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Lonely Planet South India & Kerala 6th Ed.: 6th Edition [Paperback]

Sarina Singh , Trend Holden , Abigail Hole

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Book Description

Sept. 9 2011 Regional Travel Guide
"South India is the steamy heartland of the subcontinent, a mind-shaking mix of state-of-the-art and timeless tradition where everyday life is intimately intertwined with the sacred." - Sarina Singh, Lonely Planet Writer

Our Promise

You can trust our travel information because Lonely Planet authors visit the places we write about, each and every edition. We never accept freebies for positive coverage, and you can rely on us to tell it like we see it.

Inside This Book…

85 maps
228 days of on-the-road research
1476 detailed reviews
5151km of stunning coastline
Inspirational photos
Clear, easy-to-use maps
Comprehensive planning tools
Volunteering feature
In-depth background
At-a-glance practical info

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 544 pages
  • Publisher: Lonely Planet; 6th edition edition (Sept. 9 2011)
  • Language: French
  • ISBN-10: 1741797810
  • ISBN-13: 978-1741797817
  • Product Dimensions: 2.3 x 12.8 x 19.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 363 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #111,212 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

After finishing a business degree in Melbourne, Sarina bought a one-way ticket to India where she completed a Sheraton corporate traineeship before working as a freelance journalist and foreign correspondent. After four years in the subcontinent she returned to Australia, pursued postgraduate journalism qualifications and wrote/directed an award-nominated documentary film. She has worked on 30 Lonely Planet books, is the author of Polo in India, and has also written articles for many international publications including National Geographic Traveler.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.0 out of 5 stars  11 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars so so book - disappointed Jan. 5 2012
By Yogi from Israel - Published on Amazon.com
LP has been my favorite travel companion for many years. This was the first book that truly disappointed me. Especially poor were the descriptions of the hotels. This is a very recent book - i expected much, more more.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Far worse than the excellent previous edition Oct. 8 2012
By Raghuveer Parthasarathy - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I'm normally a great fan of the Lonely Planet guides -- I even check out random ones from the library for fun for armchair travel -- but this one is very disappointing. The contrast is especially great with the earlier (2001?) edition of the South India guide, which was excellent. I used the earlier edition a lot when traveling in South India. It was useful, well-written, and informative. I even had a nice chat with a local on a train who pointed out that he had the book also, and that it was his 'bible' for regional travel information!. I purchased this edition to have more up-to-date information for an upcoming trip. It's much thinner, has far less description of sights and transit (adding lots of restaurant listings instead), and is written in a superficial tone (as others have commented). Even the title is annoying -- "South India and Kerala" is as nonsensical as "Southern California and Los Angeles" -- Kerala is *in* South India. South India deserves (and used to have) a far better book than this one.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent for 1 month of travels March 5 2012
By E.B. - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I just got back from India, and used this guide to travel to several cities in the south. The information seemed a bit outdated, especially pricing for autorickshaw rides and hotel fares, which was in most cases higher than listed in the guide. But the contact and sightseeing information was great!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not what I had hoped Oct. 18 2012
By Kelly J Savage - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I'm a bit disappointed as for the state of Kerala there is just one little paragraph on each town. Lots on eating and sleeping, but not as much on what to do or unique things to see.
14 of 20 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Condescendingly informative. June 24 2012
By Aruna34 - Published on Amazon.com
I'm what's known in the biz as a saipa, but have been spending long stretches of time in Kerala and Tamil Nadu since I was a young child in the early 1980s. I've watched from afar as South India has been transformed into a major notch on the India tourism belt. Returning this summer after a long absence, I downloaded these two chapters as a helpful reference for transportation and other basic info on my travels. While Lonely Planet is always the best option for finding a train station or post office (hence the two stars), I was disgusted by the condescending and self-important tone of the writing in this edition.

The Kerala chapter starts by noting that the State is "emerging as one of India's most popular new tourist hot spots. So, thanks for coming, and congratulations on being a part of the solution." Yes, rich Western tourists really need a pat on the back for taking a vacation. I'm not anti-tourism by any stretch, but let's not imagine that we're making Kerala a better place merely by our sainted presence. In fact, the author is soon acknowledging tourism's double-edged sword, bemoaning the fact that "in the high season you're likely to get caught in backwater-gridlock" on Kerala's inland waterways. Too bad for the Keralans who might need to use the waterways to eke out a living or to get from one place to another.

Writing about the Chinese fishing nets long used in and around Kochi, the chapter notes spectacularly that: "unfortunately, modern fishing techniques are making these labour-intensive methods less and less profitable." God forbid that poor fishermen make their lives slightly less difficult by adopting new technology! That would limit the number of identical tourist photographs that can be taken of the sun setting behind a web of giant nets.

Sadly for the author, the Tamil Nadu chapter tips his/her hand. A lavish hotel in Puducherry is described as "a restored colonial mansion with rooms that appeal to your inner pith-helmeted aristocrat." So yes, if recalling the halcyon days of British colonialism appeals to your unexamined white privilege, by all means, buy this book. Western tourists have been carrying this attitude around India for decades. What surprised me is that one of them was paid to write and publish these chapters. Trust me, all the train station and post office information you need is available for free on this thing that you're using right now called the internet.

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