Good time to travel in India?
September 30, 2008 10:29 AM   Subscribe

Older Tourist in India in November 2008?

My mother has had a small group trip to India arranged for months now, but the recent bombings are worrying her.

Talking to expats I'm hearing a lot of "Yeah, bombings happen occasionally. No big deal.", as well as the occasional person who thinks the situation may be escalating into Hindu/Muslim riots but also "Yeah, riots happen occasionally. No big deal."

New Dehli is rather central to her plans, so she's mostly worried about the situation there.

I'm looking for opinions from people on the ground in India. What do you think? Is New Dehli likely to be enjoyable for a 68 year old American (read "not used to the occasional riot and bombing") woman in November?

Thanks in advance.
posted by tkolar to Travel & Transportation around India (4 answers total)
Presuming that her trip revolves around Delhi mainly as a base, and is focused on regions like Uttaranchal/Himachal/Agra..etc, I'd say there's no significant danger. Yes, terrorist attacks do happen, but it isn't like how Baghdad or Rio seem , in terms of violence. I don't know if Delhi itself is enjoyable for a 68 year old American. I don't like it much, but then I'm from Bombay :).
posted by Gyan at 11:32 AM on September 30, 2008

I'm not actually on the ground in India, but I have spent about a year and a half there, over four separate trips, in & out of Delhi more times than I could count...

I wouldn't worry about the bombings. I was under the impression that mopst of the bombs recently have been in Pakistan, anyway. And either way, India is a massive, massive, massive place with an even bigger population. If only a couple of dozen people are killed a year, you've gotta realise that equals far less danger than having a meteorite fall on your head.

There's a lot of great stuff to see in Delhi, and a lot of poverty & filth also. Presumably, she'll be staying in a nice-ish hotel & be chauffered around, so it shouldn't be too tough on her.

Hindu - Muslim riots? Yeh, no big deal. Very rare & sporadic, and there's no reason why she'd be in any particular danger even if she were anywhere near one.
posted by UbuRoivas at 8:34 PM on September 30, 2008

I'm in India and seriously? There's nothing to be worried about.

Here's the deal: India is a BLOODY huge country, both in terms of size and population. There's always going to be some nutjob or the other blowing up something somewhere, but that doesn't mean the entire place is Ground Zero. She'd be in more danger of being run over by one of the loons we allow to drive cars in this country.

Hindu/Muslim riots: these are VERY rare, and Delhi is not one of the flashpoints anyway. Communal clashes are more likely in the centre of the country i.e. Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa. As long as she's not planning on backpacking over there, she'll be fine.

I would be more concerned about more mundane threats... Delhi is notoriously unsafe, especially for women. Usual suggestions apply: travel in a group if you can, try to blend in with the locals, and for Pete's sake don't go traipsing about by yourself in a strange city after dark.

Ominous mutterings aside, though, it is a great city- very multicultural and cosmopolitan, with a lot of things to see and do. I'd especially recommend the street markets in Chandni Chowk, Dilli Haat and Old Delhi- they have beautiful handicrafts and the street food will beat Michelin restaurants for taste, if not for hygeine. Oh, and definitely Agra- the Taj Mahal is a cliche, but it's well worth the time.
posted by Tamanna at 10:56 PM on September 30, 2008

I'm in India too, and while I grew up in Delhi, I wouldn't call it an enjoyable place, especially alone at night. ;)

That said, I echo what Tamanna said. Statistically, you're not at much risk.
posted by madman at 6:11 AM on November 27, 2008

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