The giant guide book thread

#1 May 24th, 2002, 22:42
Join Date:
Sep 2001
  • abracax is offline
Does anyone know of any good up-to-date guidebooks about India published in India by Indians? Not necessarily aimed at the foreign market, but perhaps at Indians travelling in their own country. I have picked up a few local guides here and there, and some venerable tomes by notables like Singh and Narayan, but is there an Indian equivalent to Michelin, or Fodor's or the dreaded Lonely Planet (suitable for whacking obstinate rickshaw-wallahs and cockroaches) bible for all things subcontinental? Also, has anyone found a travel website headquartered in India that isn't a tiresome collection of broken links, garish ads and desperate plugs for various sponsors? I must have a collection of a hundred such sites, none of them worth visiting.
(This post may appear twice, as the first time I submitted it, it seems to have vanished into the chronosynplasticinfundibulim).
New home for my photos:
Last edited by nayan; Oct 8th, 2008 at 09:20..
#2 Jun 25th, 2002, 02:45
newyorker Future Member
I have the Eicher guide for Delhi that I like...
#3 Jun 27th, 2002, 07:48
martes Future Member
perhaps people could contribute their experiences and knowledge and someone ( abraxus ! ) could compile them to form a ragtag guide of sorts.. thats how LP began i understand...
#4 Aug 5th, 2002, 18:00
Join Date:
Jul 2002
Bendakaalooru, KA
  • Layman is offline

Funny Tourist Guide to India

Extracts from a funny tourist guide to India by someone called Prem!. To read the rest of it, go to

This guide has been hand-crafted from the finest electrons for your reading pleasure. "Why?" you ask? Er... supply grumble mumble demand. So here is the guide to my country, India.

India is known by various names, ranging from The Jewel In The Crown to The Land of Snake Charmers. However, most Indians would be surprised to hear either of these things, because they consider India as being the place in which they live, and which fits neither of these descriptions at all.

A famous guy whose name is not important (chiefly because I cannot remember it) once said in a weak moment, "Everything that you hear about India is true. The opposite is also true." What an idiot... Anyway, this probably may go a long way towards explaining why tourists in India (that includes YOU, stupid) usually feel like they do not know whether to laugh or to cry. Especially when the natives keep laughing at you most of the time.

Unless it moved recently, India is located on the southern edge of Asia, which is rather neat because we are right next to the Indian ocean too. Would have confused people otherwise, I mean, imagine finding the Indian ocean there and seeing India somewhere on the other side of the world. Well, luckily for map-makers, that isn't the case unlike for instance, cerrtain_European_colonial_pow er_whom_we_shall_not_identify_ by_name, who is not located anyhere near French Samoa.
#5 Aug 5th, 2002, 19:22
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Sep 2001
Vienna, Austria
  • Midnite Toker is offline

Smile Not a bad effort

Well this is showing its age a bit now (" Rajiv Gandhi - corrupt ex-Prime Minister I, Dead. Resting in Pieces.....V. P. Singh - crooked ex-Prime Minister II, Brain Dead.") but is still quite funny.

Just a factual correction to this otherwise splendidly accurate ( ) guide:
Jim Corbett did indeed shoot many tigers to save villages from maneaters, but later became a passionate advocate for conservation, saying that he would only ever shoot with a camera. It's for that reason they named the NP after him.
Last edited by Midnite Toker; Aug 6th, 2002 at 11:41..
#6 Dec 20th, 2002, 01:21
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Nov 2002
Seattle, USA
  • Travelingbhat is offline

LP, isnt really that evil

When I backpacked thru India, I used the LP as my bible even though I am of Indian origin. My relatives were baffled that I knew how to get around without having some domestic help get me the ticket or bus #s to get from mysore to Kgudi etc... They hadnt even heard of such places and get this, they didnt even know about some of the shopping places in their own town.

I think for people who need some information without the peskiness of an organized tour, guide books such as LP are heaven.

Especially being a single woman while traveling, it was useful to know a little more than the train station on arrival into a strange town. I had many a times come to a place and the touts had a list of their places to take me to... You might be adventurous even to try some of these places but I like some information ahead of time.

#7 Jan 30th, 2003, 06:41
i enjoy country living and relaxed pace in life.
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Jan 2003
freezing cold canada
  • chrissawka is offline

lonely planet or ? for southern india

i am landing in mumbai and heading south along the coast through karnataka/goa/kerala and back to mumbai as i think that will fill up 6 weeks<if i even see that much...wanna experience india not miss it by being to rushed!>
i was going to buy lonely planet's 'india' or do you readers suggest other book?

also do they<l.p.> make one on south india and is it more descriptive/detailed than the india book?
thanks freinds counting the day till i depart
enjoyed 6 weeks in southern india and saving up to go back..
i never hated.....yet loved<more>a country soo much
words cannot truely describe the satisfaction it gives u
#8 Jan 30th, 2003, 07:03
Join Date:
Aug 2002
New Zealander in Bangkok
  • maree is offline
Lonely Planet do make a book specifically on South India (and I think Mumbai as the entry hub) - skinnier than the India book too. Have a great time.
#9 Jan 31st, 2003, 03:45
i enjoy country living and relaxed pace in life.
Join Date:
Jan 2003
freezing cold canada
  • chrissawka is offline
does anyone know if this south india book..contains more details on the states it includes or does it just contain fewer states than the india book
i ask as i think i'll probably want to return one day<specially after reading all the info u all have posted!> and if the south india book has the exact same descritions on the southern states and not MORE info included..maybe i should buy the india version
#10 Jan 31st, 2003, 19:49
Join Date:
Aug 2001
  • -m2- is offline
Yes, it has somewhat more detail than the full guide -- I bought a copy last year when it first came out and found it pretty good reading although, as it turned out, I didn't do much travelling from Goa.

The full Indian LP has become too bloated to be a convenient guide, in my opinion. It is great for armchair travelling, I guess, but at 1kg or so, it seems overkill for a traveller's pack. Since you are just going south, the south India book is smaller and more convenient, as well as being cheaper.

My own approach to a multi-state tour a few years back was to razorblade out the states I needed from the full guide, punched two holes in them and put them in a little binder. The other stuff I read and looked at before leaving -- and could remove the other state info as needed for some future trip.
#11 Jan 31st, 2003, 22:27
Join Date:
Apr 2002
good ol' England
  • tanpopo is offline
-m2- thats a good plan, I did it myself a few times.

the problem comes when you are there and decide to head off somewhere on a whim.

in fact, I was planning to go south before I went to india, but when I got there i ended up going north and spending my whole trip up there in the mountains.

you can always buy more books there though.

The LP India is like a brick, but I found it enertaining reading on long train rides and I could dream of all the places I'd go to when I came back again.

I found that I didnt actually use it that much though. Usually I would just rock up at a place and stay somewhere random, and eat at random places too. I think this way is a lot better, as there are loads of really great places that never get a mention in the LP/RG and often lose business because of it. and, you can escape from the backpacker haunts (they are great though when you need them). When I wanted to get a bus/train, the only time i used it was to check if there were any direct trains or not, the other times I used travel agents/hotels.

i dont really think a guidebook is that necesary beyond the first few days, and whilst planning your trip. I like reading about the people/history etc whilst I'm there, it gives it more context than reading it only before you arrive.

anyway! forgive my ramblings.

have a fab trip
#12 Feb 1st, 2003, 00:31
i enjoy country living and relaxed pace in life.
Join Date:
Jan 2003
freezing cold canada
  • chrissawka is offline
thanks all. think i'll get the india south book. or maybe get the india book and cut out only what i require<hope i don't have a change in route when there>
india is so vast and after reading all comments on this site,i am sure i'll be back for a second trip<yet i haven't evan left for my 1'st yet!>
tanpopo i also agree with u,while in europe/africa 2 yrs ago i would use l.p. only to know of major sites attractions and to decide what city's to see or aviod.
once there i would walk around,sometimes turning left sometimes turning right and ask locals,see the sites and sooner or later i would find a place for night/food/whatever i needed.i enjoy this more plus like to take each day/or evan moment as it comes.decide things spur of the moment
less stress that way..ain't that how a trip should be
later folks

oh are guides cheaper in india here: india $39.95 cdn 1300 rp.s south india $31.95 cdn 1000 rps
not that worried bout money but !
#13 Feb 4th, 2003, 01:52
i enjoy country living and relaxed pace in life.
Join Date:
Jan 2003
freezing cold canada
  • chrissawka is offline
actually just bought both guides and after examining both...south india is better suited for people travelling from bombay<included> to the southern tip.
the chapters are more in depth and althought it is only 20% cheaper it is thinner so south india it is
i'd better not change my mind and head north as the india book gets returned
thank you readers i'd a never known to call around for a south india book
#14 Oct 16th, 2004, 13:05
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Aug 2004
  • kailash35 is offline

HarperCollins Travel Guide / Himachal and others

would you recommend the Travel Guides India Harper Collins specially these 3 : Himachal, Uttaranchal and Ladakh?
I usually use the LP Indian Himalaya / Trekking in the Indian Himalaya.
Thank you,
#15 Nov 21st, 2004, 08:18
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Nov 2004
seattle, wa
  • mglo is offline

Question Lonely Planet North India Guide

Looking for a copy of Lonely's Guide to North India. Is there a copy out there for sale? Traveling this January with a group to Dharamsala from Delhi. Any other guide book recommendations welcomed.

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