Fiction

  • Delhi: A Novel by Khushwant Singh: Offers a unique vision of Delhi filled with both affection and revulsion, a city of temples and bazaars, of muddy waters, filth and poverty.
  • A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry: A fascinating story set in the Mumbai of 1970s, this novel chronicles the sufferings of outcasts and innocents trying to survive in the “State of Internal Emergency”.
  • The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga: This Man-Booker Prize winning book is a compelling novel on the liberation of a man born to be a servant of the rich.
  • Slumdog Millionaire by Vikas Swarup: The book on which the Golden Globe-winning movie with the same name is based. Tells the story of an orphaned, uneducated ‘chai-walla’ from Mumbai who wins a billion rupees on a quiz show.
  • Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts: An epic novel (900+ pages) about an Australian man who lands in Mumbai on a false New Zealand passport. Set in the ’80s and early 90s.

Non-fiction

  • City of Djinns by William Dalrymple: A marvelous read, takes you through the Delhi of past eras and the many layers of history that constitute Delhi.
  • Delhi Throught the Ages: Selected Essays in Urban History, Culture and Society by R.E. Frykenberg(ed.)
  • The Seven Cities of Delhi by Gordon Risley Hearn, an excellent account of the history and architecture of Delhi
  • Delhi Past and Present H.E Fanshawe: A book that helps us understand the present and past of Delhi.
  • Mansions at Dusk: The Havelis of Old Delhi by Pavan K. Verma: An illustrated book documenting the grandeur of old houses of Delhi.

Travel

  • Fodor’s India, 8th Edition: Fodor’s guides cover mid-range through upmarket travel
  • Frommer’s India: Similar to Fodor’s but the layout is not as nice.
  • Lonely Planet India: This guidebook focuses more on backpackers and has great maps
  • The Rough Guide to India: A comprehensive guide to India with stunning photography. Has detailed and illustrated sections on Sacred India, Handicrafts, Bollywood, temple architecture, Indian classical music, etc.

Living in India

  • Culture Smart! India: A Quick Guide to Customs & Etiquette: A guide that lists essential information on attitudes, beliefs and behaviour of Indian people. Tells you what to expect, how to behave, and how to establish a rapport.
  • Moon Living Abroad in India: A comprehensive guidebook covering moving to and living in India. Includes a lot of detailed information about India’s culture and history.
Top