Solo traveler and blogger Elita A lists out her favorites.

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Elita Almeida quit her job as a development sector professional to ‘rediscover humanity’ Since then, she has been travelling solo. She blogs at Nomadicthunker to share her stories and inspire people to travel. Here, she recommends five destinations for solo women travelers. Have you been here?

1. Velas, Maharashtra

Velas_MAHARSHTRA

Photo Courtesy: Elita A

Owing to its close proximity to the more popular beach getaways such as Srivardhan and Harihareshwar, Velas does not get crowded at all. This leaves the beach extremely clean and serene all throughout the year. Velas is accessible by road and there are state run buses that ply regularly as well.

What to do in Velas:

1. Wander through the local villages. If possible, opt in for a homestay – it’s highly recommended.

2. Enjoy the pleasure of having an entire beach to yourself at Velas.

3. If timed well you could witness the hatching of the Olive Ridley turtle eggs

Travelling within Velas:

There are state run buses that run quite frequently. For shorter distances within and around, there are auto rickshaws available too.

Best time to visit:

Between the months of March and April, if one is interested in witnessing the hatching of Olive Ridley turtle eggs.

Where to stay:

There are locally run homestays situated in the villages along the beach in Velas.

What to eat: Prawn Curry and rice

2. Tso Moriri, Ladakh

Tso Moriri

Photo Courtesy: Elita A

Much has been said about Pangong Tso; all thanks to the movie 3 Idiots. But it is the lesser known Tso Moriri that is so much more enchanting and breath-taking! Given its low popularity, it’s the closest one can come to having a lake to themselves. Of course, this too is changing but it isn’t as crowded. Tso Moriri is accessible by road from Leh.

What to do in Tso Moriri:

1. Binge eat Maggi

2. Walk along the lake of Tso Moriri

3. Camp outdoors under the starry sky and count the shooting stars

Travelling within Ladakh:

You will have to hire either a two-wheeler or a four-wheeler from Leh to be able to reach Tso Moriri and travel within the place.

Best time to visit:

he best time to visit is between the months of June and September

Where to stay:

There are a few camping sites that have opened up recently, as well as guesthouses that one can stay at.

What to eat: Thukpa

3. Udaipur, Rajasthan

Udaipur_Rajasthan

Photo Courtesy: Elita A

The Venice of the East, Udaipur is a charming no-fuss place to be at and that’s what makes it stand out. It’s one of those few places that you could simply go around walking to explore and discover. It may seem over-rated but sitting by Lake Pichola at a rooftop restaurant is the stuff idyllic happiness is made of. Udaipur is accessible by road, train and air. The best time to visit would certainly be the winters.

What to do in Udaipur:

1. Be wow’d by the cultural program at Bagore ki Haveli

2. Revel in the history and collection at the City Palace

3. Sit by Lake Pichola and soak in serenity

4. Voraciously devour a Rajasthani thali

Travelling within Udaipur:

If you’re in the older part of the city, you can do more on feet or a tuk-tuk than in a four wheeler. Private taxis are available if you plan to visit the nearby Kumbhalgarh Fort or Chittorgarh Fort.

Best time to visit: 

The best time to visit is between the months of June and September

Where to stay: 

Aashiya Haveli is a traditional homestay that overlooks Lake Pichola. Additionally, there’s Zostel too.

What to eat: Daal-Baati-Churma

4. Sunderbans, West Bengal 

Sundarbans 1

Photo Courtesy: Elita A

A wildlife enthusiast would love visiting Sundarbans even though s/he may not always spot a Royal Bengal Tiger. The experience of being the largest mangrove forest in the world is awe-inducing as you get to see life-forms you may not have seen before. Being there can make people ecologically sensitive about fragile ecosystems that are being threatened by some of our actions. Sundarbans is accessible by road and water from Kolkata.

What to do in Sunderbans:

1. Go for the night as well as the day safari through the mangrove forest

2. Stay at an eco village

Travelling within Sundarbans:

You will have to contact a local tour operator in Kolkata to plan your travel within Sundarbans.

Best time to visit:

The best time to visit is between the months of November and February.

Where to stay:

Through travel operators who organise tours within the Sundarbans, one can stay at some of the eco-lodges. Else, one could keep Kolkata as the base and complete a day trip to the Sundarbans.

What to eat:  Ilish Macher Jha

5. Kanyakumari, Tamil Nadu

Kanyakumari

Photo Courtesy: Elita A

There is something magical and relaxing about being at the southern-most tip of the Indian mainland. Kanyakumari has an easy-going, lazy vibe to it. One can go hours watching fisherfolk tend to their nets or sit at the Vivekananda Rock Memorial watching waves lash and crash on the rocks. Kanyakumari is easily accessible by road, train and air as well.

What to do in Kanyakumari: 

1. Walk through the fisherfolk hamlet

2.Visit the Kumari Amman Temple

3. Eat a hearty meal at Hotel Saravana

4. Definitely watch the sunrise on the beach and visit the Vivekananda Rock Memorial

Travelling within Kanyakumari:

Travelling within Kanyakumari is doable on foot. However there are local buses and auto rickshaws and taxis that ply too.

Best ime to visit: 

The best time to visit varies based on one’s preference. June – October is off season so one is less likely to run into the crowds though the weather is much more pleasant between November – February.

Where to stay:

The Vivekananda Kendra is a good property to stay at as it caters to different budgets.

What to eat: Idli with gun-powder chutney

Tips for solo women travellers: 

Wear a no-nonsense game face when you feel like you’re prone to any risk. It helps disguise any trace of anxiety or fear you may be experiencing. It can help not invite any unwarranted attention towards yourself as well.

1. Trains are my preferred mode of travelling around in India. And I don’t always travel AC; at times I opt in for the Sleeper Class. Chose to travel by trains, they are cheap, comfortable and fast.

2. Solo travel is a great lesson on learning to decide for yourself; but more importantly, trusting yourself. Seek inputs but know that it will come down to what you are comfortable with and do only that. I have mentioned that I’m BIG on train travel and though it’s looked upon as time-consuming, for me personally it’s experiencing the journey that matters as much as reaching the destination. The only exception I’d make is if I was really hard pressed for time.

3. It is imperative that you moderate your expectations within what you’re willing to pay for. I was required to travel to Kishanganj in Bihar and there were very limited accommodation options for me to choose from. After I had checked-in, I realized the room was quite filthy and though it was for just one night, I wouldn’t be able to stay there. So I enquired at the reception if an upgrade was possible. These rooms were not only cleaner but also relatively more spacious. So that worked out well for me.

4. Do not hesitate to use local transport, if nothing then at least for the experience. Most often than not, they’re clean, reliable and cheaper than hiring a private vehicle for yourself.

5. Technology is a great way at staying connected and knowing more about the places you are in. From connecting with locals to being in touch with folks back home whether through the classic telephone call or SMS to WhatsApp and social media, it helps to have a Plan B which could include a spare SIM card or access to offline maps.