5 Books to Read before Travelling to India

With travel restrictions due to ease, India will welcome tourists once again. We look at five books to read before travelling to the country.

5 Books to Read before Travelling to India f

perfect for prospective travellers

India’s culture and heritage has drawn travellers in for generations, and its vibrance makes it a prime tourist destination.

However, a country as large as India can raise questions for potential travellers, such as the best places to visit and how to get around.

With Covid-19 travel restrictions due to ease, India will be preparing to welcome international tourists once again.

It is no secret that the best way to discover India’s hidden beauty is to see it first hand.

But, it does not mean you have to go unprepared.

We bring you five books to read before travelling to India.

Around India in 80 Trains by Monisha Rajesh


More and more holidaymakers are favouring rail travel in an attempt to reduce their carbon footprint.

Around India in 80 Trains records Monisha Rajesh’s travels on Indian railways.

Rajesh channels her inner Jules Verne to take readers on her 40,000 kilometre-long journey across the country.

Her journalistic background also offers an informed perspective of India, which is perfect for prospective travellers with gaps in their knowledge.

Buy: Amazon – £13.00

Holy Cow! An Indian Adventure by Sarah MacDonald

5 Books to Read before Travelling to India - holy cow

After backpacking around India, Sarah MacDonald decided she would not return.

However, when her news correspondent partner gets posted to New Delhi, she finds herself navigating the country again.

This book follows her time in India’s capital as an expatriate, taking readers on a religious and cultural rollercoaster.

Buy: Amazon – £7.00

The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy

5 Books to Read before Travelling to India - small things

This Booker Prize-winning novel is set in Kerala and looks into the subjects of family, politics and religion.

The book begins in the 1960s and progresses to the 1990s, showing how a pair of non-identical twins navigate life in a country going through dense political, cultural and social change.

The God of Small Things educates its readers on the tragedies and injustices that India faced during that time.

It is an educational and informative read for travellers who want to learn the history of the place they are visiting.

Buy: Amazon – £7.00

Maximum City: Bombay Lost and Found by Suketu Mehta

5 Books to Read before Travelling to India - maximum city

For this international bestseller, Suketu Mehta uses his journalistic background to reveal the underbelly of the city of Mumbai.

Mehta’s extensive research provides readers with a unique view of Mumbai, and the book tells the story of the city from the people who live there.

Mehta interviews people from all walks of life, including gangsters, nationalists, policemen and poets.

Born in Calcutta (Kolkata), raised in Bombay (Mumbai) and living in New York, Suketu Mehta has a unique wealth of perspectives from inside and outside the country.

Therefore, he is the perfect tour guide for potential travellers.

Buy: Amazon – £10.00

Southern India: A Guide to Monuments Sites & Museums by George Michell

5 Books to Read before Travelling to India - southern India

George Michell’s guide explores the heritage of Southern India, providing extensive coverage of the area’s unmissable sites.

As a trained architect, Michell’s passion for buildings and monuments shines through. His guide is thorough, detailed and educational.

The book is presented as a set of itineraries and is broken up by location maps.

The guide intricately covers the areas of Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Kerala.

Therefore, it is an essential read for tourists wanting to explore a specific area of India, as well as returning travellers looking for new places to explore.

Buy: AbeBooks – £7.00

India is so full of culture, history and architecture, it can be difficult to choose where to begin.

However, these books can help plan your journey to discovering the inner and outer beauty of India.

Louise is an English and Writing graduate with a passion for travel, skiing and playing the piano. She also has a personal blog which she updates regularly. Her motto is "Be the change you wish to see in the world."

Images courtesy of Amazon

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