The beauty of India lies in its inclusivity. It manages to include everyone no matter which community, gender, caste or race they belong to.
LGBTQIA+ travelers or Pink tourists as they are fondly called can get amazing experiences here in India filled with cultural curiosities and adventurous stories.
From puppet shows to folk dances to tours through the crowded spice markets of India, the Pink Tourists can enjoy all of this and more. You can even get an in-depth insight into being a gay royal!
Some of the local travel agencies also take the Pink tourists to LGBTQIA+ managed NGOs, encouraging them to donate and contribute to the community.
Pink Tourism in India is growing, and so is the safety for people belonging to the LGBTQIA+ community. So, what are you waiting for, just pack your rainbow colored dresses and head over to the wonderful country of India?
LGBTQIA+ Tourism Rising
Pink Tourism or LGBTQIA+ travelers have grown tremendously and had started a trend. It has become so big that even travel companies in India are looking into it and realign the potential. This has helped India to become more and more travel-friendly- to attract more LGBTQIA+ travelers and increase their profits.
India has a population of 1.3 billion people, so even have 2% of them are from the LGBTIA+ community, it still amounts to 26 million, which is quite a large market for local businesses. This is led many businesses to go for the Pink Rupee market. This itself stands testimony to the fact that local businesses in India are opening up to the LGBTIA+ travelers, and thus, your trip to India will be safer than you can assume.
There are several travel websites and agencies in India like lgbtindiatours.com, that are especially garnered packages for the LGBTQIA+ travelers. These travel companies make sure that the places they take to are LGBTQIA+ friendly and also arrange accommodations accordingly. This is a huge reason for LGBTQIA+ travelers to visit India and dive into the local culture, festivity, and diversity.
Abolishment of Article 377
The most amazing part about India is that it has abolished Article 370, thus, legalize homosexuality. This is a huge leap forward, which has also helped in the growth of Pink Tourism. This law safeguards every one belonging to the LGBTQIA+ community, which makes India a safe country to LGBTQIA+ travelers.
Gay Events Galore
The major cities in India like Mumbai, Bangalore, Delhi, and Kolkata can truly be termed as ‘woke’ as they are extremely LGBTQIA+ friendly. Not only do they welcome travelers from this community with open arms, but they also hold several events that will make your LGBTQIA+ heart scream in joy.
These festivals/events/pride walks are great fun and will allow you to see the thriving LGBTQIA+ community of India.
The first of its kind event started in Kolkata way back in 1999, and since then India has a host of LGBTQIA+ events all through the year.
You can schedule your visit to India in such a way that you can attend at least some of these thrilling, colorful and exciting events. These events will also allow you to see the rich LGBTQIA+ community that exists in India.
Except for pride walks there are several other events like Mr. Gay World Pageant, the Kashish Film Festival in Mumbai and other such events that allow that the LGBQIA+ community a safe platform to voice their views and show their talents.
Bars, Pubs And Saunas
The LGBTIA+ culture is hip when in India. You will find several clubs and bars in cities like Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore that not only welcome LGBTQIA+ culture but also hold special events for them.
In Mumbai, you will find regular LGBTQIA+ meetups organized by the Gay Bombay Group, you can also head over to clubs like Kitty Su, and parties organized by Salvation Star to revel in that gay culture. These events are the most fun and LGBTQIA+ friendly events that you will ever visit.
In Bangalore, you can visit clubs like Pink Sky Bar, the Chin Lung resto-bar and more, which are highly gay-friendly, and will make you as comfortable as possible. The party scene here is also lit, and you will have the time of your life.
In Delhi, as an LGBTQIA+ traveler, you need to head to the Connaught Place to enjoy some awesome LGBTQIA+ parties that will make you fall in love with India. These events are announced beforehand. Delhi also has some amazing LGBTQIA+ saunas like Mykonos and Ralph Kaya.
If you are looking for LGBTQIA+ bars in Delhi then head to Depot 48 restore bar for Pink Tuesdays, the PDA Martini for Rainbow Thursday and many other places.
Hotels Embracing The Change
One of the most progressive things about India has to be the LGBTQIA+ friendly hotels that are gradually opening up. Especially, big brands like Taj, Oberoi, and Hilton will go out of their way to ensure that you have a comfortable stay and that you are treated appropriately. Their staff is also given training as to how to make the LGBTQIA+ guests feel even more comfortable.
The great news is that now even smaller and boutique hotels in India are actively trying to embrace the change, and make sure that they treat LGBTQIA+ travelers appropriately. Even in these small local hotels, you will not face unwarranted attention, or unnecessary gazes, or even awkward questions. The staffs are well trained and you will have a gala and a safe time.
Some LGBTQ+ Travel Safety Tips
In India, it is quite common for men to hold hands in public. However, this isn’t a sign or public display of affection. This is also not an indicator of those men being from the LGBTQIA+ community. These men can very well be straight. Do not use these incidents as a green light for you to display PDA with your partner. You should also refrain from engaging in PDA with your same-sex partner. Travelers in India should more that public display of affection even by straight couples is frowned upon in India, and you should refrain from it.
Always mail the hotel you want to stay at and inform you that you belong to the LGBTQIA+ community. See how they respond and accordingly fix your accommodation. Most of the times you will get positive responses. However, if you wish to have that extra safety they stay in 2 or 5-star hotels. Even luxury Indian Hotel Groups are great and safe places to stay at.
If you want to stay at an Airbnb, then try to see if your host is from the LGBTQIA+ community as well. While, it is true that Indians do not spill out their sexuality easily, but if you do find an Airbnb host from the community then you should opt for that. You can also opt for Misterb&b which is similar to Airbnb except that it is for the LGBTQIA+ community. This will not only help you make friends with the locals belonging to the community but will also make you feel safer and more welcome.
Even though India is extremely LGBTQIA+ friendly, it is still a conservative country. It is best to display modesty and behave in tune with the cultural norms of India.
The Growing Pink Tourism
The temptation to travel to India lies not only in the fact that India is quite LGBTQIA+ friendly, but also in the fact that it is a country worth exploring. Even smaller cities in India like Udaipur, Jaipur, Jaisalmer, Khajuraho, Varanasi, backwaters of Kerala and many more are experiencing a high number of Pink Tourists flocking their cities.
In Udaipur you will find LGBTQIA+ friendly restaurants, in Jaipur, you will find LGBTQIA+ friendly neighborhoods and in Kerala, you will find amazing therapeutic getaways specially tailored for the Pink Tourists.
There is no doubt that India is on the right path and it will open up more and more to the idea of Pink travelers. In the coming years, you can expect to see India with lovely rose-tinted glasses making it even more incredible than it already is.
India has become quite a hit destination within the LGBTQIA+ community. Over the years it has opened its arms and welcomes many LGBTQIA+ tourists who have had a great time in this country. It is quite safe and you should not face any trouble while traversing through the narrow lanes of India, if anything you might even feel safe and loved. So just take the dive into the rainbow coloured world of India, and make it your next vacation spot!