India: travel books to read before you go

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The excerpt from Lonely Planet's India guide lists 8 travel literature books to enhance your trip.

Sorcerer's ApprenticeBedazzled by wizardry since childhood, Tahir Shah travels through India to learn the art of illusion under the guidance of a mysterious master magician. Sorcerer’s Apprentice chronicles his most extraordinary journey.

City of DjinnsWilliam Dalrymple’s beautifully written travelogue, City of Djinns, traverses time to unpeel Delhi’s intriguing layers, while The Age of Kali is a compilation of Dalrymple’s insights gleaned from a decade of travelling the subcontinent.

Inhaling the MahatmaChristopher Kremmer’s Inhaling the Mahatma reveals the Australian author’s multifarious encounters with India – that include a hijacking, riots, and falling in love – during and beyond his stint as a Delhi-based foreign correspondent in the early 1990s.

Karma ColaGita Mehta’s Karma Cola amusingly and cynically illustrates the cultural collision as India looks to the West for technology and modern methods, and the West descends upon India in search of wisdom and enlightenment.

An Area of DarknessAn Area of Darkness, by VS Naipaul, published in 1964, describes the Nobel and Booker Prize–winning author’s first visit to the subcontinent. Opinionated and unflinching, it’s certainly a thought-provoking read as is his later travelogue, India: A Million Mutinies Now, published in 1990.

Chasing the MonsoonChasing the Monsoon by Alexander Frater is an Englishman’s story of his monsoon-chasing journey from Kovalam to Meghalaya, offering a captivating window into the monsoon’s impact.

More travel literature reading lists for other destinations can be found here.