1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

India Books/Guides

Discussion in 'General Discussions' started by PrincessTigerLily, Jul 13, 2016.

  1. Does anyone have recommendations for travel guides and books about India? I like to have a physical book in my hand when I do travel research as it helps me to have a compact source of information. I then use a book as a springboard to find out more information online.

    When I first traveled to the UK, I used England For Dummies in a similar fashion. I guess there's probably an India For Dummies out there--I must find out.

    Any others like to read real books in researching their travel? And if so, do you have suggestions?

  2. briannagodess

    briannagodess Well-Known Member


    There's several guide books about India that I can recommend to you:
    • Lonely Planet India. Whether you're travelling to South India, Northeast India, Delhi, Rajasthan or Agra, you'll find a Lonely Planet book to guide you. In the world of the internet, you'd always find Lonely Planet's website popping up whenever you are searching for something. The same goes with their books, you can find plenty of them in bookstores. They already have the reputation and reliability when it comes to travel guides. Their Lonely Planet India book is about 1,000+ pages long. You cannot read it overnight. It's better to read it a few weeks before your trip to India. The book has different sections for each state dissecting each important aspect of it: popular tourist attractions, some background information, accommodation options and restaurants around the area. Each chapter is well-provided with an easy to understand map clearly showing where the landmarks and transportation options are.
    • Rough Guide to India. Another popular book especially when you want to understand the culture in India. It discusses why you must visit the historical places and what is the story behind them. The book also provides some information about accommodations, restaurants and transportation options for a specific place. The Rough Guides series of books have specific editions for certain regions in India as well. If you're only going to one specific region, it's a great idea to pick up this book to know more information about that place. Oh, and their maps are very easy to understand as well.
    • DK Eye Witness Travel India. If you're a visual learner, then this book is for you. You'll find 3D illustrations as well as floor plans of some sites you are going to visit quite beautiful. The book somehow lacks in other aspects beyond that. You can supplement other books with this since the pictures are helpful anyway.
    • Footprint Travel Guides. The best book to go to for complete information of tourist places and cultural information about India. You won't find recommendations though for accommodations or restaurants. But if your main aim is to spot the local tourist attractions and why it's a must to visit them, then this book is perfect for you.
    Here's some other books that might inspire you to travel to India:
    • Around India in 80 Trains. This book was written by Monica Rajesh. As an attempt to rediscover the country that had become a stranger to her, she went on a quest throughout India via none other than, its majestic railway trains. It's a great read and I'm sure it can spark the traveller in you.
    • A Suitable Boy. This was written by Vikram Seth. It looks deeper into the issue of fixed marriage in India. The story is about Lata and her mother's attempt to find a suitable husband for her. They went around different regions in India just to do so.
    • The White Tiger. This was written by Aravind Adiga. A great book that tackles the life of Balram Halwai and how he was able to reach the top of the caste system. By doing so, he had to partake in some illegal schemes. It's dark and gritty as you go on with the story and have this confusion on whether you'd like Balram to further succeed despite what he has done.
    There you go. These are the books I can recommend to you before travelling to India. There's a lot more especially since Indian literature is quite rich. I hope others can jump in and give their suggestions.

    I hope this helps!

  3. Awesome! This is a great list. I love that you included some books that are not strictly speaking travel guides because I am often inspired to travel when I read a story about another country. Bill Bryson's Notes From A Small Island was part of what first got me very excited about traveling to England. I am definitely going to look up A Suitable Boy and The White Tiger.

    I am a visual learner, so I also would probably really appreciate the DK Eye Witness one you mentioned. I seem to remember having one of these for The Republic of Ireland several years ago and finding it helpful.

    All of these are worth browsing through, anyway. I will see what I can find at my local library first. Thank you!