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13 Best India Travel Guide Books

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13 Best India Travel Guide Books

India is a vast country with diverse and awe-inspiring landscapes. From sandy shores of the Keralan coast, barren deserts of Rajasthan, the majestic snow-capped Himalayas, ancient temples, to buzzing modern cities, the country has it all. The stunning country also offers a rich mix of traditions, festivals, and spiritual beliefs. All these reasons make India a must-visit! For a memorable trip to India, what’s a better way to understand and learn more about the country than by getting yourself “lost” in the best India travel guide books? These guidebooks are more than helpful in planning your trip. Whatever you want to explore in this ancient country, these travel guide books India will help you make the most of your time in this exotic part of the world.

How To Choose The Best India Travel Guide Books?

Travel guidelines to India are all you need to arrange the perfect trip to India . With travel guidebooks, it’s easier to travel safely. That said, choosing travel guide books India also can be overwhelming. To get the best one, there are some basic things that you can consider before deciding to buy a travel guide book India. Let’s take a look at them one by one!

What’s Included In The Book

A travel guidebook to India should contain information about sights, accommodation, transportation, activities, and restaurants. Detailed maps and historical cultural information also make a good guidebook. Some India travel guide books even include phrases and glossary to help you interact with the locals. Colorful photos in the book would be a great feature for travelers’ inspiration.

Published Date

To avoid misinformation about the places you’re going to visit, we recommend getting the latest edition which published date is no later than a year apart. Hotels, restaurants, sights, and shops are ever-changing, so it’s important to get the updated information.

While traveling, you may not want to be weighed down by a thick travel guide book India. If so, a digital version is the best option for you. Meanwhile, some travelers may want to have a printed edition. This version can be useful along the way, such as for taking notes or using the maps without the need for GPS or gadgets.

Is India easy to travel around?

Well, since India is a huge country, getting around can be slow and require a bit of patience. However, it also offers extensive interesting and fascinating places. You’ll never get bored of traveling in India. If anything, your trip may turn into a fascinating adventure!

Is India dangerous for tourists?

You may have heard infamous rumors about India, but generally, India is considered a safe destination for tourists. That said, you should be aware of certain things like scams and pickpockets. So, don’t forget to bring your underclothing travel pouch for safety. Reading travel guidelines to India before you go, like The Essential Safety & Security Guide to Visiting India and Travel Fearlessly in India is also useful. These books provide useful tips, advice, and strategies on how to travel safely in India.

Is India expensive to visit?

Actually, India is commonly known as one of the best budget destinations for travelers in the world. You’ll find plenty of budget hotels and affordable transportation to get around. It’s a perfect destination for budget travelers.

Essential India Travel Guide

Essential India Travel Guide is

written by Mohan Kapoor. He’s a native Indian who was born in Bikaner, Rajasthan. When he was young, he left the country. But, he returned to India for work. His jobs required him to travel extensively through India. So, he shares his knowledge about the country, life, historical sights, and culture into a useful travel guide. It’s perfect for anyone wanting to travel to India.

Unlike other India travel guide books we have on this list, this book only covers cities and states with the most popular and important tourist attractions. But you’ll get an in-depth look and some fun facts of each city. It includes where to eat, what to see, where to go, and what to expect. It also gives you information about how to be respectful to each of the six main religions,, plus, how to be aware of the pickpockets, and more.

The thing we like the most about this book is that the author provides essential tips. These include what to expect, what type of travel agencies you can trust, important cultural aspects, what food choices are safe, and so much more. Plus, he also shares his own story. In a way, by reading this book you travel virtually to cities and states like Delhi, Goa, and Kolkata even before you arrive in the beautiful and colorful country!

Any type of travelers, including business travelers, backpackers, and party-goers.

travel books for india

The Essential Safety & Security Guide to Visiting India

Are you a solo traveler who yearns to travel to India, but has been disheartened by rumors or publicity about violence there? The Essential Safety & Security Guide to Visiting India will show you how to have a happy and safe trip. So, you’ll know how to survive and enjoy your stay in the great land of India. The author is a native-born Indian diplomat with extensive experience and knowledge of his native country.

The book contains general information, like geography and weather. Before you go, some chapters will help you prepare. Getting started, financial planning , and before you travel are some of them. Information about health, insurance, and getting local connections are also provided. Besides, it covers insightful cultural and historical narratives. You’ll find all this info in the chapter: An Introduction to India .

The author talks about safety and security during your time in India. He guides you on how to act, what to do, and how to handle unique situations to make sure you enjoy your stay. You’ll figure out how to travel safely within India by air and train. He also gives tips on how to obtain travel passage to restricted or protected regions. What’s more, there’s a piece of specific advice for female travelers, making it the best travel guide books India for female travelers.

Backpackers, adventurers, female travelers, and solo travelers.

India – Culture Smart!: The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture

Whether you’re traveling for work or planning a long-term trip to India, you’ll need travel guidelines to India. It will help you to understand the local culture. India – Culture Smart!: The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture is indeed a useful book. It helps you to learn important stuff about the country, whether it’s land and people, customs and traditions, or values and attitudes. Also, there are some tips on dos and don’ts and taboos. You’ll even get info about business in India!

This travel guide book India is written by Becky Stephen. She enjoys traveling and learning about cultures. Also, she studied Hindi at Banaras Hindu University and lived in Varanasi for years. The author shares her meaningful experience through a better understanding of the local culture. With this book, you’ll be aware of the essential values and behavioral norms, plus knowing how to make new friends and build relationships with the locals.

The book starts with the introduction and key facts about India. Meanwhile, the Land and People chapter contains several topics. These include a brief history of India, as well as its geography and climate. You’ll also find some information about places to eat, shops, and cultural activities. Besides, there’s a section for top places to visit and a map of India.

Long-term travelers, temporary residents, and business travelers.

Lonely Planet South India & Kerala (Regional Guide)

You’ll love Lonely Planet South India & Kerala . It’s perfect as your travel guidelines to India when visiting that particular region. The information on history and culture is very informative. Plus, there’s up-to-date advice on what to see and what not to see. So, you can discover both popular and off-beaten-path experiences. This makes the book the most comprehensive guide to South India and Kerala. It covers Goa, Kerala, Mumbai, Andaman Islands, Bengaluru, and more.

The authors have also packed the book with sights and experiences. It includes South India & Kerala’s Top 12. With this one of the best travel guide books India, you can choose activities that suit you. Do you prefer relaxing on a yoga retreat by the beach in Goa ? Or, floating along Kerala’s backwaters? This book has it covered. Meanwhile, the itineraries section helps customize your trip to your interests.

Get information on recommended accommodation, like hotels in Mumbai , and also places to eat, drinking & nightlife, entertainment, and shopping. There’s a section about how to travel with children for your next family trip. It gives you info about customs regulations, embassies, and consulates. Plus, full-color maps and images are also provided.

Family travelers, solo travelers, backpackers, business travelers, and long-term travelers.

Insight Guides India

You need to plan your trip to experience the best of India. Both paperback or digital editions of Insight Guide India can help you on your next adventure. It’s one of the best travel guide books India for travelers looking for a cultural experience. The book is written by local authors who have extensive historical and cultural backgrounds. Besides, they provide hundreds of stunning photos that capture the essence of India. Not to forget the detailed maps!

There’s a section that features India’s Top 10 Attractions. Also, it covers several regions, from Delhi in the north, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Goa, to Kerala. The information on independence, art, and architecture let you know more about the country.

You’ll find the editor’s choice for the most memorable India experiences. From seeing Hindu festivals, tasting the Indian food, to visiting Rajasthan fort. What’s more, the book includes practical information and travel tips. You’ll find about when to go and transportation. Moreover, this user-friendly travel guide book India provides invaluable maps. So, you could venture off the beaten track.

Any type of travelers, from backpackers, adventurers, business travelers, to photographers.

DK Eyewitness Delhi, Agra and Jaipur

Are you traveling to India for the first time or relocating temporarily to the capital city Delhi? Gear up with some information about the Golden Triangle for your adventures. It includes Delhi, Agra, and Jaipur, India’s most visited cities. These cities are famed for their iconic monuments and frenetic energy. Also, these regions have much to offer, including plenty of things to do in Jaipur .

For all those reasons, DK Eyewitness Delhi, Agra and Jaipur can be your best India travel guide books. Unlike most travel guide books, it’s lightweight. So, you can take it wherever you go on your trip. Also, the book is available on Kindle. The information from the book makes traveling across the three cities easy.  Whether you want to glimpse the pretty pink Hawa Mahal or get the perfect shot of the Taj Mahal, the book includes all. Not only you’ll discover reasons to love Delhi , Agra, and Jaipur, but the book also makes you know about the cities.

Like other DK Eyewitness travel guide books India, this book comes with trademark illustrations. Besides, the book provides the best places to eat, drink, and shop. Recommended accommodation is also provided. Meanwhile, the selection of itineraries allows you to make your own. What’s more, get expert advice on how to stay safe, get around, and get ready. Like all DK Eyewitness guide, the book has plenty of beautiful pictures and diagrams. Plus, it includes detailed maps and a pull-out map of Delhi.

Long-term travelers, business travelers, backpackers, and adventurers.

Travel Fearlessly in India: What Every Woman Should Know About Personal Safety

Women who are traveling to India should have the best India travel guide books. Travel Fearlessly in India written by J D Viharini is important for your first or fifth trip to the beautiful country. The author is an American woman who has made India her home. She has traveled across India since 1980, mostly alone. From the tropical south to the remote Himalayas, visit ancient temples, and attend great festivals.

With her 30 years of familiarity with India, she shares important things in travel guidelines to India. She includes the issues ladies may come across in the country. Here, you’ll find out about the mindset of Indian men and how to have safe interactions with them. She also talks about how to understand the Indian perspective on non-Indian women.

The book gives uncommon sights into how to travel and live safely in India. These include cultural factors relating to women’s safety. You’ll find comprehensive information like finding safe places to stay and how to travel safely; how to deal with potential problems and what you need to do if you have to go to the police are also provided. Her many years’ experiences make the book a great read for every female traveler before traveling to India.

Female travelers, solo travelers, and family.

Chennai & Tamil Nadu Focus Guide, 2nd Edition

Looking for specific India travel guide books to Chennai and Tamil Nadu area may be a bit difficult. That’s why the second edition of the Chennai & Tamil Nadu Focus Guide is very useful for your next trip. The book provides you with the insightful and up-to-date information you need. Are you planning to visit and explore many grand Hindu temples? Maybe you want to stop and savor the smell of jasmine garlands piled up before the carved granite gods? The book covers them all.

Also, you don’t want to miss enjoying nature in the blue Nilgiri Mountains. The book also includes information on the region’s unique history, culture, and cuisine for a richer experience along the way. Another section features practical tips on getting there and around.

Besides, you’ll get recommended and comprehensive listings of hotels, a list of restaurants and activities, including horse riding and festivals. This travel guide book India is only available in a printed edition but is slim enough to fit in your pocket. It helps you get the most out of Tamil Nadu without weighing you down. What’s more, the book provides detailed street maps for important towns and cities.

Photographers, long-term travelers, temporary residents, and backpackers.

Bradt Travel Guide: Ladakh, Jammu & the Kashmir Valley

Having the right travel guide books India is essential for the best adventures in Ladakh, Jammu, and Kashmir. Bradt Travel Guide Ladakh, Jammu & the Kashmir Valley can be your best option. Though Ladakh is becoming a more popular destination for its epic Himalayan beauty, some other areas are still off the beaten path, like Kashmir Valley & Jammu, plus Zanskar. There are so many wonders to be discovered and so many  things to do in Ladakh . So, this book is essential for travel guide book India for that specific region.

This fully updated edition helps you explore the whole area. These include Leh, Srinagar, Gulmarg, Zanskar, The Kashmir Valley, and Jammu amongst others. There are plenty of activities you can do. You may want to relax on a houseboat or take a shikara ride in Srinagar. How about exploring Buddhist culture in Ladakhi monasteries? Or, traveling in a jeep along nerve-wracking mountains roads become your choice? You can also enjoy the views from the roof of the world at the breathless Khardung La mountain pass. For adventurers, you don’t want to miss hiking to the Himalayan!

From the book, you’ll find information about these regions. Plus, trekking information, trekking maps, and new travel routes. Other highlights, like the Mughal Road, the Buddhist monks at Thiksey Monastery, and the Buddhas of Kargil are included. Also, we love the color photographs and maps. On top of that, there are Urdu and Ladakhi phrases. Get this one of the best India travel guide books in paperback or Kindle edition.

Adventurers, backpackers, climbers, hikers, and trekkers.

The Rough Guide to India

Make the most of your traveling with The Rough Guide to India ! Whether you’re visiting the world’s greatest building Taj Mahal or visiting the dramatic landscape of home to glaciers in Sikkim, it has it all. Also, the book provides very detailed and extensive information. It makes the book a perfect travel guide book India, especially if you’re preparing for the first trip to India and traveling on a budget.

The book may be a bit thick, but the e-book included is a brilliant bonus. Plus, it’s easy to use. These travel guidelines to India cover India’s cities and states north, south, and east. These include Uttar Pradesh, The Andaman Islands, Gujarat, Punjab and Haryana, and more. From this book, you’ll find extensive listings of the best sights and top experiences.

Also, you can get practical advice about what to see and do. The essential pre-departure information is also provided. It includes getting around, food and drink, and accommodation. You’ll also get info about festivals, culture and etiquette, and more. The itinerary section helps you prepare your own routes, from popular tourist areas to off-the-beaten-track adventures. Besides, there’s a section that provides history, ethnic groups, religion, and wildlife. You’ll love the amazing full-color photography and practical full-color maps.

Backpackers, adventurers, and temporary travelers living in India.

Fodor’s Essential India

Get Fodor’s Essential India as your travel guide books India. It helps you plan the perfect adventure in India to be a trip of a lifetime. This guidebook is written by local writers and expert travel advisors who know the destinations better than anyone else. It’s perfect for travelers who want to travel in India but feel intimidated by the vastness of India. The travel guidelines to India are available in Kindle for a guidebook on the go. Meanwhile, the paperback is small enough to fit in your handbag and backpack.

The book starts with Experience India. This section provides the ultimate experiences you should try in India . Is it taking a sunrise boat ride on the Ganges or entering through the world’s largest door at Fatehpur Sikri? Maybe you want to wander the sprawling City Palace in Udaipur and party the night away at Goa? Meanwhile, you can have an overview of what to expect and where to go in the Travel Smart India section. It helps you with what you need to know before visit India. Also, it includes getting here and around and sample itineraries. Plus, you’ll get an explanation about history, culture, and travel tips.

This guidebook provides up-to-date coverage. From the capital city Delhi, home to Mother House Kolkata, to a financial center Mumbai . It also covers the largest Indian states Rajasthan and the coastlines of Kerala and Goa. It also includes information for side trips from Delhi. Each major city features planning, where to stay, what to do, etc. What’s more, the book provides lots of maps and illustrations to help maximize your time.

Adventurers, backpackers, photographers, and family.

Lonely Planet India

If you’re traveling to India quite often, Lonely Planet India is worth owning. It contains a lot of information about many corners of the country. Kashmir, Ladakh, Himachal Pradesh, Darjeeling, Chennai, are among them. Plus, it provides full-color maps and images. So, the book is perfect for a quick skimming before you do detailed planning and begin your journey in India. Do you want to listen to monks chanting in the shadow of the mighty Himalaya in Ladakh? Or, visiting top attractions in Agra , like the Taj Mahal? It has you covered!

The book may a little be thick, but it provides 4-easy use sections. So, you’ll find the most relevant and up-to-date advice and recommendations easily. It contains three main chapters: Plan Your Trip, On the Road, Understand, and Survival Guide. The Plan Your Trip is your planning tool kit to create the perfect trip. It provides useful information. From what you need to know, suggested itineraries, how to travel with children, to regions at a glance.

The book covers plenty of places in the country. You’ll find Agra, Goa, Bangalore, Tamil Nadu, Hyderabad, Kerala, in the On the Road section. Plus, you’ll find expert reviews, insider tips, and easy-to-use maps. Get recommended accommodation, restaurants, and shops with honest reviews. Also, there’s a special section about tips for women and solo travelers, plus scams. What’s more, you’ll find information about transportation and cultural insights. It helps you get a more rewarding travel experience.

Family travelers, business travelers, adventurers, and backpackers.

DK Eyewitness India

DK Eyewitness India can be your right choice for India travel guide books. It’s filled with information. Either you choose the printed edition or e-book, you can take this guidebook wherever you go. The design will make the most of your travels to discover and experience India. Also, the book has several main sections, including Discover India. This section is divided into some parts: Welcome, Reasons to Love India, and Exploring/getting to know India. Itineraries/India your way, and the Indian year and a Brief History.

The introduction gives an overview of India as a country. Its history, food, culture, nature, architectures are amongst others. Meanwhile, the section Experience India features cities, states, and unions. Also, this travel guide book India includes highlights of what you could experience. It’s whether you prefer to drink tea in Darjeeling or visit the unmissable Taj Mahal. Perhaps you want to escape to the beautiful Andaman Islands or hike the heights of the Himalayas?

You’ll also find 22 sightseeing areas, which contains some information. These include addresses, phone numbers, websites, and opening times. Stuck for inspiration for your schedules while in India? Worry not! There are recommended easy-to-follow itineraries. So, you could set up your plan, whether you’re staying for just a few days or few weeks. Also, there is info about the best places to eat, sleep, and transport information. Even before you’re arriving in India, you can imagine yourself there through its colorful maps and amazing pictures. What’s more, you’ll get expert advice on how to get ready and stay safe.

Backpackers, adventurers, and temporary business travelers.

Author:  John P

As a blogger, I have had the pleasure of exploring some of the most exclusive destinations, indulging in the finest cuisine, accommodations, and experiences that the world has to offer. From the chic streets Paris to the scenic beauty of the Amalfi Coast, readers luxury. my, tips on the most exclusive hotels restaurants, and activities, giving you a glimpse into the world of high-end travel. But luxury travel is not just about extravagance - it's also about immersing yourself in the local culture and experiencing the true essence of a destination. With a passion for art, history, and architecture, I seek out the hidden gems and off-the-beaten-path experiences that make each destination truly unique. So whether you're planning a romantic getaway, a family vacation, or a solo adventure, my blog is your guide to the ultimate European luxury travel experience. Join me on my journey as we explore the best that Europe has to offer, one luxurious destination at a time.

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Top 10 Best Indian Travel Guide Books To Read in India

Best indian travel guide books.

Are you a travel lover? Do you love to read travel stories? Amazing! Through our years of travel experiences, we have come up with this content to explain to you in detail about top travel storybooks in India. So, the best Indian travel guide books are as follows:

List of Top 10 Best Travel Guide Books For India – 

  • Enjoying India to the Fullest
  • Rough Guide To India
  • India (Lonely Planet Travel Guides)
  • India Bites You Somehow
  • Frommer’s India
  • Wanderlust and Lipstick
  • DK Eyewitness Travel Guide
  • India – Culture Smart
  • Fodor’s Essential India

Top 10 Best Indian Travel Guide Books To Read

1. Enjoying India to the Fullest – Indian Travel Guide Book

 Author – Shalu Sharma 

This is one of the best books about travel in India . This book is essential if you plan to visit India. Many people travel to India without knowing what to do or what to eat. This book will help you to plan your trip to India. Enjoying India book will provide information to help travelers navigate India’s vast landscape and get the most out of India. 

2. Rough Guide To India

Author – Rough Guides

Rough Guide To India is among the best Indian travel guide books  and is the most comprehensive guide to India. These Rough Guide Books are actually comparable to the Lonely Planet guides.  Rough Guide To India books is bravely open about the places they cover. This book covers India’s history, language, and culture as well as its politics and culture. It also includes information about bribes and drug use and Bollywood movies. It is the best and most comprehensive guide to India.

3. India (Lonely Planet Travel Guides)

Author – Michael Benanav, Anirban Mahapatra, Bradley Mayhew, Mark Elliott, Paul Harding, Lindsay Brown

Lonely Planet Travel Guides is among the best Indian travelogue books  and is essential if you’re planning to visit India for the first time. It includes traveler maps, a guide to places to stay and eat, and great information about India.

4. Holy Cow – India Travel Book

Author – Sarah Macdonald

Holy Cow is among the best travel guide books for India . This book describes a rollercoaster ride through a land full of contradictions and chaos with a woman who is on a mission for her soul, her love life, and her sanity. Sarah MacDonald, an ABC journalist, spent two years on the Indian sub-continent before preparing this book.

5. India Bites You Somehow – True Life Tales

Author – Kai Mayerfeld

This book features stories about westerners who have lived in India. This book contains 40 real-life stories from people who traveled to India from 19 different countries. Although it is not intended to be a guidebook, this book offers a glimpse into Indian spiritual life. 

India Bites You Somehow – True Life Tales is among the best books on Indian travel . This book will help you connect to India if you haven’t yet set foot in India. This collection of stories from travelers around the globe will open your eyes to India.

6. Frommer’s India – Travelling Books India

Author – Pippa De Bruyn

Frommer’s India is among the best Indian travel guide books . It is a guidebook that will help you plan your trip from the beginning. This book is handy if you’re looking for tips on traveling in India. Frommer’s India book covers everything you need to know about India: where to stay, what food to eat, driving there, how to avoid being scammed, and how to make the most of your time.

7. Wanderlust and Lipstick: A Guide for Women Travelling to India

Author – Beth Whitman

Wanderlust and Lipstick: A Guide For Women Travelling To India book was written with women in mind. This book focuses on India’s culture and offers travel tips, such as how safe to be, what to wear, how you can deal with poverty, how personal belongings are safe, and a list of Hindi words. Wanderlust and Lipstick: A Guide For Women Travelling To India is among the best Indian travel guide books . This book also includes advice from women who have traveled abroad.

8. DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Best Indian Travel Book

Author – Anna Streiffert

DK Eyewitness Travel Guide will take you to India, where you can join thousands of people visiting India to see the Taj Mahal lit up in the morning light, or enjoy Goa’s golden shores. This book is among the best travel guide books for India .

India’s vast landscapes are as varied as they are inspiring. Modern skyscrapers meet centuries-old mosques in cities while tigers glide through lush jungles that separate the Himalayan heights from the beaches of the Keralan coast.

The updated guide to India transports you there like no other guide. It features expert-led advice and insights, photos on almost every page, and hand-drawn illustrations that place you in the iconic buildings and neighborhoods of the country.

9. India – Culture Smart: The Essential Guide To Customs & Culture

Author – Becky Stephen

India’s 1.2 billion inhabitants are as diverse and vibrant as Old Delhi’s spice markets. Every region, caste, and community has its own culture. Each one reflects unique history shaped by religion, creativity, conquest, and war. The Indians, a people steeped in old traditions and extremely fatalistic, are passionate about their culture and are world leaders in science and technology. If you show interest in their country, it will be repaid with warmth and friendship.

 India – Culture Smart: The Essential Guide To Customs & Culture will teach you the fundamental values and behavior norms of India, help you navigate cultural differences, build relationships and provide invaluable insight into this fascinating, vast land. All this makes this book among the best Indian travel guide books .

10. Fodor’s Essential India – Best Travel Guide Books

Author – Fodor’s Travel Guides

If you are looking for an India travel book pdf , you can search for Fodor’s Essential India . Fodor’s Essential India was written by locals and is the ideal guidebook for anyone looking for tips on how to get the best out of their trip to Delhi, Mumbai, and other cities. This India travel guide includes detailed maps and brief descriptions that will make it easy to plan your trip.

India is a country full of exciting and intriguing contrasts. There are beautiful palaces juxtaposed with simple temples. Modern high-tech industry mixes well with traditional customs and rituals. This vast country is rich in attractions and activities. Fodor’s Essential India provides a comprehensive guide to the best sights and things to do.

There are many travel books by Indian authors for you to read. Indian travel writers such as Janhavi Acharekar, Anees Jung, Rosy Thomas, and Romola Butalia have written many amazing travel books. Make sure to read them all. Take care!

Read More – 

  • 25+ Most Important Things To Carry While Travelling
  • Top 10 Best Comfortable Cars For Travelling in India
  • Top 10 Best Indian Hotel Booking Websites or Apps
  • Top 10 Best Indian Travel Websites or Travel Apps
  • Top 10 Best Indian Travel Vloggers On YouTube
  • Top 5 Bengali Travel YouTubers In Kolkata 
  • Top 12 Best Trekking Companies In India 
  • Top 10 Best Travel Agency in Kolkata
  • 10 Best Tourism Courses In India 
  • 10 Best Travel and Tourism Management Colleges in India

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Inside  Lonely Planet’s  India  Travel Guide:

Up-to-date information -  all businesses were rechecked before publication to ensure they are still open after 2020’s COVID-19 outbreak

Top experiences feature  - a visually inspiring collection of India’s best experiences and where to have them

What's new feature  taps into cultural trends and helps you find fresh ideas and cool new areas

Pull-out, passport-size 'Just Landed' card  with wi-fi, ATM and transport info - all you need for a smooth journey from airport to hotel

Planning tools for family travellers  - where to go, how to save money, plus fun stuff just for kids

Colour  maps and images throughout

Highlights   and itineraries  help you tailor your trip to your personal needs and interests

Insider tips  to save time and money and get around like a local, avoiding crowds and trouble spots

Essential info   at your fingertips  - hours of operation, websites, transit tips, prices

Honest reviews for all budgets  - eating, sleeping, sightseeing, going out, shopping, hidden gems that most guidebooks miss

Cultural insights  give you a richer, more rewarding travel experience - history, people, music, landscapes, wildlife, cuisine, politics

Over   200 maps

Covers  Delhi, Rajasthan, Punjab, Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Agra, Uttar Pradesh, Kolkata, West Bengal, Sikkim, Northeast States, Gujarat, Odisha, Mumbai, Goa, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala and Tamil Nadu

eBook is available in ePub, MOBI and PDF.

ISBN: 9781788683876

Edition: 19th

Publication Date: April 2022

Writers: Joe Bindloss, Michael Benanav, Lindsay Brown, Stuart Butler, Mark Elliott, Paul Harding, Trent Holden, Anirban Mahapatra, Bradley Mayhew, Daniel McCrohan, Isabella Noble, John Noble, Kevin Raub, Sarina Singh, Iain Stewart

1256 pages, 1256pp color, 203 maps | Dimensions: 128mm × 197mm

Next edition due: November 2024

Language: English

Which guidebook is right for me?

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  • Top experience collections
  • Regional itineraries recommended by experts (from a couple of days to multi-week)
  • 3D illustrations and guided tours of key sights
  • Extensive coverage of history and culture
  • Detailed maps throughout - includes walking maps and a pull-out planning map

EXPERIENCE guides

(country, city & regional).

  • Led by local experts that reveal their favorite experiences and hidden gems
  • Personal itinerary building tools
  • Seasonal planning calendars
  • QR codes unlock additional online content

POCKET guides

(city & regional).

  • Special features cover most popular sights
  • Content organized by neighborhhod
  • Recommended 1, 2, 3 and 4-day itineraries
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25 Best All-Time Travel Books to Exploring India

india-travel-books

Being the 7th largest country by area and the 2nd most populous country in the world, India is vast and diverse. With a cultural history spanning more than 4,500 years, India is notable for its religious diversity, with Hinduism, Islam, Buddhism, Christianity, Sikhism, and Jainism among the nation’s major religions.

All these numbers (and more on Wikipedia ), can be overwhelming and it can be really hard to find out where to start your trip from or what routes or mode of transport to take if you plan on traveling to India.

In this post, I have listed out the top 25 all-time travel books to help you explore India and discover it’s beauty, rituals, culture, history, scenic rail routes , and traditions. So, whether you plan to cover the whole of India or if you intend to travel from one city or state to the other, these popular travel books can be extremely useful for you. 

#1. City of Djinns: A Year in Delhi

Best Travel Books to Explore India - City of Djinns: A Year in Delhi

Author: William Dalrymple

Rating: 4.2 out of 5

#2. The Age of Kali: Indian Travels and Encounters  

Best Travel Books to Explore India - The Age of Kali: Indian Travels and Encounters

#3. Banaras City of Light

Best Travel Books to Explore India - Banaras City of Light

Author: Diana L. Eck

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

#4. One Life to Ride: A Motorcycle Journey to the High Himalayas

Best Travel Books to Explore India - One Life to Ride: A Motorcycle Journey to the High Himalayas

Author: Ajit Harisinghani

Rating: 4.6 out of 5

#5. Coromandel: A Personal History of South India

Best Travel Books to Explore India - Coromandel: A Personal History of South India

Author: Charles Allen

Rating: 3.6 out of 5

#6. Following Fish

Best Travel Books to Explore India - Following Fish

Author: Samanth Subramanian

#7. Wanderings in India and Other Sketches of Life in Hindostan

Best Travel Books to Explore India - Wanderings in India and Other Sketches of Life in Hindostan

Author: John Lang

Rating: 4.3 out of 5

#8. Chai, Chai

Best Travel Books to Explore India - Chai, Chai

Author: Bishwanath Ghosh

Rating: 3.7 out of 5

#9. The Land of Moonlit Snows: & Other Real Travel Stories from the Indian Himalaya

Best Travel Books to Explore India - The Land of Moonlit Snows: & Other Real Travel Stories from the Indian Himalaya

Author: Gaurav Punj

#10. Chandni Chowk: The Mughal City of Old Delhi

Best Travel Books to Explore India - Chandni Chowk: The Mughal City of Old Delhi

Author: Swapna Liddle

#11. India On My Platter

Best Travel Books to Explore India - India On My Platter

Author: Saransh Goila

Rating: 4 out of 5

#12. Around India in 80 Trains

Best Travel Books to Explore India - Around India in 80 Trains

Author: Monisha Rajesh

#13. Chasing The Monsoon: A Modern Pilgrimage Through India

Best Travel Books to Explore India - Chasing The Monsoon: A Modern Pilgrimage Through India

Author: Alexander Frater

#14. The Nanda Devi Affair

Best Travel Books to Explore India - The Nanda Devi Affair

Author: Bill Aitken

Rating: 3.7 out of 5 

#15. The Travelling Belly: Eating Through India’s By-Lanes

Best Travel Books to Explore India - The Travelling Belly: Eating Through India's By-Lanes

Author: Kalyan Karmakar 

Rating: 4.8 out of 5

#16. Butter Chicken In Ludhiana: Travels In Small Town India

Best Travel Books to Explore India - Butter Chicken In Ludhiana: Travels In Small Town India

Author: Pankaj Mishra

Rating: 3.9 out of 5

#17. If Its Monday It Must Be Madurai: A Conducted Tour of India

Best Travel Books to Explore India - If Its Monday It Must Be Madurai: A Conducted Tour of India

Author: Srinath Perur

#18. Holy Cow!: An Indian Adventure

Best Travel Books to Explore India - Holy Cow!: An Indian Adventure

Author: Sarah MacDonald

Rating: 3.4 out of 5

#19. Mother Earth, Sister Seed: Travels through India’s Farmlands

Best Travel Books to Explore India - Mother Earth, Sister Seed: Travels through India's Farmlands

Author: Lathika George

Rating: 5 out of 5

#20. Worth Every Gasp: A Lone Woman’s Journey in the Himalayas…

Best Travel Books to Explore India - Worth Every Gasp: A Lone Woman's Journey in the Himalayas

Author: Anamika Mukherjee

#21. Hot Tea Across India

Best Travel Books to Explore India - Hot Tea Across India

Author: Rishad Saam Mehta

Rating: 4.1 out of 5

#22. The Land of Flying Lamas & Other Real Travel Stories From the Indian Himalaya

Best Travel Books to Explore India - The Land of Flying Lamas & Other Real Travel Stories From the Indian Himalaya

#23. A South Indian Journey: The Smile of Murugan

Best Travel Books to Explore India - A South Indian Journey

Author: Michael Wood

#24. No Full Stops in India

Best Travel Books to Explore India - No Full Stops in India

Author: Mark Tully

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

#25. Truck De India: A Hitchhiker’s Guide to Hindustan

Best Travel Books to Explore India - Truck De India: A Hitchhiker's Guide to Hindustan

Author: Rajat Ubhaykar

So, there goes my list of the 25 most popular and best-selling travel books to explore India. How many have you read from the above list or how many are you planning to order? Do let me know in the comments section below.

Lastly, if you loved the above compilation, I am sure you would also love this list of the 231 most popular books on Indian Railways . Do give it a look!

Related posts:

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Do you enjoy travelling? Do you enjoy reading travelogues? Amazing! We created this post to provide you with a detailed explanation of the best travel books available in India. Find the best Indian travel guides by reading this post.

Best Indian Travel Books

Best Indian Travel Guidebooks to Read Before You Travel to India

Essential india travel guide by mohan kapoor.

Essential India Travel Guide

Essential India Travel Guide

  • Every kind of traveller, including a business traveller and a partygoer.

The Essential Safety and Security Guide to Visiting India

The Essential Safety & Security Guide to Visiting India

The Essential Safety & Security Guide to Visiting India

  • Backpackers, adventurers, female travellers, and solo travellers.

Culture Smart India

India - Culture Smart

India - Culture Smart

  • Business travellers, newly shifted residents, and travellers on short-term projects.

Lonely Planet South India & Kerala

South India & Kerala Regional Guide by Lonely Planet

South India & Kerala Regional Guide by Lonely Planet

  • Family travellers, Solo travellers, and backpackers.

Insight Guides India

Insight Guides India

  • Every type of traveller and photographer.

DK Eyewitness Delhi, Agra & Jaipur

DK Eyewitness Delhi, Agra and Jaipur

DK Eyewitness Delhi, Agra and Jaipur

  • Backpackers, adventurers, & Solo travellers.

Travel Fearlessly in India

Travel Fearlessly In India

Travel Fearlessly In India

  • Female group travellers and female solo travellers.

Bradt Travel Guides: Jammu, Kashmir Valley, Ladakh & Zanskar

Bradt Travel Guides - Kashmir Valley, Ladakh, Zanskar

Bradt Travel Guides - Kashmir Valley, Ladakh, Zanskar

  • Adventurers, hikers, trekkers, and backpackers.

Fodor’s Essential India

Fodor’s Essential India

Fodor’s Essential India

  • Family, photographers, adventurers, and backpackers.

Lonely Planet India

Lonely Planet India

  • Family, female solo, and business travellers.

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Best India Travel Guide Books: Planning a trip to India

Best India travel guide books: Planning a first trip to India. Travel tips for backpacking Asia.

So you’re planning your first trip to India!

It’s a daunting task.

India is a big country, and there is such diversity with so many things to do and so many places to visit!

With so much free information available online, where to even start planning your trip to India?!

Is it worth it to get a guidebook for India travel?

Planning a trip itinerary for India that’s several weeks long, or maybe even several months long, can turn into what feels like planning about 10 vacations! Not only do you need to make sure you know how to get an Indian tourist visa , but with each new city, there’s that much more to research!

For some people it might seem a bit lame to use a guidebook as a bible for travel to any destination. But when you’re short on time or you just don’t want to plan 10 vacations, it can be very helpful in making sure you visit the must-see places of any given region or city. (It just might be the cure for FOMO. ;))

And you can use a guidebook as just that — a guide. It can give you a very good start to planning your trip when you just have no idea where to start… or you’re looking to sort through the abundance of free travel guides online!

When you are short on time, flying can be a cost-effective way to travel long distances around India because of the budget airlines that are available in India.

Now, here’s what’s on this page of travel guidebooks to take a look at for planning your trip to India!

  • Get this guidebook with PDF  so you can do some really specific India planning like where to stay and where to eat so you don’t get sick
  • Get this guidebook so you can make a general plan based of your India itinerary of places to visit and what food to eat based on pretty pictures

So, which travel guidebooks might you use for planning a trip to India?

One of the best india guidebooks for planning each day’s itinerary, finding the best places to stay, and eating at the best restaurants.

Let’s start with the ultimate guidebook for travel to India .

So, there’s a good chance that you’ve heard of Lonely Planet travel guidebooks.

How is the Lonely Planet travel guide for India?

Well, once you get used to it, India is a country that can be easy to travel around because of the ease of being able to catch buses without advanced booking and the ease of being able to show up in a city without a guesthouse or hotel booking. (That said, sometimes advanced booking can be helpful!)

What makes that travel in India even easier?!

Lonely Planet India!

These are the top reasons to get Lonely Planet India:

  • Getting sick is a common occurrence among foreigners. The restaurant recommendations in the book can minimize your chance of getting food poisoning! And in case you do get sick, here’s how to treat traveler’s diarrhea naturally .
  • Getting ripped off is also a common occurrence among foreigners. The book will give a price range for guesthouses, activities, and rickshaw rides in a given city. This will make you feel more confident knowing that you’re not paying way too much!
  • Sometimes it’s easier to just show up in a city and look for accommodation. The book can give you the best places to stay so you are not aimlessly wandering around. In the case that you want to pre-book your hotel, it can give you recommendations!
  • And of course the book has a list of the best places to visit in any given city! It will give you ideas on nearby famous destinations. It also lists the best way to get to your next destination, as well as the best way to get around any city.

You can read some of the reviews here for using Lonely Planet India when traveling.

For easy planning when you’re on the road in India, here are some guidebooks to take a look at:

  • Lonely Planet: India (best of the whole country)
  • Lonely Planet: Rajasthan, Delhi, and Agra (includes best of the famous Golden Triangle)
  • Lonely Planet: South India and Kerala
  • Lonely Planet: Goa and Mumbai

These include the option of a pdf travel guide or e-book too, so be sure to have a look!

India is a big country, which means there’s a ton to cover. The Lonely Planet India book is over 1,000 pages which means it’s pretty bulky. Having the travel guide in pdf form on your phone can cut back on the weight of your backpack! It can also be helpful in finding a nearby place to eat when you’re out and about on an excursion.

Now, if you do still have a few weeks or months before your trip to India…

One of the best India guidebooks for figuring out the pretty places you want to visit

One of the negatives about Lonely Planet India is that aside from the city maps and information tables of buses and trains, it’s pretty much all text.

This text is incredibly helpful when trying to figure out where to stay and places to eat, in particular when you’re not planning too far ahead.

But if you’re wanting to figure out what the name of that temple you saw on Pinterest  😉 is called, Lonely Planet India won’t be able to really help you with that.

So it can be best used in conjunction with another resource.

Or once again, in order to have the best of India all in one place so you don’t have to sift through so much information, there’s an India guidebook for that! 😉

For planning your trip to India using pictures, take a look at:

  • DK Eyewitness Travel: India
  • DK Eyewitness Travel: Delhi, Jaipur, Agra

DK Eyewitness India isn’t necessarily the best for travel tips when it comes to things like specific ways of how to get around. But at the back of the book, there is a big list of recommendations for where to stay and places to eat, arranged mostly by state. Still, for practical travel tips when you’re on the road, Lonely Planet India is pretty good.

But DK Eyewitness India will give you the pictures, along with the descriptions of what makes each place significant. So instead of just listing a foreign name of a place that you are sure to forget, it gives you that image that your memory will likely better retain.

Or if you won’t be doing too much pre-planning of places to visit before your trip to India, you may like all the colorful images to help you decide where you want to go once you arrive in any given city. The street-by-street city maps also include pictures. This makes it so that when you look at the map, you will see what the market or palace looks like at a specific location.

Using DK Eyewitness India as your guidebook when traveling in India might turn you into a foodie! There are food sections that list the local dishes and specialties of a region. These come with pretty pictures of the food, and you just might end up wanting to try all the food when in India! 😉 So if you’re looking forward to trying the diversity of food options available in India, you might like this book too.

The tagline for DK Eyewitness is “the guides that show you what others only tell you”… and this is what the guidebook does through its abundance of colorful pictures!

Now, is it really necessary to take 2 guidebooks with you to India?!

That does sound like overkill.

Plus, that’ll add weight to your backpack and take up more space than you probably want it to.

In which case, you might want to lean towards  Lonely Planet India . It really can be used as a bible for your trip to India. And showing up in a city and knowing where to stay and safe places to eat (so you don’t get sick!) can be superbly helpful.

Be sure to have a look at what might be able to speed up your recovery if you do get sick with traveler’s diarrhea.

Well, what if you want your India guidebooks to have the pictures of the best places to visit and  a bunch of useful travel tips when traveling around India?!

If you can commit to doing at least a little bit of planning ahead of time, DK Eyewitness India really can help you see India in pictures in a simple way.

Lonely Planet India can be even more helpful on the road when you’re in India, so consider using DK Eyewitness India for trip planning when you’re still at home. Then leave DK Eyewitness behind instead of taking it with you to India so you don’t have to lug around that extra weight.

And, if you’re not planning on taking it to India with you, you may even see if the guidebook is available at your local library.

One of the problems with borrowing travel books at libraries is that the only version that the library has might be one from 10 years ago. But with DK Eyewitness India, if your primary purpose is to look at the pictures, it generally shouldn’t really be a problem even if the book is a little outdated.

With Lonely Planet India on the other hand, if you’re using it mainly for hotel recommendations and restaurant recommendations, it’s probably best to get a book that’s been updated in the past couple of years. Here are the most recent versions.

What if you just really don’t want to make room in your backpack for a guidebook?! 😉

And then of course, if you don’t want to carry any extra weight in the form of an India guidebook, you always have the trusty Lonely Planet India PDF !

But do make sure you make room for that international first aid kit for India !

Best India travel guide books: Planning a first trip to India. Travel tips for backpacking Asia.

HAPPY INDIA TRIP PLANNING!

Best shoes for your active vacation, swimwear for snorkeling and beach.

Books that Inspire to Travel & Visit India

“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one,” (George R.R. Martin). Today is the World Book Day ; the day of celebrating the joy of reading. Books distribute the world knowledge, teach ideals, inspire creativity, spark innovation, illumine the mind, and lead to revolution. Books give rise to our desire for travel as well. If you are seeking motivation and blessing for traveling, some of the travel books on India can play the Muse for you. Indian Eagle handpicked the five best titles from a huge selection of travel books whose protagonist is India. The titles are….

Travelers’ Tales India

Travelers’ Tales India – James O’Reilly, best India travel books

Around India in 80 Trains 

Monisha Rajesh book, best travel books india, India travel, best travel writers

As the title suggests, the book is a tale of adventure travel in trains crisscrossing India by Monisha Rajesh, a British journalist at The Week UK. While reading an article on India’s flourishing domestic aviation, she reminisces her childhood days in India and feels nostalgic. Further inspired by Jules Verne’s “Around the World in 80 Days”, Monisha embarks upon a journey of adventure and discovery across 40,000 km by trains in India . While traveling in local trains, express trains, superfast trains, toy trains and luxury trains, she comes across a wide range of characters; some are funny while some are weird. She experiences many odd and offbeat things from Kashmir to Kanyakumari. Infused with overtones of wit and humor, “Around India in 80 Trains” is a patchwork of her kaleidoscopic train journeys.

READ MORE Best Mountain Train Journeys in India

City of Djinns: A Year in Delhi

William Dalrymple books, popular India travel books, India travel guides

An interface between a travelogue and a novel, the book by William Dalrymple is a historical as well as mythological journey from the 1984 riots to the times of Mahabharata. As the name suggests, the book is all about Delhi to its deepest core. The lively depiction of the author and his wife’s interactions with the people of Delhi – taxi drivers, street sweepers, gardeners, traffic police, the Sikh landlady, custom officials, hawkers, and others from various walks of life breathes life into the story of the book. The author has dug up some interesting facts from Delhi’s mystic being and mysterious past that many are unaware of. The book “City of Djinns: A Year in Delhi” is like the Time Machine which takes you on a ride from the present to the past through centuries of Delhi’s evolution .

Chai, Chai: Travels in Places Where You Stop But Never Get Off  

Biswanath Ghosh travel books, best India travel books

The first person narrative of travels from Kanpur to Chennai by Biswanath Ghosh , an Indian journalist and writer, this travel book is a beautiful blend of his experiences, feelings, observations, encounters and insights during the journey. The way he has expressed and penned his stories turns railway stations and platforms into eventful destinations. The book is a collage of the moments including the joy of drinking tea on a platform that he lived during the journey. Trains, stations and platforms are the buildings blocks of the book “Chai, Chai: Travels in Places Where You Stop But Never Get Off”, steeped in with and humor. This travelogue puts you on a ride to those areas of India which commercial tourism has outshined.

All Roads Lead to Ganga 

India travel books by Ruskin Bond, most popular India travel books

In keeping with the essence of the beginning quote, we at Indian Eagle would like to say, “A traveler lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never travels lives only one .”

We wish you, Happy Reading! Happy Traveling!

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  • 5 Contemporary Books That Will Inspire You To Travel To India

10 Dec 2021

There are certain books that you enjoy reading while on the road. And then there are books that make you want to hit the road. Either way, contemporary travel writing in and about India has come a long way. The comprehensive and vivid travelogues not only take you to the chaotic tapestry in the country but also delve into the lost empires lamenting a bygone era that once made up India.

Given below is a list of books that will inspire you to travel to India. These extensive forays into the Indian culture by the modern writers are sure to make you want to pack your bags and leave for a holiday in India .

1. If It’s Monday It Must Be Madurai: A Conducted Tour Of India

The book jacket and author of one of the books that will inspire you to travel to India

Image Source 1 | Image Source 2

Author: Srinath Perur

Rating: 4.1/5

A travelogue & city portrait, If It’s Monday It Must Be Madurai is a book that is warmly personal and breaks the common travel myths. Author Srinath Perur packages the popular Indian travel experiences by undertaking it with strangers through ten conducted tours. A quirky account of his journeys, the book is vivid and engaging. It offers a spirited insight into the lives of common Indian citizens who undertake tours for adventure, food, ecology, photography, and sex. Among other things, you will find that you are not the first unambitious wastrel who wishes to quit your job for exploring the unknown.

Similar page turners: Tropical Classical | A Fine Balance

2. Chasing The Monsoon

The book jacket and author of the book - Chasing The Monsoon

Author: Alexander Frater

Rating: 4/5

Delving into the profound relationship of culture and climate, the British-Australian writer – Alexander Frater – pursues the Indian summer monsoon in his book. A snugly interwoven travelogue, Chasing The Monsoon proffers an extensive understanding of the obscure but fascinating Indian monsoon. The lyrical tale of a modern day pilgrimage through India sheds light on how travel is about those perfect moments in which your surroundings, along with your life, make perfect sense.

Similar page turners: The Hungry Tide | The Inheritance of Loss

Suggested Read: 29 Monsoon Destinations In India That Will Make You Dance In The Rain!

3. Following Fish: Travels Around The Indian Coast

The book jacket and author of the book - Following Fish

Author: Samanth Subramanian

Rating: 3.9/5

A narrative that follows fish around the Indian coast, Samanth Subramanian ’s Following Fish is a collection of essays offering an illuminating insight into the consequences of cosmopolitanism. Trailing the fish along the east and the west coasts of India, Subramanian conducts a journalistic study. He talks at length about the seafood cuisine which, according to him, knits the country together. From savouring the delectable bangda curry in Mangalore to shopping for hilsa in West Bengal, the experiences mentioned in this travel book are for the food lover in you.

Similar page turners: Reflected in Water: Writings on Goa | The God of Small Things

Suggested Read: 15 Amazing Places In India That Deserve More Travelers

4. Capital: The Eruption Of Delhi

The book jacket and author of the book - Capital

Author: Rana Dasgupta

Delhi has always belonged to the oligarchs. However, from a collapsed city of the medieval dynasties to a sprawling metropolitan hub, the capitalist transformation of India’s heritage shehar has been abrupt and noteworthy. In Capital , Rana Dasgupta – the British-Indian novelist – talks about his love-hate relationship with the fascinating city of Delhi. Referring to the catastrophe of India’s partition, he presents a literary portrait of the birth of modern day Delhi. The author has also interwoven his personal narrative with the influential capitalists & the insignificant working class to explain why ‘Delhi belongs to everyone and yet no one belongs to Delhi’.

Similar page turners: City of Djinns | Delhi: A Novel

Suggested Read: 79 Tourist Places In Delhi That Everyone Must Visit

5. The Romantics

The book jacket and author of the book - The Romantics

Author: Pankaj Mishra

Rating: 3.5/5

Trapped within the atmosphere of lethargy, Pankaj Mishra ’s The Romantics is a reflection of India’s tryst with modernity. The offbeat guide for exploring the luminous city of Kashi, on the outset, seems like just another story of an individual trying to make a mark for himself. But Mishra’s debut novel is much more than that. Through his indulgence in the intellectual pursuits, Pankaj Mishra unravels the absorbent culture of Benaras – a city inseparable from its spiritual and religious fervour.

Similar page turners: Butter Chicken in Ludhiana | A Suitable Boy

Suggested Read: 39 Places To Visit In Varanasi: The Best Of Culture, History, & Spirituality

So, which of these indulging books are you picking up next? Comment below to share your favorite travel reads with us.

Further Read: 20 Best Travel Movies That Will Ignite The Wanderlust In You

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Are you looking for some good Indian Travel books to read? bookGeeks has one of the largest collection of reviews of Indian Travel Books and books on places written by travel enthusiasts like Gaurav Punj, Sabir Hussain, Mayank Austen Soofi and Kishalay Bhattacharjee. These books are about the experiences of the writer while travelling to different places, trying different cuisines and exploring different cultures.

All our reviews are professionally done and the methodology we follow is logical but simple. We divide our book reviews into 5 categories:

1. Subject: This is the main idea behind the book. 2. Relevance: Is the book relevant to the current generation of readers? 3. Writing Style: The readability and language flow. 4. Research: The research done by the author on the present subject. 5. The Entertainment Quotient: Overall enjoyability of the book.

The Roar of Ranthambore | Batti Lal Gurjar | Book Review

Batti Lal Gurjar’s ‘The Roar of Ranthambore’ is a book that shows us the magnificent world of Ranthambore National Park and its majestic tigers through the keenly observing eyes of Batti Lal Gurjar; a man who has been a naturalist at the park for almost 20 years.

All Roads Lead to Ganga | Ruskin Bond | Book Review

In “All Roads Lead to Ganga,” Ruskin Bond pays homage to Ganga and the Himalayas, celebrating their majesty and significance. From the tranquil waters of Mandakini to the towering peaks of Tungnath, the book reverently explores the diverse landscapes of Garhwal, capturing Bond’s profound connection to this cherished land and its sacred rivers.

A Few Thousand Kilometres of Happiness | Anand Krishna Panicker | Book Review

A Few Thousand Kilometres of Happiness narrates the captivating tale of Anand Krishnan and Varun Kumar, two motorcycle tourers who embark on an extraordinary journey spanning several thousand kilometers. This book intricately captures their expedition, chronicling the various incidents, conflicts, nightlife encounters, challenges, and accidents they encounter along the way.

Tongue of the Slip | CP Belliappa | Book Review

In this book, Belliappa delves into snippets from his everyday life, some ordinary some extraordinary, and presents to us a life that is not just different from us in terms of history but also geography. Unlike most of us city-dwellers, Belliappa is a resident of a verdant green coffee estate of Coorg, and thus this geographical setting plays an important part in the setting the vibe and flavour of the book.

The Hour of the Leopard | Jim Corbett | Book Review

Approximately 200 pages in length, the book consists of 3 pieces of Jim’s writings about leopards. These three pieces include – My First Leopard which is taken from his book Jungle Lore (published 1953), The Man-Eating Leopard of Rudraprayag which was published as a book in 1947, and The Panar Man-Eater which was included in the book The Temple Tiger and More Man-eaters of Kumaon (published 1954).

Ghats of Varanasi: Varanasi Walks 1 | Dr. Rajnish Mishra | Book Review

Rows after rows of stone steps rising from the mighty Ganga and rows after rows of stone falling into the same – this is the quintessential picture of the city that comes to mind when one thinks about Varanasi. This is also what the author quite aptly refers to as the ghatscape. This ghatscape covered in the book has been divided into seven sections, with each section dedicated to its most famous ghat – Assi, Kedar, Dashashwamedh, Manikarnika, Panchganga, Trilochan, and Adikeshav.

A Woman’s Journey Through India | Madhu Veena | Book Review

A Woman’s Journey Through India is written from the point of view of a person who doesn’t live in India. Expect a book that chronicles the author’s adventures as a solo female traveller in India. Expect a book that also acts as a guide to such travelling in India.

Haunted India | Chandan Sinha | Book Review

Haunted India talks about real places, buildings, and incidents of horror from all over India. In addition to this, the book also covers many mysterious places in India. Expect a book that has bite-size chapters which are easy and quick to read. Expect a short read of just under 100 pages.

Travel Diaries: The Pilgrimage | Shivani | Book Review

Travel Diaries: The Pilgrimage is a short travel journal that documents the author’s many journeys to the majestic and inspiring temples and mountains of the Kumaon and Garhwal Himalayas. Written informally, the book is an effortless read.

The Bera Bond | Sundeep Bhutoria | Book Review

The Bera Bond is a magnificent tribute to the small rural community of Bera in the Pali district of Rajasthan, located at about a distance of 140 km from Udaipur. Here, near the pristine waters of the Jawai river, 55 leopards peacefully coexist with their human neighbors.

Mehman: Thoughts From My Travel Buddies | Anuj Tikku | Book Review

“Mehman” is a 4-in-1 travel memoir collection that brings to us the travel journey and experiences of 4 different travellers. These include 3 contributors from across India who contribute to author Anuj Tikku’s blog Tikku’sTravelthon. It also includes travel writings from the author’s pen.

Tiffin: Memories and Recipes of Indian Vegetarian Food | Rukmini Srinivas | Book Review

Tiffin: Memories and Recipes of Indian Vegetarian Food is part memoir (anecdotal) and part recipes; where the memories section far exceeds the recipes one. Expect a book that is a little lengthy and heavy on anecdotes. Expect a book that familiarizes one with the delights of South Indian vegetarian ‘tiffin’.

From Russia With Love | Anuj Tikku | Book Review

Expect a book that is a very short read of just over fifty pages. Expect a book that takes you to the devilishly cold country of Russia along with some other eastern European countries. Expect a book that doles out a decent dose of practical advice and travel tips for those venturing into the cold sub-continent.

Out of Africa: In Zulu Land | Anuj Tikku | Book Review

Expect a book that talks as much about the wildlife and jungles of Africa as it does about its people, its languages and its distinct culture. Expect a book that garnishes the author’s writing with some interesting looking photographs.

Shankara: The Mansarovar Odyssey | Anuj Tikku | Book Review

While reading Shankara: The Mansarovar Odyssey, expect a book that takes you to the beautiful world of Kailash-Mansarovar yatra and takes you through the entire experience in just 50 pages. Expect a book that also has a lot of pictures to complement the author’s personal experiences of the journey.

Yeh! Hai India | Anuj Tikku | Book Review

Yeh! hai India does have certain things going for it which makes it a decent one time read. A candid conversational style of narration complemented with some very unique travel experiences is what makes this book click

Antarctica Diaries | Anuj Tikku | Book Review

Expect a book that is a travelogue about the world’s most remote continent – Antarctica. Expect a book that gives you an idea of what Antarctica is really like? how to get there? how much does it really cost? how perilous the journey is? what kind of precautions does one need to take? etc.

The Kumbh Travelogue | Anuj Tikku | Book Review

The Kumbh Travelogue is basically a book that talks about the author’s travels to the holy celebrations of the Ardh Kumbh. The book takes us to the holy city of Prayagraj and lets us experience its distinct flavour and vibe through the author’s own experiences.

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7 books to read before travelling india (#3 and #4 is must read for women).

Top Tourist Attractions in India - Taj Mahal

I love reading and can’t imagine traveling without a book. Being a solo female traveler, I mostly prefer reading books based on travel stories, and practical experiences. Many great travel sites and blogs helping us, but to me, the ultimate guide is always a good travel book or guide. Here are some recommended travel books on India for all. I personally found useful and it was worth reading before planning a solo trip to India . Let me know which one you found useful most.

Whether you’re traveling solo, in groups or family, it’s always wise, knowing the specific country or destination well before traveling for the first. I planned for a Delhi and Rajasthan tour to India for the first time. I started reading two guidebooks, DK Eyewitness Top 10 Delhi (Pocket Travel Guide)  and Lonely Planet Rajasthan, Delhi & Agra (Regional Guide) . Later those guides were truly helpful for me during my visit to Delhi and Rajasthan.

Disclosure: All are paid links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Table of Contents

  • 1 Lonely Planet India (Country Guide)
  • 2 India – Culture Smart!: The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture
  • 3 India Travel Survival Guide For Women
  • 4 Wanderlust and Lipstick: For Women Traveling to India
  • 5 Taj Mahal (Wonders of the World)
  • 6 DK Eyewitness India (Travel Guide)
  • 7 Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman’s Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia
  • 8 Are You On Pinterest? Click To Save For Later Read!

Lonely Planet India (Country Guide)

Lonely Planet India (Country Guide)

Lonely Planet India is the number one best-selling travel guide to India. Every series by Lonely Planet is my all-time favorite. All information in this guide always has been so useful to me. Lonely Planet is always recommended as a trustworthy travel guide. And always hugely popular for every traveler from every corner of the globe.

This guide covered many essential travel information, tips, insights, features according to traveler choices and budgets. Many maps, images, 3D illustrative plans, and reviews made this guide a great companion for all time in all ways.

  • History, culture, and traditions of India
  • India tourism
  • Places to visit in India
  • Where to stay
  • Where to eat
  • Money-saving tips to get around in India
  • Colorful maps and images of popular destinations
  • Budget-friendly travel tips, reviews, and updated travel information

India – Culture Smart!: The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture

India - Culture Smart!: The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture

Wherever you travel in the world, it is always best practice to know the culture and customs of that specific country or place. In India, each state follows different customs. So, before traveling to a vast country like India knowing the proper culture, and lifestyle is a must. And definitely essential for all travelers. Becky Stephen , an American writer who herself stayed in India for five years and perfectly depicted Indian culture from her own experience in India – Culture Smart!: The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture .

This smart travel guidebook is an informative one. It will definitely help you to know many practical tips and guidance about India and Indian culture. Indian culture is smartly changing day by day and coming out from old philosophy and thoughts. A must-read essential travel guide for all times in India.

  • The culture and customs of India
  • Understanding the cultural differences
  • Social customs and tradition
  • Practical tips and guidance to understand Indian culture

India Travel Survival Guide For Women

India Travel Survival Guide For Women

India Travel Survival Guide For Women is a must-read book for all solo female travelers in India written by Indian traveler and blogger Shalu Sharma . This book dedicated to all female travelers around by thinking about their safety issues while traveling in India. Being a woman she herself understood and tried to sort out all kinds of trouble one female traveler can face or facing in India.

This is a complete book to know how to travel safely, how to stay safe in hotels, what to wear, and most importantly, how to tackle or prevent any physical harassment by any locals while travel solo or in groups in India. It is useful to read before every tour in India.

  • Practical and essential safety tips on traveling India
  • How to travel your own in India
  • How to overcome any awkward situation or physical harassment
  • What to wear in India
  • How to stay safe in Indian hotels

Wanderlust and Lipstick: For Women Traveling to India

Wanderlust and Lipstick: For Women Traveling to India

Wanderlust and Lipstick: For Women Traveling to India is one more great and must-read book. Beth Whitman , the author of this book herself got 23 years of travel experience and illustrated her practical pieces of advice and many suggestions to help women around the world. From this book, you can also get essential advice from more than 35 women who already traveled the world.

This book focused on understanding culture first. Then need to know how to train yourself the proper way while traveling on your own in India. This author is also famous for Wanderlust and Lipstick: The Essential Guide for Women Traveling Solo

Wanderlust and Lipstick: The Essential Guide for Women Traveling Solo

  • Indian culture
  • Practical travel advice from more than 35 women travelers
  • How to dress in India
  • Essential travel tips to stay safe

Taj Mahal (Wonders of the World)

Taj Mahal (Wonders of the World)

Traveling in India and not visiting the wonders of the world? Not possible. And so if you are planning for a Taj Mahal tour in Agra then Taj Mahal (Wonders of the World)  by Giles Tillotson is a must-read for all travelers. This book contains all inside stories, histories, and details about this magnificent marble mausoleum by the Emperor Shah Jahan. You should not miss reading this book before visiting the Taj Mahal in Agra.

Taj Mahal, the monument of eternal love is still a great surprise for all people around. Do we all know the amazing history of this amazing creation or architect? Many we don’t know yet and so should go through this book before visiting.

  • History of Taj Mahal
  • The story behind the creation of Taj Mahal
  • The magnificent beauty of Mughal architecture

DK Eyewitness India (Travel Guide)

DK Eyewitness India (Travel Guide)

DK Eyewitness India (Travel Guide) is a must-read travel guide by DK Publishing with detailed instructions about top travel attractions in India. There are many historical and religious architects or landmarks in India. This guide is also full of many photographs and maps which is much helpful while visiting the specific destination.

Through this guide, you can also get a complete list of popular shops, hotels, and restaurants. So traveling incredible India near or coming future? Yes, so before traveling to India for the first time one must read this guide at least once.

  • Must-see destinations in India
  • Expert travel tips and advice
  • Hidden gems in India to explore
  • Where to shop
  • How to travel around India
  • Best places to eat and drink

Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman’s Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia

Eat Pray Love: One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia

Eat Pray Love is a New York Times Bestseller book by American author Elizabeth Gilbert.  This is an inspiring true story and a memoir of her life. Here Gilbert has shown how she finds the ultimate happiness and the true meaning of life and love throughout her journey in Italy, India, and Indonesia.

Gilbert spent four months in Italy, eating and enjoying life (Eat). She spent four months in India , finding the power of prayer (Pray). And she ended the year in Bali , Indonesia, looking for the balance of the two and found love (Love). This book proves that there really has more than one way to let yourself go and see the world. The movie based on this book has inspired me to start traveling solo.

  • The true meaning of life through traveling
  • Different cultures of three different countries (Italy, India, Indonesia)
  • Understanding the various aspects of life

Are You On Pinterest? Click To Save For Later Read!

PS. I’m an Amazon Influencer! Check my Amazon page for an essential and stylish list of products that I recommend and love.

So, what else you’ll love to recommend here? Any travel books on India you read recently?

Last update on 2024-05-28 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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Nafisa Habib

Nafisa Habib loves nature and often got fascinated by old beautiful architecture. Here she is with My Own Way To Travel to share her adventures on the road. To her nothing is so interesting than exploring new destinations around. And knowing a new culture and meeting new peoples on the road? Oh, yeah she just loves that too.

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5 Travel Books That Are A Must-Read For 2024! (Get Inspired)

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Table of Contents

Introduction - Must Read Travel Books

5 Must-Read Travel Books of 2024! (Get Inspired)

Travel books possess a captivating allure, whisking readers to distant realms and igniting a genuine sense of adventure.

Discover our handpicked selection of 2024’s must-read travel books in this article. Each book promises to inspire wanderlust, catering to armchair travellers and those planning their next journey.

These literary gems offer more than escapism; they provide unique perspectives, cultural insights, and the power to enrich travel experiences.

Their pages delve into the heart of diverse destinations, fostering a deeper understanding of global cultures.

Join us as we unveil a curated collection poised to transport readers, fuel imagination, and evoke the true spirit of exploration.

Vagabonding by Rolf Potts

Vagabonding by Rolf Potts (Travel Books)

“Vagabonding” by Rolf Potts is a manifesto for those seeking a deeper, more immersive travel experience. Through this captivating book, Potts presents a philosophy transcending mere tourism, advocating for a mindset shift towards long-term travel. Emphasizing the significance of exploration, self-discovery, and cultural immersion, “Vagabonding” guides readers on a transformative journey beyond conventional boundaries.

Potts challenges the notion that travel is reserved solely for the wealthy or privileged, instead advocating for a mindset that values time over money and experiences over possessions. He delves into practical aspects such as financial strategies, suggesting ways to sustain extended travel periods while also delving into this nomadic lifestyle’s emotional and psychological facets.

Central to the book is the idea of ‘vagabonding’—a deliberate choice to embrace the unknown, immerse oneself in diverse cultures, and cultivate a sense of freedom that comes from wandering the globe. Potts weaves together anecdotes, insights, and practical advice, empowering readers to break away from the constraints of routine and societal norms.

More than a travel guide, “Vagabonding” is a companion for those seeking personal growth through exploration. It celebrates the art of slow, deliberate travel, encouraging individuals to embark on journeys that traverse geographic landscapes and uncover the depths of one’s soul and understanding of the world.

Around India in 80 Trains by Monisha Rajesh (Travel Books)

Around India in 80 Trains by Monisha Rajesh

“Around India in 80 Trains” by Monisha Rajesh is a captivating travel memoir that chronicles the author’s incredible journey across India’s vast and diverse railway network. Rajesh embarks on a remarkable adventure, retracing the footsteps of Phileas Fogg from Jules Verne’s “Around the World in Eighty Days,” but with a unique Indian twist—exploring the length and breadth of India via its extensive train system.

Through vivid storytelling and keen observations, Rajesh paints a colourful tapestry of India’s cultural richness, varied landscapes, and unique experiences she encounters on each train ride. The book beautifully captures the essence of the Indian railways—the bustling platforms, the camaraderie among passengers, and the kaleidoscope of sights, sounds, and aromas that define this mode of travel.

Rajesh’s narrative isn’t just about traversing distances; it’s a captivating exploration of India’s soul. From the Himalayas to the coastal regions, from bustling metropolises to remote villages, she delves into the heart of India, unravelling its complexities and celebrating its diversity.

With a perfect blend of humour, curiosity, and genuine affection for the country, Rajesh invites readers on an enchanting expedition, sharing personal anecdotes, encounters with locals, and insights into India’s past and present. “Around India in 80 Trains” isn’t just a travelogue; it’s a heartfelt tribute to India’s railways and a testament to the sheer vastness and beauty of the country.

The Lost City of Z by David Grann

The Lost City of Z by David Grann (Travel Books)

“The Lost City of Z” by David Grann is a gripping non-fiction narrative that unravels the mystery surrounding the enigmatic explorer Percy Fawcett and his quest for a mythical ancient city in the heart of the Amazon rainforest. Grann meticulously traces Fawcett’s footsteps, blending history, adventure, and mystery into a captivating tale of obsession and discovery.

At its core, the book follows Fawcett’s relentless pursuit of the ‘City of Z,’ an ancient civilization he believed existed deep within the uncharted Amazonian jungle. Fawcett’s expeditions in the early 20th century, accompanied by his son and a small team, captured the world’s imagination but ultimately ended in their mysterious disappearance, adding to the allure of the lost city.

Grann’s narrative isn’t just a recounting of Fawcett’s expeditions; it’s a modern-day exploration infused with historical context and personal experiences. He delves into the complexities of the Amazon, discussing its dangers, the allure it holds for explorers, and the cultural impact of Fawcett’s quest on subsequent generations of adventurers.

Through meticulous research and immersive storytelling, Grann paints a vivid picture of Fawcett’s world and the allure of the unknown. Blending history, adventure, and the inherent human desire for discovery, “The Lost City of Z” is a riveting tale that leaves readers pondering the mysteries hidden within the depths of our planet’s most impenetrable landscapes.

The Art of Travel by Alain de Botton

The Art of Travel by Alain de Botton - Travel Books

“The Art of Travel” by Alain de Botton is an introspective exploration of travel’s profound impact on our lives and the art of truly experiencing the world around us. De Botton weaves philosophy, literature, and personal anecdotes to create a thought-provoking narrative beyond mere sightseeing.

At its core, the book delves into the philosophy of travel, inviting readers to reflect on their motivations for exploring new places and the expectations they bring along. De Botton challenges the notion that travel is solely about reaching destinations, urging readers to appreciate the beauty in the mundane and the overlooked details of the journey.

De Botton examines the connections between our inner selves and the external world through insightful and often humorous reflections. He draws parallels between the landscapes we encounter and the landscapes of our emotions and desires, inviting readers to contemplate how travel shapes our perceptions and inner lives.

By intertwining the experiences of famous artists and writers with his own travel anecdotes, de Botton creates a rich tapestry of narratives that highlight the transformative power of travel. Whether contemplating the melancholy of departure lounges or the allure of exotic destinations, “The Art of Travel” guides you to seeing the world and truly experiencing it with heightened awareness and appreciation. Ultimately, it prompts readers to seek a deeper connection between their journeys and the inner landscapes of their own minds.

The Shooting Star by Shivya Nath

travel books for india

Last but not the least on the list of our Must-Read Travel Books is   “The Shooting Star” by Shivya Nath is a captivating memoir that chronicles the transformative journey of a young woman from a conventional life to becoming a nomadic traveller and advocate for sustainable and mindful travel. Nath’s narrative is a compelling blend of personal revelations, travel anecdotes, and reflections on her pursuit of a life less ordinary.

The book portrays Nath’s decision to leave behind the security of a traditional career and societal expectations to embark on a nomadic lifestyle. Through vivid storytelling, she shares her experiences of exploring remote corners of the world, connecting with diverse cultures, and seeking meaningful encounters with people and places.

Nath’s journey isn’t just about ticking off destinations; it’s a profound exploration of self-discovery and finding purpose in a world brimming with possibilities. She delves into the challenges and joys of solo travel, breaking stereotypes and embracing the beauty of the unknown.

Moreover, “The Shooting Star” inspires aspiring travellers, highlighting the importance of responsible and sustainable tourism. Nath advocates for mindful travel practices that respect local cultures promote environmental conservation and foster authentic community connections.

Through her evocative storytelling and passion for exploring the unexplored, Nath invites readers to contemplate their aspirations, nudging them to consider a life fueled by curiosity, empathy, and a thirst for genuine experiences. “The Shooting Star” is not just a travel memoir; it’s a testament to the transformative power of stepping out of one’s comfort zone and embracing the world with an open heart and mind.

Conclusion - Must Read Travel Books

As we conclude this exploration into the world of must-read travel books for 2024, we’ve traversed continents, cultures, and compelling narratives. These books serve as passports to realms unknown, instilling in readers a profound sense of wanderlust.

They’re not mere companions but gateways to immersive experiences, offering profound insights and diverse perspectives that enhance the very essence of travel.

Whether you’re curled up at home dreaming of distant lands or planning your next odyssey, these literary treasures stand ready to accompany you on transformative journeys.

Embrace the wisdom, the adventures, and the cultural riches embedded within these pages, for in them lie the power to spark imagination, broaden horizons, and nurture an everlasting love affair with the beauty of exploration.

Let these books be your guiding stars as you navigate the world, one page at a time.

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Buy travel books and guides at Amazon India

The extensive section of travel books at Amazon.in is a treat to the globetrotter or pretty much anyone with a sense of wanderlust. From magazines to maps, atlases, holiday guides, travel writing books and more, you will find it all at Amazon India.Unravel the mystery behind the pillars of the Doge Palace in Venice, learn about the hidden tunnels and bomb shelters under Old Geneva or let your imagination take you through the forbidden island off the coast of New York, all this and more through the ‘Secret’ series by Jongles, that costs an average of just Rs. 713 on Amazon.in

Here at Amazon we offer some of the best-selling travel and holiday guides. Do not forget to skim through the Lonely Planet range of holiday guides written for each country. These books help you plan your holiday itinerary well and have special images and 3D illustrations. Also included is plenty of advice on the best time to travel to these destinations, what to see, what to skip, what not to miss and more. They also have maps to assist your touring of your holiday destination.For those looking to embark on a journey of the mind instead, you might want to check out our collection of travel stories such as the popular biopic of Che Guevera titled The Motorcycle Diaries or Seven Years in Tibet, a thrilling account of Heinrich Harrer, the famed mountaineer who had to flee to Tibet after his conquest of the Everest.

If you think you have had the travel experiences of a lifetime and would like to turn some of those travels into tales, Amazon offers you a range of travel writing books for beginners, filled with tips and writing exercises on excellent travel writing. These books are authored by several of these dream job owners such as Andrew Bain, Tim Cahill, Paul Clammer, George Dunford and many more.Venture into Amazon.in travel books section to avail some of the best deals on travel and holiday books.Amazon.in has the largest variety of products under various categories. Whether planning your holiday, or just for some adventure reads, with us, you travel book shopping is a lot easier. Be sure to check out our Kindle eBook version, which are usually lower priced than the hard-cover or paperback version. Our secure payment gateway protects all your private and credit card information and ensures that your online payments are safe. If, however, you wish to pay in person only after the delivery has been made, you can always go for the Cash On Delivery option, provided the product is eligible for Cash On Delivery. It is always better to check if the product you’d like to buy is eligible for Cash On Delivery before adding it to your cart. Buy online from Amazon.in now to avail the best deals and offers.

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22 things you need to know before visiting India

Akanksha Singh

Dec 15, 2023 • 14 min read

travel books for india

India is a feast for the senses and we've got everything you need to know before you visit © Andrii Lutsyk / Ascent Xmedia / Getty Images

India is a place that overwhelms your senses in the best possible way – nowhere else delivers quite the same barrage of sights, sounds and sensations as this continent-sized country at the heart of Asia.

It would take a lifetime to see all of India , let alone understand every nuance and facet of this nation of 1.4 billion inhabitants. But with a little preparation, you can learn to navigate the richness of this country, from its snow-capped peaks and velvety beaches to its historic temples and luxuriant palaces.

We've collated the top things you need to know about visiting India, but the journey begins before you leave home. Apply for your Indian visa online for a smooth arrival on the subcontinent. Read on for 22 more insider tips that will help make your vacation unforgettable.

1. Plan your trip around the seasons

India has a reputation for being hot and humid, but with beaches, mountains, hills, coastlines and plains all jammed into a relatively small geographical area, the climate is quite diverse. The southwest monsoon brings rainy weather to most of the country from June to September, but this is the best time of year to visit the high-altitude deserts of Ladakh , although depending on the route you take, you risk encountering landslides and floods.

In the far south, there’s also a milder rainy season from October to December. The ideal weather window for travel is from October to May, though temperatures and humidity climb to agonizing levels from March onwards in the run-up to the monsoon. If you find yourself in India in the spring, head to the Himalayan foothills for milder temperatures and good trekking conditions.

2. Get your jabs before you travel

There is no official requirement for vaccinations to enter India (although yellow fever vaccination is needed if you are traveling from a country where the disease is endemic).

That said, it is important that you contact a health professional at least eight weeks before you travel to ensure your jabs are up to date. Vaccinations for diphtheria and tetanus, hepatitis A and B, polio and typhoid are usually recommended, on top of childhood vaccinations for measles, mumps, rubella and varicella.

Vaccinations worth considering for longer trips include Japanese B encephalitis, meningitis and rabies. Monkeys, dogs and cats can all carry the rabies parasite, and infection is fatal if untreated.

A woman relaxes on her bed beneath a mosquito net

3. Take malaria precautions

Depending on where in India you are traveling to, you may want to speak to your healthcare provider about taking a course of anti-malarial tablets. For instance, northeastern and eastern parts of India, as well as the city of Mangalore, have a higher malaria risk.

Always take precautions to avoid mosquito bites – this will also help you avoid dengue fever, a viral infection that is transmitted by mosquitoes to humans. Sleeping under a mosquito net, wearing long sleeves and trousers in light colors, and using a repellent and/or a plug-in mosquito killer with a high concentration of DEET (diethyltoluamide) is advisable.

4. Get insured

Travel insurance is essential for India. Depending on where you travel to, you may find public hospitals are poorly equipped. Additionally, most private clinics and hospitals require payment ahead of treatment. Make sure you are covered for emergency evacuation and also for any adventure activities you plan to get involved in.

If you’re unlucky enough to be a victim of crime, contact the local police station or dial 100 or 112, the national emergency number. You’ll need to get the police to file a report (a “FIR" – First Information Report) to make a claim on your travel insurance.

5. Book ahead for busy times and festivals

India can get very busy from November to February, so affordable accommodation is usually swamped in peak season. It’s a good idea to book ahead, either directly with the venues or via booking aggregator sites such as Agoda and MakeMyTrip .

Also, book train tickets in advance where possible , particularly for popular routes. Tickets can be booked (with a fair amount of hassle) via the government booking site IRCTC or more easily through local booking sites such as 12Go or Cleartrip .

6. Plan your comms before you travel

Many things in India (including train bookings or ordering food online) get easier if you have a local SIM card. Bring an unlocked phone from home (or pick one up locally) and get a phone shop to sign you up for a local pay-as-you-go SIM package on arrival. You’ll need to bring passport photos and photocopies of your passport ID pages to complete the application.

 Women in India dancing during Holi covered in colorful powder

7. Check your lunar calendars

While India officially follows the Gregorian calendar, the major festivals for Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Islam and several other religions follow lunar calendars and fall on different dates from year to year. Always check festival dates before you book your trip (bearing in mind these dates are subject to change); the Indian government maintains a useful online list of public holidays .

8. Learn local etiquette

English is the  lingua franca in most metropolitan areas in India, and you’ll get away with polite hellos, goodbyes and thank yous in smaller towns too. However, if you’re traveling in northern India, you can say "namaste" (I bow to you) with your hands together in a prayer-like gesture in front of your chest. Similarly, when meeting Muslims in north India, you can say "salaam alaikum" (peace be with you) – the correct response is "alaikum salaam." Most of the time, it’s the effort that’s welcomed over pronunciation, so don’t be shy!

Shaking hands is a standard business greeting between men, but outside metropolitan regions, men and women rarely shake. Only ever use your right hand. The same rule applies when passing things to people – including money.

If you get invited to someone’s home, bring a small gift (flowers or sweets are always a safe bet) and remove your shoes before entering. It’s polite to eat and drink what you are offered, even if you don’t really fancy it.

9. Dress modestly

Depending on where in India you are, modesty is taken seriously – especially for women. Travelers of any gender will have an easier time if they wear loose-fitting clothing that covers their legs and arms. Swimwear is only appropriate for the beach – although it is not uncommon to see locals swim fully clothed. To fit in, consider investing in a kurta pyjama (a traditional garment resembling a long shirt and loose trousers for men) or a salwar kameez (a long shirt, loose trousers and scarf for women).

10. What to eat and how to eat it

Many religions in India have their own dietary rules. Muslims avoid pork, many Hindus avoid beef, and some Hindus and Buddhists are vegetarian or vegan. Many Jains are vegetarians who avoid some vegetables (most notably onions, garlic and potatoes) and who try to avoid causing harm to all living creatures. These rules mean vegan and vegetarian food is often easy to find in India.

Eating with your hands is the norm in many restaurants, particularly in parts of southern India. Take your cue from other patrons in the restaurant, and remember to eat with your right hand. Mix rice and curry into balls with your fingers and push it into your mouth with your thumb. Some thalis (plate meals consisting of multiple dishes served in tandem) are served not on a plate but on a washed and flash-heated banana leaf.

11. Haggling is not a game of life and death

Haggling for a fair price when buying things – in street stalls and open-air markets – is a way of life in India. Although it can sometimes be a frustrating experience, losing your temper is extremely bad form – if you can’t agree on a price with the vendor that you are both happy with, politely decline and shop somewhere else.

The rules of the game are as follows. The vendor will quote you a price that is more than the item is worth, then you’ll come back with a counter-offer, working up from there until you reach a mutually agreeable figure.

The “walking away” trick may bring a few last-minute adjustments, but before long, you’ll reach a threshold that the vendor won’t go below. Throwing in extra items may bring a discount on the overall cost. Many travelers prefer not to haggle in places where the money goes directly to artisans.

Two Hindu monks wearing brightly colored clothes and painted faces sit in a temple in India

12. Respect etiquette at religious sites

Religion is taken very seriously in India, so it pays to know the rules and expectations for visits to temples, mosques, monasteries, gurdwaras (Sikh shrines), synagogues and churches. Always check if you are allowed to enter – some temples and mosques are closed to people who don’t follow the faith. Mosques may also be closed to visitors during prayers or on Fridays.

If asked to do so, remove your shoes before entering any religious building, and be prepared to cover your head with a scarf or shawl. Generally, always cover your legs and arms (a sarong can be handy as an emergency cover-all). Some temples also ban leather goods, and many religious sites do not allow photography.

Avoid pointing the soles of your feet towards a person or deity – this is considered disrespectful. The same goes for touching any person or effigy on the head. It is conventional to walk around Buddhist and Hindu shrines in a clockwise direction, in a ceremonial circuit known as a parikrama .

Making an offering or leaving a donation is often expected – locals always offer something, but be wary of people waving receipts showing huge donations. Giving something is appropriate, but don’t feel pressured into leaving large sums.

13. Giving alms is common but up to you

The giving of alms has a long history in India, and foreigners can expect to be approached regularly with requests for money. Whether you give or not is a personal choice, but many Indians give on a daily basis, particularly when visiting temples and mosques. Be aware that some requests for money will be scams, and you may be able to do more good by giving your time or cash to charity or aid organizations you’ve taken time to research, rather than handing out cash.

14. Respect local social attitudes

India has complex social rules about respect for elders. Depending on where you are traveling to, older people are often greeted with the honorific “auntie” or “uncle,” and the ending ji may also be added to someone’s name as a sign of respect.

Outside bigger cities, India can be quite conservative when it comes to interactions between unmarried men and women. Also, most parts of India are conservative when it comes to same-sex relationships. Whatever your sexuality, it’s best to avoid public displays of affection.

15. Street harassment is unfortunately common

Although harassment can happen anywhere, parts of India are constantly in the news owing to a lack of women’s safety. Beyond long, unwelcome stares and persistent attempts to start a conversation, more serious assaults are also a risk. Groping is common in crowds (particularly during festivals).

Exercise caution like you would anywhere else, and remain alert. Never get into a taxi or auto rickshaw containing anyone other than the driver, and avoid walking alone in quiet areas, particularly at night. Decline offers of food or drinks from strangers.

If traveling by public transport as a woman, it's best to seek out train carriages and designated seating reserved for women. Wearing a wedding ring (even if not married) and using dark sunglasses and headphones can buy you some privacy on public transport. If you are being hassled, drawing loud attention to the intrusion may encourage others to come to your aid.

16. Keep track of security situations in India

India has seen deadly attacks by separatist and Marxist groups and Kashmiri insurgents. Monitor the local news and be alert for suspicious behavior, particularly around major tourist sites. Always check the security situation before traveling to Srinagar and the Kashmir Valley in case of flare-ups of unrest. Strikes, demonstrations and protests are also best avoided, as violence is a risk. It goes without saying but in the event of trouble, obey local curfews and stay inside – your hotel is probably the safest place to be.

A man sits on the side of a red rock mountain in the Indian Himalayas

17. Take the altitude seriously when hiking

Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) is a risk when traveling above 2500m (8202ft), which covers most of the Indian Himalayas . AMS can be fatal, so always ascend slowly and take rest days to allow your body to acclimate to significant elevation changes. If you begin to feel ill while hiking in the mountains, stop, and if your symptoms don’t improve, descend immediately.

18. Familiarize yourself with local rules and regulations

India has a few laws and regulations that visitors might be unfamiliar with. For instance, taking photographs of bridges, the periphery of military camps and border crossings – or flying drones over them – is considered a serious security issue.

When traveling by plane internally in India, you may be asked to surrender batteries from devices in your cabin bags. Smoking is banned in most public places, and a few states also have bans on the consumption of beef – killing or injuring a cow in a road accident, even accidentally, can lead to violent reprisals.

To avoid sticky situations, take the time to research where you’re going, and talk to staff at your hotel or hostel or your B&B host for advice on things to be aware of.

19. Steer clear of drugs

India may have a reputation amongst travelers as a place to push boundaries, but its drug laws are strict. Possessing even small amounts of drugs for personal use can lead to a prison sentence.

Some religious groups are permitted to consume marijuana for ceremonial purposes, but that often doesn’t extend to tourists. You can, however, find bhaang – a marijuana mixture made with the leaves (rather than the bud) of the cannabis plant – at government-approved bhaang shops.

20. Avoid the tap water

The tap water in India is not potable. Drinking or brushing your teeth with it can be a fast track to stomach troubles – the most common illness tourists experience in India. Stick to purified or bottled water (or even better, purify your own to avoid contributing to India’s plastic waste mountain).

The water rule extends to ice (be wary of ice in drinks and ice cream) and to uncooked foods, particularly salads and dishes such as coriander chutneys, which may have been washed with contaminated water. When eating fruit, stick to things you can peel or wash thoroughly yourself, and be cautious of freshly prepared juices. Hot drinks are generally fine, so drink your fill of chai (milky tea, often spiced and sweet).

Traveler with laptop sits on top view point on the mountain valley

21. Watch local news to keep track of natural disasters

Some geographical areas in India are prone to natural disasters, and the risk is higher in certain seasons. Hilly areas of Himachal Pradesh, for instance, often see flash flooding and landslides during the monsoon. Be alert to signs of natural disasters and keep an eye on the local news so you know which areas to avoid. Follow the Indian Meteorological Department’s website as well as their social media handle for timely updates.

If you are caught up in a natural disaster, follow the advice of emergency workers and try to leave the area quickly.

22. Spot the scams

India has a reputation for scams designed to separate tourists from their money, and touts and confidence tricksters can often be found where tourists gather. Get tourist information and make bookings at official offices, rather than “tourist offices” you have been led to by people offering unsolicited help.

If anyone steers you to a hotel, shop or other establishment without you asking, they may be angling for a commission, which will be added to the price you pay. Be dubious of claims that the place you want to go is “closed” – always check yourself to be sure.

Exercise common sense and be wary of deals that sound too good to be true – for example, the gem scam, where travelers are tricked into buying worthless gems to “sell at a profit back home.”

This article was first published Mar 19, 2022 and updated Dec 15, 2023.

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Top 10 countries for travel and tourism in 2024: Where does India rank?

10 best countries to travel in 2024: as the travel and tourism industry recovers from the pandemic, here are the top 10 countries for globetrotters in 2024.  .

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The World’s Top Travel Destinations for 2024: The travel and tourism industry has significantly contributed to the global economy, with millions of people travelling to various destinations worldwide each year. Despite the challenges posed by the pandemic, the industry is set for a significant rebound and is expected to drive global international tourist arrivals. According to the World Economic Outlook Report, the tourism sector grew by 2.9% in 2024 and by 3% in 2023.

The World Economic Forum, in its recently released Travel and Tourism Development Index (TTDI), shares the top countries gaining popularity in the travel and tourism industry. Notably, in Southeast Asia, India ranks 39th as the TTDI’s top lower-middle-income economy. India’s strong Natural (6th), Cultural (9th) and Non-Leisure (9th) resources drive its travel industry, with the country’s being only one of three to score in the top 10 for all the resources pillars, the WEF said.

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The TTDI measures the set of factors and policies that enable the sustainable and resilient development of the T&T sector, which in turn contributes to the development of a country. Among the 119 countries, here are the top 10 countries for travel and tourism in 2024 attracting travellers from all over the globe.

The top 10 countries for travel and tourism in 2024 are:

Source: World Economic Forum, compiled by the United Nations World Tourism Organisation.

1. The United States of America:

United States of America

The United States remains a top travel destination, ranking first in the TTDI for 2024. With iconic landmarks like the Statue of Liberty and the Grand Canyon, the US offers visitors a diverse range of experiences, from vibrant cities to stunning natural wonders. In 2023, the US welcomed over 80 million international tourists, contributing $1.8 trillion to the country’s GDP.

Festive offer

Spain, ranked 2nd in the TTDI, continues to captivate travellers with its architectural marvels, such as the works of Antoni Gaudí in Barcelona and the historic Alhambra in Granada. The country’s stunning beaches, lively festivals, and delectable cuisine make it a top destination for tourists seeking a blend of history, culture, and relaxation. According to the TTDI 2024, Spain received over 70 million international visitors in 2023, generating $150 billion in tourism revenue.

Japan (Source: Freepik)

Japan, ranked 3rd in the TTDI, offers a unique blend of ancient traditions and modern innovations, from the serene temples of Kyoto to the bustling streets of Tokyo. The country’s rich cultural heritage, delicious cuisine, and stunning natural landscapes make it a must-visit destination for travellers. In 2023 (TTDI 2024), Japan welcomed over 30 million international tourists, contributing $300 billion to its economy.

France (Source: Freepik)

France, ranked 4th in the TTDI, showcases the elegance of Paris and the charm of its countryside, promising a journey filled with art, history, and gastronomy. From the iconic Eiffel Tower to the picturesque villages of Provence, France offers a timeless appeal that attracts over 80 million visitors annually, generating $200 billion in tourism revenue (TTDI 2024).

5. Australia:

Australia (Source: Freepik)

Australia, ranked 5th in the TTDI, offers a kaleidoscope of natural beauty and wildlife encounters, from the Great Barrier Reef to the Outback. The country’s vibrant cities, such as Sydney and Melbourne, also offer a dynamic mix of culture, cuisine, and entertainment for travellers. According to the TTDI 2024, Australia welcomed over 8 million international tourists in 2023, contributing $60 billion to its GDP.

6. Germany:

Germany (Source: Freepik)

Germany, ranked 6th in the TTDI, presents a dynamic travel experience blending tradition with innovation. The country’s rich history, delicious cuisine, and stunning natural landscapes make it a popular destination for travellers seeking a unique cultural experience. In 2023 (TTDI 2024), Germany received over 35 million international visitors, generating $100 billion in tourism revenue.

7. United Kingdom:

United Kingdom (Source: Freepik)

The United Kingdom, ranked 7th in the TTDI, offers a blend of historic sites, such as Edinburgh Castle and Stonehenge, and the rugged beauty of Scotland’s Highlands. The country’s vibrant cities, including London and Edinburgh, also attract visitors with their culture, entertainment, and shopping. According to the TTDI 2024, the UK welcomed over 30 million international tourists in 2023, contributing $120 billion to its economy.

China (Source: Freepik)

China, ranked 8th in the TTDI, provides a fascinating juxtaposition of ancient wonders, like the Great Wall, and the modern skyline of Shanghai. The country’s diverse landscapes, from the Himalayan mountains to the tropical beaches of Hainan Island, offer a range of experiences for travellers. In 2023 (TTDI 2024), China received over 50 million international visitors, generating $200 billion in tourism revenue.

Italy (Source: Freepik)

Italy, ranked 9th in the TTDI, promises a journey through art, history, and culinary delights, from the ancient ruins of Rome to the romantic canals of Venice. The country’s stunning coastlines, charming villages, and world-renowned wine regions make it a top destination for travellers seeking a blend of culture and relaxation. According to the TTDI 2024, Italy welcomed over 60 million international tourists in 2023, contributing $150 billion to its GDP.

10. Switzerland:

Switzerland (Source: Freepik)

Switzerland, ranked 10th in the TTDI, offers a picturesque escape into nature and culture with its Alpine landscapes, pristine lakes, and charming cities like Zurich. The country’s efficient transportation system, high-quality accommodations, and diverse range of activities make it an ideal destination for travellers seeking a well-rounded experience.

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Fodor's Essential India: with Delhi, Rajasthan, Mumbai & Kerala (Full-color Travel Guide)

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Fodor's Travel Guides

Fodor's Essential India: with Delhi, Rajasthan, Mumbai & Kerala (Full-color Travel Guide) Paperback – Illustrated, March 12, 2019

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Written by locals, Fodor’s Essential India is the perfect guidebook for those looking for insider tips to make the most out their visit to Delhi, Mumbai, and beyond. Complete with detailed maps and concise descriptions, this India travel guide will help you plan your trip with ease.

India is a country of vibrant and enticing contrasts: exquisite palaces are juxtaposed against simple temples, and modern high-tech industry coexists with ancient customs and rituals. There's much to see and do in this vast and geographically diverse country, and Fodor's Essential India covers the must-see sights better than anyone else.

Fodor’s Essential India Includes:

ABOUT FODOR'S AUTHORS: Each Fodor's Travel Guide is researched and written by local experts. Fodor’s has been offering expert advice for all tastes and budgets for over 80 years.

Planning on visiting more of Asia? Check out Fodor’s Essential Thailand and Fodor’s Essential China .

  • Print length 512 pages
  • Language English
  • Publisher Fodor's Travel
  • Publication date March 12, 2019
  • Dimensions 5.1 x 0.7 x 7.9 inches
  • ISBN-10 164097122X
  • ISBN-13 978-1640971226
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  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Fodor's Travel; 4th edition (March 12, 2019)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 512 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 164097122X
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1640971226
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 15.4 ounces
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 5.1 x 0.7 x 7.9 inches
  • #2 in Delhi Travel Guides
  • #32 in General India Travel Guides
  • #769 in Tourist Destinations & Museums Guides

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Future of Airports in India: DigiYatra for International Travel, Coming Soon

Peden Doma Bhutia , Skift

May 27th, 2024 at 7:33 AM EDT

Turning international travel into “a walk in the park” may take time, but wouldn't it be nice to skip those endless queues at airport gates, airline counters, immigration, and security checks? DigiYatra has made domestic travel a smoother ride. If rolled out for international travel, we could all breathe a little easier!

Peden Doma Bhutia

India is actively working on expanding the DigiYatra facility for international travel. The DigiYatra Foundation expects to start prototype testing on e-passport based enrollment from next month, the CEO of DigiYatra Foundation, Suresh Khadakbhavi, said recently at an event in Saudi Arabia.

What Is DigiYatra? This digital initiative, aimed at revolutionizing airport check-ins, uses a mobile app that allows passengers to use facial recognition as a boarding pass.

When Was This Launched? Launched on December 1, 2022, at three airports — New Delhi, Varanasi, and Bengaluru — DigiYatra has swiftly expanded its footprint, now operating in 14 airports across India and set to launch in another 14 next month.

Now, DigiYatra for International Travel

The next frontier for DigiYatra is international travel.

AIrport entry queues and ID / ticket checks – India is the only major country I am aware of that requires this. Wonder if there is a way forward that does not require this bottleneck. Digiyatra helps for the digitally-savvy, but is not there for International yet pic.twitter.com/wjJRYV0GkK — Sanjiv Kapoor (@TheSanjivKapoor) May 26, 2024

The integration of chip-enabled e-passports into the app is a crucial step, enabling verifiable credentials for foreign travelers.

Speaking at the Future Aviation Forum in Riyadh last week, Khadakbhavi said the prototype testing will progress significantly in the coming months, although the DigiYatra Foundation must collaborate with the Bureau of Immigration and the Ministry of External Affairs, indicating a potentially lengthy process.

IATA’s One-ID

The DigiYatra Foundation, co-owned by the Airports Authority of India (AAI) and private airports, also plans to align with International Air Transport Association (IATA)’s One-ID initiative for global interoperability. This initiative, backed by the IATA, representing around 320 airlines in over 120 countries, seeks to streamline passenger journeys through biometric-enabled identification.

Travelers prioritize speed and convenience and are increasingly embracing biometrics, according to IATA’s 2023 Global Passenger Survey.

Croatia, the Netherlands and Canada are testing digital travel. Finland last year launched the world’s first digital travel document pilot program at Helsinki Airport.

“Passengers want technology to work harder, so that they spend less time ‘being processed’, standing in queues. And they are willing to use biometric data if it delivers this result. But we need cooperation across the value chain and with governments to make it happen with secure technology that is available today,” said Nick Careen, IATA’s senior vice president for operations, safety and security.

DigiYatra Vision

DigiYatra’s vision extends beyond airports as it looks to facilitate hotel check-ins and provide hassle-free access to public places.

Over the past year, more than 20 million users have experienced DigiYatra, and with its forthcoming availability at 28 airports, the service will cover approximately 90% of India’s flying population, according to Khadakbhavi.

With the use of face as a single token, passengers can just walk through every process giving them an experience of a “walk in the park,” he said.

Khadakbhavi said a key feature of DigiYatra is its emphasis on self-sovereign identity, which ensures that passenger data is not stored centrally. “The self-sovereign identity base is something which perhaps people can easily adopt,” he explained, emphasizing the need for bilateral agreements to share credentials between nations.

He cited the European Union’s digital identity framework as a successful example of this concept.

Challenges and Privacy

Despite its advancements, DigiYatra faces challenges, particularly in educating passengers about the privacy and security of self-sovereign identity—a complex but crucial aspect of the system. Recently, DigiYatra performed what it calls “a significant backend upgrade,” and asked users to install a new app. This had led to speculation about a potential data breach .

However, the foundation clarified that the upgrade was in preparation for the upcoming expansion to additional airports.

Digi Yatra’s old app had over 4.5 million users while according to the foundation the new app already has over 2 million users.

Looking ahead, DigiYatra plans to implement fully homomorphic encryption, a feature that ensures third parties cannot misuse data shared with airports. Explaining the homomorphic encryption, Khadakbhavi said that once the airport uses data shared by the passenger no one else would be able to open the data for a second time, preventing further misuse.

“If you want to look at an implementation of self-sovereign identity at scale and volume, we are the biggest,” Suresh asserted, highlighting the system’s growing adoption rate, which stands at around 30-40% at major airports, with some Indian airports seeing up to 50% usage.

In the next decade, DigiYatra envisions a single-process airport where passengers can walk straight to the boarding gate, with all processes handled seamlessly in the background. “This future is achievable with the use of technology; however, we need to change our perspective to fully utilize it,” he said.

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Tags: airport technology , asia monthly , digital experience , digital health passports , digital travel , india , india outbound , indian airlines

Photo credit: India is keen to introduce Digiyatra for international travel. JoshuaWoroniecki / Pixabay

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Travel advisory: Heatwave alert declared in these parts of India

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IMD issues red alert for Rajasthan, Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, and Uttar Pradesh due to severe heatwave. Orange alert for Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, and Gujarat. Residents advised to take precautions against extreme temperatures.

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Travel advisory: Heatwave alert declared in these parts of India

IMD issues red alert for Rajasthan, Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, and Uttar Pradesh due to severe heatwave. Orange alert for Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, and Gujarat. Residents advised to take precautions a...

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