Are you a solo traveler visiting the Himalayan state of Uttarakhand for the first time ? If so you might have a question on the lines of “Is Uttarakhand Safe For Solo Travelers”. And It is a genuine question to have.
Therefore, based on my extensive travel in Uttarakhand as a solo traveler, I am here to answer and put all your queries to rest. So lets get started.
Is Uttarakhand Safe For Solo Travelers ?
To answer the question, Uttarakhand is absolutely safe for a solo traveler irrespective of the gender. In my month-long trip to Uttarakhand, I did not experience any untoward incident.
The locals of Uttarakhand, especially in the upper regions and remote valleys are very hospitable and amiable.
But here further in this blog, I am going to answer a few questions that you might have a solo traveler, visiting Uttarakhand. So lets get started. By the way, here is an ultimate Harshil valley itinerary for first-timers
Is Uttarakhand Safe for Female Solo Travelers ?
India is country which reports high rates of crime against women. So it is genuine question to have. But as I said earlier, Uttarakhand is one of the safest states for female travelers in our country.
The locals are amiable and friendly in Uttarakhand. Of course, traveling alone or solo often surprises the villagers especially in the upper regions but those are just out of curiosity and concern irrespective of the gender.
As a female solo traveler, make sure you travel in public transport buses as much as possible. Stay in homestays and hostels instead of hotels to ensure your complete safety.
Being a solo traveler myself, I usually ensure that I travel by public transport and stay in homestays to ensure my complete safety. Also make sure, that you reach your destination before the dark.
Are Public Places in Uttarakhand Safe for Solo travelers ?
Absolutely, Public places like markets, bus stops, parks, roads, Dhabas, Cafes are safe for solo travelers in Uttarakhand. I personally felt safe in public places in Uttarakhand as a solo traveler.
To ensure your safety though, make sure that you do not venture out in the public places late in the night.
Unlike your metro cities, public places are often empty around 8 or 9 pm. Especially in the upper regions of Uttarakhand.
So make sure that you finish all your work that requires going out to public places before it turns dark. You should preferably remain indoors after it turns dark.
Here is a super useful comparison blog between Harshil valley and Manali to help you decide.
Is Public transport Safe in Uttarakhand for Solo travelers ?
To answer the question, yes the public transport is quite safe in Uttarakhand. UTC buses, Private buses, Shared Taxi’s form the major chunk of public transport to reach most of the places of interests in Uttarakhand.
I traveled almost exclusively in public transport as a solo traveler and things were just fine. I personally never felt unsafe while commuting in public transport as a solo traveler.
In fact, If you are traveling solo using public transport for commute is always one of the more safer option in my view.
If you were wondering why is harshil valley so famous, here are 7 noteworthy reasons for the same and why it absolutely worth it as a destination.
Are Homestays In Uttarakhand Safe for Solo Travelers ?
Yes absolutely, homestays are one of the safe modes of accommodation that you can get as a solo traveler. And Uttarakhand is no different.
I personally prefer homestays where I usually feel a lot safer. The home-cooked food, getting to know about the culture of region, homely environment are perks of staying in a homestay.
During my travels to Harshil valley, Har ki Dun valley, Chopta valley, I mostly stayed in homestays. I personally never felt any issues as such. On the contrary I was welcomed and felt like the part of the Family.
But do note that a lot of properties in Uttarakhand would promote and market themselves as a homestay but would turn out to be a guesthouse with a care taker.
Are Hostels In Uttarakhand Safe For Solo Travelers ?
From what I know, hostels in Uttarakhand are limited to Rishikesh, Muketshwar, Nainital and Kasar Devi. The hostel culture is yet to pop up in Garwhal Himalayas except for Mussorie and Rishikesh.
I personally did not stay in hostels during my trip to Uttarakhand. Although the places I visited did not have one. So I couldn’t stayed even If I wanted to.
I have stayed at such popular hostels in Himachal. And they are absolutely safe for solo travelers. In fact, hostels are a great way to meet and befriend like-minded people and tag along with them when on solo trips.
If its your first time in the mountains, here is a super handy list of things to pack for mountain trip in India for a hassle free trip.
Are Remote Valleys and Villages safe in Uttarakhand for Solo travelers ?
Like me, if you love to tread on the beaten path often as a solo traveler, you might have this question as well. And to answer the question yes they remote valleys and villages are safe to visit in Uttarakhand.
I personally visited remote villages in Harshil valley, Har ki dun valley, Jakhol area and always felt welcomed by the locals in these rustic villages.
To be completely safe though, most of the times I had a local guide or a homestay host accompany me on my trip to remote villages.
The thing is that sometimes folks of the remote locales may be taken aback by the presence of an outsider. So to ensure your complete safety having a local or your homestay host accompany you becomes important.
Although, the locals of remote villages in Uttarakhand will welcome you, but for your own safety if possible please have a local accompany you.
Is Hiking and Trekking Safe for a Solo traveler in Uttarakhand ?
As a solo traveler, hiking and trekking all alone in Uttarakhand can have dangerous consequences if you are casual hiker or an inexperienced hiker.
If in doubt, always hire a local guide or go along with a trekking company with other people as a solo traveler in Uttarakhand.
Losing the way, danger of wild animals are common threats that you can run into when hiking. And these issues can have dangerous consequences if you are all alone.
On a personal level, I ensured that I had guide where the trail was not very-well marked or the area was too remote. For well-marked and popular paths like the one in Tugnath I did not hire a guide and went all alone.
Is It Safe For A Solo Traveler to Go On Charm Dham Yatra & Other Pilgrimages in Uttarakhand ?
Char Dham Yatra is one of the most sacred pilgrimages one can undertake as a Hindu. Gangotri, Yamunotri, Badrinath, Kedarnath complete the Char Dham Pilgrimage.
All these sacred sites are located in Garwhal region of Uttarakhand. Apart from Char dham several important religious sites for Hindus and Sikhs are located in Uttarakhand.
So to answer the question, yes it is absolutely safe to go on such pilgrimages all alone as long as you are respecting the and maintaining sanctity of the religious place.
I personally went to Tugnath, one of the Panch Kedars and felt absolutely safe traveling alone.
This brings me to the end of this blog. I hope I have answered the question “Is Uttarakhand Safe For Solo travelers”.
In my view and experience, Uttarakhand is one of the safest destinations in India. But as a solo traveler you always have to be extremely careful and alert.
In case you have any queries relating to “Is Uttarakhand Safe For Solo Travelers”, please free to drop them in the comments below. I’ll be glad to answer them.