If you have decided to backpack India solo, cheers to you girl!
You must understand first, that travelling alone is different, in many ways from traveling in a group, or as a couple. when alone, the level of caution and defense goes up, and the subtle art of knowing where to draw the line and where you may be getting too defensive, is something that travelling alone will teach you.
India is a tricky ballgame. The big cities are more accepting of foreigners and their ways, while smaller towns are trying to catch up.
For Western women, the abundance of attention from local men can prove to be an irritant. Being constantly stared at and requested to pose for photos by random strangers can get a bit much.
Here are a few tips to help you make smart choices along your journey.
Rules regarding the opposite sex
Although, in a vast country as India, it is difficult to generalize; In smaller towns and villages, watch your physical space well. Observing physical distance from opposite gender is customary. A relaxed attitude toward physical proximity could be viewed as an invitation for sex; and get you struck with the promiscuous label. Handshakes are fine; hugs only okay when you have known the guy for a while. There are many villages where a brother has never hugged his sister.
Appropriate clothing in India
While it may be okay for you to wear shorts and show a bit of harmless cleavage in your homeland, India is a different story. Here, dress with a lot of skin covered. Long pants or three fourths with a t shirt that covers cleavage should be fine. In religious places like Pushkar and Rishikesh you may attract lesser unwanted attention if covered your head with a scarf.
As is stereotypical, Western women with blond hair get more stares & attention than ones with brunette hair.
And if you have any questions, feel free to reach out to me.