The United States on Wednesday categorised India as “Level 2” on its new travel advisory scale, which ranks countries from one to four on safety and risk factors.

Level 2 on the new advisory lists countries where Americans need to “exercise increased caution”. In India, travellers need to take “increased caution due to crime and terrorism”, the advisory reads. It also specifically instructs Americans to not travel to Jammu and Kashmir – except Eastern Ladakh and Leh.

The advisory asked women to not travel alone and pointed out that violent crime, such as sexual assault, had taken place at tourist sites. It said rape was one of the fastest growing crimes in India. In October, five men attacked and assaulted a Swiss couple visiting Agra’s Fatehpur Sikri.

The US also warned travellers that “terrorist or armed groups are active in East Central India, primarily in rural areas”, referring to Naxalite groups in Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh.

Level 1 countries are where travellers need to “exercise normal precaution”. The US asks its citizens to “reconsider travel” to Level 3 countries such as Pakistan, while for Level 4, which lists countries such as Afghanistan, the US recommends “Do Not Travel”.

The US said its new travel advisory is simpler and replaces all previous travel warnings and alerts.