grey ]
You joke, but that's actually a trend now...

Quote:
Originally Posted by JuliaF View Post 1. I was staying on my own in a hotel in Bhopal (probably in my late 20s at the time) and a group of men started knocking on the door. I probably said that no, I wouldn't open it. Then it moved on to shouting and banging on the door. The hotel receptionist phoned my room and told me to open the door. Then they started pushing the door in, trying to break it down. The lower part of the door was being pushed into the room but the bolt was in the middle of the door and the bolt held. I can't remember how long all this went on but I did consider either locking myself in the bathroom or jumping out of the window (the room was on the first floor (second floor for Americans)). Strangely I stayed quite calm while all this was going on but felt very shaken up the after I had left the hotel the next day. Motto: don't take a hotel room unless it has a bolt.
That's actually terrifying!!! Why was hotel reception telling you to open the door?!?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JuliaF View Post 2. In Udaipur I was cycling back from some craft village outside the city (early 20s) and a guy on a motorbike stopped me, grabbed my chest and ripped my shirt. That incident was scary because of how much worse it could have been as it was in an isolated area.
Yeah, you're experiences are a bit more serious than most mentioned here. I can imagine them affecting me a bit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JuliaF View Post 2. In Pachmarhi I was having breakfast of chai and samosa in a food shack somewhere outside the town (Pachmarhi is a beautiful hill station on a plateau in central India and there is a police training college there, possibly army training too I'm not sure). My male companion was sitting inside the shack and I was standing outside with my chai gazing at the gorgeous mountains. Then a platoon of police recruits came along on their morning run and EVERY ONE of them turned his head to the right to look at me. Hilarious. I was hoping they'd all start falling over each other
Love that you included funny to offset the scary. This is my favorite!! Absolutely hilarious!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by zamba View Post Yes I am a MAN but...
I didn't mean to make my question feel like an exclusive, women-only club. I was just looking for people with personal experiences of sexual harassment who could describe them and give advice.
#15 Jul 5th, 2015, 23:37
Join Date:
Jul 2015
Location:
United States
Posts:
6
  • cms2212 is offline
#15
Quote:
Originally Posted by cms2212 View Post you're experiences
Correction: your

Similar Threads

Title, Username, & Date Last Post Replies Views Forum
Fellow travelers for Sep 26th, 2014 23:25 0 802 Uttarakhand
Looking for fellow travelers Feb 17th, 2014 20:33 9 1224 India Travel Partners
Hello Fellow Travelers! Jan 16th, 2010 09:37 5 1069 Introduce Yourself
Is Benares safe for women travelers? Jan 7th, 2010 04:09 4 2140 Uttar Pradesh


Posting Rules

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
Forum Rules»
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.3.2
© IndiaMike.com 2018
Page Load Success