Best Books to Inspire a Trip to India

India map surrounded by loose coins
Photo credit: OhTilly
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Transport yourself to India without stirring from your cozy reading corner. Our India reading list caters to all ages and interests – from alphabet books to sweeping epics. Come and find a book to add to your reading list!

We spend weeks (sometimes longer) before a trip reading as many books about the destination as we can. The India books below are the ones we enjoyed the most before our trip *and* impacted us the most during our travels. These are some of the best books about India to prepare you for a trip or use for a home-based country study. If a trip to India is on the horizon, take a look at our Delhi, Agra, and Amritsar itineraries. They are full of ideas and tips!

Best Books to Read Before You Travel to India

Best Picture Books About India

T is for Taj Mahal: An India Alphabet by Varsha Bajaj and illustrated by Robert Crawford

Finders Keepers? A Bus Trip in India by Robert Arnett and illustrated by Smita Turakhia

Ganesha’s Sweet Tooth by Sanjay Patel and Emily Haynes

Chachaji’s Cup by Uma Krishnaswami and illustrated by Soumya Sitaraman

Amma, Take me to the Golden Temple by Bhakti Mathur and illustrated by Priyankar Gupta

I am Gandhi by Brad Meltzer and illustrated by Christopher Eliopoulos

The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling and illustrated by Nicola Bayley

Best Early Chapter Books About India

Where is the Taj Mahal? by Dorothy and Thomas Hoobler

Who Was Gandhi? by Dana Meachen Rau

Book Uncle and Me by Uma Krishnaswami and illustrated by  Julianna Swaney

Best Middle-Grade Books About India

Ramayana: Divine Loophole by Sanjay Patel

Ahimsa by Supriya Kelkar

Aru Shah and the End of Time by Roshani Chokshi

The Bridge Home by Padma Venkatraman 

Pashmina by Nidhi Chanani

The Night Diary by Veera Hiranandani

Best Young Adult and Adult Books About India

A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry

The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy

Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie

Holy Cow: An Indian Adventure by Sarah MacDonald

A Passage to India by E.M. Forster

City of Djinns: A Year in Delhi by William Dalrymple

Freedom at Midnight by Larry Collins and Dominique Lapierre 

Around India in 80 Trains by Monisha Rajesh

Do You Have Suggestions for Our India Reading List?

Do you have a favorite book about India? We are always looking for books to add to our reading list. Drop us a recommendation in the comments below.

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