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India -- Do Your Pre-Trip Research!
best books and magazines to read, films to see....


Interesting reads


May You Be The Mother of a Hundred Sons - This novel focuses on the author's interactions with the women of India. A wonderful resource for those who are interested in women's issues.

Culture Shock! India - This is the ultimate guide for travelers who want to be as unobtrusive as possible on the culture of India. This book helps one assimilate to customs, traditions, food, communication, the perception Indians have toward poverty and destiny, amongst innumerable other issues.

Karma Cola - by Gita Mehta. A witty documentary satire that offers a better understanding of the Hindu religion. If spiritual enlightenment is of interest to you or a goal while in India, this work is a must read.

Snakes and Ladders - by Gita Mehta. An unflinching assessment of modern-day India in an account that is entertaining, informative, and wholly personal.

Midnight's Children - by Salmon Rushdie. A novel set at the time of India's independence. It traces the lives of a handful of Indians born on independence day through the post colonial period.

Hinduism - by K.M. Sen. A well written comprehensive guide to the predominant religion in India.


National Geographic May 1997. This issue is dedicated to India, focusing on the country's 50th year of independence.

New Yorker - June 23, 1997. This issue is dedicated to fiction about India.

Feature Length Films

Gandhi - A 1982 British-Indian production that offers a sweeping account of the life and time of Mohanadas Gandhi. Winner of eight Oscar Awards.

Salaam Bombay - This film chronicles the life of a young country boy who struggles to survive on the streets of Bombay. A 1988 India-British production.


We Want YOUR "India" Resources, too!

Any good suggestions on background reading for women travelling to India? Books you've read (novels and non-fiction), magazine articles or films you'd like to share with other Journey women. Click here and send them on to us right now. We'd love to know about them! Be sure to leave your first name and the city that you're e-mailing from.


Your suggestions to date:


  • The God of Small Things by Arundhati, Roy (ISBN: 0679457313)
  • Tamarind Mem by Anita, Badami (ISBN: (0670869163)
  • The River Sutra by Gita Mehta (0679752471) (from Wendy, Chapters Book Store - Bloor Street, Toronto)
  • A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry (ISBN: 0771060548) (from Erica Ehm, Toronto)
  • Third Class Ticket by Heather Wood (from Irena Lindsay from Victoria, British Colombia, Canada)
  • A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth (from Caroline in Montreal, Canada)
  • The Last Burden by Upamanyu (from Caroline in Montreal, Canada)
  • Love and Longing in Bombay by Vikram Chandra (from Caroline in Montreal, Canada)


  • India:Rajasthan published by Knopf Guides - what every traveler needs to know: the history of the place, current life, arts, culture, hotels, restaurants, shopping, transportation and much more--all illustrated with beautiful photgraphs.
  • Home to India by Santha Rama Rau (Submitted by Gary T. Teal)
  • Holy Cow by Sarah MacDonald (from Kristen in Detroit, USA)


  • Fire is a film by Canadian filmmaker Deepa Mehta. You'll find everything you need to know about the film at


Ed. note: If you enjoyed this article, you'll probably want to read:

India - She Fights Her Fears
Preparing for a trek
Spider, Spider
India -- Do Your Pre-Trip Research!
A mixed bag of travelling tips




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