Alone At Night

10 Safety Tips For Delhi Tourists

Delhi is the capital city of India and also one of the popular tourist destinations. With its exquisite Mughal architecture, numerous temples, monuments and modern administrative buildings, it is a large and busy metropolitan. Most of the foreigners coming to India land at the Delhi airport and hence the image of India is formed from the experience which they gain at Delhi.
It is a really tough task to maintain law, order and safety with numerous outsiders visiting the city frequently. The following 10 safety tips for Delhi tourists will certainly help you enjoy your vacation.

1. Beware Of Touts
Like most of the metropolitan cities, Delhi is also crowded by touts. These people are present everywhere from airports to bus stands and taxi stands, following you and giving you directions, or offering you best hotel deals proactively; if you are lured to any of these, you may end up paying much more or may not even turn out to be safe. It is always best to research prior to a visit to Delhi.
Gather as much information as you can about the place before visiting, especially the transport facilities and helpline numbers. If possible, book your hotel prior to the visit and ask the hotel representative to send you a cab to pick you up at the airport, this are the best options to avoid scams and touts. If this facility is not available at your hotel, book a prepaid taxi from the airport premises; the prepaid taxis are verified and hence are safer. In case of any misbehaviour or complaint, you can text or call the Delhi traffic helpline numbers.

2. Keep Your Money Safe

Piggy Bank

Photo by OTA Photos, CC BY-SA 2.0

The common problem of Delhi is its huge population which makes it easy for ubiquitous pickpockets. It is best to carry minimum amount of cash. You can keep the cash, passport and cards in a money belt, which can either be hanged round the neck or tucked under the shirt. If still you face any such issues of theft, then you may contact the Delhi Police.

3. Avoid the Snake Sadhus

Varanasi Sadhu

Photo by Partha Sarathi Sahana, CC BY 2.0

Begging is one of the primary sources of income in almost all large cities and Delhi is not an exception. Among the various styles of begging, the scary snake sadhus are seen often on Delhi roads. These people are clad in saffron attire with large bags, which have snakes in it.
Once you are near, they will pull a snake out of their bags and shove in front of your face. This is really scary and you have to pay them to avoid this crisis. The best thing is to avoid these sadhus and if it is not possible you may seek help from the police patrolling cars, which are present almost at every Delhi road.

4. Be Cautious At Night

Alone At Night

Photo by Fred Mancosu, CC BY-ND 2.0

Travelling alone at night is not advised in case of women tourists. If you reach Delhi late at night, try to spend the time at the airport lounge till it is morning. Try to be in groups while travelling at night and avoid lonely or dark places. If there is any issue, you may contact the Delhi police.

5. Fake ‘Government Tourist Offices’
There are numerous tourist offices mushrooming at Delhi, most of which claim to be Government offices. These offices charge a lump-sum amount from you and exhibit fake itineraries and hand you a bunch of maps. The only Government tourist office in Delhi is located at Connaught Place.

6. Do Not Fall Prey To ‘Shop Agents’

Avoid Shop AgentPhoto by Rishabh Mathur, CC BY-SA 2.0

There are several agents found at the popular tourist sites of Delhi. They try to guide you to the best shop in Delhi where you can get the best products at least prices; you end up in paying much higher prices than the original price.

7. Avoid Food And Drinks From Strangers
It is a common practice to drug someone and rob his or her belongings or to sexually assault. Hence refuse any food or drinks from strangers, however insistent and amiable they may be.

8. Avoid Physical Contact

HugPhoto by Joris Louwes, CC BY 2.0

Although this isn’t much of a safety concern but hugs and handshakes with strangers could be misinterpret by the locals and can attract unwanted attention. For best results, resort to Indian greeting style of ‘Namaste’ instead of hugs and handshakes.

9. Health Safety

Mineral WaterPhoto by Ricardo Bernardo, CC BY-ND 2.0

This is a major concern for tourists not habituated to the extremely spicy Indian food. Buy mineral water and eat less spicy food to avoid any health hazards and the dreaded ‘traveller’s diarrhoea’.

10. Avoid Mass Gatherings

Mass GatherPhoto by Gaynor Barton, CC BY 2.0

At the political hotspots of Delhi such as the Ramlila Ground, you will often come across mass gatherings, protests and meetings; try to avoid these as these events may lead to sudden riots and chaos.
Last but not the least; be assertive and confident, do not let people understand that you are unfamiliar with the city. Contact your embassy for any assistance.