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Lonely Planet India (India, 9th ed) Paperback – August 1, 2001

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Product Details

  • Series: India, 9th ed
  • Paperback: 1072 pages
  • Publisher: Lonely Planet; 9th edition (August 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1864502460
  • ISBN-13: 978-1864502466
  • Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 5 x 1.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,156,544 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

3.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

254 of 261 people found the following review helpful By "mdw408" on December 29, 2001
I just returned from a month in India, traveling with both the Lonely Planet (9th ed.) and Rough Guide (3rd ed.) If you are considering a long trip across the breadth of India, I would strongly suggest taking BOTH books. The Lonely Planet is great for practical details (train times, phone numbers, etc.) but spends too much space reviewing individual restaurants and hotels. Even though the book tops out over 1000 pages, the sections devoted to actually explaining the sights and the wonderful culture and history of India are very short.
In contrast, the Rough Guide spends much more space discussing the background and culture of individual locations, and is packed with lots of interesting details not found in the Lonely Planet. The RG spends less space on restaurant/hotel reviews, which was perfectly fine - I'd rather know more about the places I'm visiting than worry how much chicken shahjani costs at some particular restaurant.
The tone and approach of the books are different too - the RG takes a much more optimistic, romantic view of India, while the LP is often so terse and cynical that it doesn't really inspire you to visit many wonderful places.
Get the LP for the listings. Get the RG to appreciate the beauty of India.
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37 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Gary Worthington on November 28, 2001
When Lonely Planet India first appeared in 1981, it raised the standard for all India guidebooks in the comprehensiveness of locations covered and the detailed information useful to independent travelers, especially those on lower budgets. Twenty years later, it remains the guidebook I personally rely upon most, despite my familiarity with India from extensive travels since 1980 researching my historical novels such as India Treasures. I first learned about that wonderful nonprofit home-stay organization Servas from a Lonely Planet guide, which led to many of our best experiences in India, including lasting friendships. Although my wife and I aren't backpackers, and we're probably mid-range in terms of the amount we spend on accommodations and food, the book is extremely helpful. It's the most up to date and highly detailed regarding such information as transportation options within India, the scams travelers can encounter, and a wealth of other tips too numerous to get into in a brief review.
Given the India guidebook's thickness and weight, I've found it convenient to cut it into sections and only take the parts with me for the regions I plan to visit. It's still desirable to get supplemental maps for any city or region one plans to spend much time in, as the maps in the book are usually pretty minimal in terms of detail. And other guidebooks do indeed have useful information this one doesn't (browse the travel shelves in your favorite bookstore to find the additional guides most suitable for your own interests and style of travel). I also advocate reading the better novels set in India, to experience insights into daily life that guidebooks can only hint at.
No single guidebook on India can be all things to all persons for all occasions, but this one surely comes the closest, especially for travelers who don't have their arrangements taken care of on organized tours.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Maurizio Giuliano on July 30, 2002
This edition of "Lonely Planet India" is better than the previous one, which was very very good itself. Despite the immensity of India and the numberless topics and regions that therefore have to be covered, the authors have done an excellent job indeed. Some weaknesses are inevitable, and this is perhaps why this is not one of LP's masterpieces, but it is indeed inevitable for travel guidebooks to be the better, the smaller the region they cover - this is why this book should perhaps be complemented with the individual LP guides to different Indian regions. But in itself, this book does cover most of what a visitor will need or want to know. And in a place that is chaotic and tough for foreigners like India, this may indeed be an essential tool for the less experienced travellers. The coverage of places to stay and eat is absolutely excellent, not just for the major cities but also for minor towns and sites (the authors would indeed seem to have been on every single square foot of land in India !). The section on permits and other legal matters is of immense value to anyone, and well up-to-date. And of course, the sections and special chapters on history, culture, religion, are extremely well written, great for the traveller and the armchair reader alike. Even though the best discoveries are those a traveller will make herself / himself, this guidebook is surely a great tool and help in anyone's discovery of this wonderful land. All in all, a masterpiece despite its limitations. A weakness is of course that things being as they are in India, information is subject to change, and some may have become out-of-date by the time this book was printed. But this is of course inevitable, and it simply means that - as in any country - a traveller should not rely on only a guidebook, but make a considerable effort to grasp as much as possible of current circumstances on her / his own.
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