Solo travel is on everyone’s bucket list. It is an experience we millennials just don’t want to miss out on. For most of us traveling alone sounds intimidating, but it truly is one of the best gifts you can give to yourself. I was as apprehensive as anyone who has never traveled alone. But every now and then stepping out of your comfort zone, putting yourself in situations you find difficult only makes you stronger. Your instincts become your guide and greatest friend. Perhaps the best aspect of traveling alone is that while you discover the world, you encounter your truest self. It’s an intrinsically self-reflective form of journey. Believe me when I say this, traveling alone in India is a life-changing experience. You meet some amazing people along the way, you get to immerse yourself in the local culture which is so different from yours and you get to know yourself better – your strengths and weaknesses.
I would be lying if I said I was not worried at all about the safety aspect of traveling alone in India. I think it is this bigger fear which triumphs all other aspects and makes us yearn the safety of a large group. But then, the example of other female solo travelers is truly inspiring. They simply packed and left. And this time, I did too! To my surprise, India has some of the kindest souls, who go out of their way, to help you find yours. Here’s my advice to the budding solo travelers, just go do it, you will not regret it.
With summers making the cities unbearable, here are some of the best destinations of 2019 for a solo-trip in India –
Very different from the rest of India, Tawang is dotted with monasteries. Situated in the farthest corner of the North-East, Tawang has the most photogenic terrain in India. Its snow-capped mountains, the warm and welcoming people, and its untouched natural beauty make it one of my top off-beat destinations for a solo-trip. Visiting Tawang can be a bit of a task for the permits you would require from the Government of India, but the peace and tranquillity of this place would leave you mesmerized for days on end. Arunachal Pradesh is very close to the international border. Therefore, one needs special permission to enter the state. Any person who is not a resident of the state of Arunachal Pradesh is required to have a permit to visit Arunachal Pradesh. Indian citizens need an Inner Line Permit (ILP) and foreign nationals need a Protected Areas Permit (PAP) for the same. All domestic travelers are required to obtain permits for Arunachal Pradesh. It is called an Inner Line Permit or ILP. Once you have the permit for Arunachal, you can enter the state through any of the entry points. Indian citizens can obtain an inner line permit for Arunachal Pradesh either online or offline or at arrival. Some of the must-visit stopovers in Tawang are – Tawang Monastery, Bap Teng Kang, Tawang War Memorial, Sela Pass, Gorichen Peak, Madhuri Lake and many more. You can even ski in Pankang Teng Tso Lake, go on a day tour to Bum La Pass, go bird watching at Bhajagang Lake and much more. Avail Guwahati taxi service to travel to Tawang.
This South-Indian beauty is extremely popular. Kerala- or as is famously known, Gods Own Country- is breathtakingly beautiful for it is a perfect mix of nature, mountains, backwaters and peaceful beaches. The unimaginably beautiful Alleppey in Kerala has a calm and relaxed vibe to it. The houseboats in Alleppey let you cruise through the pristine backwaters and beat the heat with a stunning Amazonian view. Along with helping you shed your city fatigue, Alleppey also has a wide variety of mouth-watering dishes. There cannot be a better way to relax than relishing some good food along with a breathtaking view of the lazy backwaters reflecting the chiaroscuro of shadow and light. You can visit Marari Beach, Punnamada Lake, Krishnapuram Palace, Alappuzha Beach, Vembanad Lake for taking home the best experience. Rent a car in Kochi to have an effortless time traveling to Alleppey.
Set in the foothills of Himalayas, McLeodganj is an important Tibetan settlement. It is quite commendable that India has been protecting a culture both physically as well as financially that could have disappeared long ago. The land of Dalai Lama is encircled by Himalayan mountains, decorated with pine trees reaching out to the skies and surrounded by the ceaseless din of cascading waterfalls. There is never a perfect time to visit this Himalayan town. Blessed with the perfect weather, amazing Tibetan and Italian food joints, and some amazing treks; Mcleodganj is an adventurer’s paradise and a peaceful haven for a solo trip in India. Read about some of the best places to eat at McLeodganj here. You may visit the Namgyal Monastery, Tsuglagkhang, Bhagsu Nag Temple, Bhagsu Falls, Tibetan Museum, Church of St. John, Triund and Dal Lake. You can rent a car in Delhi to get to McLeodganj.
When a list of top destinations for a solo trip is made, Wayanad deserves a special mention. Situated in the laps of Western Ghats, Wayanad with its paddy fields, quaint rural vibe, beautiful culture and heritage attracts people looking to breathe out of the concrete jungle. Wide landscape painted in tones of green is a perfect stop for imbibing the slow lifestyle of rural South India away from the fast-paced life of cities. Along with the richness in natural beauty and a hub for the widest variety of flora and fauna, Wayanad has so much more to offer. One can visit the Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary, Ambukuthi Hills, Edakkal Caves, Nagarhole National Park and Tiger Reserve. One can also enjoy vistas of the cascading Soochipara Waterfalls and enjoy rafting at Kuruvadweep. For a smooth travel experience, rent a car in Kochi for all your travel plans.
If beautiful sunsets make you the happiest, then Gokarna is the just the right place for you to go on a solo trip this year. Gokarna is a perfect alternative for Goa but without the overcrowded beaches. Previously visited frequently by the devotees of Lord Shiva, Gokarna is now becoming increasingly famous among hikers and backpackers looking for a peaceful getaway. With its tranquil beauty, Gokarna is the perfect place to unwind in the lap of nature. Some of the best beaches in Gokarna are Kudle, Half Moon, Om and Paradise. You can book Savaari’s Innova on rent in Bangalore to travel to all of these beaches comfortably.
Known as the Queen of Hills in Central India, Mahabaleshwar is exceptionally beautiful with its entire landscape painted in hues of green in the monsoons. Travellers like to over-crowd this place during summers for its pleasant weather, but Mahabaleshwar is much more than just good weather. About 120 km from Pune, Mahabaleshwar is a paradise for food-lovers. The gorgeous landscape, amazing weather, home-cooked meals and freshly plucked strawberries make this one of the best destinations for a solo trip in India. Walking around, inhaling the fresh air of Mahabaleshwar is a much-needed break for our tired city souls. Some of the must do things in Mahabaleshwar would be, witness the majestic sunrise at Wilson Point, biking at Mahabaleshwar hill station, enjoy boating from Tapola to Bamnoli Island and enjoy rock climbing, horse riding trekking at Matheran, and pluck fresh strawberries at the strawberries farms. Book a taxi from Mumbai to Mahabaleshwar here. In case you want to explore more of Maharashtra, you may also read up on Lavasa here which is a few hours away from Mahabaleshwar.
Known as the rock capital of India, Shillong is Meghalaya’s largest city. The gentle breeze coming in from the hills bless Shillong with great weather all throughout the year. The rainforest canopies, dewy freshness in the air, the cascading waterfalls and the sun-kissed snow-clad mountains are a treat to the eyes. Apart from the much-vaunted beauty of the city, there are many man-made attractions in Shillong as well. You must explore Elephant Falls, trek the David Scott Trail, explore the Living Root Bridge at Mawlynnong, go caving at Krem Mawmluh, experience rock climbing, rappelling and zip-lining at Barapani and much more. With Savaari’s affordable Guwahati to Shillong taxi fare, travel comfortably without burning a hole in your pocket.
There is no end to the adventure India offers us with. Dandeli is the hub of adventure sports, especially white water rafting and kayaking. Located in the North-Western region of Karnataka, Dandeli is not as crowded as some of the more glamorous tourist hotspots such as Goa. From water sports to living in a jungle amidst all the wild animals, Dandeli has it all. Breathe in the sheer wilderness and relax under the twinkling lights of stars. To take home the best experience, indulge in some white water rafting, bird watching, jeep safari, mountain biking, canoeing and kayaking at Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary. Hire a cab in Bangalore to easily reach Dandeli.
Hope this article gave you the motivation you needed to pack your bags. Don’t wait up. The world out there is infinite and there is very little time to explore all of it!