Female solo travelers around the world are often curious to know about India, and wonder whether it is safe enough to visit on their own. Like almost every developing nation, India also has its share of good and bad places, which may or may not be suitable for women. India is not a black and white in color, to say the least; a grey area always exists for you to find out. India lies somewhere between the yellow flag of completely safe zone and the red flag of absolutely unsafe countries. You can rather give the orange flag to the country and find yourself safe at most of the places. However, you should not go to some places at all if you are a female, or even a male.
The ratio of men and women
In every city in India, men outnumber women by large numbers. If you come from an Asian country, you may not feel much of cultural shock. However, if you come from a western nation, India may be a tough place to be on your own. The only thing you can do to calm down your mind is to accept the situation of biased gender ratio and move on. Whether it is a bus stop, a metro station, a railway station, a grocery store, or a supermarket, you will always find more men than women. Nevertheless, most men are not intimidating at all. They might stare at you out of complete curiosity rather than any feeling of hurting you.
Although you will find men and women in ultra-modern clothes in the urban cities, you cannot take the Indian culture for granted in most places. The Indian values are mostly conservative, and they do not really accept the sudden change well. Public displays of affection are not common at all, again, except in the metropolitans. Since you are not going to be in Delhi, Mumbai, or Pune at all times, consider yourself among a mix of traditional yet modern people. You should mind your dress code, especially if you are in the Tier-II cities.
Since India is on its path to development and social growth, several social issues do exist, and sexual harassment is one of them. If you are a female, your only weapon to combat anti-social elements who try to grope, brush against, or touch you is your self-confidence. Be prepared and brave to raise an alarm when you feel an inappropriate touch on your body. The western women are considered more tolerant towards inappropriate touching because of language barriers, cultural advancements, etc. However, if you feel intolerant towards any kind of touch, you can call for help or deal with the situation on your own. The men sometimes take sexual harassment as a game, and they test their limits as well as those of women around them. Look at your assailant right in his eye and let him know that you do not accept his behavior; men are scared to harass you upfront. When you are in trains and buses in India, you might see a woman even beating a guy with her sandals, bag, etc. as a consequence of his conduct. Yes, you have to be brave to survive in a country whose current position of cultural standing is slightly ambiguous.
Situations of all kinds happen in India and abroad; it is only upon you that you have to be brave enough to handle them well. Since you are planning to go solo, you cannot afford to leave your guts at home. Just go to India with an open mind and a large heart, and you will get the best of your time and efforts.