Let these reads inspire you to venture beyond the ordinary and discover untold stories of India. By Sushmita Srivastav

BAUMGARTNER’S BOMBAY
Anita Desai

books about India

A tale of deep wounds of wars and exiles, this classic novel by celebrated Indian author, Anita Desai, unfolds as Hugo Baumgartner, a German Jew, escapes the holocaust in Nazi Germany, and leaves behind his Jewish legacy only to arrive in (then) Bombay. The book is an intriguing read on the Maximum City from the perspective of a foreign traveller. Buy it here for INR 708.

SLOWLY DOWN THE GANGES
Eric Newby

books about India

This is about the memorable journey Eric Newby took on his 44th birthday, accompanied by his wife, Wanda. Starting from Haridwar and going all the way to the Bay of Bengal, the adventure took the couple through an array of River Ganges’ shifting moods, the colourful history of places, and the lives of people they met. Buy it here for INR 317.

EMPIRE OF THE SOUL: SOME JOURNEYS IN INDIA
Paul William Roberts

books about India

From the crumbling palaces to the slums, the ashrams of holy men and everything in between, Canadian writer Paul William Roberts takes you through his enticing journeys spanning over two decades across India. Kolkata, Jaisalmer, Varanasi, Pune, and Bengaluru are some of the destinations described in this riveting read. Buy it here for INR 377.

THE PALACE OF ILLUSIONS
Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni

books about India

Part history, part myth but wholly magical, this is a recreation of the Hindu epic, Mahabharata, through the eyes of the tale’s most important female character, Draupadi. Giving voice to every war epic’s women and how they interpret battles, the novel is a fresh take on an ancient tale that is part of the fabric of India. Buy it here for INR 360.

TWILIGHT IN DELHI
Ahmed Ali

books about India

Exploring the themes of colonialism, alienation, gender roles, empire and the passage of time through the life of a Muslim man in Delhi, the novel succeeds as an intriguing elegy set in 19th-century India. Originally published in 1940 in Britain, it is counted amongst the greatest early modern Indian novels, and deserves reading to truly understand the pulse of the country. Buy it here for INR 295.

Related: 5 Travel Books That Can Be Your Favourite Companion On Your Next Trip