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The Rough Guide to India, 7th Edition Paperback – November 3, 2008


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Editorial Reviews

Review

There is a terrific level of detail in this expansive guide... the punchy panels, full of valuable nuggets of background information are especially satisfying The Irish Times --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

David Abram is an India specialist – author of The Rough Guide to India, South India and Goa
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 1440 pages
  • Publisher: Rough Guides; 7th edition (November 3, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1858289947
  • ISBN-13: 978-1858289946
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 1.6 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,441,538 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

270 of 278 people found the following review helpful By Nowhere Man on December 3, 2005
Format: Paperback
I should begin by saying that I traveled around India with the fourth edition of the Rough Guide. Though I cannot comment on how updates and revisions may affect the utility of this particular version, I feel quite confident in recommending the Rough Guide over any other guidebook in the market.

My approach to travel has always been one of depth over breadth, cultural authenticity over the latest tourist craze. After spending 2 years in Senegal as a Peace Corps Volunteer, I went to India believing that I might somehow have the same ease of access to village life and cultural events that I had in West Africa. That belief was quickly dispelled, though I came to find many other redeeming qualities to travel and to life in India. In total, I have spent about one year in the country and have relied on my Rough Guide in many, many ways.

There is absolutely no way to compare the depth of historical context and cultural insight given by the Rough Guide with what you may find in Lonely Planet or other guidebooks to India. I frequently borrowed Lonely Planet guides from other travelers to compare its recommendations with the ones I found in my Rough Guide. I consistently found the Lonely Planet to be poorly researched, to offer extremely limited background information, and to eliminate many sites/entries of more obscure or esoteric value to the traveler. It would be incredibly difficult to stick to the Lonely Planet and not be one of the millions of blind backpackers circumnavigating the globe thinking they are actually seeing something. The Rough Guide, in comparison, offered countless 'text-box' entries describing the complexities of modern-day life in India. A few that come to mind dealt with drug use, journalism, organized crime, education, et al.
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47 of 48 people found the following review helpful By Mark Schmieder on March 14, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have just returned from a one month holiday in Bangladesh and Northeastern India. I was hoping for a more region-specific guide but there isn't one, so I had to carry this bulky country-wide guide with me.

This appears to be an excellent guide for the more "usual" destinations in India, but people should be aware that it barely covers Northeastern India at all. Part of this is due to an editorial decision to drop information from prior editions due to political instability in many of those states, but the decisions on which areas to drop do not match local knowledge about which areas actually might prove unsafe for foreigners as opposed to local politicians. Granted, it is an ever-changing scenario, and this guide is by now a few years old.

My main complaint though is the maps of the hill stations; particularly those of Darjeeling and Gangtok. They are just plain wrong, and not to scale (even in cases where they say they are to scale). Unfortunately the Indian government tourist maps for those towns and also Kalimpong are also wrong, and not to scale either, but are somewhat more helpful, so my suggestion is to visit the local tourist offices immediately upon arrival in each town and pick up their official maps.

In both cases, however, contours are missing, and considering that these towns have several hundred to several thousand feet differential between top and bottom, and that there are no pedestrian steps to cut across the time-consuming road switchbacks, one can easily make a wrong decision at a switchback crossing and miss a major point of interest (such as the major monastery at the top of Gangtok). At the very least, since most roads are one-way (and few if any are marked), showing directionals would help.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Lee Ambrozy on March 2, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The Rough Guides are a great alternative to the Lonely Planet.
But the kindle version is almost completely useless. The maps are unusable, and that is what a guidebook is for.
The images, another enticing part of guide books, were also missing.

So, I tried to read the maps on my iPhone. Also useless. They were all too low resolution to read street names or monuments. While the idea of a kindle version of a 1000 page book is appealing (especially if one is traveling light and on the road), I found this a ridiculous adaption for the kindle reader. Completely useless.
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Leigh Ishikawa on December 13, 2006
Format: Paperback
After spending 3 weeks in India, I had only wished I read this book more thoroughly. I visted 4 areas (Mumbai, Delhi, Jaipur, Agra) of which I stayed in everywhere but Agra. Rough Guide has nice maps describing major areas, good list of hotels, and restaurants along with major attractions that were helpful in me finding my way.

I only had a brief chance to look at Lonely Planet from someone who sat across from me on a train back from Delhi to Mumbai so I can't say which one is better. By the end of my vacation, Rough Guide was always with me, along with my DSLR. I would strongly recommend you to consider this book as one of your travel books.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By mojo on April 27, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is the best guidebook I know of for India. I used it on my recent trip and found it overall to have excellent, in-depth information, great info for putting things in cultural/historical context, and detailed, accurate maps. In my opinion it blows Lonely Planet out of the water. Several Indian guesthouse owners and the man at the tourist desk in Varanasi (who has worked there for 25 years) told me the same thing, and on the flipside I met not a single person who recommended Lonely Planet over this book. The general consensus about the Rough Guide is that rather than just giving a bunch of listings, it gives really practical information on how to get to places, get things done, get a ticket, avoid scams, and so on, in significantly greater depth than Lonely Planet. But not only is it more practical--it also gives more cultural/historical context, opinion, and descriptive writing. Lonely Planet, on the other hand, seems to have become lazy since they know they will sell a lot of books on name recognition alone. The last time I used Lonely Planet was on a trip to Brazil, and I was so disappointed with it that I vowed never to use them again. However, unlike Lonely Planet, I think you will have a positive experience with this book. A good guidebook is crucial in India because it is such a difficult country to travel in, and I think you won't be disappointed with this one.
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