I am looking at a potential business trip to India and will be in Bengaluru and Hyderabad. Anyone have recommendations on books to read up that might be similar to the Rick Steve's books in Europe?
You might look at Lonely Planet, Moon or Footprint guide book series. They are geared to similar travelers as RS. I have used them all. Maybe see at your local public library before you purchase. Or also look into internet blogs, you tube videos and such for current info. Many guide books have not quite been updated since Covid.
Laurie Ann has good recommendations. In addition, look at Rough Guide, which has an India guidebook among their other guidebooks. Rough Guide is British. Lonely Planet is Australian, and is written a bit more for backpackers with a limited budget than Rick’s books nowadays, but offer lots of tips for sightseeing, eating, and experiences. Both Lonely Planet and Rough Guide have more destinations in their Europe books than Rick, in addition to covering places outside of Europe.
Moon is published by Avalon, the same company that publishes Rick’s guidebooks. It seems, though, that they don’t have an India book.
I've been intending to take a tour of India with a friend and add on some independent travel. That hasn't happened yet due to COVID and our personal schedules, but I did a good bit of research (not including guidebooks) in early 2020 before everything shut down. I gather tickets for the express trains can be extremely challenging to buy; it seems to be a supply-vs.-demand situation in a country of 1.4 billion people. Without delving into it much, I realized I might need to use private drivers for at least some inter-city transportation--something I'd never consider doing under normal circumstances, because I like the challenge of public transportation. Also, I'm cheap.
I purchased the Rough and Lonely Planet full-country guidebooks just as everything was shutting down. I haven't started reading them yet but can tell you each is over 1200 pages long. If you can narrow down the geographic area you are interested in, there might be regional books that meet your needs and are a bit more detailed but also less bulky.
There seem to be some safety issues with transportation in India (horrendous death rates due to fires on trains, for example), so an independent trip there is not something to take on without research. Working with a local travel company would probably be prudent if you don't have both the time for and an interest in doing in-depth research.
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