India Guidebook Recommendations?

Old Oct 29th, 2005, 10:33 PM
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India Guidebook Recommendations?

We're interested in history, art, architecture, culture, wildlife, but don't need hotel or restaurant info. We'll be all over the country (Delhi, Cochin, Chennai area, Calcutta). What 2 books would you recommend taking along? Thanks!
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Old Oct 30th, 2005, 06:57 PM
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I hate to say this on a Fodor's site, but I would carry (i) the Eyewitness Guide to India and (ii) the Insight Guides guide. Both give such great history and background/culture. The maps and layout illustrations in the Eyewitness guides are particularly good. A third choice or a substitute for the Insight Guides would be the Lonely Planet guides. The Insight Guides and Lonely Planet by region and/or city are very good, as each region in India is actually very different, esp the regions you are going to.

The books are heavy, but what I do is photocopy the parts for my itinerary onto double sided paper and leave the books at home for the next trip. You can even just photocopy a library copy as the historical/cultural info does not really change rapidly, and that seems to be what you are interested in. Maps can get a bit out of date, however, esp in growing cites like Delhi, Chennai and Calcutta.
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Old Oct 30th, 2005, 10:40 PM
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Thanks, Cicerone. I usually like the Eyewitness Guides for their easy access to visual info. I'll take a look at Insight and Lonely Planet.

(I think our hosts know there are other books out there.)
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Old Oct 31st, 2005, 06:45 AM
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Has anyone used the Footprint Guides? www.footprintbooks.com/

I have heard that are quite good. The 2005 India edition is available as of Oct 24th in England and from their (London based) website. It will be shipped to the US in 6-8 weeks. If those of you who are in-the-know really like these guides, I'll buy it and have it shipped from England. I'll be in India before it gets shipped to the US. Otherwise, it isn't worth the $15 shipping for a $20 book.

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Old Oct 31st, 2005, 08:56 PM
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Most guide books are well researched from the point of view of the people of the country where they are published. I am very fond of the Fodors guidebook but nine out of ten travellers carry a copy of the Lonely Planet. The 2005 India edition is specially well written.
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Old Oct 31st, 2005, 09:01 PM
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Thanks, Rajhelp! Now if I could just find someone who has been to Kanha wildlife park...I've got zero replies to my post on that.
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Old Nov 1st, 2005, 04:22 PM
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Just today I picked up the Insight guide for India: (Though I have Fodor's Guides for every country in Europe).. I like these color picture guides for exotic locals :0.
I spent about 15 minutes deciding between National Geographic's India or the Insight.. (Nat Geo saved our lives on our trip to Egypt last month well, at least filled in the gaping holes left by sketchy tour guides). If you want hard core travel info though I would stick with a lonely planet or message boards, since most of these guide books are several years old by the time they get to print. But for culture and history.. I think Insight or National Geographic are your best bets.
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Old Nov 1st, 2005, 09:29 PM
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Footprint India (June 2004) is a superb, comprehensive guidebook. I have Let's Go too as it was a bargain $6 at a second hand book shop. Lonely Planet really only gives half the story, in my experience. Good luck!
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