After the rape of a local woman in Gurugram (previously Gurgaon, near Delhi) last week I think it’s important to remind travellers that hitchhiking in India is not advisable.

“What happened?”

A local woman left for her in-law’s house at 11.30pm on May 29. She was hitchhiking along the Gurgaon Expressway with her 8-month-old child. She was first picked up and molested by a truck driver. She managed to escape the truck and met 3 men drinking beer who said they’d take her safely to her in-law’s. Instead, she was gang raped and her child thrown out of the van to its death.

Road outside of Gurugram (Gurgaon), Haryana, India. Photo by pastalane.
A road outside of Gurugram (Gurgaon), Haryana, India. Photo by pastalane.

“Is it safe for foreigners to hitchhike in India?”

Simply put, no. Even if you’re hitchhiking with a male companion, it’s still not advisable as there have been multiple cases in the past where this did not deter groups of rapists.

The cheapest alternative to hitchhiking is taking buses. The bus service in India is very well connected and inexpensive. Travelling during the day on buses or on overnight sleepers is safe enough.

While you can’t live your life in fear, you must take proper precautions while travelling in India. If those are taken, you’ll have a safe and enjoyable trip.

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