As a passionate explorer and solo traveler, I’m always on the hunt for destinations that offer an incredible mix of culture, adventure, and self-discovery. India, with its diverse landscapes and rich heritage, is a treasure trove of experiences waiting to be unveiled. In this blog post, I’m thrilled to share with you my top picks for the best places for solo trips in India. These destinations are not just my personal favorites, but also come highly recommended by my trusted travel community who can vouch for their charm and allure.
Embarking on a solo journey can be an incredibly liberating and transformative experience, as it allows you to truly immerse yourself in your surroundings and connect with your inner wanderlust. India, with its warm hospitality and vibrant culture, makes for a perfect solo travel destination.
From the serene Himalayan mountains to the tranquil backwaters of Kerala, the country offers a diverse array of locales that cater to the desires of every intrepid traveler.
So, without further ado, let’s dive into the 10 best places for solo trips in India and discover what makes each of them so special.
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1: Kasol, Himachal Pradesh
Kasol, nestled in the picturesque Parvati Valley of Himachal Pradesh, is a true gem for solo travelers seeking both serenity and adventure. From quaint cafes and bustling markets to exhilarating hikes like Kheerganga and Waichin, this vibrant destination offers a diverse range of experiences. The town’s unique blend of hippie culture and spiritual retreats, such as the Manikaran Gurudwara, ensures that Kasol will leave a lasting impression on any traveler, regardless of their interests.
As a year-round destination, each season in Kasol offers a distinct charm, making it an ever-changing wonderland for visitors. From March to June, the landscape is painted in vivid shades of green, while July to September sees the Parvati Valley draped in lush forests bathed in sunlight. During December to February, Kasol is transformed into a snowy paradise, and from October to November, the foliage turns to warm hues of orange and brown. The choice of when to visit Kasol truly depends on which colors and experiences you wish to explore.
Safety is often a concern for solo travelers, and Kasol’s reputation as a hub for smokers may raise questions for first-time visitors. However, after spending ample time in the area, I can confidently say that Kasol is quite safe for solo travelers, provided they exercise caution and mindfulness. Despite its popularity as a destination for indulging in hash, Kasol’s vibrant atmosphere and friendly locals make it a secure haven for those seeking adventure and self-discovery.
2: Pushkar, Rajasthan
Pushkar, a charming town in Rajasthan, is a haven for solo travelers seeking a relaxing and authentic experience. The welcoming atmosphere, friendly locals, and vibrant village life make Pushkar an ideal destination for those exploring India on their own. As you wander the streets, you’ll be greeted with warm smiles and colorful displays of traditional Rajasthani attire, such as saaris, anklets, bangles, and turbans. With no need for a strict itinerary, you can fully immerse yourself in the exceptional hospitality and culture of Pushkar.
Easily accessible from Ajmer, a train ride from Delhi or Jaipur will bring you to this enchanting town, tucked away in the hills of Rajasthan. Once in Ajmer, hop on a local bus for a budget-friendly and safe journey to Pushkar. Upon arrival, make your way to the town’s beautiful holy lake, where you can find solace and tranquility amidst the temples and ghats. Be mindful of local customs, such as removing your shoes when walking around the lake, and enjoy the serenity of this sacred site.
If you happen to visit during November, you’ll have the unique opportunity to witness the famous Pushkar Camel Fair. This annual event draws thousands of tourists and camels, as it transforms into a lively spectacle with music, magic, parades, and traditional competitions. As an added bonus, the full moon during Kartik, the holiest month for Hindus, brings an influx of pilgrims to Pushkar’s lake, providing an unforgettable cultural experience.
3: Rishikesh, Uttarakhand
Rishikesh, a serene town in Uttarakhand, is nestled in the Himalayan foothills along the sacred Ganges River. This divine destination is perfect for solo travelers, particularly women, as it offers a safe and nurturing environment for self-discovery and rejuvenation. Whether you’re an adrenaline junkie or seeking a spiritual connection, Rishikesh has something for everyone. To reach this captivating town, you can take a flight to a nearby airport and then travel by road, either through private cab or public transportation.
During your solo journey in Rishikesh, you’ll be delighted by the diverse and hygienic vegetarian cuisine available at the numerous cafes and restaurants. When it comes to shopping, the local markets offer budget-friendly souvenirs to remember your trip. As a solo traveler, it’s essential to take general safety precautions, such as dressing modestly, being attentive to your surroundings, and seeking help from locals or police if needed. Rishikesh’s welcoming atmosphere and proactive measures make it an ideal destination for solo female travelers.
In addition to its spiritual appeal, Rishikesh has a fascinating connection to The Beatles. In 1968, the legendary band visited Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s ashram to learn transcendental meditation, composing numerous songs during their stay. This vibrant town is also known for its quaint cafes, international cuisine, and, more recently, its lively Holi celebrations hosted by private hotels and resorts. Rishikesh is a truly unique destination that will leave a lasting impression on any solo traveler’s heart.
4: Hampi, Karnataka
Hampi, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Karnataka, showcases the grand remnants of the Vijayanagara Empire’s capital city. Once a thriving metropolis with opulent palaces, magnificent temples, and bustling markets, Hampi today stands as the “World’s Largest Open-air Museum,” spanning an area of nearly 29 square kilometers. The town’s significant structures and ruins are mainly divided into the Royal Centre and the Sacred Centre, which offer a captivating glimpse into the city’s history and grandeur. To truly appreciate Hampi’s allure, you should spend several days leisurely exploring the area, either by strolling through the eloquent ruins or cycling around the site.
Not only recognized for its historical significance, Hampi is also popular as a budget-friendly, backpacker destination in India. With an abundance of homestays and guesthouses, the town caters to budget-conscious travelers seeking a unique experience. During your visit, you can sample delicious, affordable meals and immerse yourself in local attractions like Anjaneya Hill, believed to be Lord Hanuman’s birthplace.
Though the temple may be crowded, you can still appreciate its significance from a distance. Additionally, enjoy a leisurely boat ride on the Tungabhadra River, where you’ll witness the river’s true beauty and even partake in some playful boat spinning. Hampi’s rich history and vibrant atmosphere make it an unforgettable destination for solo travelers and history enthusiasts alike.
5: Varkala, Kerala
Varkala, a coastal town in Kerala’s Thiruvananthapuram district, has emerged as a sought-after beach destination for domestic travelers. Overlooking the Arabian Sea, Varkala has long been a favorite among international backpackers, offering a laid-back atmosphere reminiscent of Rishikesh, Kasol, and Goa.
The best time to visit Varkala is between November and March, when the weather is cool and pleasant. For those who appreciate a leisurely pace, Varkala is an ideal destination to unwind and embrace the slow life. Wake up to the sunrise on Papanasam Beach and enjoy sunsets at the main Varkala Beach. Surfing enthusiasts will find Varkala’s uncrowded beaches and surfable waters irresistible, with options for lessons and yoga retreats available.
Boasting a unique cliff beach, Varkala offers you an array of experiences, from serene backwaters to historical forts. You can discover Kappil Beach and Kappil Lake, Ponnumthuru Island, and the Anjengu Fort. Odayam Beach, Edava Vettakkada Beach, and Varkala Lighthouse are other attractions worth exploring.
6: Udaipur, Rajasthan
Udaipur, a mesmerizing city in Rajasthan that offers solo travelers a perfect blend of history, culture, and modernity amid its stunning landscapes. Known as the “City of Lakes,” Udaipur boasts citron skylines, the majestic Aravalli Mountains, and a plethora of architectural wonders.
There are some must-see destinations here which you should see. It includes Jagdish Temple, Lake Pichola, City Palace, Bagore Ki Haveli, Crystal Gallery, Swaroop Sagar Bridge, Sahelion Ki Bari, Sajjangarh Monsoon Palace, and Sajjangarh Wildlife Sanctuary. These beautiful locations showcase Udaipur’s rich heritage and provide visitors with unforgettable experiences.
Udaipur has captivated travelers for centuries, from celebrities to movie producers, and continues to be a center of attraction in Rajasthan. The Mewar Dynasty’s gallantry, valor, and sacrifice resonate through the city’s history, making it a must-visit destination. In addition to exploring Udaipur itself, you can embark on day trips to discover the gems hidden in the surrounding areas.
7: Jibhi, Himachal Pradesh
Jibhi, a charming hamlet in Himachal Pradesh, offers solo travelers a chance to connect with nature and enjoy some peaceful time alone. Surrounded by lush green mountains and apple orchards, Jibhi is an ideal retreat for introspection. Whether you’re bird-watching from a treehouse balcony or trekking to the top of a hill for a stunning village view, Jibhi provides an unforgettable experience.
When you head on a journey to Jibhi, you’ll travel through majestic mountains and verdant landscapes, leaving behind the traffic and pollution of the city. With a variety of accommodations to suit every budget, from cozy Victorian-style cottages to budget-friendly hostels, Jibhi caters to all types of travelers. As you explore the area, be sure to visit the enchanting villages of Rashala and Bini, both nestled in lush green forests and boasting picturesque clifftop panoramas. The gushing water and charming wooden bridges make Jibhi a top travel destination for those seeking tranquility and natural beauty.
8: Pondicherry, Tamil Nadu
Pondicherry is a unique blend of French and Tamilian cultures. It is a perfect destination for solo travelers seeking to explore the diverse history and vibrant local life. Often referred to as the ‘French Riviera of the East,’ Pondicherry is a charming city where you can wander the picturesque streets of White Town, admire French-style architecture, and visit the Pondicherry Museum to learn about the region’s rich past. With an array of accommodation options, from historic guesthouses to luxurious hotels, Pondicherry caters to every traveler’s preference.
The culinary scene in Pondicherry is nothing short of spectacular. Enjoy the laid-back atmosphere at Cafe Des Arts or indulge in freshly baked bread and decadent desserts at Bread & Chocolate. When it comes to activities, Pondicherry has something for everyone, whether it’s unwinding on quiet beaches near Auroville, exploring the waters with a diving experience, meditating in the Botanical Garden, or embracing spirituality at Auroville. In the evenings, stroll along the Promenade Beach or immerse yourself in the bustling energy of Mission Street, making the most of your solo trip to this enchanting city.
9: Kovalam, Kerala
Kovalam is a picturesque beach town in Kerala that offers breathtaking views of the Arabian Sea and an array of stunning beaches. It’s perfect for a one or two-day solo trip visit. Kovalam’s main attractions can be easily explored on foot. Make sure, you don’t miss the opportunity to visit the golden sand beach and backwaters of Poovar which is just 18 km away from Kovalam.
The best time to visit Kovalam is during the winter months of November to February, when temperatures average 25-30°C. However, if you prefer fewer tourists, the beginning of summer (March to May) might be ideal. Kovalam’s beaches, while not pristine, are perfect for sunbathing and swimming, with partially black sands and impressive waves crashing onto the rocks.
Some of the famous beaches in Kovalam include Kovalam Beach, Lighthouse Beach, Hawa Beach, Samudra Beach, and Ashoka Beach. Don’t forget your beach essentials and enjoy sunbeds, lounge chairs, and umbrellas available for rent. Additionally, Kovalam boasts interlinking canals and backwaters, perfect for houseboat cruises and wooden boat rides.
10: Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh
Varanasi, a city steeped in culture and history, is best explored on foot, allowing you to wander through its narrow, bustling alleys. Although these streets can be claustrophobic and lined with garbage, they provide an authentic glimpse into the city’s unique atmosphere.
The most captivating experience in Varanasi is undoubtedly the sunrise boat ride along the riverfront, where you can witness the city come to life with the first rays of the sun. Devotees take holy dips, children play in the water, and the sounds of morning prayers echo from the 88 ghats. Each ghat has its own story, like the famous Dashashwamedh Ghat, where Ram’s father sacrificed ten horses. Varanasi, believed to have been founded by Shiva himself, is truly a mystical city.
As a solo traveler in Varanasi, it’s normal to feel apprehensive about safety, but with the right precautions, you can enjoy this vibrant, chaotic city. Make sure to have a comfortable hotel as a sanctuary, and don’t be afraid to venture outside and embrace Varanasi’s unique charm. While traveling alone, it’s essential to avoid going out at night by yourself if you’re a female, accept offers from strangers, and always have reliable transportation. Remember that Varanasi is a holy city, where most people come for pilgrimage or to attend family funerals. With the right precautions, a solo traveler can experience the wonder and beauty of Varanasi without worry.