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Frommer's India Paperback – Mar 1 2010


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Paperback, Mar 1 2010
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Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Amazon.com: 16 reviews
44 of 44 people found the following review helpful
Comprehensive and useful (but nothing's perfect) March 17 2007
By Michael Sandman - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Frommer's is packed with information, and it's reasonably well organized. It covers a huge and diverse country with a reasonable amount of detail. It's written to appeal to a wide range of travelers, but it's probaly most useful for people who are (1) traveling on their own rather than on a group tour and (2) planning to go mid- to high budget, not low-budget. (Mid-budget in India will get a you a long way -- food, services and rail are amazingly inexepensive as of March '07.)

There's a bit of hysteria in the section on getting ready -- you don't need all those immunizations unless you're going to places where the specific disease is endemic. Check on-line with the US Centers for Disease Control for more realistic advice.

In contrast, the authors are right on target when they warn repeatedly about minor scams. From the moment you go through customs you will be approached by people who have some offer that's a scam or semi-scam. Even when you hire a good guide from a good company, there's a high probability that you'll be taken to a shop whose owner gives the guide a commission. It's endless and ultimately an amusing game, and Frommer's does a great job of hoisting the warning flag. Pay attention - from the second you arrive.

The book also warns against trying to drive yourself in India. I've driven in places like Sao Paulo, Bogota, Rome and Mexico City (and Boston!), and I agree with that warning. Driving in India was scary 25 years ago and it's even more so now due to the great increase in traffic. There are clearly rules of the road, but you'll be dead before you figure them out, so hire a driver locally, fly long distances, and take the train inter-city when flying doesn't make sense.

The discussions in the front of the book about what's good and what's great are excellent and valuable in helping you decide how to spend limited time in India. The suggestions are divided into rankings of sites and rankings of "moments" or experiences. In the back, theres a short but useful section on Indian history and on its multiple cultures, knowledge that you can use to put what you see into context.

The book's one major fault is the lack of good city maps, as mentioned by another reviewer. Even the state maps are poor in terms of identifying good roads and main rail lines. There's a reasonably good explanation of how the rail system works and it tells you what class of travel to book, but that section would be improved with a clear description of what you get at each level of service. (The top level of overnight train is 1 AC which is a 2- or 4-berth air conditioned compartment, and the bottom level is Sleeper, which is a bare bench in a wretchedly crowded coach.)

The book is organized by state and region, and two places that could be twelve hours apart may follow one another in the text, with no indication of their separation. It can take an hour or more to go 30 miles on a main highway; a table of time between major points of interest would help readers plan a realistic itinerary.

Despite these shortcomings, Frommer's India is a solid guide packed with useful information. Not perfect, but very good.
37 of 38 people found the following review helpful
Don't go to India without this book!!! Aug. 20 2004
By Cynthia - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Many times throught this book it mentions that India is not for the fainthearted. Amen to that. Please take this book and plan your trip well in advance to benifit from the best India has to offer. This book is very specific on where to eat, sleep and how to get around with minimal ripoffs. The introductory travel sections are manditory reading. You will receive advice on how to handle unwanted attention from rude men ("strike them")and advice on the water, ("do not open your mouth in the shower"). The guidebook will tell you what sights to avoid and the ones to go out of your way for. Each of India's states are discussed in detail. This book is well written with humor and bluntness and I found it fun to read even after our trip.
30 of 33 people found the following review helpful
You'll still need to buy another book... Aug. 26 2004
By Anonymous - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I agree with the other reviewer that the beginning section on India is quite useful in providing tips to travelling in India. However, once you get there, the book has a few shortcomings, for example:

1) Maps. While there are maps of entire regions, there are very few city maps. So, through reading the book, I had been cautioned that taxi drivers may take more circuitous routes to my destination, but I nonetheless had no clue on how to get there myself.

2) Addresses. The book lists many great stores, but often does not give you more information than the street name or market name. This does not help when you're dependent on your taxi driver. On two occasions, I wanted to visit a store mentioned in the book, but never ended up finding it. One taxi driver did make a concerted effort (stopping three times on the road to ask), but we eventually ended up at a store where he would get commission because we couldn't find the store (also where a detailed map would come in handy).

3) Yoga. It is hard to believe that a travel book on India could hardly mention yoga or have any recommendations on where to go. I don't think it's even in the index (!).

On this trip, we also had the Lonely Planet and the Rough Guide, which were much more informative. The benefits of Frommer's are that it is a more recent (2004) edition and it weighs less (but buy maps!).
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
A great disapointment June 4 2012
By Rishi - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I waited 40 years to visit India; eventually I did, last March. Before departing though I thought I'd get a good travel guide book on India, and I liked what the'Fromer's India book promised, so I purchased it from Amazon.

I started reading it with great enthusiasm, and although I already had an accumulated amount of knowledge about India through reading extensively I begun by agreeing and thinking the information was good, but the further I got into the book the more the thoughts for cancelling my visit were coming, and specially in regards to Kashmir province. The information they gave which they purported to be very little, it was enough to do a great deal of damage, for I almost cancelled the visit, based on the little they wrote! there may have been a bad situation around 2008 but what I encountered in the Kashmir province was that I was as safe as I could be; true there was visible security present, which in itself gave one confidence. Not for one moment did I worry, was harrased, felt uncomfotable by being in Kashmir; the contrary can be said! I found the people very warm, caring and they went out of their way to make sure we were comfortable at all times. We spent 6 day in the province...Srinahar, visited three mountains, and where-ever we went the discribed experience was had again and again.

Fromer's said in their guide that they update their guide regularly; I fail to see how this can be as I found some of the important information not to be up to date at all. I could go on about what I didn't like in this guide, but I have said enough, and I must say I was glad I decided to be the judge from inside India. I will end though by saying I will never regret having visited India as it was one of the great experiences of my life...we traveled from north to south, by air, boat, train and road. I am 73 years of age this very day.
Cheers. Rishi
Guide to India Jan. 13 2014
By Susan Keller - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Very detailed guide. It would have been more interesting with more pictures, and also with more maps to show specific areas.

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