“The biggest adventure you can take is to live the life of your dreams” –Oprah Winfrey, Entrepreneur, and Philanthropist. In the times when women are less than nobody and men take pride in discussing their rights, actions, equality, achievements, contributions, travelling must be no exception. Females must step out of their cocoon and travel because a well-traveled woman is more aware, enlightened, and happy. Why should women travellers explain their choice of travelling? They may travel with friends or solo. They are qualified enough to decide for themselves.
It takes a lot of courage to stand up and say, ‘I wish to travel and am open to learning about different cultures.’ Travelling empowers us, it puts us out of our comfort zone and teaches us incredible life lessons. Thus, more and more women must see themselves as travelers. Personally, globetrotting has been a life-changing experience for me. And, as a travel writer, I often encourage other women (mothers, aunties, friends, and growing girls) to do a handful of solo, all-women escapades, family getaways, and far-flung expeditions around the world. Initially, solo trips can make you nervous but they are great fun if you strategize a plan that works for you. Always read, research well, watch out for your safety, and plan your bookings in advance.
Keeping India in focus, I have shared some of these handpicked places that you must add to your travel radar. Let the surreal hills, meditative meadows, sun-kissed safaris, culture-rich villages, and balmy beaches make for your trips.
Gulmarg, Srinagar, Pahalgam, and Patnitop in Jammu and Kashmir
You must bring all the women of your family to the state of Jammu and Kashmir and be mesmerized by its picturesque beauty. Seeing the snow-clad Pir Panjal ranges in Gulmarg, experiencing the Shikara ride in Srinagar, basking in the virgin beauty of Pahalgam, and choosing to do some mid-level adventure and cable car fun in Patnitop, makes for a once-in-a-lifetime trip. Not to forget, the culture, cuisine, and locals will make a lasting impression.
Lush green pastures, vibrant meadows, enticing rivers, snow-covered mountain peaks, deep valleys, and pine-covered hills adorn this paradisical landscape. And anyone who wishes to learn skiing, the majestic Apharwat Peak in Gulmarg is Asia’s longest ski slope. There shouldn’t be any reason to stop women from exploring the world and indulging in unique activities.
The Khyber Himalayan Resort & Spa in Gulmarg, Rah Bagh by The Orchard- Luxury Boutique Hotel in Srinagar, Welcomhotel by ITC Hotels- Pine N Peak Pahalgam, and Skyview by Empyrean Patnitop are some of the most convenient stay options for solo or group women travelers. These places help to arrange transport and local guides to give you a safe and seamless experience.
Take a flight from Delhi to Srinagar and do a road trip to Gulmarg and Pahalgam. For Patnitop, one needs to take a flight from Srinagar to Jammu, followed by a road trip.
Also Read – You must see Thajiwas Glacier in Sonamarg
Amritsar in Punjab
Home to one of the holiest shrines of the Sikh religion, Punjab is one of the most vibrant states in India. While the tranquility and spirituality of the Golden Temple (Harmandir Sahib) are the biggest drawing factors for devotees around the world, the historical relevance of Jallianwala Bagh Partition Museum brings in history buffs. Gobindgarh fort, Wagah Border will give you a culture fix and an insight into Punjab’s rich history. Food trails and lots of shopping are unmissable when you are in Amritsar. Foodstagrammers must try out the crisp kulchas, assorted paranthas, ghee-dipped jalebis, and refreshing lassi. Your girl gang will love to shop traditional phulkari, juttis, and Punjabi suits in the local market.
Taj Swarna, Fairfield by Marriot, Ramada Amritsar, and Welcomhotel by ITC Hotels – Rajah Sansi Amritsar, Gurudwara Yatri Niwas are some of the dependable places to stay. Golden Temple is open 24 hours and one can meditate, eat langar and pray at their wish. Always select those places where you can enjoy yourself and be safe too.
Also Read – Celebrating Lohri at Golden Temple
Bir, Tirthan Valley, and Chail in Himachal Pradesh
Skip the crowded places like Shimla, Kullu, and Manali and go for the offbeat in Himachal Pradesh to experience the serenading charms of its pretty and quintessential little towns. Adventure-seeking women must not miss the trip to Bir Billing, the paragliding hub of India to take that chance of flying like a bird. From here, head to the village by the beautiful Tirthan river. The unparalleled natural beauty of the coniferous hills and forests will grow on you. Tirthan valley in the Kullu district will also introduce you to the scenic vistas of the Great Himalayan National Park. Hardly 70 kilometers from Shimla, Chail is a quiet hill town with lots of scenic beauty. It is famous for Chail Sanctuary, Chail Palace, Kali Tibba Temple, Sidh Baba Ka Mandir, the highest cricket ground, and lots of adventure activities. Women who love adventure sports must do paragliding, trekking, camping, river rafting, and so on in Himachal Pradesh. Tavleen, Chail is a great option for women travelers looking out for a resort in Chail. Solo women travelers looking to stay for weeks or months can book homestays in Himachal Pradesh. There are many precious gems all over the state. Wherever you are, especially on hills, always ensure to return to your hotels in time.
A bus or car journey from Delhi is fun and enjoyable!
Read more – What is Himachal Day?
Jim Corbett National Park in Uttarakhand
Basking in the beauty of nature is essential for our overall well-being. Going on jungle expeditions or simply being outdoors enhances our happiness quotient. Women who have an interest in or wish to learn about various birds, butterflies, and unique plants must visit the National parks of India. Close to the capital Delhi, there is no better place than the Corbett landscape which is home to the oldest national park in the country. Located at the Himalayas’ foothills, near the famed Nainital, Jim Corbett National Park offers five zones for safaris to explore its rich wildlife diversity. With the thick dense deciduous forest mainly consisting of sal, peepal, and mango trees, the park buzzes with birding and animal sightings all around the year. The serenity of the Corbett landscape is invincible. While it is home to a huge number of Bengal Tigers and Asian elephants, it is a birding paradise with more than 580 species. One can stay inside the jungle as well as in the beautiful resorts in Ramnagar. The family-friendly Golden tusk right next to the Dhela zone, the sustainable Aahana Resort in Sawaldeh, and several other boutique properties are a perfect fit for women travellers. It is best to book properties that arrange for pick and drops from the nearest station and look into your safari needs as well. Female birders and wildlife enthusiasts stay here for weeks together, solo as well as with friends and family.
Take a train from Delhi to Ramnagar or a 5 hours road trip from Delhi takes you to Jim Corbett
Kolkata, Shanti Niketan, Digha, Sunderbans in West Bengal
With its colonial architecture, historic museums, vibrant art galleries, revered temples, and dynamic markets, Kolkata is special and charming. It is the hometown of the incredible Rabindra Nath Tagore and Rabindra sangeet. It is the land of the most photographed Victoria Memorial and the iconic cantilever bridge of India, the Howrah bridge. Last but not the least, it is the city of legendary eateries where you can dig in delicious rolls, fish curries, jhal moori, and rasgulla. When in Kolkata, Dakshineshwar Kalimandir, Princep Ghat, Presidency College, Kumortuli, Mallik Ghat, and Diamond Harbor are some of the places that every traveller must have on their itinerary. Let us also not forget the oldest port (commissioned in 1870) Syama Prasad Mookerjee Port of Kolkata. Taking the tram ride around the city and do visit the biggest mangrove forests in Sunderbans. Shantiniketan, an abode of peace and tranquillity must not be missed for anything. Digha is an all-season seaside spot that will give you a serene beach trip.
Kolkata is extremely safe for women travelers and it is a paradise for art, music, and literature lovers. The ‘City of Joy’ or the ‘literary capital’ of India has both traditional hotels and trendy boutique properties. The Oberoi Grand, ITC Royal Bengal, JW Marriot, and Westin are some of the most-loved options to stay alone or with friends.
Hyderabad in Telangana
This hi-tech city was once the land of the extravagant and rich Nizams. It has expanded and evolved gracefully and today it has become a melting pot of cultures. It lures you with its high-rise buildings, posh streets, architectural marvels, historical palaces, luxury hotels, and mouth-watering food. In Hyderabad, you must not miss the Char Minar, Chowmahalla Palace, Laad Bazar, Ramoji Film City, Birla temple, Salar Jung Museum, and Golconda fort. Women travellers who wish to seek spiritual guidance and yoga learning must head to Asia’s biggest spiritual retreat, Kanha Shanti Vanam. It is located on the outskirts of Hyderabad near Chegur village. If you are interested in meditation and holistic healing, you must visit this place for a unique experience. Here, you will find peace, solace, and joy, amidst the silence of the trees, away from the din of the city.
Hyderabad is also home to alluring lakes. Hussain Sagar Lake is most visited for the large monolithic statue of the Gautama Buddha. The non-veg lovers must place Hyderabad high on their ‘to-do’ list for its Haleem, Keema Samosa, and world-famed Biryani. And those seeking a regal stay option must look out for Taj Falaknuma Palace. Ladies, don’t forget to shop for bangles and bracelets in Hyderabad.
A 2 .15 hrs flight from Delhi or 1 hr.45 minutes flight from Kolkata will take you to Hyderabad
Also Read – Sunday in Hyderabad, Monday in Vijayawada
Tiruchirappalli in Tamil Nadu
Tiruchirapalli or Trichy is also called the heart of Tamil Nadu. With the effervescent Kaveri River by its side, this ancient town is one of the gems of South India. History buffs must not miss it for its striking temples, historical sites, festive celebrations, and cross-cultural impressions from Cholas, the Pandya, the Pallava, the Vijaynagar Kingdom, the Carnatic Kingdom, and the Britishers. In Trichy, Rockfort Temple, Ranganathaswamy Temple, Jambukeshwar Temple, Kallanai Dam, Puliyancholai Waterfall, Railways Museum and St. Josephs’s Church are some of the most popular attractions. While shopping in Trichy, you will find some of the traditional crafts of Tamil Nadu. The jewelry, metalware, Thanjavur paintings, brass lamps, Sandalwood carvings, and silk sarees are some of the things that you must keep an eye on. And don’t miss the traditional Tamil food comprising of sambar, rasam, moru, poriyal, lentils, and gravies served on a banana leaf in Trichy. Also, Trichy is a wholesome destination, where you can also have some adventure. There are many trekking trails, waterfalls, and scenic spots around the city. Courtyard by Marriott and SRM are some of the best options. Trichy is a small and simple place with lots of budget hotels.
Some helpful tips for women travellers
- Always keep important phone numbers and keep your loved ones informed.
- Do not post an hourly update of your travels on social media
- Book good hotels that take care of transport when needed.
- Observe the dress code of the city. Dress appropriately.
- Stay together when in groups.
- Return to hotels in time if you are travelling solo.
- Be watchful and observant of your surroundings.
Share and add your tips!