Indian Literature before a Trip to India

February 25, 2015 - 4 minutes read

Usually traveling is when we read the most, it might be because there is a lot of bus, boat, plain traveling and many hours to immerse in a book and let time fly away. But what about reading before you embark yourself in an adventure like it would be going to India. Preparing your trip with useful guides like the Indian Architectural Travel Guide Collection is great, but there is something more you could do that would add value to your trip: read about the culture. And no, we are not talking about history books, you already have a detailed introduction of the city in each one of the Architectural Travel Guides, we are talking about literature and its character’s adventures.


by Sir Vidiadhar Surajprasar Naipaul, Nobel Prize of Literature in 2001, his India trilogy

1. An Area of Darkness (1964). For those of you who will be traveling to India for the first time, you might feel connected with this book. However, we must warn you that the author’s impression of his first encounter with the Indian culture is very pessimistic. However, it turns out to be a extremely elegant travelogue. Buy on Amazon

2. India: A wounded civilization (1977). Probably his pessimist vision about what India is at that moment has not changed much since his previous book but, certainly, India’s political and cultural life had. Published right after “The Emergency” of India (1975-1977). A time when civil rights and personal freedom were not available for every Indian. Buy on Amazon

3. India: A Million Mutinies Now (2011). This book, as the others, won’t introduce you to the current India, but will do something even more interesting. From his memories of his past travels, we will introduce you to the people he met in his Indian Journeys. This is the last book of the nobel award winner Naipaul.Buy on Amazon


by Pankaj Mishra, Butter Chicken in Lydhiana: Travels in Small Town India (2006)

This book might have nothing to do with the three other books we mentioned before. This book is also about the experiences the main character experiences when traveling around small towns of India, a different India of the one a common traveler can experience in the main tourist destinations. Extravagant stories will shock you and entertain you equally.Buy on Amazon

by E.M. Forster, Passage to India (1965)

Known an a Britsh author we admire for his sharp tongue when it comes to class differences and society’s hypocrisy, Forster won’t deceive you in this novel if his personality is what you are looking for. Two British, a young women and a elder man, travel to India hoping to get to know the real India and not India’s British empire. Many adventures will encounter them in their trip, and of course, different class issues will come along. This book really captures the India of the time.Buy on Amazon


Lastly, by R. K. Narayan, The Guide (2006)

Hilarious novel that proves the sanctity of a Raju, who just left prison. This is, therefore, not so much about a geographical journey, but about a spritual journey of a man’s soul. However, this novel has the power to absorb you and show you, almost visually, where the story is taking place, what is going on. If you are looking for a more geographical approach to your trip you might, this book is said to be a visual tour of Malgudi landscape.TBuy on Amazon

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