In the minds of travellers, India is synonymous with words like mysticism, fascination, spectacular beauty and much more. They might describe India in several words but unanimously agree that no single word can capture the ‘Indian experience’.

What is India like? What kind of emotions does it generate? Which places must never be missed in India? How does it feel to go on a spiritual quest in India ?

All these aspects have been discussed in several travel guides, travelogues and through fictional stories by many authors. Every day there seems to be a new book written on some interesting aspect of India. So what do you read? Here’s a starter’s list for readers!

Lonely Planet

Whether you’re travelling for the very first time in India, or exploring the length and breadth of this magnificent country for the nth time, the Lonely Planet travel guide is the one-stop basic guide to know almost everything about the best places, food, culture, festivals etc.

Lonely Planet - Best Travel Books in India

This photo “A Lonely Planet Guide To India” @flickr from Abee5
made available under an Attribution license.

In the recent years, Lonely Planet has come up with destination specific guides for many places in India like Delhi, Goa, Mumbai . While these guides are based on traveller experiences and aren’t always factually sound, they provide excellent guidance for the common experience of sightseeing.

The Rough Guide to India

Looking for an elaborate perspective on the culture and tradition of India? Look no further, The Rough Guide to India answers almost all your questions. This extensive guide lists culturally sound destinations and what to do to experience a side of India that only locals do.

India in Fiction

With a variety of cultures and a buffet of traditions to choose from, India has earned its name as a mysterious and wild land. No wonder so many authors choose this amazing country as a setting for their novels!

Eat pray love - Best travel books in India

This photo “Eat, Pray, Love” @flickr from .angels. made available under a Attribution, No derivative works license.

In his book ‘City of Djinns, William Darymple unearths the magnificent ethnicity and the violent, pre-independent past of the historical capital of India, Delhi. He speaks of his 6 year long stay in this busy city and everyone from the taxi-driver to the British survivors of the Raj play a significant role in this novel-like travelogue. Salman Rushdie’s ‘Midnight Children’, tells a candid tale about the glorious transition this great country underwent after its hard-earned Independence and  gives us a stark insight into the lives of the newly-independent India. The spiritual glory of this ancient country is revered in Elizabeth Gilbert’s  ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ and by the end of the last chapter, one would find themselves dreaming of a trip to this mystical land.

Before you plunge into the mystical depths of this magnificent country in order to unearth the fascinating secrets buried in its mystical depths, be sure to equip yourself with some of these books. They not only just give you a great head start, but could assist you in a huge way all through your quest.